Hunting the First Hominid Reaction Paper

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¶ … Shipman is Wrong

The author has some problems with Shipman's analysis. Certainly, she is right in the fact that humans are very narcissistic and want to know where they come from. It lets us know what makes us tick and helps us psychologically to sort out who we are.

She is certainly right when she says that the more primitive sciences such as paleontology that more dependent upon the unaided human eye and human brain say more about this than more high tech approaches, although tech is sometime helpful and necessary, especially with regard to dating remains and to reading the chemical evidence of "molecular clocks." Also, with certainty this "missing link" of an ancestor is certainly from Africa because our closest living relatives (chimpanzees and gorillas) and therefore all early hominids will also be African. Also, the consensus (upon which this author agrees) is that the first hominid was not a human and did not possess all of the characteristics that we consider human.

So what would the first hominid look like? This is of course where the consensus breaks down completely. Much of this analysis is really the anthropological equivalent of Monday morning quarterbacking after the Sunday Super Bowl game. As Shipman notes, the first species in any new lineage is usually readily apparent only ex post facto.

Some of the differences between apes and humans however are non-issues. Many of the scholars agrees on a number of issues. Research is not clear when the line became bipedal. Certainly, the first in the line was an ape, but not one of the living great apes such as the gorilla or the chimpanzee due to the 5 million years needed to evolve in isolation before arriving at their modern forms. In addition, once the line became bipedal, they became hominids with small brains and body size akin to that of ape. Also, Shipman contends that sexual dimorphism started to be exhibited in ways not related to reproduction. Enamel thickness in teeth is also an issue. Apes have thin enamel in the chimp and gorilla lineages (not the orangutan, but they… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Hunting the First Hominid.  (2010, April 15).  Retrieved December 13, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/hunting-first-hominid/70219

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"Hunting the First Hominid."  Essaytown.com.  April 15, 2010.  Accessed December 13, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/hunting-first-hominid/70219.