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?
Compared to other primates, humans have huge ‘whites of the eyes’, or sclera. This means that humans can easily read each other’s gaze. In experiments, great ape infants usually follow a gaze only when the experimenter also turns his head. But human infants follow the gaze when the experimenter moves only his eyes. The whites of our eyes may help a lot in communicating with one another.
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.
What Does It Mean To Be Human?
- Ciara Jones, Brockton, MA
- linda catfish, Oakland, California
- That Person who's Always There, Just Look Around
- Ray Hanchett, Springfield, Missouri
- Venancio Duque, Scotch Plains NJ
- Jimmy, Maine
- Clive van der Spuy, Johannesburg
- Jesse, Florida
- Imee Williams, Roosevelt HS Portland, OR
- Mariana, Chester, Virginia
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.