April 6th, 2012
12:49 PM ET

How humans conquered the Earth

How did modern humans take over the planet? It's one of the most intriguing questions in science.

Right now, sitting pretty at the top of the food chain, it's tempting to see our 200,000-year rise to power since the emergence of the first Homo sapiens as a given - as the evolutionary endpoint of a story that got started on the African savannah via two key innovations: bigger brains, and the shift to walking upright.

Yet for our ancestors, things were not so clear-cut. They were not (as we now find ourselves) the only game in town. When the Cro-Magnons (ancestors of modern humans) migrated north from Africa's Rift Valley to settle Europe around 40,000 years ago, the latter continent was already populated by another breed of hominid, the Neanderthals. Within a few thousands years, the Neanderthals were wiped out, and the Cro-Magnon had taken over.

Why was this? What special attributes did our ancestors possess that the Neanderthals did not?

As Ian Tattersall, curator of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History, points out, the fossil record often delivers more questions than answers. Neanderthal skeletons, for example, show that Neanderthals had stronger builds and the same-size brains as Cro-Magnons. They were sophisticated toolmakers. Animal remains found at Neanderthal sites reveal they were skilled hunters, experts in bringing down large prey such as woolly mammoths. Based on this evidence, there is no obvious reason why we made it, and they did not.

But Tattersall says he thinks we need to look beyond the fossil record to find the secret to our success. One place to start looking, he says, is in the Lascaux caves in southern France. Discovered accidentally in 1940 by four children, the Lascaux cave complex contains hundreds of paintings of animal figures in caverns larger than football fields.

Talking at the museum this week to promote his new book, “Masters of the Planet: The Search for Human Origins,” Tattersall describes a visit to the caves as “one of the most profound experiences of my life.” It's more than just the beauty of the paleolithic art that moved him, however. The cave paintings, he says, prove early man's ability to think symbolically. Horses drawn on to the cave walls are symbolic representations of real-life horses.

No other species of early humans left artwork behind, which, he says, is the crucial difference.

The capacity for abstract thinking is the key to our success. All our creativity stems from it. But abstract thinking is not only useful for making art. Early hunters, for example, reporting back on the movement of reindeer herds, would be disadvantaged if those hearing the report could not make the mental leap of faith needed to understand that these herds existed even though they had not seen them.

“It is this capacity for 'what if' thinking that sets humans apart from all other creatures,” Tattersall says.

He says it's no coincidence that this advance in human cognition came along at the same time as language. “Symbolic thinking is impossible to imagine without language,” he says.

There is no evidence to tell us whether Cro-Magnons spoke in a language with each other, although Tattersall says he's certain they did. It's also impossible to say if early humans developed linguistic ability, or if it were innate, as acclaimed linguist Noam Chomsky has argued. Chomsky believes humans are born with an ability to learn oral language. Hence, toddlers have amazing talent for stringing words together in the proper order even though they may never have heard the sentences before.

According to Tattersall, humans may have possessed the ability for language for millions of years before some, as yet unknown, cultural stimulus set it in motion.

“Birds had feathers for millions of years before they learned to fly. You acquire a feature and, much later on, you find a use for it,” says Tattersall, who has been researching our history through the fossil record since the 1960s and has written several books on the subject.

Of course, the capacity for symbolic thought is just one theory of how humans got to the top of the food chain, and there are many others.

It may have been, as some anthropologists have argued, that in a prehistoric age where nature was red in tooth and claw and fearsome predators such as saber-toothed tigers roamed the landscape, our ancestors were simply the most efficient at killing off the competition. Disease or drought may have played a part; so too may have historical climate changes.

That humans' unique way of seeing the world helped them on their rise to becoming the masters of the planet seems indisputable, however. Whether it was the one, big thing that made all the difference, we may never know.

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Filed under: News
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Christopher Dycha

    Poor choice of words. I would never consider us or any alpha reigning species of the moment as conquering the earth. Our current status on the top rung is such a very small window of time when taking into account the history of time. Mother earth always wins. She is only allowing us to play for now. Christopher Dycha

    April 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  2. kim kardashian

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    April 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  3. God's creation

    God created apeman & evolution to punish disbelievers.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • mikstov33

      And He created athiests and scientists to punish believers

      April 11, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  4. oppo

    It is already quite well proven that all Mid East religions are summarized from the 4,000 years old Babylonian texts, which are in turn summarized from the 6,000 years old Sumerian text. For instance, the floods (a natural disaster) was predicted by GodA but kept it secret to destroy all humans. GodB (godA's brother) secretly told that guy to build the ark to save humanity. The Babylonian texts merged the gods to reduce conflicts that arose from divided loyalty created by the conflicts between those gods. Thus if you believe in a Mid East religion, you cannot run away from the Sumerian version of human history. It seems they already have some archaeological evidence – see crow's project.

    The thing is this, GodS (sister) created modern humans (talking apes) by merging their DNA with an animal (ape?). All these happen less than 50,000 years ago. Isn't this interesting? It seems that all they have to do is find the timeline when the genes were modified and you may just have a merger of religion and evolution. If that doesn't work out, the believers and free thinkers can continue to bash each other's brain out.

    People should read the Sumerian text, they provide elegant explanation in so many specific areas where modern religious texts create confusion. They describe the lab that GodS worked called Edin and why humans were created, who has 23 and who has 24 chromosome pairs, how all those animal fit into the ark, why GodA was so angry, and why GodB helped the human race. It really is chicken soup for the soul.

    April 9, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • opto

      Just Google Sumerian Tablets.

      April 9, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  5. mstr khet

    W/out the basic 5, FOOD, SHELTER, EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE, & INCOME, all these theories & valuable insights don't mean squat to the masses. Sorry.

    April 8, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  6. Loyal Northern Democrat

    If Obama had a son he would look like the guy in the picture.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  7. Vault1990

    Religion is humanities biggest cancer. Religion is the biggest obstacle to human progress and critical understanding. The sooner the world rids its self of religious mythology the better

    April 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • solomon

      and what do you, vault, do to help "the world" rid itself of religion?

      April 9, 2012 at 1:47 am |
      • AlwaysQuestioning

        You teach the Sciences and encourage an individual to be open minded and rational. Eventually Religion will die out on its own. It's a plague on human creativity and potential.

        April 9, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • AlwaysQuestioning

      This is absolutely correct. Radical Christianity poses a far greater threat to the US than terrorism can ever hope to be.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • harry

      Yes, yes and yes again.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Schwarzfuss

      Thank you, sir. Thank you for preaching the truth.

      April 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  8. festus

    the bible is the most evil book ever written. it has caused more death and it is ok cause they r killin for jesus. it has many grey areas and catches itself in lies. it has also had many parts taken out and replaced to suit mans needs. do a google on the 13 satanic bloodlines that control the world, and r bringing in the new world order. do a google on us consentration camps, there r over 800. do a google on skull and bones. do u know y seal team 6 was sent to save the rangers, so the gov could murder the entire team 6 so they couldnt tell the truth( ben laden was not killed) it was predicted by 5 sources that this would happen and an inside source spilled the beans to alex jones, whom was one of the predicters. one seal was a good friend of mine. i was there when they came back from killing ben qualude, funny thing is everyone that came back walked off the tarmac, no one carried a body, they did not kill ben.
    oboma was put in place to completly break the us and did that his first 100 days in office, when they try to take our firearms they know there will be a coup, they also know that our army will not kill us citizens, so they have secretly been bringing in troops from foreign govs for years. this is not bs conspiracy it is fact proven news. open your eyes we are not free and dont even know it. no i am not crazy just a patriot.

    April 8, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • festus

      p.s. it is protocall to not devulge any info on seals or their activities to the public. strange they have broken protocall 3 times now. hum wonder why. the great lie.

      April 8, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  9. satmatt

    The Alpha point 13.7 billion years ago: the Big Bang – untold amounts of energy arising from quantum fluctuations in the singularity, creating space-time, lots of hydrogen, some helium & a little lithium. The Omega point: when the distant progeny of the Big Bang become conscious not just of the universe from which they have arisen, but of the consciousness that lies outside of space-time & from which space-time originally arose. Human evolution is just one step (albeit a significant one) in this Great Adventure, an adventure infinitely more layered and complex than any primitive and mythic cosmology...

    April 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  10. dontbow

    I love how this post this crap on a religious holiday. They always try to counter religion and it shows how childish they really are trying to dispute everything someone else believes.

    April 8, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • james

      Idiot

      April 8, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  11. Bob

    You guys just want to make me Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!!
    Oops, oh.... sorry, just kinda happened!
    (Hmmmm ... A Primal Scream, Wonder where THAT came from?)

    Well, anyway, Happy Easter, ya'll.

    April 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  12. ChrkeePrde

    O my goodness who gives a crap... how is this solving any of today's problems ???

    April 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  13. Mr. G

    I respect religion and everyone’s idea to believe in something or someone.

    We live in the 21st century and I have yet to see a culmination of agreements between Religion and Historic/Archeological proof. Some may even believe half of the theory of evolution, and dismiss that we all originated from Africa.

    The only thing I ask for people is to have an open mind (Wake up and smell the coffee) . We have the technological tools to answer a lot of questions such as the age of certain fossils, the analytical capabilities to determine migration trends and deciphering historic facts.

    Notice how I did not specify a specific religion such as Christianity, Judaism or Muslims. But if some space creature with the same intellect as some of us has come down to the planet and looked at this argument from an "Observational" point of view. Would only say; "Why believe in something that has been re-written so many times by man and re-distributed amongst the masses versus something that has been set in stone for millions and millions of years?".

    Yes I have faith in a God, and the stories around it MIGHT be true. People such as David, Jesus and/or Mohammed might have existed, but did you ever stop and think that these were stories already made by people who think freely and had a sense of literal capabilities as we have now? It is so easy to dismiss me or anyone else claiming to be some righteous dignitary or man of God now than 2012 years ago. When we look at the items set in stone, or in the ground, they speak for themselves.

    Religion simply needs to be followed in an intellectual way, and in union. Because Religion alone has killed more people in the world, it has created the borders we have now, and has caused more strife between humans than race or language. Maybe no one wants to accept that we all came from one place, through millions and millions of years of evolution. we are all the same, brothers and sisters.

    Now, joke on you if that Alien from above just so happens to have a timeline book indicating all human developments from micro species. Oh wait, it's in article form: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution. Or review the hundreds of books at your local library or at amazon all telling the same story, versus one.

    April 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • James Dean

      How does this explain aliens?

      April 8, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • James Dean

      Do aliens like ice cream?

      April 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • solomon

      we should never respect religion, any sooner then we respect people banging their head on a brick wall

      April 9, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Socaliguy

      I'm not saying it's Aliens..........but it's Aliens

      April 14, 2012 at 12:56 am |
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    April 8, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • James Dean

      It's because you are using protection.

      April 8, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  15. satmatt

    Why do debates about evolution always degenerate into trite sniping between atheists and fundamentalists? There are many theists like myself who see no incompatibilities between belief in evolution and the existence of an overarching, supreme consciousness. Teilhard de Chardin expressed this view quite prosaically. The infantile notion of an anthropormorphic god can indeed be assigned to the dustbin of history, but the divine Ground of Being can be experienced by anyone who has taken the time to silence their own internal mental babble and be present to the present.

    April 8, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • spud

      I agree with you. I'm a Christian yet I believe science has it right. I find no disconnect between science and religion and have no trouble accepting evolution. It's the hardheaded, closeminded people on both ends of the spectrum that can't seem to have a conversation without ending up calling each other names and poking fun at each others belief system.

      April 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
      • just a servant

        you can't be a christian and believe in evolution. you err, cause you don't know the word. read your bible.

        April 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Socaliguy

      I forgot your questions, but the answer is Aliens.

      April 14, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  16. Albro

    What an interesting story to publish on EASTER! The 'pure and devout' christians insist that the world is only 5,000 years old, and there were, consequently, no such thing as 'cavemen' or dinosaurs. Those cowering chirstians who please to call those who dare to question the existenced of Jesus "internet kooks" must look away and deny the abundant physical evidence of lifes' rise on earth over the eons. They must shield their virtuous eyes from archaeological proof. They will plug their ears and say "la-la-la-la, I cant hear you" when scientific discoveries place the age of our planet not at the "God-fearing" age of 5,000, but at the scientifically derived age of 3.5 billion. And when asked to reconcile these notable differences, they will cling to their bibles like a life-raft, and say nothing. See no truth, hear no truth, speak no truth: the hallmark of the true believer!

    April 8, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • CAJoe

      Relax. The article was published on the 6th, not today.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • spud

      Wrong bro...

      April 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • festus

      the sphinx in egypt has rain erosion on it, it rained like that 10,000 years ago, and at no other time after that. making the sphinx @ least 10,000 years old.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • just a servant

      you also don't know the word. the bible is approx. 2000 years old. not trying to be offensive, but you also don't understand evolution.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  17. Jason (Australia)

    It's very simply really. Regardless of what man amuses himself with and regardless of how smart man thinks he is ... he wouldn't exist without God ... and it would pay each and every one of us to heed the all important text ... 'Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth'. There is a good reason for that message. I will pray for you all.

    April 8, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Albro

      Alright, sport, tell me this: Since we are the creation of God,"in his own image", does that not mean that this intelligence that you deride is part of what the creator gave us? Were we given this intelligence to NOT question our environment? The intelligence that allows you to project your opinion around the world, is the same intelligence that discovers the evidence of mans evolution. Shall we all deny the use of intelligence because it competes with our blind faith? To do so would return us to the caveman, that you deny ever existed. Interesting conundrum, eh?

      April 8, 2012 at 10:13 am |
      • mema

        Albro yes God gave us the ability to reason and think for ourselves. He also gave us something called free will. We decide what we want to believe and why we chose to believe it. You state there is evidense of evolution but what exactlly do you mean by evidence. Evolution is a theory with a handfull of skelatal remains that do not have humam characteristics at all. If humans had evolved there would be thousands if not millions of fossisals from the start of evolution to present. Oh yeah there missing links. Do ypu realize how mamy links you would need to get from point A to Z. There are no links because we did not evolve. The article stated we have been wvolving for 400,000 years, do you realize how much greater our population should be if that wete the case. Oh and what did we evolve from, apes?? Then why do apes still exist, tjey should be extict, eg.. survival of the fittest. But they are still here. Oh maybe a frog-duck-fish mated with a cow-dog-chicken and eventually we came to exist. Right, seems like your not putting that Gpd given intelligence to good use, eh??

        April 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • opto

      It is now quite well proven by the 6,000 years old Sumerian text and 4,000 years old Babylonian text that too many areas in modern religious texts are wrong. You should read the Sumerian tablets at 'Earths Forbidden Secrets – thecrowhouse'.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  18. Jason (Australia)

    All the debate here is all a side show. The truth won't change. Science will always be used and abused. There will also be those who misuse religion. In the end ... the big gaps in the theory of evolution are still just way too hard to explain. Those who do not want God to exist will always find it much more convenient to dismiss creation as inconvenient truth. No one has ever disproved creation. There is a very good reason for that. Those who dismiss the Bible are consistently those who have not read it or hjave been prejudiced towards it even before they began. There is a very good reason for that too. It's like all the other times in history where science tried to disprove the Bible (like the world is flat ... even though the Bible pointed out it was round). Mankind are very slow learners. We should have learned a long time ago to trust the only Book that has never been found to be wrong!

    April 8, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • harry

      "the big gaps in the theory of evolution are still just way too hard to explain." oh yeah, that's right. of course and religion is watertight isn't it as a theory isn't it. 'so there's some bloke called God who lives in the sky and he sees everything and knows everything. erm, but we've never seen him and we've got no proof whatsoever that he exists but he really does. honest. and anyway if you don't believe us you're gonna to hole in the earth where bad people go and we've never seen that either. but, erm, well...look over there. there's a pig flying!'

      April 8, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • just a servant

      the bible says those who have ears to hear, let him hear. there are those that will never come to the truth. even Jesus Himself could not sway unbelievers. remember Jason, the bible says avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. you have sowed the seed. God bless you for that. the Lord will convict hearts, and perhaps they will come to know the truth.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
      • solomon

        the bible also says humans are about ten thousand years old, which we know is not even close to the actual age of humans. it says two of each of earth's animal species fit onto a single boat. a third grader could explain to you how that's retardedly impossible given there are millions of different species. c'mon, servant! wake up! you really think moses would have written what he did about the garden of eden (present day iraq, btw) if he had known there were mayans in mexico 20 thousand years earlier? if moses had google, your religion wouldnt exist, servant. get a grip!

        April 9, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • opto

      It is now quite well proven that the 6,000 years old Sumerian text and 4,000 years old Babylonian text proof that many areas in modern biblical texts are wrong. You should read the Sumerian tablets at 'crow's project'.

      April 9, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  19. Dwayne

    Well, I guess the writer hasn't heard that the theory (oops, it doesn't pass the scientific requirements to even be a theory) of evolution has gone to the garbage bin with the "world is flat" theory, and that by Darwin's own criteria that if the simple single cell was ever proven to be irreducibly complex, then the idea of evolution would be proven as wrong.
    Thanks to modern science, the "simple" single cell has been revealed as anything but simple. Someone needs to get the memo.

    April 8, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • brian

      thats because the theory of evolution is still alive and well except for in the minds of the mentally retarded who live with the delusion of a god

      April 8, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • wick89

      dont pretend to know about science everything you typed just showed ignorance and it's people like you that hold back the whole species from progress

      April 8, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  20. Bedir cayı 43

    . Some backward countries and rural areas, the traces of people walking on four feet ni
    can be seen..... bedir çayı 43
    Look.. Where is Aizanoi

    April 8, 2012 at 6:04 am |
  21. raju

    god has not create fire nor human have. fire is already there in existance. it is not created but discovered with some natural law.

    April 8, 2012 at 3:57 am |
  22. raju

    god has not created fire..even human hasn't created it. fire is already there..it is the discovery not creation.some natural laws discover things and some law destroy it.

    April 8, 2012 at 3:54 am |
  23. AGrey

    Some of the comments on this board are a testament to the fact that evolution doesn't necessarily favor intelligence.
    And as only stupid people are breeding, I think we have probably reached our intellectual peak.

    April 8, 2012 at 3:20 am |
  24. Dino

    I don't know about you guys but I saw a boob in one of the photos and now i am aroused.

    April 8, 2012 at 1:03 am |
  25. Nathan

    The language thing doesn't make much sense. To be able to speak our larynx and pharynx are situtated in a way that makes us much more susceptible to choking than any other animal. It would be a huge disadvantage if we had the abiltiy to speak but couldn't.

    April 7, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  26. bpbby smith

    all I know for sure is we will die. nothing but dust in the wind....

    April 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  27. HeIsGod

    Wow, MANKIND is just full of lies! Allow Christ to set you free from your lies!

    We did NOT evolve from apes. God created both male and female from dust, not from apes. Blind people are being lead by BLIND LEADERS!!

    April 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Well, actually, the woman was created from one of Adam's ribs.

      April 7, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Rob

      Because creating something from dust makes more sense somehow then humans evolving from apes lol oh you silly christians, what would we do without you.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • zek

      You really are the "Tool of the Day". DUST!!! You didn't go to school, did you???

      April 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Jeff

      I have one thing to say to you..............FOSSILS. You hypochristians really need to get a clue. You've been brainwashed into believing in a religion that has stolen parts of all other religions (mostly Paganism) to create Christianity. Think this is BS? Try opening up some other books besides your ficticious, brainwashing "Bible." Besides, Christians are some of the most violent people on the planet.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • rick

      how is this a lie? a lie involves intentional deception.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Albro

      Is it your belief, then, that the archaelogical evidence of proto-humans and dinosaurs is just
      God "messing" with us? All just a dvine smart-aleck? Is that the "God" you envision?

      April 8, 2012 at 9:52 am |
      • Socaliguy

        Now that would have made a great movie! A couple of T-Rex, running around a big floating buffet of a boat!!

        April 14, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  28. Val

    An ape's head on a modern woman's body!?! The mythology of the evolutionists never ceases to amaze me!

    April 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Ray

      Val, the only 'mythology' is in religion, where it serves a purpose. Evolution is science FACT. You're more than welcome to continue denying reality like an ostrich with its head in the sand, but science describes REALITY. Perhaps you would be well advised to open up a science book once in a while and educate yourself. That would, of course, require you stepping away from 2000 B.C. mythology.

      April 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
      • GeneTruth

        Show me that facts Ray, there aren't any - just real fancy paintings.
        It takes more miracles to have faith in macro, chemical, and cosmic evolution as NOT ONE of these has ever been observed!!! Evolution is not science, it is religion.

        April 7, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
      • Ray

        GeneTruth: It really IS pointless trying to talk to you people. You all are a special brand of stupid. 'Special' as in 'Short Bus' special.

        April 8, 2012 at 1:10 am |
      • Dwayne

        Hahahahahahhahahah

        April 8, 2012 at 7:40 am |
  29. TAK

    Hey, all you creationists. This is CNN's science section. It's for the grown ups. Now go along and play nice in the religion section with the rest of the kids.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • zek

      AMEN!!! ;-)

      April 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  30. MrJay11

    Awesome info. so... how come monkeys and apes haven't evolved on fuking bit....?

    actually Nothing has evolved. it's quite easy to understand once you understand the term natural selection and adaptation. and the fruad that is secular, nitche german psycho bable that darwin actually embraced..

    Wouldn't Crocs and turtles be driving by now... after what 60 MILLION years? these pseudo intellectual hacks find a 'bone' or create a theory and that is all they have really done. eat it up wacko's. this fake science is your religion.

    April 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Chris

      You are a special kind of stupid.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
      • Ray

        I think CNN needs to offer a 'short bus' section where all the radical religionists can throw stones at the educated.

        April 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • TAK

      You're right Chris. I think MrJay is one of the million monkeys trying to randomly hack out Shakespeare on a keyboard but all he came up with so far is the drivel above .

      April 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • rick

      how do you know how much ape have or have not evolved?

      April 8, 2012 at 6:56 am |
  31. Alison

    What we know of our past is hypothesis all be it a very well researched and educated one. All it takes is one artifact to be unearthed and our understanding of our ancestors can change dramatically. We are always learning. How exciting :)

    April 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • sleezyweezel

      You are right Alison, what people call 'the truth' can change at any moment, just with new information. I just read Conversation with gods: Book One by Ordin Ashlie, and he does a good job of explaining the "truth". One thing he says is that "The measure of truth is it's effectiveness." I'm looking forward to the next big change.

      April 7, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Jeff

      It's better than believing in an invisible man in the sky that made his only child into a blood sucking zombie

      April 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  32. Justin

    I do love close minded conservatives, especially the ones who will take any chance to make a completely unfounded statement derived merely from ignorance. If you actually read the article it said our creative ability is probably what propelled us to be the dominant species on this planet. free thought and forward thinking has always been our greatest strenghth, which is the foundation of liberal thinking. Since conservatives keep complaining about the expenses of education they probably didnt understand this response, so let me put it simply war = bad and unproductive, Education=good, and the reason we have come so far as species.

    April 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • jmacc1977

      "free thought and forward thinking has always been our greatest strenghth.." you said it, justin.. forward thinking. this is why many cannot grasp this concept. it's a conundrum for them :)

      April 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  33. pete

    Mmmmm. Common ancestors.

    April 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  34. hemo

    haha ah. so simple, we conquered the earth because ANCIENT ALIENS GAVE US THE POWER TO THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Ray

      Minor correction: Aliens gave 'some' people the ability to think. The rest of humanity got religion.

      April 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  35. OregonTom

    Check out Ian Tattersal's book Becoming Human. It's a good one :)

    April 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • DON

      LOOKS LIKE MY MOTHER INLAW

      April 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • PoptropicaGurl-FierceMoon

      that is fake duh

      April 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  36. Mike

    Here is how we became the rulers of the world: we were not liberals. If we were liberals we would have been dead thousands of years ago.

    April 7, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Tascman

      In a video I just watched, Dr. Sanford was questioned about the best way to share his findings and creationist views with the rest of academia, he declared the battle is a spiritual one, and as evidence responded;
      "...those who say they are totally committed to academic freedom what to shut us down,
      those who say they are totally committed to diversity say this group has to be eliminated,
      those who say they are totally committed tolerance say we are not going to let your view be heard."

      April 7, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Andrew

      To be liberal is to be open minded. To be open minded you begin to think about things such as "how can I use this?".

      There are more ways to conquer the world or even the universe than through brute force and totalitarian view points.

      April 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • Andrew

        Innovators and inventors were all very liberal people in their time. Alexander the Great was a very liberal individual and he managed to defeat the Persians and march his Armies undefeated all the way to India. Galileo went against all the teachings of the time and said the world was round and that the Earth was not the center of the universe.
        Our founding fathers developed a type of government not readily seen since the Greek and Roman times where the people were to have the power and not a King or a small group of people.
        Society advances because there are those who want to progress.

        April 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
      • Rachel

        Why are so many people's objectivity undermined by personal beliefs especially in the light of seicntific discoveries? Are people in this comments section really representative of Americans? If so, I feel superior just by reading some of these comments.

        April 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Any chance you can post the citations to the peer-reviewed scientific research that supports this contention?

      April 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • waitasec

      interesting idea.
      however, now that we are in a better position to understand the world around us..perhaps liberalism is the way to go
      ;P

      April 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Jeff

      WOW. I wish you could actually hear yourself. So full of hate and contempt. You must be a splendid person in real life. All I can say is WOW. I pity you.

      April 7, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • rick

      how did this become about politics?

      April 8, 2012 at 6:59 am |
  37. Mike

    The effects we acknowledge naturally, do include a power of their producing, before they were produced; and that power presupposeth something existent that hath such power; and the thing so existing with power to produce, if it were not eternal, must needs have been produced by somewhat before it, and that again by something else before that, till we come to an eternal, that is to say, the first power of all powers and first cause of all causes; and this is it which all men conceive by the name of God, implying eternity, incomprehensibility, and omnipotence.

    —Thomas Hobbes, Works, vol. 4, pp. 59–60; quoted in John Orr, English Deism, p. 76

    April 7, 2012 at 9:12 am |
  38. marcus

    I feel that a major influence for our survival was that of being omnivores.

    April 7, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  39. Jamie

    For all those who missed the point of this article, it is not about whether or not man evolved from apes or share ancestors. It is about the fact that man was able to conquer the world over all other animals that roam this planet. It is very interesting that Tattersall pointed out abstract thinking and how that has help us to reach the point that we are at now. Great article.

    April 7, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Tascman

      If its not about Neo Darwinsism, then maybe we can loose the purdy pictures, 100's of thousands of years, etc.. and stick to what is true? How can you create images based on a FOOTPRINT in pic 3???? Lets stick with real science.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:08 am |
      • emptyz

        They already had the bones of the species... the foot print gives them an idea of height and weight. Why don't you do some thinking before you open your mouth.

        April 7, 2012 at 9:48 am |
  40. Tascman

    This is an interview with Plant Geneticist. Dr. John Sanford, author of "Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome" and the creator of Mendels Accountant. http://mendelsaccountant.info/ A genetic simulation program to test the results of selection and mutation in time.
    In the following clips, Dr. Sanford explains why evolution is impossible. At the 5.05 of the second segment of the following Utube clip, he briefly explains that aging is entropy and that nothing we can do will change the outcome that death comes to us all, in our life time, and to our race in time. We are dying on all levels, and there is nothing we can do about it. Neo Darwinism is Dead.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=390]

    April 7, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • GatorALLin

      I agree we are actively in the process of dying... but I don't agree there is nothing we can do about it. I would argue that with education and technology we are doing a fairly good job of fighting death... at least we have brought the average human lifespan up from about 35 years of age, to 79 or so (females live a bit longer on average). It may take another 50 years or so before we crack the DNA code a bit better to further halt the biggest killers (heart disease #1, Cancer #2, stroke #3, etc) and then we will chip away at how to do more than just improve the quality of life up to our death point of 80 or 85 or 95. It would not surprise me if we could start to expand the maximum lifespan to 110 and 120 and beyond. You just need to be alive when they can during that year expand the average life of 2 years during the last 12 months thanks to the Increasing rate of technology (google the singularity if needed). Anyhow...this guy may be dead by then... but this limited view of how life/death works is evolving...at least for some of us. I know the idea of some people living to 200 or so might scare the average person (assuming we just overpopulate the world, run out of food/resources etc...but again that mindset is based on today's standards and not all the advancements that would also have come along with technology advancements in medicine/longevity/quality of life extensions, etc.. There will always be a very strong internal drive to live as long as you can....its built into our DNA as a survival instinct....and the never ending push for those creating the next medical miracle to get rich will forever fuel this process to extend not just human lifespan, but the quality of life we live.

      April 7, 2012 at 9:34 am |
      • Tascman

        According to another presentation I just reviewed, your increased life span of 35 years is accurate. Dr. Sanford attributes increased longevity to technology. He also says the ability to understand the genome us so limited that we can never hope to have any true breakthroughs, to much is happening in the 'unselectable zones' and we couldn't know a good from bad. That is our biggest problem, too much complexity and learning there is more we don't know, well beyond our comprehension.

        April 7, 2012 at 11:31 am |
      • chubby rain

        Tascman, predictions like that seem premature. The human genome has only been known for only a decade and we are learning more and more about cellular mechanisms and genetic regulation each year.

        April 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Please post the citations to the peer-reviewed scientific research that falsifies ToE.

      I always wonder why you fundiots refuse to do this?

      April 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • syntax

      I don't see how entropy disproves Evolution. The death of an individual of any species doesn't impede the transmision of his/her genes to the next generation, provided he/she has had offspring. It is news to me that immortailty is the "purpose" of Evolution. Once again, there is no teleology in Evolution: final causes exist only in the human brain, not in Nature.

      April 8, 2012 at 1:31 am |
  41. Murf61

    If evolution is true,y dont we see ape/humans walking out of the jungles?evolution has never been proved.lots of,well maybe this happened or maybe that happened. If you want to believe you descended from apes,thats your problem.also,next time you see an alien,(E.T.),tell it to look me up! Grow a brain.

    April 7, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • syntax

      No self-respecting evolutionist claims we descended from apes. Apes and humans have common ancestors far in the past, which is a totally different thing. A linguistic comparison might perhaps help you understand this. French, Spanish, Italian, the so called Romance languages, evolved from Latin, i.e., Latin is their common ancestor. To say that man descended from ape is the same as saying that Spanish evolved from French, when the truth is that both Spanish and French evolved from Latin. From what you say about Evolution, one gathers you are thoroughly uninformed about it. If you are going to debunk Evolution, please go ahead, but you are not likely to succeed before you do some homework. Look in the mirror and say "grow a brain" to what you see there.

      April 7, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • Jim

      All you are doing is showing your ignorance in public. Man did not evolve from apes, but rather we both evolved from a common species. Is it really so hard to understand? We have not only seen evolutions talking pace (i.e. the creation of new species) but the theory of evolution makes accurate predictions about both living animals and fossils, both of which have been proven! The next time you get sick, just tell the doctor you don't want any anitbiotics because none of it is true. And when you die, your family can say "gawd dunnit."

      April 7, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Keeta

      I think it makes more sense that I came from an ape than coming from some dudes rib.... If you really stopped and thought about it, the facts are there. I dont believe we were put on this earth by a being greater than ourselves. I dont believe there is anyone out there greater than ourselves. I think the bible is just a lot of stories compiled into one talking about miraculous things that occured that now can be explained. It just makes no sense at all. Noah built an ark and put 2 of every animal in that ark before a great flood came?? Really? Does that make a bit of sense? I know this article is NOT about religion and it has everything to do with the fact that humans have mad hunting skills, but Im sure there will be a lot of people on here reducing everything down to religion. I'm not judging anyone for what they believe in, Im just stating my point. One more thing and I promise Ill stop. If we went by the bible and when the world began according to it, then we never had dinosaurs or any of the amazing creatures they have found BONES for in this world. Im just saying!

      April 7, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  42. syntax

    The thought that God created the world the way it is, with all that it contains, implies that there was some kind of catalogue consulted by God in his creation. He looked up "Chicken" there and proceeded to create the bird following instructions, very much the way a child builds his Lego house, car or whatever. Another possibility is that God just said "chicken" and the unanticipated result of this magic act was a surprise to God himself. The catalogue hypothesis implies that the models for creation existed before God. The simsalabim hypothesis implies that what we think of as God the creator is actually just chance.

    April 7, 2012 at 6:08 am |
  43. GeneTruth

    Great pictures, where is the actual evidence to support any of these theories? Answer – There isn't any sceinentific evidence, it is all speculation based on dead bones. I'm not sure if, in fact I know that I do not have enough faith to believe in all of miracles necessary to support the macro, chemical, geological or cosmic evolution required to allow this theorizing to be true. Don't tell me that evolution is science and creation is faith, they BOTH are faiths! But one is financed by the U.S. taxpayer!!
    I can see and therefore believe God and have Faith in what he says is true. And where did God come from, that is easy – In the beginning, God...He created time, the law which governs our existance, for us to be capable to bound our environment without going crazy due to our limited comprehension!

    April 7, 2012 at 6:03 am |
    • Colin

      Yes, positing a late Bronze Age sky god, created in a Judean slum, as the answer whenever you hit a hard question in science makes so much sense. So, I assume oil, coal and other fossil fuels were gifts from your sky-fairy were they? Hmmm, wonder why he gave most of it to the Muslims.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:15 am |
      • syntax

        The God of the believers is God-by-default. It is used everytime something can not be explained. That God-by-default keeps losing grounds to the piecemeal advances of science since the Renaissance. The likelihood of everything being eventually explained by science being not so big, there will always be a use for this God-by-default. He has lost so much ground that a reasonable thinking person has finally learned to exclude him as explanation for anything.

        April 7, 2012 at 6:32 am |
    • mikstov33

      If everyone would watch Ancient Aliens on the History Channel,we would not be having this discussion.
      The obviously very intelligent commentators seem to believe we were created by genetic engineering by aliens who were trying to create a workforce to mine gold as a powersource for their spaceships.They claim the ancient rock carvings of half-animal half-humans in Sumer and Egypt is rock solid proof.......and that every reference to any diety is simply a reference to the alien "creators".

      April 7, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • rick

      gene: when churches start paying taxes, you can make the point that only one of those groups is financed by taxpayers

      April 8, 2012 at 7:06 am |
  44. virgincapt

    Cro Magnon out of Africa had larger brains than we do now. I think DNA evidence would support that C-M and Neanderthals inter-bred, and so, we now have what we have and a portion of it is Neanderthal,

    April 7, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • Brian

      Larger skulls. There is still some debate on whether or not they had larger brains. And ditto with the interbreeding with Neanderthalls. Even if they did, their genetic code would be so resticted to those few races in Europe and they're over time.

      April 7, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  45. virgincapt

    "You acquire a feature and, much later on, you find a use for it,”

    I think evolution is the feature comes as a result of a need (use) for it.

    April 7, 2012 at 5:27 am |
  46. syntax

    "Creation is a deed. A deed needs a doer, therefore God exists". This is a model derived from syntax. For a sentence to make sense, it needs to have subject, verb and predicate. Humans can neither have thoughts nor communicate them without syntax. What we call God is only the subject of the metaphysical sentence.Two things frame our thinking: syntax and antropomorphism. The latter makes us believe that, because our actions have purpose, nature and everything that exists also has a purpose. We unwarrantedly project human mental patterns onto nature. The Bible says God made man in his image even though it is the other way around. If zebras had a god, it would look like a zebra.

    April 7, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • Confused

      Like.

      April 7, 2012 at 2:41 am |
    • Humanist.

      "If God created matter/energy, and designed the systems that have propelled matter into its present arrangement, who or what accomplished that for God? Why is it any more reasonable to believe that God has always been than it is to say that matter has always been? If we say that God has always been, why not save a step and conclude that the universe has always been?"

      CARL SAGAN

      Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_or_what_created_God#ixzz1rLMuDGdT

      April 7, 2012 at 5:05 am |
      • Mike

        The universe came into existence between 12 and 14 billion years ago. I can sit here and write a 4,000 page article on the expansion of the universe and what not but that’s not going to happen here. But just to make my point here is that matter has not always been. It was created within a fraction of a second after the expansion of the universe started.

        April 7, 2012 at 9:03 am |
      • Mike

        @Mike – It's entirely possible that the universe not on expands, but also contracts. Therefore, matter could have always been and once it expands far enough, it will contract until it all reaches the same point again, and explodes again. A never ending "heartbeat" of the universe.

        April 7, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • rick

      how does the possibility of a creator indicate a being that judges human interaction, or a heaven or hell?

      April 8, 2012 at 7:03 am |
  47. Confused

    In the pic, where is the prehistoric 12-inch black d**k hanging from the ghetto monkey?

    April 7, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • tardacus

      why are you even looking for something like that in the picture?

      April 7, 2012 at 5:04 am |
      • Mike

        Clearly, "Confused" loves penis.

        April 7, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  48. Dirk Diggler

    I don't think that cavewomen had breasts as nice as those in the picture!

    April 7, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • tardacus

      yeah, she`s hot, i`d hit dat

      April 7, 2012 at 5:04 am |
  49. Jay

    LOL @ you christians and your "Poof-tah-dah" theories.

    April 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  50. Abe Linconln

    Most likely the Neanderthal died from diseases brought by the Cro-Magnons, same thing happened to the North American aboriginal peoples, in fact the deseases spread at least three times across the continent, killing 95 percent of the people.

    April 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Travis

      Actually it was viruses/diseases that they didn't have the genes/anitbodies to resist/fight-off. Beyond that it was lack of evolved brain functioning, this condition still continues to afflict certain groups to this day.

      April 7, 2012 at 3:02 am |
  51. stupidfacebookads

    Pfft... We just like to *think* we conquered the earth. Fact is that cats integrated themselves into human civilization thousands of years ago of their own design. Humans domesticated every other animal, but cats chose us. They win.

    April 6, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  52. mikstov33

    Anyone ever consider that BOTH could be right? Who among the many has the knowledge to say with any true conviction "I know for sure!" I think we all have to consider the possibility that a Divine Creator would still have to operate in this dimension, and have to develop the many living species over time in order to cultivate the Earth in preparation for mankind as we see it at present. To blindly believe that it only took a literal 7 days to create this Earth and everything that has and does inhabit it is a stretch even for the most religious and faithful among us. Even the prophecies concerning the end of it all are certainly taking their dear sweet time coming to bear. I am one of those who truly believes we were created by a divine act of an all powerful God. I also realise the infantile intellegence we have amassed throughout the ages in no way qualifies the human race as true Know-it-Alls. That is another of the signs and wonders of the end times, that mans knowledge will increase, and we may just be shown the almighty truth of it all.

    April 6, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • MATTY13

      It's easy when you remember that God made us in his image and it's not the physical skin and bones he made. If our skin and bones were so important, they would go up too. It's our soul that is in his image, not our body. We evolved Ape are just the container for the soul.

      April 6, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
      • Crazyace

        god didn't make us in his image, we made him in ours. So, let's understand that the sky fairy isn't real and move on. The bible is just full of folk stories.

        April 7, 2012 at 1:30 am |
      • syntax

        MATTY13, you will agree it was your parents who gave you your body. As to your soul, you seem to be so sure it was given to you by God, that you could perhaps explain to us at what point it was "injected" into your body. Isn't it more likely that what you call soul, the mirror of God's image, is just a condition made possible by your body? If a person suffers such massive brain injury that he loses his/her memory, volition, feelings,etc., hasn't he/she lost that which we call soul? Just wondering.

        April 7, 2012 at 7:00 am |
      • Mike

        Crazyace wins.

        April 7, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Rob

      It's been considered for a long time. It's just now it's not good enough.

      April 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • tardacus

      The oak leaf looks at the leaf stem and says, the stem is god it created us and without it we couldnt survive.
      The leaf stem looks at the tree limb and says, the tree limb is god it created us,and without it we couldn`t survive
      The tree limb looks at the branch and says, the mighty branch is god it created us and without it we couldnt survive.
      The mighty branch looks at the tree trunk and says the tree trunk is god it created us and without it we couldnt survive
      The trunk looks at the roots and says the roots are god they created us and without them we couldnt survive.
      The roots look at the acorns and say the acorns are god they created us and without them we couldn`t survive
      The acorns look at the leaves and say, the leaves are god they created us and without them we couldnt survive.
      The tree is oblivious to the human that is looking at it and thinking, that tree sure would make nice firewood.

      April 7, 2012 at 5:23 am |
  53. Phil

    I do not believe that my ancestors swung from the trees by their tails.... some of them swung by their necks though.

    April 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • dvd

      LOL

      April 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Piranha

      good one, now that's funny

      April 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • pyro

      How is a racist comment funny or good?

      April 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
      • Xed

        Because only a racist will see racism where none is present, last i checked one did not have to be non white to swing from a rope.

        April 6, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
      • tardacus

        your obvious victim mentality and obsession with racism isn`t healthy you should work on changing it.

        April 7, 2012 at 5:30 am |
  54. Writerscramp

    We all know that all those bones of "supposed" human ancestors were buried by God all over the Earth just 5000 years ago to test our faith

    April 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • pelao

      Wow

      April 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • WhatNow

      Good grief! Hopefully, you are being sarcastic.

      April 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • wmurderface

      Another zelot in a blissful state

      April 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • rick

      i do believe that was sarcasm

      April 8, 2012 at 7:08 am |
  55. Prudish CNN

    It's hard to believe that CNN took down the picture of the two Pre-humans because one of them showed breast. The gallery expired after less than one day. It's a sad world we live in when prudish people can dictate to a supposedly world news organization what can and can't be seen.

    April 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • ker

      i still don't understand why anything natural, like the human body, is considered to be "dirty." i feel like i live on a planet of 5- year-olds.

      April 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Hard worker

      I see the pictures with the breasts exposed maybe its the settings on your computer.

      April 6, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Steve

      Here you go:

      http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/120406024526-early-humans.jpg

      I wonder if this was official censorship or just some person acting on their own initiative. If the former, then they need to work on their publishing process and just not publish it in the first place. If the latter, then they need to figure out who is in charge of policy. Either way, they need a better ECM governance policy.

      Did I read that someone said that they would "do her"? Jeez, she's an old woman; probably in her twenties!

      April 8, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  56. Maff

    Jeff summed it up pretty well.

    April 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  57. human evolution

    all skeptisism some data and artifacts are relevant but dont tell the whole story. its the moement now and forward thats all we have. THE BOOK OF GENESIS will answer your questions.

    April 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • AGuest9

      One could guess that you would write something along those lines, judging from the spelling and capitalization. This isn't the Belief Blog.

      April 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • hyperionsix

      Genesis huh? In this chapter it describes Adam and Eve, etc. I just have this little issue with something called an umbilicus.

      April 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Mike

      The book of Genesis has two different creation stories... which one is true?

      April 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Primewonk

      After I read your post yesterday I went and reread Genesis. However, it failed to answer my questions. Perhaps you could help me out? I looked for an explanation in your book on how Simian chromosomes 2a and 2b inverted and fused to form human chromosome 2. I'm also looking for why humans and chimps share certain ERV's at the same locations in the germ line, while humans and dogs do not? Finally I wonder why humans and chimps share the same cytochrome c sequence, and turkeys and chickens share the same cytochrome c sequence – yet the sequences for these groups is different?

      April 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  58. Piranha

    you are in my september
    this will tame the beast in you

    April 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • bluefire30

      Wow This IS some fun S****** adn F****

      April 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  59. Piranha

    Ballerina. Igor Krutoi Play this and see why music tamed the beast.

    April 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  60. Guest

    Ha Ha
    That monkey has t1ts

    April 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • bigones

      looks like implants to me

      April 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
      • X 2 C

        Hahahaha .......... B00B1ES

        April 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  61. MATTY13

    There is a constant search for the "missing link", but maybe the missing link isn't a physical thing, something you can hold in your hand. Maybe the ability to reason, to show remorse, to laugh, to respect the dead, to remember the past, and to love your children is the real missing link, to think of your mother and father, etc. When did all that start to happen? Maybe the missing link is the hand of God. There is no doubt that we all came from the apes, but maybe there was a point in time when God separated us from the others. It wasn't some 7 day thing, or Adam and Eve thing, or garden of Eden thing. He just looked down, selected this particular ape and gave him/her reason. That is the missing link and it will never be found.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Maff

      God and apes? LOL BWHAHAHAHAHA! Are you serious. If God can just switch a monkey to a man, why cant he just make a man from scratch? there is no link, only similarities. Evolution is a scam. You build your world view on it, and every so often the experts come up with more hypothesis to add credence to what you have chose to believe. Evolution is a world view. There is zero proof we came from monkeys. Microevolution is real, Macroevolution is not. Do your own research.

      April 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • MATTY13

        The proof that we came from the apes is that a few million years ago the ape pulled their finger out of their nose and started walking on their hind legs. The proof is that there are a few today who are putting their finger in their nose and climbing back up the tree.

        April 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Maff

      God and apes? LOL BWHAHAHAHAHA! Are you serious. If God can just switch a monkey to a man, why cant he just make a man from scratch? there is no link, only similarities. Evolution is a scam. You build your world view on it, and every so often the experts come up with more hypothesis to add credence to what you have chose to believe. Evolution is a world view. There is zero proof we came from monkeys. Microevolution is real, Macroevolution is not. Do your own research...

      April 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
      • Reason

        First of all, "macroevolution" is just a combinations of subsets of microevolution. So if you believe in microevolution, you believe in macroevolution. Secondly we did not come from monkeys, we have similar ancestors to the monkey. Get your information right before posting.

        April 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • tardacus

      The missing link is space aliens that created us using gene splicing.The jesus story in the bible and his ressurection and return is a metaphor that describes how the aliens that created us will return one day to stop us from destroying the earth and ourselves,they will restore peace to the earth. The book of revelation is a metaphor that describes how humans will unleash horrible destruction on the planet and themselves before our creators, space aliens, return to earth to stop us.

      April 7, 2012 at 5:40 am |
    • rick

      "but maybe there was a point in time when God separated us from the others"

      when we found magic mushrooms

      April 8, 2012 at 7:12 am |
  62. Portland tony

    Our human ancestors were migratory by nature. Rather than wither and die when their environment became unsustainable for life they moved. "Out of Africa" was the beginning. All the weapons, fire, cave writing, language etc wouldn't save early humans from hungar and drought. Some innate desire to live gave early humans the ability to pick it all up and travel to more fertile lands! Probably why we find fossils of prehistoric humans worldwide and not so many human precursors!

    April 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  63. David

    Humanity is a biological experiment conducted by an off-world alien species. The base species were various primate species. The missing link? Flew away to the Vega system. Hey, it's no more baseless than the devil planting bones for us to dig up!

    April 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Except, of course, that just like the fundiots (fundamentalist idiots), you have no evidence for your aliens.

      We do however, have fossil evidence of the various hominids and earlier primates.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
      • JC

        Been watching too much ancient aliens on history channel havent you?

        April 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
      • jeff

        You have fossil evidence of various apes and hominids.. Not exactly the great human link here. Evolution cannot be proven.. you weren't there and so you take on faith that the scientists know what they are doing. It's theoretical and therefore not fact.. Fact, DNA exists.. FACT, we can manipulate DNA.. FACT: Atoms exists.. Why? Because we have been able to prove it.. not just theorize about it. Carbon dating is based on a flaw as well.. You have no idea, no one does, how stable the rate of decay actually is. Everyone just takes it for granted that it has been stable since it was discovered, and so it must have been stable millions or billions of years old. And yet, during the course of human existence, not once transitory species has ever been found... It takes as much faith to believe you came from an ape as it does for someone to believe we were created. Of course the concepts of the strongest survive, eat or be eatin etc.. do exist.. Why? because we can observe that behavior. I used to love paleontology..and so knew everything there was to know about dinosaurs and so forth.. of course, all that's changed now.. All these shows and studies tell me like everything is fact..just like they did 20 years ago.. except, facts don't change.

        April 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
      • AGuest9

        Here we go with the "Missing Link" nonsense! Which "missing link"? Since subtle changes take place over several generations (each generation, but without genetic testing, you could never tell), you couldn't tell if "this" is "the one". There is no neon sign saying "Ugh's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather is over here!" Nor is it located anywhere near Ugh's skeleton (usually). Mound-builders may have buried several generations together, but they seem to be exceptions, and don't provide a "picture" over a long-enough period of time.

        April 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • tardacus

      you are 100% correct.The missing link is space aliens that created us using gene splicing. see my post above

      April 7, 2012 at 5:44 am |
  64. Neutronstar

    "Within a few thousands years, the Neanderthals were wiped out, and the Cro-Magnon had taken over." – Maybe the Cro-Magnon males had bigger "clubs" that were preferred by the Neanderthal females. : )

    April 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  65. Jesus saves

    This is fallocy. God created the Earth in 7 days. The devil planted these bones to turn more sinners to him and away from God.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Primewonk

      So you choose to worship a god who wants you to be an idiot?

      April 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • wmurderface

      You must be in a state of bliss

      April 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • JC

      I guess the dinosaurs didnt exist either right.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • maximus

      hey its better to beleave in something than nothing, so if there would be a god at least you tryed.

      April 6, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
      • EMMA

        Maximus gdday if you must believe in something then it should be the truth and by the way there is a GOD. The scientist know Him as the immovable mover,explain the rising and setting of the sun,the bond between a mother and her child, the inner conviction i.e the ability the know good and evil my dear,we all are in the universe but live in diferent world,we have different believes and religion surrounding us but this those not change the truth that we did not just emanate we were created GOD owns you.Just remember he will call on you someday .GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH.

        April 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
      • Taroya

        Just taking a quick glance through recorded history, your GOD is the worst concept to have ever hit the human brain.

        No more than a construct to justify genocide, and to explain why there are storms, floods, and famines. No more than myth.

        Please DON"T claim to speak for people that you don't know, Emma.

        April 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
      • Seraphim0

        Emma, what consitutes 'good' and 'evil' is based on societal evolution that promoted the wellfare of the migrant tribe. The bond bewteen mother and child is a biological device to promote the chances of offspring surviving. If a child is not cared for, the survival rate drops dramatically, hence the bond.

        April 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
      • AGuest9

        Pascal's wager is sad, maximus.

        April 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
      • Primewonk

        EMMA wrote, " The scientist know Him as the immovable mover,explain the rising and setting of the sun"

        The sun doesn't rise or set. The earth rotates.

        And scientists most certainly do not state there is an "immovable mover"

        April 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
      • rick

        unless you are believing in the wrong one, in which case you are just pi$$ing the right one off royally

        April 8, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • KHM

      Study Buddhism ! There is no God.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  66. duh

    First!

    And oh yah, the answer is much simpler: Opposable thumbs.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Neanderthals also had opposible thumbs. I speculate that it had to do with language.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • GatorALLin

      Both CM and Neanderthals had opposable thumbs... but clearly that feature is considered critical to be able to use tools, or one day use a pen to write language....pass on knowledge for the next generation...

      April 7, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • TAK

      Indeed, a very good point. All the intelligence, language, and abstract thinking won't do a bit of good without a dexterous hand and thumb. If dolphins had an IQ of 200 they'd still never build a Saturn V rocket.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm |

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