The oldest known stone-tipped projectiles have been found in Ethiopia, clocking in at around 280,000 years old. That’s about 88,000 years older than Homo sapiens. We know that we were not the only intelligent, tool building hominids— there were ones that came before us and existed at the same time as us, and this new find confirms that the rise of abstract intelligence was a long, slow process that occurred through many different hominid species over time. We weren’t the first, and we probably won’t be the last either.
Despite some people’s ideas that Earth is the little blue gem from which all life sprouts, new evidence suggests that not only may have Mars developed life much quicker and sooner than Earth, but the seeds of life on our planet may have come from the red planet before it was “the red planet”.
As human beings, it seems like we’re outgunned in terms of evolutionary advantages. Okay, so we’ve got big brains that allow us to think abstractly, plan ahead, pass on knowledge and culture, and paired with deft hands, we can make powerful tools. But we don’t have claws or body armor or ferocious teeth or venom. We can’t run all that fast and we can’t jump very high. But what we do do very, very well… better than anything else, is throw stuff.
Did Homo sapiens destroy all the other human races or did we just interbreed them out of existence? A little of both.
Ever since Neanderthals were discovered to have been a separate human race, anthropologists have been asking where they went. Now we know there were a couple other ancient non-Homo sapien human species, and they’re gone as well. So what the hell happened? Did Homo sapiens come out of Africa fighting or did modern Homo sapiens come about as the product of interbreeding between us and other hominid species? Turns out, it was a little of both.
Scientists now know that mating and offspring did occur between humans in Neanderthals, but it looks like we now have tangible proof. Actually, we’ve had the proof in our possession since 1957, but we didn’t have the techniques and the genetic knowledge for someone to test the jawbone until now. And it looks like this old jawbone likely did come from a Neanderthal/human hybrid.
The problem with trying to study the evolution of arthropods is that there isn’t much to leave behind. The best thing scientists could find were bits of carapace, which doesn’t give you much idea of how a creature works. Above however is the fossilized imprint of a 520 million year old arthropod that shows a head and a long string of mouth part feeding tubes, that the thing would use to rake hapless victims into its gut.
While we now have access to tremendous amounts of information at our fingertips, and IQ points have been rising slowly but steadily, some argue that human intelligence peaked in the hunter-gatherer age before the dawn of urban life.