This being my first post, I’m going to tell you, as briefly as I can, what kind to expect from me. Let me say first that I am someone who loves to be surrounded by multiple cultures and am interested in all aspects of history, literature and the arts, technology, and humanity…thus my blog will be rich in fun facts of the world past, present, and future.
As we approach the year 2012, a milestone in certain cultures signifying the coming of a new age of humanity (and potentially the destruction of the world as we know it, however I am very skeptical of that idea). I believe it is important to look at where we have come from and how we got to where are now. In a time of economic struggle, record high poverty, powerful and devastating environmental shifts, on-going conflicts/war, and environmental destruction, it is almost necessary, if not essential, to look at the history of humanity and our evolution on earth physically, mentally, emotionally and symbolically– religious beliefs and values put aside as I am not trying to dispute or offend any religious beliefs or customs.
Furthermore, today many scientists and anthropologists are finding new and exciting sites and facts about our time spent on earth from now to as far back as we can date, bringing to light new theories and inexplicably changing the timeline of human history.
For example, according to the findings of Anthropologist John Shea, a new…well rather an older type of human skeleton has been identified as having Neanderthal roots and characteristics, dating back to 20,000 years ago. “Omo I”, as they have been calling him opens a new door for the timeline of humans, as it’s existence assumes that there were other modern human-types around earlier than believed that co-existed with early man. Australopithecus Sediba –the scientific name for this new breed our human-like ancestors–has a mixture of primitive attributes alongside attributes of the earliest known Homo Sapiens. An excerpt from ScienceMag.org explains in an article how this is both exciting and confusing for researchers:
” The oldest Homo specimens are scrappy and enigmatic, leaving researchers unsure about the evolutionary steps between the australopithecines and Homo. Some think that the earliest fossils assigned to that genus, called H. habilis and H. rudolfensis and dated to as early as 2.3 million years ago, are really australopithecines. ‘The transition to Homo continues to be almost totally confusing, ‘says paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson of ASU Tempe, who has seen the new fossils. So it is perhaps no surprise that the experts disagree over whether the new bones represent australopithecines or early Homo.And for now, at least, they don’t seem to mind the uncertainty. ‘All new discoveries make things more confusing’ at first, says anthropologist Susan Anton of New York University.“
This finding has also lead to debate on our ancestry itself. In theory, with some supporting evidence at it’s backing, humans may have mixed their genetics with those of Neanderthals. On the site Science Daily, an article was published September 6th, 2011 describing how ancient humans interbred with older hominid forms. Technological advances have made is possible to date DNA from bones, and what they have found so far is “hybridization modern humans and archaic forms in Africa”. The findings of our ancestry are interesting and make sense, but will they be accepted or proven fact, only time will tell. The more we seem to find, the further back we seem to push our existence on the planet.
But it’s not only who we are/how we got here that needs to be over-viewed today, other things are going on in the world now that directly affect our future, and through looking at the past there may be answers to helping better the modern world…things such as:
- new projects and technologies from our struggling space programs that will bring us deeper into the universe
- the re-analyzing of mythology, folklore and history from around the world
- observations of constantly changing conditions of the earth
- newer, as well as, forgotten simpler forms of medicine
- ground-breaking archaeological news (i.e., the uncovering gladiator schools and new laser mapping technology of ancient sites, among many others).
It is a good time to be asking questions about the world we come from and how it has come to be what it is now. I am publishing my ideas on this blog not to convert or pressure anyone into believing anything I write, nor do I mean to offend anyone. Not everything I post will be something I agree with, nor do I expect everyone to agree. I mean only to bring to light certain cultural and societal discussions of humanity and whatever it means to be human.
As you read on, keep you’re mind open and take from it what you will. At the end of the day, time will pass either way and our time spent now here should reflect where we want to be in the future.