Origin of Man Origin of Man “Of animal ancestry, man moved ahead as a steward of other creations in taming the environment as they struggle to survive.” There are many theories about the origin of life on earth. Many opposing theories and questions have been raised. For example, the Biblical Theory states that a supernatural being created the u- niverse, hence giving life to what was non-existent. The Scientific Theory on the other hand suggests that life was triggered by some force or elements that later led to our existence. The idea carried though by both theories suggests that something was created out of nothing.
Why? How? By who? It is still a mystery. Either way, life in the form of simple organisms progressed into the highly complex society that we live in today. This trans- formation is explained by the theory of the evolution, where changes in an organism are due to the changes in the conditions of their environment. With the rigorous changes of the environment’s condi- tions, living creatures especially animals had to adapt their physical and biological make-up to these changes to meet their needs. The story of man’s evolution is one of increasing differentiation from the other groups of animals to which he is related.
It is believed that over 60 million years, descendants of the early primates gradually evolved to produce modern man. Tree-living creatures, more like rats than men, were followed by the ancestors of today’s lemurs and monkeys, and by a primate called Dryopithecus, believed to be the common ancestor of both apes and man. A breakthrough in man’s evolution came when creatures became adapted to standing and walking in an upright position, freeing their hands for other uses. This led to the creation of tools to aid them in their activities such as hunting and food gathering. Later they started building, innovating and improving the conditions of their living. Man’s unique intelligence, imagination, skills and knowledge spring from a brain that has evolved far beyond the instinctive res- ponses of other animals.
Alone among animals, man seeks a meaning in life, and can express his aspirations symbolically. It was this brain that enabled our ancestors to survive in a hostile prehistoric envi- ronment, then later to create the world’s great civilisations. And it was also this brain that produced the complex web of family ties, re- ligious and scientific beliefs and systems of government which now form the fabric of his now modern society.