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Evolution - Tools

Humans’ Use of Tools Through Time

Posted by Melanie Burns on
Humans’ Use of Tools Through Time

In the age of technology it’s nearly impossible to imagine a time that humans had to make do without the use of tools. We couldn’t build the smartphones and laptops we have now, we couldn’t build the skyscrapers that dot the landscape and even food as we know it would be entirely different. Thankfully, one thing that humans constantly are is resourceful, and thanks to that fortunate tendency throughout history we have managed to find and create a plethora of tools that have helped us build the society that we have today. But we had to start somewhere.

Stone Age

Historians have found that stone tools appeared among humans around 2.6 million years ago, but with the evidence of chimpanzees improvising wooden tools for various tasks like ant foraging, that suggests that our ancestors may have had very basic wooden tools up to 4 million years ago. The oldest known stone tools, known as the Oldowan toolkit, shows the earliest examples of stone tools: large hunks of rock for pounding, and sharp flakes of stone used most often to cut through the hide of an animal to get to the meat and bones. The bones found among these sites are the oldest evidence of animal butchering.

Bronze Age 

The Stone Age lasted a very very long time, until with the advent of melting down metals to create new tools. Starting around 2000 BC humanity began to use bronze tools. This was preceded by what is known now as the Copper Age, until it was discovered that mixing copper with tin created the much stronger material bronze. Bronze didn’t chip or crack, and could be bent into different shapes for different purposes. Now we could create axes, knives, and swords along with cauldrons, buckets, and spades along with other very useful objects. This age absolutely revolutionized weapon and tool-making, and allowed for huge advances in farming.

Iron Age

The Iron age began between 1200BC and 600BC, depending on the area of the world. Iron is the most common metal on the earth’s surface, but it is far more difficult to smelt than the copper and tin that were used in the bronze age. Bronze could be melted in a simple furnace and then poured into a mold to cool, but iron needs to be worked and bent while it’s still hot, and required hotter temperatures and special equipment. Once the forging of metal was perfected, that was huge news for technology. Now new tools and weapons could be made that were stronger and used for new applications. Iron-tipped ploughs, for example, made it possible to plough fields that had tough clay, and made the whole farming process quicker. This was the age, then, where humanity started having free time for things other than work. Various hobbies like needle-work and an interest in personal appearance started to appear, all because the invention of iron was making lives a little bit easier.

Peak of Evolution

8 things you probably didn’t know about human evolution

Posted by Melanie Burns on
8 things you probably didn’t know about human evolution

Evolution refers to changes or growth that occurs in a particular way most especially in biological organisms. This is in recent days referred to as Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection. Evolution by natural selection includes three principles: variation of traits that lead to reproduction, competition for the limited available resources and heritability for only the genetic traits being passed from one generation to another. The evolution stretches much back before our early human ancestors and before the evolution of Homo sapiens. Evolution is a tangled tale with most unanswered questions to many people till today. Here are some facts you may not know about human evolution history.

1. Early human beings migrated from Africa over 1 million years ago

Most of us have heard how Homo sapiens migrated to Europe and Asia from about 80000 years ago. The same route was taken by our ancestors, Homo erectus, who was on and off Africa for over million years. After Homo sapiens left they would have encountered other human creatures who looked exactly like them .This would probably be the descendants of Homo erectus or Neanderthal who have been wondering around Eurasia for hundreds of thousands of years. This entire people were the early human.

2. You might be a Neanderthal

Neanderthal is well-known specie in evolution story. Recently a genetic analysis of Neanderthal bones was done to determine if there are some of Neanderthal genes which made way into modern non-African population. It suggested that after Cro-Magnon entered Europe they most likely had children with the local Neanderthals. This reproduction caused the lead to the rise of more Neanderthal traits and species. The fact remains that we are all one happy family despite the trait variations.

3. Indian Ocean navigation by humans in boats over 50,000 years ago.

How did Homo sapiens get to Australia from the shores of Africa? Homo sapiens used small boats lashed together out of reeds. This was equivalent to Paleolithic early Stone Age where they used to fly using tin can. All this worked incredibly and humans were so comfortable to sale to the next region.

4. Low genetic diversity

Humans are considered as the least genetically diverse apes. This is because we all descend from small human groups. Genetic diversity is the full population of reproduction by each individual. When we consider our actual population size is 7billion.Humans number of genetic diversity rotates around 15,000 individuals which is totally less compared to today’s population.

5. Human population crashed about 80,000 years ago

Humanity effective population size reduced mysteriously about 80,000 years ago. There are many theories that explain why like apocalyptic disasters and interbreeding among small species. The eruption of Toba volcano affected the human diversity in a great way something many of us are yet to understand how it happened.

6. Homo sapiens used fire as a tool

As a species Homo sapiens couldn’t exist without one of the most important tool: tamed fire. Homo sapiens evolved after our ancestor’s tamed fire and were making tools. At this stage of evolution Homo sapiens was less apelike. Our species had more interest in the invention of fire and other artificial tools. This is because we were born tool users and fire makers for survival.

7. Homo sapiens had a culture or less than 50000years

Many anthropologists believe that human did not develop a recognized culture until around the time of Homo sapiens which is 50,000years ago. This species hanged around for the longest time before developing various features like symbolic communication and making tools. This is because Homo sapiens evolved around the time of mitochondrial Eve. Anthropologists believe that humans had not developed language until this stage which is very hard to prove.

8. Homo sapiens is still evolving rapidly

The good news is that Homo sapiens is still evolving. One day our posterity will be different from us just like we are from Homo erectus. This has made some biologist to wonder whether we are developing to be most intelligent or disease resistant which is not yet clear.


Human evolution started ways back during our human ancestors and it is still evolving. This makes it hard for many to understand clearly all the facts about human evolution story. The above listed few facts will help in understanding the evolution process a little better. We were all apes once and now we are living as one happy family of humans.

Peak of Evolution

The Story of Human Evolution: Where We Stand Now

Posted by Melanie Burns on
The Story of Human Evolution: Where We Stand Now

Simply put, evolution is the most scientific answer to the eternal questions of who we are and what’s our origins. It is nature’s process of creation. Scientific evidence shows that millions of years ago, our species and ape-like creatures began to evolve from a common ancestor.

Although, scientists did not identify the common ancestor research could trace back and determine the evolution of our species up until now. So it is evident how we evolved. We know that the first homo sapiens first emerged from Africa, then spread across the globe.

Homo sapiens adapted to every environment and dominated the world when they discovered fire. Interestingly, cooking meat with fire led to our brain evolve faster and become bigger. For survival, homo sapiens developed mutations that in a way led to more adaptation to harsh environments around the world.

So why we do not grow wings or breathe under water? Because evolution does not work like that, and it takes millions of years even to notice any significant change in any given species. Plus, if we needed wings to survive we would already have them. How?

Scientific evidence shows us that every species gradually adapts to its environment, but this does not happen overnight. It happens over generations and generations. Each generation passes the “good” genes to the next that is why how they survive.

How exactly? The more a species capable of adaption to its environment, its DNA becomes altered and that DNA gets to pass on to the next generation and so on. That is most notable in mutations. That is also why you see same animals with different colors or characteristics. It is an evolution in action.

As you now know, evolution is a process and doesn’t happen overnight. We are still evolving. When British naturalist Charles Darwin published his theory in two books On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, people of his time mistakenly thought that “the origin of man is apelike creatures.”

In fact, we share 99% of our genetic makeup with chimpanzees, but that does not mean we were apes in origin, that is an oversimplification. We do indeed have a common ancestor that maybe never identified as mentioned above, but it is entirely different to say we were apes in the beginning, and we theoretically share a common ancestor. What does that mean?

It says that millions of years ago, chimpanzees and humans branched out of the same tree, there are thousands and thousands of other species that did not survive. Making it either a huge tree or more accurately a bush.

The “missing link” never existed. Fossil specimens already prove the evolution of the various branches. We cannot know for sure who or what was the first primate to walk the earth. All we know for sure is that scientific evidence proves without a shred of doubt that evolution is the best answer to date for how we as humans came into being, and how life started on earth, from a common ancestor. The rest is history!