In Ethiopia, scientists have found the remains of what they believe was possibly the first human on Earth. About 400,000 years older than what scientists originally believed, the specimen, a jawbone, is now being called the most important discovery in the theory of evolution. Though it creates a bit of a new timeline in evolution, the jawbone may prove more of a link between the human species, and the human-like primate known as the hominin, according to scientists.
History shows what scientists believe was the accurate track in evolution. According to the information gathered and recorded before the finding of the first human, scientists believe that humans were a little over 2 million years old. They believed that the first human originated in Africa. Some theories say that humans evolved in Africa and spread all over the word and some theories state that humans (Homo sapiens) evolved, as ancient humans to died out, which is why modern humans are all over the world now. Either way science believes that the modern Homo sapien race then became the only intelligent race on the planet.
The theory of where the modern race came from would be proven accurate if the jaw bone is, in fact, belonging to the first human on Earth, but the timeline would take a major change if it is. Scientists did believe the modern race originated in Africa, proving the where, but they believed the modern race was just a little over 2 million years old. However, the specimen found, the lower left jawbone, is 2.8 million years old. Scientists say that this is about 400,000 years older than the timeline that history currently holds. The supposed first human jawbone was found by Ethiopian student Chalachew Seyoum.
The most recent specimen found, before this discovery of the first human jawbone, belonged to the modern human race’s ancestors and was dated at 2.35 million years. Found in Hadar, Ethiopia, it was an upper jawbone belonging to a race which they call Homo habilis. This is why scientists most recent recordings show the human race to be that old. Scientists believed that the Homo habilis were the ancestors of the modern human race. Though now with the finding of the jaw of the possible first human, being unearthed in Ethiopia, scientists may be able to use the remains to make a direct link between the two species.
However, Professor at the Natural History Museum in London, Christ Stringer, says that just half of a jawbone is not enough to tell if the specimen is the first human, let alone determine if the first human was an evolutionary product of a previous species. Stringer believes that the facts show that the characteristics of the modern human developed slowly over time. He also believes that the facts show that the first human did not just appear, but that there were several different types of species living together and coexisting, until the rest died out and Homo sapiens were the only race left.
Whether science can prove anything about evolution or not, the finding of the jawbone from what could have been the first human is an important discovery. After all, knowing when the first human of the modern race, began, his/her life on Earth could possibly lead to many other interesting facts. As well, other interesting finds can continue to be made, and this one piece of the puzzle may help scientists better understand the timeline of human history.
By Crystal Boulware
Article Image Serglu Baclolu – Creativecommons Flickr License
Feature Image Bryan Wright – Creativecommons Flickr License