www.micro.utexas.edu. Human Evolution. The Questions & the Best Current Answers. The rules of science. Hypotheses must be testable Must be couched in previous knowledge (like a scientific theory). What makes a theory scientific? Why is the theory of evolution scientific?. Gravity.
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The Questions & the Best Current Answers
1)If life is static, no different fossil organisms should be found.
2)If life changes, fossils should be found of organisms that do not exist today.
1)If humans did not evolve, then fossil forms in the past should be the same as today.
2)If humans did evolve, then different human-like forms should occur in the fossil record.
1)If humans & apes do not share a common ancestor, they should not have similar DNA.
2)If humans & apes share a common ancestor, they should have DNA more similar than between humans & other mammals.
A ring species
The Rift Valley
The Fossil Record
Hominid = a member of family hominidae, which includes apes & all hominins.
Hominin = a member of subfamily homininae, which includes humans & extinct close relatives
Why is this cartoon funny?
Because the savanna hypothesis has been falsified.
Scientists, being people, really believed in this hypothesis.
Alas, being a scientist means you must set your beliefs aside when your favorite hypothesis is disconfirmed.
The Orrorin and Sahelanthropus fossils disconfirm the savanna hypothesis.
This is the case because both forms were fully bipedal prior to the opening of savanna.
The Earliest Hominins
A picture review
4 – 3 mya
Laetoli footprints, Tanzania: A. afarensis
3 – 1.5 mya
East & South Africa