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.
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?
- RJE, Potomac, MD
- Shananay, Sharkeisha Island
- Allison, McLaren Vale, South Australia
- Alan J Paterson, Glasgow (UK)
- Ana, Calgary, AB
- Zana-Zandara, San Juan
- Lindsey, Wisconsin
- Chloe Lopez, Gainesville, Florida
- jack, birmingham uk
- Emily K., Michigan
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.