chapter  5
24 Pages

The Big H ≈ Homo

ByWilliam C. Frederick

Homo showed up a long time ago, emerging gradually from even earlier ancestral beginnings. That meandering evolutionary pathway is nowhere better illustrated than by the appearance of the Homo brand of humanity. Consistent with C. Darwin’s natural selection process, and driven by genetic mutations, several Homo species evolved from the earlier world of the Australopiths—and lived for surprisingly long periods. The limiting factor of pre-Homo tool use was twofold: a hand shape and arm and wrist inflexibility not adapted for the making of stone tools, and a brain not sufficiently developed to cope with the skills and logic required to shape the stones and other materials for specific purposes. Of all the formative features of an evolving organic Homo culture, fire and its control for human purposes was certainly at the forefront, equally important to tool use. Equally important to the how of Homo evolution were adaptive organized behaviors.