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Describe how the debate concerning human origins began, how new descoveries added to the debate, and explain how you see the argument concerning our human origi - Essay Example

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The subject of the origins of humanity and evolution has been a matter of considerable political and religious debate and controversy for both the scientific and the non-scientific community for many years.
While most people accept that human evolution is concerned with the study of human origin, defined as the development of humans as a separate species from other primates, many others refuse to recognize the common ancestry we share with a "lower order of animals" (Flank).
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Describe how the debate concerning human origins began, how new descoveries added to the debate, and explain how you see the argument concerning our human origi
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Download file to see previous pages against those that support creationism, a religious-based belief that attributes the creation of Earth, humanity and the universe to a God or deity (Hayward, 1998).
The creation versus evolution debate is most prevalent in the conservative regions of the United States, where Creationism is believed to have strengthened after World War I as a consequence of stories that became popular at the time and told of the German aggression being a result of their belief in the concept of "survival of the fittest" introduced by Charles Darwin (Numbers and Coleman, 2007). After this, the situation worsened in many cases when several US states passed laws against the teaching of evolution in public schools and others went a step further by introducing the teaching of creationism instead.
It is so that the study of evolution was not included until the late 1960s in textbooks of many US sates. Even during the 1980s, creationism was quite prevalent in certain states (Arkansas and Louisiana), where creationism and evolution obtained equal teaching time in public shools' curricula.
This seriously opposes the separation between State and Church recognized in the Constitution, which would avoid interference in each other's issues. The legislation passed for the teaching of creationism seriously contravenes the First Amendment, which states as follows: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Consequently, in 1987 the Supreme Court declared this law illegal and an unconstitutional intrusion of religion in public schools.
Evolution is supported by the study of paleoanthropology. Until the 19th century, the similarity between apes and humans had been sorely discussed and, based purely on morphological similarities, chimpanzees and gorillas were thought to be our closest relatives. In fact, some scientists of the time believed that humans and apes shared a common ancestor and that fossils of this ancestor would eventually be found in Africa. It was not, however, until the discovery of Neanderthal man in 1856 was made and Darwin published On the Origin of Species a few years later, that the concept of evolutionary theory was first introduced.
A few years later, paleoanthropology, the discipline that studies ancient populations using fossil evidence in the form of petrified bones and foot prints, as well as the remains of tools and forms of habitation, began.
Although there had been a series of minor findings in the 1830s, it was not until 1924 that the first remains of a hominid were discovered in Africa. The fossils were thought to be part of the skeleton of an Australopithecus africanus, a species with a small skull that contained a small but, contrary to those of apes, rounded brain, like that of a human. Additionally, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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