The Hall of Human Origins offers a welcoming place to explore one of the most exciting areas of science, the study of human evolution. Despite strong public interest in the science, however, many people find this topic troubling when viewed from a religious perspective. Representatives of diverse religious communities encourage a larger, more respectful understanding of both the scientific evidence and religious belief.
What's Hot in Human Origins?
When our back molars are impacted in our jaw, they don’t seem very wise! They’re the last teeth to come into place, and having them was helpful to our early ancestors who ate tough, uncooked foods that wore away their teeth. But with cooking and making food softer, the size of our jaws has diminished, often with room for the last molars to form in the jaw…but – ouch! – not enough room to erupt.
While other primates are furry, human skin is exposed to the elements. It’s not that we’re ‘naked’ – our hair is just really short over much of our bodies. In the warm places where our ancestors lived, evaporation of sweat from exposed skin was a great benefit in cooling our entire bodies. Our brain runs so ‘hot’, in fact, that sweating and cooling proved vital for evolving our big brain.
What Does It Mean To Be Human?
- Susanna McGrew, Washington, DC
- Taylor, The Springfield Renaissance School
- Leasa, Vineland, NJ
- India, swansea
- Nicole, Middle school
- Cedric Fangeat, London
- Jorge, Argentina
- Dana, Portland, OR
- brenda, illinois
- Ron, Minneapolis, MN
Are you interested in joining a discussion forum exclusively for educators involved in teaching human evolution? We encourage you to participate in our Teachers Forum and share your insights, questions, best practices, and experiences with other like-minded educators.