Talk:Human evolution

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Important notice: Some common points of argument are addressed at Wikipedia's Evolution FAQ, which represents the consensus of editors here. Please remember that this page is only for discussing Wikipedia's encyclopedia article about human evolution. If you are interested in discussing or debating evolution itself, you may want to visit talk.origins. Off topic discussions may be deleted on sight.
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Human evolution:
  • Add more citations
  • Expand on lead section.
  • Add anatomical cranium comparison chart.
  • Evolution in recent history? (last 200-2000 years)
  • Evolution of speech.
  • Evolution of consciousness / human cognitive evolution.
  • Incorporate Further reading as citations within the text.
Priority 1 (top)


One word: theory[edit]

Evolution is a largely proven theory, yes, but I find this article to be treating it as complete and undisputed fact. Wikipedia is supposed to be unbiased, right? Why do articles on religion still treat them like 'widely disproven theory' and yet articles on atheism and evolution treat an even less proven theory like fact? This needs some review and perhaps some real editing. 50.66.40.169 (talk) 04:49, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Two words: Scientific theory. Or in slightly more words; "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation.". WegianWarrior (talk) 04:58, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
"Evolution" is both a fact and a theory. The fact of evolution is the fact that all complex animals, including humans, evolved from a common ancestor living hundreds of millions of years ago. The theory of evolution is the theory that natural (Darwinian) selection was the primary force driving that process. The fact of evolution is considered by the great majority of scientists to be definitively proven. Looie496 (talk) 11:50, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
A theory is just a law you can't observe directly. I can't explain evolution very well, but if you want the answer to your question, Talk:Evolution has some great answers.   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  00:41, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
As Dunkleosteus77 says you are mistaking the common vernacular meaning of the word "theory" with its alternate meaning in the scientific community. A theory in science is considered to be supported by a very large body of evidence. Some other examples of scientific theories you might of heard of: Theory of Gravity, The Germ Theory of Disease, Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.
I wonder, have you made similar objections on the wiki pages for those theories? If not, why not? HappyGod (talk) 08:00, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Argument for rewriting the article[edit]

I propose that this article be re-written. Its sequencing seems really strange and I heel needs to have a more chronological basis. At the moment out of Africa homo sapiens dispersal comes before the evolution of homo erectus! Is there anyone else who agrees with me? John D. Croft (talk) 10:55, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

Go ahead. The lead is good, but the rest could really use some help.  User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  00:43, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
I have made a little start. Please join me. I have joined all the anatomical changes together as the second paragraph was repetitive of what was said in the anatomical changes. I have also tried to gather the history of the search of human evolution together. John D. Croft (talk) 11:36, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

valuable paper from 1964 proposing science as a tool that can promote human evolution[edit]

hi guys.

i wanted to share a paper i've had for a few years, by Hudson Hoagland called Science and the New Humanism.[X 1] not only is this paper a very enjoyable read, but it was among the first to promote science as a tool that promotes human evolution. specifically, what hoagland was getting at, was that the proper use of neuropsychiatric research stood to benefit humanity greatly.

it seems Hudson Hoagland's wiki page was deleted (i recall him having one, he wasn't a nobody). The importance of this paper cannot be understated, and i was wondering if someone could incorporate it into the appropriate articles involving evolution?

cool aside about how i found this: i bought a first edition of Sir Charles Sherrington's Man on his Nature, which actually was owned by Hoagland himself! he even earmarked pages and wrote on inlays backing the hardcovers, telling me where to look.
seems like he knew that someone in the future would care enough to want a first edition, and took the pains to direct this person to the appropriate sections in the book! HOW COOL IS THAT? :) 174.3.155.181 (talk) 23:03, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
  1. ^ Hoagland, Hudson (1964). "Science and the New Humanism". Science. 143: 111–114. doi:10.1126/science.143.3602.111. 

Top image[edit]

suggestion 2
suggestion 3
suggestion 4

Hi, Drbogdan (talk · contribs) reverted my (indeed good faith) edit today (see). While I must agree the current image (used also, and with the same issue at stake, for Anatomically modern human) is of better quality, I must insist that the choice of a non-generic image (particularly if ethnically and geographically restricted) can be taken badly, misinterpreted or worse. We are talking about evolution here. A generic drawing, a picture showing the outline of human evolution or some homo skulls/skeletons, would be much more welcome, useful and appropriate. --90.34.84.97 (talk) 13:21, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for your comments - they're *greatly* appreciated - yes - agree with your comments about the images - at the moment, I'm flexible - Comments Welcome (including other suggested relevant images) by other editors of course - hope this helps in some way - in any case - Thanks again for your comments - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 14:40, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
I think some illustrations of skeletons would be better than the suggested drawing which is also not in fact culturally or ethnically neutral/generic. I have added three more suggestions.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:04, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
@Maunus: FWIW - Thank you for your comments - and your suggested images - although flexible, "suggestion 3" seems preferred at the moment - iac - Thanks again - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 12:46, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

The current photo works very well as a lead image. Elsewhere in the article, the reader will find images of skulls and skeletons, as well as illustrative diagrams. The photo shows two modern humans who are part of a tool-making culture, wearing clothes. The woman's neck is adorned with a necklace. Some of their personal effects may indicate the presence of manufacturing and trade. The apparently fertile background landscape shows signs of agricultural activity.

An anatomically modern human from any epoch might be able to drop into that scene and get along, assuming their efforts to learn the local language were successful. The image shows modern humans with their feet on the ground and their eyes open, each engaging the viewer's gaze in their own way. In the current context, it does not matter what ethnic or geographic categories they may belong to. Just plain Bill (talk) 14:44, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

I concur with Just plain Bill. The people shown seem very typical of our species, bearing in mind that both light and very black skins are more recent adaptions.Charles (talk) 19:43, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
The photo is an apt illustration of modern humans, and it is indeed used as an illustration at human. It does however not illustrate the topic of this article which is human evolution - a topic that is an entire process, not simply the current stage of the process, and which includes the evolutionary histories of all of our hominin ancestors.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:00, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Fair point about representing the current stage of the process. Given the glacial pace at which modifications accumulate, I'm wondering how any image, still or moving, can convey the essence of human descent at a glance. The "march of progress" type images may be iconic, but they come with their own set of flaws. Just plain Bill (talk) 20:42, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

Difference between humans and animals[edit]

In the book Some Answered Questions 'Abdu'l-Bahá explains certain differences between human and animals. I am searching for a page on Wikipedia that puts this subject into a broader perspective, from different angles, physically and spiritually, from a scientific, philosophical and religious viewpoints. Does such a page exist? If not, can someone make a start? I am not an expert in this subject. Wiki-uk (talk) 05:52, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

You might want to try Mirror test, Theory of mind, Ethology and Cognitive biology (Harvard University has a Cognitive Evolution Lab that's published ::papers on the matter). There really isn't just one place for that info. 2601:405:4300:DB28:E552:2423:79F6:9D96 (talk) 15:50, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments. I have added some Wikilinks, to make it easier to find the articles on these subjects. Wiki-uk (talk) 17:36, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Did you mean Difference between humans and other animals?Charles (talk) 19:21, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

Reminder that this is WP:NOTFORUM. Do you have any specific ideas for improving the article? Harizotoh9 (talk) 00:05, 2 March 2017 (UTC)