Trial Evidence:

Three Main Areas Helping to Prove Evolution

Evidence Supporting Evolution

The Synthesis Theory

Thomas H. Huxley

Phillip E. Johnson

Hawaiian Fruit Flies

Evolution of Man


Evolution Unit:

Evolution Trials

Fossil Project

Evolution Essays

Three Main Areas Helping to Prove Evolution

Evidence Supporting Evolution

The Synthesis Theory

Thomas H. Huxley

Phillip E. Johnson

Hawaiian Fruit Flies

Evolution of Man

Agenda Spring 2001

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The following information has been provided for additional information and evidence surrounding Evolution Theory. I suggest that you read through this carefully, highlighting and noting important information that can assist you with the Evolution Trials.

Three Main Areas Helping to Prove Evolution

By Christine Jue

"I noted earlier that evolution consistently explains the interlocking evidence from paleontology, development, and DNA, and challenges you to present an alternative. You have not. Rather than present an alternative (and fail the tests evolution passes), I suspect you'd prefer just to raise objections, hoping to establish reasonable doubt. Good lawyering, weak science." Kenneth R. Miller, How Did We Get Here? (A Cyber Debate with Phillip E. Johnson)

Kenneth R. Miller's statement above challenges Phillip E. Johnson and his theories in their cyber debate over evolution. The three facts he mentioned in his statement, paleontology, development, and DNA, does give strong and solid evidence to prove the existence evolution. Evolution is a theory, but with the evidence starting to appear and being discovered now, it might soon be a proven fact. There are strong arguments against evolution, but there are also strong facts to prove it exist.

Paleontology has been the key to unlocking the past of earlier species and life. Fossils are the remains of past species and dead organisms. Fossil records have been a strong argument for evolution. It is the only evidence that scientist could look over and have hands on studies with the physical structures of past species. Fossils have given scientists and evolutionists a sense of how species have changed and evolved into the modern day creatures and species we see today. In order for fossils to be made, there needs to be the right environment, right conditions, and enough time to form. With even one of these three components missing, it would be almost impossible to even consider finding a fossil at that location. Fossils can not just form anywhere and we have not explored the ocean floors or the every inch of this planet to search for fossils. There might not be fossils of all the species that existed, but there is enough proof from the ones we have to link them together. We have found transitional fossils that can prove the evolution between species, there might not be many, but enough to show the transition from one organism to the next.

The topic of transitional fossils are always brought up and tried to be used against evolution, but it is such a strong factor that supports it and all its elements of study. They claim there are not enough transitional fossils to prove that there were transitions, but how about the ones that do exist. Examples of transitions between organisms are the transitions of past species of horses and the modern day horse and the transition of apes and modern day humans. These transitions have been proved by the fossils found because paleontologist discovered the fossils in different layers of earth and carbon dated all of them to see during which time period they lived and existed. The modern day one toed horse evolved originally from a dog-sized four-toed horse like creature. The transition of modern day humans was proven to have evolved from apes with the linking fossil named Lucy. This fossil showed a similar hip structure of modern day humans, but the head of an ape. Transitional fossils are important, but it cannot always be found. However, the ones we already have show us that evolution does exist and occur.

Why do the embryos of fish, chickens, dogs, and lizards look so much like human embryos when the adult forms are so different? The developments of vertebrates are so similar in the beginning of the lives because all vertebrates or animals with backbones evolved from a common ancestor. The basic design of all these animals is more similar than most people might think. The genetic information that guides their development is nearly the same. Scientist can learn about human development not only by studying humans, but also fish, chickens and other vertebrates because their first stages of life are so alike you can hardly tell the difference.

The embryo of all vertebrates' start out the same way, form, or shape, but it is in the genes that tell them what to develop into. In every living organism, there are cells and inside almost every cell there are twisted, ladder-like molecules know as DNA. The information contained in the DNA molecules provides a set of codes or the "blueprints", for building other molecules used by the cell. As an organism grows, the genes are decoded and read by the cells and start to case the embryo to form into the organism it will grow up to be whether it a fish, chicken, or human.

Each gene in the growing embryo contains instructions to how a certain molecule should help the growing fetus develop and grow up. As the organism develops, different genes in different cells may be read. The fate of the cell is ultimately determined by which gene is read. If any of the genes are missing, misread, read out of sequence, or altered in any way, the cell or organism may dramatically change.

The timing of this process depends on the embryo's stage of development and the location of the cell. An example of development in embryos is when the eye cells are formed. They do not use the same information to make as skin cells or brain cells. Embryos at the same stage of development have the same information and form, but it is when the start developing that changes them. The physical similarities and differences of developing embryos correspond with the variations in their genes and gene decoding. If one piece if missing from the puzzle, it can turn out to be something totally new or different.

The DNA of an organism changes what it will be and become. It is related to the development of species and organisms, thus meaning it corresponds with how an organism is formed and what it will become. DNA is like a captain of a ship, the DNA of an organism tells or guides the rest of the growing organism into the next stages of their existence. It leads them into their development. An organisms DNA, is the foundation of how they grow, when they grow, and what organisms they will grow into. DNA supports the theory of evolution because it shows the changes an organism goes through. There are evolutionary steps that species have to have taken in order to have certain genes to evolve them into the living organisms they are today. DNA separates organisms from each other, but can also relate them together.

DNA has proven we have 93% to 99% the same genetic material as apes and chimps. This extraordinary amount of similarity has to mean something. It means we are related and probably evolved from the same ancestor. True, we might still be very different from chimps and apes, but there are too high percentages of similarity to just not relate us. Maybe there are intellectual and physical differences, but that is with every organism. Humans are physically different than others and some might be smarter than others, but do we doubt they are related and no humans. No, but how can we just doubt human, ape evolution when we have so much proof.

The DNA of an organism shows so much. It can relate species together, but can also disprove their relationship. DNA is a very important factor in evolution and it shows strong evidence that makes the evolutionary theory a fact. DNA studies examine the relationship between certain species and they show similarities strong enough to conclude they evolved from each other and indeed came from the same ancestor or parent.

Evolution is still a theory until it is proven. There is very strong evidence found today and in the past that has given its defense, against anti-evolutionist and non-believers, a higher advantage and evidence to prove them wrong and the evolutionary theory right. Solid evidence is needed to prove anything fact and I believe with the three main areas discussed in this paper. It is very strong and high likely that the theory of evolution is, in fact, true. The fossil records, DNA studies, and development of organisms in some way or form do show evolutionary steps within itself. How can the embryos of some many vertebrates be so similar if the adult creatures are yet so different and how can the DNA of humans and apes, be so closely related and genetically similar? These are proven facts that show evolution there has to have been at some point in the past that these organisms were related or evolved form the same ancestor.

Kenneth R. Miller's states his opinion in his cyber debate with Phillip E. Johnson and has proven evolution is indeed a fact that people can argue against, but does not have enough evidence to disprove. The three main areas of paleontology, development, and DNA have shown strong evidence and solid proof that evolutionists have to proven their theory and belief. Evolution is a fact and does exist and has always existed to create the abundant species and life on earth.

References

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/odyssey/debate/ http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mark-vuletic/defense-of evolution.html http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/odyssey/clips/ http://fermi.clas.virginia.edu/-rjh9u/compembl.html http://www.exploratorium.edu/exhibits/embryo/embryo.html http://wvvw.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html http://www.ucTnp.berkeley.edu/fosrec/fosrec.html

Evidence Supporting Evolution

By Linda Diep

I, Kenneth R. Miller, am one of the many people who support evolution as a fact not just a simple theory. Yet, many scientists of today, the theory of evolution is still being debated and talked about. Many scientists, including other people, are already convinced that the theory is indeed correct. Evidence from different fields, suggests and proves that evolution is true. The evolution theory that Charles Darwin had developed has four MAIN points are as follows:

    1. Variations exist within the genes of every species, which is the simple result of random mutation.
    2. In a particular environment, some individuals of a species, or better said a sub-population of a species, are better suited for survival. Because they are better suited to survive in that environment, they will have more offspring that survive in that environment. This is called natural selection.
    3. Over time, mutations that changed individuals in a specie, will also replace the old, less successful individuals. So that the new, usually improved species will take over and replace the old ones.
    4. There is clear evidence from fossils and many other sources that the species now on Earth have evolved, or descended, from ancestral forms that are now extinct (evolution).

Because of the rather large amount of evidence, people are convinced that evolution is true. For example, in the field of paleontology, fossils are found almost every year. From bones to footprints, different kinds of fossils are found around the globe. Fossils prove that the theory is true by showing that organisms of the past that are now extinct share characteristics with today's organisms. People that doubt the evolution theory always raise the question, "If evolution is true, where are the transitional fossils?" That can be easily answered. Even though at that time that Darwin had written his first book Origins of Species, there was a less amount of fossils to actually prove that his theory was true at that time. But now, with the advanced technology, it's easier to find fossils and such evidence to support he theory. In 1974, a paleontologist named Donald C. Johanson, found a fossil that was believed to be the "missing link" between ape and modern humans. Australopithecus Afarensis, also known as "Lucy" was that "missing link". It had a head of an ape, but at the same time had the hips of a human or humanlike one. It is he oldest hominid that was ever found and it's 40% complete. Other so-called "missing links" between different species are still being found as of today.

DNA or genes also helps prove that evolution does exist by looking at he blood structure of both humans and gorilla. But more specifically biochemists take that pairs of chains of amino acids, which make proteins for our bodies. Pairs of chains of amino acids are known as hemoglobin. Research has found that when human genes are tested with gorilla genes, there is only one difference in the sequence. While humans have glutamic acid, gorillas on the other hand have aspartic acid instead. A single mutation could change the hemoglobin of a gorilla into a human or vice versa. It shows that gorilla and humans are very closely related because humans evolved from apes. So everything is similar because they share a common ancestor. But if we were to compare a fish's hemoglobin to a human's, there would be a large amount of acids that needs to be substituted. Even though humans and fishes share a common ancestor, they are too distant from each other.

Through embryology, scientists have learned even more about our evolutionary past. It was thought that organisms that goes through their embryonic development, repeats stages from its evolutionary history. For example, at one time in your development in your mother's womb, you had gill slits that were just like a fishes. But this relationship between evolution and embryology is a bit too simple, but doesn't mean that it is false. During every organism's early development, they are amazingly similar. They all split from one cell into two and starts dividing until it's enough for different organisms. Physical characteristics of different embryos do look alike. But for bird eggs and mammal embryos are different in their sources of nourishment because their patterns of cell division aren't the same during early embryonic development.

With so many sources of evidence to support evolution, it's hard not to believe in evolution. But Creationists always have their way to find loopholes to "disprove" the evolutionary theory. Even with so such an intimidating amount of evidence supporting evolution, some people still believe that a divine creator was the one who had made all the organisms as "perfect" as they are and hadn't gone through any kind of change since they were created. I think the evidence supporting evolution is stronger than it is for those that don't believe it. But it is an open subject that can be debated about.

Bibliography:

World Wide Web: O'Neil, Dennis. "Evidence of Evolution". http://daphne.palomar.edu/evolve/evolve Ihtm#top. 29 May 2000. David (unknown last name).
"Arguments Against Christianity: Facts Vs. Wishes". http://home.talkcity.comPhomepopup.html9url=/Iibrarydr/eztoamuse/webdoc5.htm. 26 May 2000.
NOVA. "How Did We Get Here? (A Cyber Debate)". http://www.pbs.or,g/w-gbh/nova/odyssey/debate/. 27 May 2000.
CD-ROM- Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99. CD-ROM. 1999. "Comparative Embryology".

The Synthesis Theory

By Ruben Arushanov

Where did we come from? That one of the mysterious questions that people asked each other for thousands of years and when not realized explained it as a matter of God creations to everything that was unknown and for many even "scary". People used to think that Earth was round and specific Gods caused rains, rotation of sun and moon and many other scientific phenomena's which today even third graders understand the basics of actual reality. For many years, diversities of many religions had similar explanation of world that God created everything in seven days, depending on which religion to refer. In the last few centuries, humans faced several scientific explanations of our existence in this world.

Charles Darwin was one of the first scientists that was able to prove due to many different facts like fossils that evolution is more than a theory. He wrote a book in which he stated and described natural selection an evolutionary mechanism that occurs when some individuals in a population are better able to adapt to their environment and then produce more offspring. Nature, in effect, selects which members of a population are fit to survive long enough to reproduce. Those who are more successful at reproduction will have a greater influence on the gene frequencies of the next generation. Natural Selection is just one of the number of processes that can lead to evolution. Darwin's ideas were based on his studies of plants, species and fossils in numerous different places and environments within the world. Later, when newer, powerful and more accurate technologies were invented, such as electronic microscopes and chemical substances, more and stronger scientific evidence appeared that supported more modern and reasonable theory of evolution.

As Charles Darwin stated in his book of Natural Selection and according to modern scientific discoveries and ideas, chimpanzees are our closest living relatives because genetically we're 98% the same; not to mention that their brains, behavior and reactions is close to us than any other living creature. That can't be for no reason, and that a pretty big percentage which the only thing that it shows is there was a point some long time ago, when we both, human-kind and chimpanzees (with the rest of monkey families) diverged from apes. As many people don't understand it completely, we did not come from monkeys, but from ancient apes that extinct by now. Like Charles Darwin noted, an analogy for evolution in species is a tree, which like any other tree started the same and small but by years, grew bigger and complex what gives different species and newer species that were based on only previous species, but it all started from one point.

Darwin's Natural Selection and the whole this thing about evolution is all about genes surviving for better than other genes. The good ones that survive are the ones that build good bodies, bodies that are good at surviving to predators, reproduction and/or ecological changes. For example, in some forest, particular kind of specie becoming extinct and that will affect its predators, the strong one gets the pray and if the weak one doesn't have any other alternatives for food, it dies either fighting and loosing to stronger or of hunger.

For over five years Gregor Mendel made experiments with over 10,000 kinds of plants. His was concerned more deeply into one, biggest factor of evolution, which is genetics. In Mendel's experiments, he followed the transmission of seven specially selected traits: round-seeded plants with wrinkled-seeded plants, tall plants with short, green-seeded with yellow-seeded, etc. In his experiments, he was able to see that 1 out of three were able to pass what gave a 3:1 ratio.

By studying molecular biology, from which genetic explanations for evolution comes from, scientist found that codons that make up an amino acid create up to twenty different amino acids that gives our body many diversities of proteins. Each protein has a specific sequence of the different amino acids in it. One of the examples for protein is hemoglobin is found in our blood, that carries oxygen from your lungs to cells. Another protein called collagen is a strong and tough material that makes up skin in our bodies, hair and fingernails.

In conclusion I would like to say that by studying molecular biology, the genetics, gives us better ideas about the structure of a life form and everything relating to it. It shows as the mechanism of any living organisms. If you know how something works then sooner or later you will be able to know how it was made and later on even manipulate it. Genetics will show the truth ness of evolution and so far it gives positive evidence. It will take years and great technological progress and stable and fast computer software that would be able to analyze genetic information from a DNA and give scientist opportunity to see and hopefully understand the structure and mechanism of life.

Thomas H. Huxley

By Wendy Liang

"Upon reading the Orgy two months later, (I must) emphasized the importance of the chapter on incompleteness of the fossil record. "

--Thomas H. Huxley

The theory of evolution seem to be perfect in any way possible. However, there have been flaws in evolution that is a evolutionist's worst nightmare. This nightmare is the incompletion of fossils in the fossil records. The quote that have been restated at the top illustrates how Thomas Huxley, a supporter in Darwin's theory, also saw the flaws of Darwin's theory. Huxley stated that if he does not figure a way to solve the problem of the lack of fossils, his theory will be doubted by many. Darwin simply stated that there was nothing he could do about the problem with the fossils, but let time prove evolution correct. What did they mean in lack of fossils in the record?

The flaw they were describing was the lack of transitional fossils in the fossil record. A transitional fossil is a fossil that links two fossils. If a link could be found, a progression of change could be observed; therefore, proving evolution is a fact. When Huxley stated that there was an `incompleteness of the fossil record', he meant that there had been a lack of transitional fossils. Because there hasn't been a massive number of transitional fossils, doubts indeed have surfaced like Huxley predicted.

Although there has been fossils that claim to be transitional fossils, logically, it is impossible. An example of the claim is the transitional fossil between birds and reptiles called, Archeopteryx. This fossil was said to have evolved from a reptile, but there has been no transitional fossils found in between the two fossils. It is illogical that all of a sudden, the Archeopteryx had developed feathers and wing from a reptile that doesn't even resemble the reptile it supposedly evolved from. Over a million fossils, only a small percentage of transitional fossils have been found. This small percentage isn't enough to prove that evolution happened at all. If evolution had occurred, there would have been many transitional fossils located among the million fossils in the fossil record.

Despite the fact that there is a lack of transitional fossil, there is multiple evidence that proves that evolution is a fact. An example that strongly proves evolution true is the most complex trait of living organisms. The strongest evidence that proves evolution is the blueprint of our bodies: DNA. Because all species carry genetic information, this illustrates a unity among living species. DNA supports evolution because there has been similar genetic code among species. One example of similar DNA among organisms are the humans and chimpanzees. Ninety-eight percent of human DNA sequences is similar to a chimpanzee's DNA. We share the similar bases. Because our DNA is so closely related to a chimpanzee's DNA, it is concluded that we have evolved from chimpanzees.

Another way DNA sequencing has supported evolution is the evolution of the mitochondria. It was said that the mitochondria of a cell was a separate organism from the cell. However, it later became part of an animal cell. Because this process had happened, DNA codes had that information of creating new cells with a mitochondria. Soon the mitochondria evolved into animals. Because humans also contain the mitochondria, this proves we have evolved from animals like the chimpanzee. Their DNA gives us the information to obtain a mitochondria like themselves.

DNA has been essential in proving that evolution had occurred. DNA is suppose to substitute the lack of transitional fossils. There has been doubts that genes could not surface from random DNA sequencing. If this can be proven true, DNA will not be able to support evolution. Without chance or this happening, new genes could not be formed by duplication. This mean that traits could not be passed down for evolution to occur. Evolution is still a theory. Whether it is true or false, it is based upon opinions and facts. Perhaps evolution will forever stay as a theory, but only time can prove it true or false.

References

Biology References for Teachers and Students. http://hoflink.com/-house/evolution.html Molecular Biology. http://library.advanced.org/tq-admin/day.cgi
Evolution Requires Genes to Evolve from Random Sources of DNA. http://www.darwinsmistake.com/Main/chap5/evolution-chance-l.htm
Evidence for Evolution. http://www.cs.stedwards.edu/u/wright/sci20/evidence.html

Phillip E. Johnson

By Edmund Lee

Phillip E. Johnson has been teaching law for some odd years and has been debating the theory of evolution for 7 years. If we were to look into what this person has wrote you will see that he has been trying hard to prove that many people have depended on Evolution for too long and it has no evidence to support what is actually is. If you read his Darwin on Trial you will see that he states that many people are taught evolution without no basic evidence of any kind. This in itself is like a religion where people put faith in this and not actual Scientific know-how. When we look at the information based on what some people have found during the past we see that people have been saying that it ( Evolution ) is a mindless and purposeless mechanism in which it has only the purpose to change and survive. We also see that he is not much on grounds for destroying Evolution but to open peoples minds and changes how the theory is put to use.

In his Debate on the Internet called " How do we get here ?" you will read that he believes that Evolution but only on the micro scale in which people only see that their are only outside differences and not on the larger scale where the species as a whole changes. If I were to go to a yard and watch gravity at work I would go to a place where the apples were falling off the trees where as if I were to find evolution in play right now where would I go? I also say in my paper that we only see the changes in big steps and not in small steps that people claim.

He does not takes sides in the debate as he is only trying to found common ground for evolution/creationism. I am just trying to say that if people were to believe in something strongly then test it first. If we were made on this earth than what is our purpose? If we evolved, what minor changes in our ancestors caused us to be in the forms we have today? We have seen that this is has no scientific proof other than those based on fossils that seem like they are connected because of some similarities between them. If we were to look at fossils that were of the dinosaurs then we would see that they are insubstantial in that some of the dinosaurs evolved to become new dinosaurs when they just change characteristics instead of more physical/chemical changes.

When we look at the people today would we say that we are a new species when we are related to monkeys? We would say that we are related because of DNA testing, but because of new testing we have come to find that there are more similarities between us and the apes including Gorillas. How are we to say that we are related to monkeys when "Lucy" our farthest know ancestor is another species and not of our own.. We of mammal descent yes but we are not a new species considering that we have DNA that exactly matches those of the primates except for the few strands. Also how can people say that modern humans are evolved from the Australopithecus when there are no fossils that indicate that there were minor changes in the structure or any changes in the persons behavior.

Hawaiian Fruit Flies

By David Ta

There are 800 species of fruit flies living in Hawaii and 250 of those are from the Drosophila genus. Scientist, have conclude there is such a diversity because of the varieties of different environments on the Hawaiian Islands. Changes had to occur in these species of flies in order for them to survive in all of the environments. The changes that happened are called mutations.

Mutations are changes that are made in order for the species to survive in their habitats and be the fittest. Mutations can sometimes be harmful, but can also sometimes be the changes that help a certain species survive. Mutation is the key to evolution. The Hawaiian fruit flies were an example of the evolution theory because they evolved over time to become the certain species they are today. Evolution occurs when a certain population of species are placed in a certain environment for a long period of time and they start to adapt to their new environment by having changes in their traits.

Mutations change your molecular status, which changes your whole overview. Sometimes, when the species mutate, there aren't that many changes in the species and you will not be able to see the alterations in the cells and the finished product. The purpose of mutation is to create a better way for the organism to survive in its environment. If it doesn't do so, it will die out and become extinct because of natural selection. People need to mutate because it supports what their body needs in order to stay alive. When they adapt to the environment, it helps their future generation become stronger with the new adaptation and it passes its traits onto their next generation so it will remain its life in its surroundings.

Organisms mutate differently depending on their type of life. It also depends on what they eat, their type of shelter, how they hide from their predators, and many more factors. The organisms mutate in a way to help them become stronger and sustain life. For example, Charles Darwin found that there was many type of finches and they were the same types of bird but they were different. He saw that they looked quite similar but their beak sizes and shapes caused it to be a whole different type of bird. They were of the same genus but not the same kind of bird.

Some birds have small beaks, some have long beaks, some and curved beaks, some have sharp beaks and there are so many more. The reason why this is so is because of the fact that each of those types of birds lived in different surroundings and they had different food source. It was believed that all of the finches were of the same type of species until they migrated and their environment changed so as their environment changed, they also changed with it. The birds that couldn't survive died out and whichever ones made it through passed their genes on to their offspring. The life that they went through created a better life for the next generation of finches.

Hawaiian fruit flies show that mutations are needed in life in order to survive. There are so many types of Hawaiian fruit flies and it is all over Hawaii. Hawaii is a big state and depending on where you are at, the atmosphere is somewhat different. So this is where mutation comes in. It alters the DNA structure of the species to help it maintain its life span.

The evolutionary theory might just be a theory, but facts are being found day by day to prove it a fact. Mutation is just another fact that has been proven and observed through time to give evolution another boost in its fight to become true and a proven fact. Mutation does change the DNA structure of a species. If it didn't then there would not be changes in their traits.

Mutation causes changes within species to have the advantage over other species. It needs those extra traits they have to be able to live and survive. Species of animals do not just live alone, if they did, evolution would not be needed or mutation. Mutation does exist to help species become the fittest and have an advantage in natural selection. They need to be the fittest to survive and prosper.

Evolution of Man

By Caroline Cheng

The discovery of the evolution of man is attributed to a scientist of the 19th century: Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin first suggested that humans, gorillas, and chimpanzees all evolved from a common ancestor.

The evolution of Human Species followed different stages beginning with the Australopithecus and continuing with Homo habilis, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens. The last stages include those people who lived thousands of years ago in the Paleolithic and Neolithic Age and are the immediate ancestors of modern man.

One of the best-preserved human remnants is a female skeleton found at Hadar in Ethiopia. Anthropologists assembled about 40% of the young girl that was given the nickname "Lucy". Lucy is dated around 3.2 million years ago and belongs to the Australopithecus category. Lucy is the oldest known upright Australopithecus and is the most complete and best-preserved skeleton that was ever discovered.

A professor discovered Australopithecus africanus by the name of Raymond Dart. This discovery was made in 1924, and Raymond Dart was an anatomy professor in Johannesburg, South Africa. The fossil was a skull that was well preserved. The skull was from a young boy that was around the age of five years old.

Australopithecus robustus was discovered in 1938 in South Africa. A. robustW was a stockier species that had massive teeth and jaws. Then in East Africa around 1959, a third species named Australopithecus boisei was discovered. This species was even more stockily built and was nicknamed the `nutcracker man'. A.6bisei is almost 2 million years old.

Homo habilis was first discovered in the early 1960s, close to the site where A. boisei was discovered. The first fossil, a skull, was badly crushed and so there was much debate whether or not the fossil was human or Australopithecus. The name Homo habilis is from the Latin Homo, meaning `man', and habilis, meaning `handy'.

Homo erectus was next to evolve. The first Homo erectus fossil that was found was in Indonesia on the island of Java. In 1891, a skullcap and thighbone was discovered. The fossils were nicknamed the `Java man'. The second fossil that was found was in the 1920s, near Peking, China. The skull had many similarities and resemblances to the Java man. Homo erectus is larger than Homo habilis, has a larger brain, and is able to walk erect.

Homo sapiens appeared around 500,000 years ago. The name Homo sapiens is from the Latin Homo, meaning `man', and sapiens, meaning `wise'. When the Homo sapiens appeared in Europe about 130,000 years ago, they were called Neanderthals. European Neanderthals were short, stocky, and powerfully built. The fossils suggest that the Neanderthals skulls were massive and that their brains were larger than those of modern humans were.

Around 34,000 years ago, modern Homo sapiens or early modern humans replaced the European Neanderthals. These humans probably had social organizations and complex language capabilities.