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?
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.
The body hair of all mammals automatically stands up when cold, creating a fluffy layer of warmth. When we’re cold, the muscles around the hair follicles contract – a reflex left over from when our ancestors had long body hair. But since we don’t have much body hair, all we see are the goose bumps on our skin.
What Does It Mean To Be Human?
- T Major, virginia
- angela, Rhode Island
- Rachel Gomez, Annandale VA
- Tom C, Syracuse, NY
- James B., College Park, MD
- Bairoji Shiva Kumar, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
- Josh Goldberg, New York City
- Brian Estarella, Lancaster california
- Dorianne, Durham NC
- Ann Bartok-Venetis, Toronto, Canada
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.