Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Haley Reading Group: Digging Through the World’s Oldest Graveyard



[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2015)]
By Cynthia A. Campbell

Amy Maxmen’s article “Digging Through the World’s Oldest Graveyard” highlights paleoanthropologists Zeresenay Alemseged and Berhane Asfaw’s expeditions to locate fossils and human skeletal remains in Ethiopia. Maxmen illuminates the discovery of and process of dating the human remains found. Ultimately, the article speaks to Ethiopia being this significant geographical region in understanding the evolution of humans.

Maxmen’s discussion of Ardi (Ardipithecus ramidus) was especially enlightening. At one point, Maxmen notes that “the analysis took 15 years and 47 researchers to paint a full picture of…and her surroundings” (184). This point indicates the intricacies and painstaking efforts of thorough research.

After reading Maxmen’s article, what was one point concerning the various species discovered that caught your attention? Why was that point or passage important to you? Please provide a page number citation.

60 comments:

Brianna Pickens said...

I have always had a curiosity for the idea of evolution and for archaeology. I have grown strong in my faith which can withhold me from believing something like evolution. The question is whether you believe an unfinished story with solid proof, or a complete story with little proof. Archaeologists make a living from discovering various fossils and skeletons in order to help prove evolution or any other theories that have risen. Alemseged, the archeologist in this article, talks about the various species he has found within his career. One in specific that he mentions was a skeleton, later named Lucy, that was discovered in 1974 (pg 180).This skeleton helped to prove Darwin’s theory. She had, both, human and chimpanzee aspects throughout her skeletal structure. Although I have my doubts with evolution, findings like Lucy cause me to question myself. Overall this was a great read.
~Brianna Pickens

Ivyanne B. said...

Reading this passage was very interesting. I think one of the things I found the most interesting was when it said "the team decided to excavate the entire region and recovered over 100 fractured pieces of a single skeleton" (pg.183). I think this is important because it shows how much work they were putting in to discover fossils and human remains. It shows how dedicated they are to help further science and our understanding of where we came from. Stuff like this can't be easy and it could defiantly be tiring especially if they couldn't find anything. I also think this passage is important because they actually want to discover more and a lot of people don't want to do that anymore, even though it is really important to our history. -Ivyanne B.

Gabriel Bressendorff said...

Honestly, the point that most struck a cord with me was this sentence on page 181; "... suggested that human traits occurred in ancient members of our tribe, the hominids, long before Homo sapiens..." This fact actually startled me. I did not have any knowledge whatsoever that there was lineage of humans, even before the Homo sapiens. I knew that we evolved from apes, but this news still shocked me.

Youssef Hassan said...

I have always been interested in evolution. But i never thought about how the intelligence of the ancient hominids lead to the creation of tools, which could also show that they were capable of mental processing. But honestly, what shocked me the most was knowing that our intelligence now could potentially be the reason why discoveries in the future can less likely appear.

Kendall Clark said...

On page 180, Amy Maxmen discusses the discovery of Australopithecus afarensis, also known as Selam, known to be the earliest child in human history. I found it extremely interesting how much the anthropologists were able to gather from Selam. They described the bones at the base of her head suggesting that she held it upright, and therefore assumed she walked on two legs. They also told how the size of her brain hinted that it had been slowly developed overtime, a tell-tale sign of human lineage. I also found it interesting they were able to tie the species of Lucy to Selam's. The work of anthropologists always amazes me, no matter the discovery.

Mackenzie Cohoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mackenzie Cohoon said...

The point that stuck out the most tome was when it stated "According to the paper, the marks are 'unambiguous' evidence of stone tool use, 800,000 years earlier than when paleontologists thought it arose"(187). This is amazing to me because it reminds me that there is still so much out there for us to learn and discover. Even when we think we know something, there could still be so many more details and facts about that topic that could add to our knowledge. It really shows why curiosity and the ability to question things is so important for us to do.

Christine Sheriff said...

Evolution can be a controversial topic, however this article was very intriguing. On page 180 it reads, "...had discovered Lucy in 1974. Her ancient skeleton’s partially human, partially chimpanzee features were a clear indication of our descent from the apes." I think this is very interesting because many people say we come from apes and it was interesting to see an actual source of this. The anthropologists then took information from Lucy when they discovered Selam. "The size of her skull suggested her brain developed slowly through early childhood, a distinct characteristic of humans from long before modern humans evolved," it says on page 180n once again. Its cool to see how they take information they studied and found in the past to better their research.

Anonymous said...

Although growing up in a strict religious family, I have always questioned creationism. What stood out to me was the comment of fossils found " belonging to Lucy's and Selam's species...4 million to 3 million years ago" (pg 182). Our ancestors apparently had a steady survival rate, which hints towards them having scientific advancement and a primitive form society.
In religious texts, humans as we know today were around since creations beginning. These texts say nothing about previous intelligent humanoid animals, but they exist physically on this earth. This conflict of evidence made me think deeply.
-Desmond Crumer

Jada Baker said...

While reading the article I was truly intrigued by all of the fossils they found and the information they could gather from them. Specifically, on page 180 it says, "But bones at the base of her head showed that she held it upright and therefore walked on two legs." The article then goes on to explain how Selam's brain developed during her childhood. They were able to discover all of this information by examining the fossils the dug up, and i believe that is incredible.

Joke Adanri said...

The part that stood out to me the most was the comment madden page 186 comparing looking for stone tools expecting them to look like modern tools; to looking at an iPhone and expecting it to look like telephone from centuries ago. After reading that I paused to think of how advanced we are technologically and how much we're evolving. Its really interesting to read about how anthropologists are able to look at bones and fossils, and are able to understand how far the evolution of humankind has come along.

Jasmyn Kloster said...

The author, Amy Maxmen, writes about the first child in human history (180). I think this is very interesting because most remains found seem to belong to adults and they are the only ones talked about. The child was named Selam and was a member of the Australopithecus afarensis species. It was very intriguing to me that anthropologists were able to describe the bones at the base of her head in such a way they were able to suggest that she held it upright, and therefore assumed she walked on two legs. They also were able to look at how the size of her skull may suggest that her brain developed slowly through out early childhood. The work of anthropologists is so interesting, and being able to see how humans evolved is so neat.

Raillane Kamdem said...

One point concerning the various species that were discovered in the arrival that really stuck to me were the bones of apes connected to man. "Charles Darwin knew that humans revolved from apes, but died before the strongest fossils"(181)that proved the connection between man and ape were found. This is crazy for me to think about because even though substantial evdemce has been proven that man revolved from ape, no one pays that much mind. Even though that fact completely disproves all aspect of religion. The facts are there and people know them, but no one whole heartedly acknowledges them. This point is very important to me because right now I'm going through a stage in life where I'm not sure what to believe and am trying to find my place religion wise. When I read articles like this it makes my mind think a little more about what really happened back then and what is the real truth.

Alliyah M. said...

One quote that I found interesting in the article was when Amy Maxmen discussed that larger brain sizes didn't develop until 2.5 million years ago, while the first stone tool was used 3.4 million years ago. Amy Maxmen recounts what archeologist Shannon McPherron stated; “The gap might have occurred if various individuals figured out how to use stone tools independently, repeatedly over time, but never passed the knowledge on (pg 188).

This quote exemplifies how important communication was to even the earliest types of humans. The quote really showcased how communication has allowed humans to become the most advanced species on earth and how important it is for brain development, not only for yourself but also for others.

Taija Cook said...

After reading, "Digging Through the World's Oldest Graveyard", I read about another great archaeological finding, Selam. This is the first time I have even heard about this amazing finding.On page 180 it reads," selam's gorillaish shoulder blades and long fingers betrayed a penchant for swinging on branches. But bones at the base of her head showed that she held it upright and therefore walked on two legs. The size of her skull suggested that her brain developed slowly through early childhood, a distinct characteristic of humans from long before modern humans evolved." This section of the piece really intrigues me, the way they describe the different components of her body and how they differ of ours really makes me appreciate the work of the scientists that found her body. Their findings help us add more depth to Charles Darwin's Evolution Theory.

Kalonji Rumph said...

Overall Maxmen's work was pretty enjoyable to read. I myself didn't grow up in a super religious church-going household which I'm grateful for because it has allowed me to keep a more open mind about many things and enabled me to consider all possibilities when it comes how the world came to be and where we actually originated from, without bias or fear. In general, logic and factual evidence has began to hold more weight with me as I've gotten old enough to form my own opinions. Science in general is a topic that I'm very fond of and has always been my favorite subject to study. Darwin's theory of evolution and the idea of "survival of the fittest" is undeniable in my opinion based on the evidence that we found through years of research. Although I found this article very interesting, there is one quote that bothers me. " Her ancient skeleton’s partially human, partially chimpanzee features were a clear indication of our descent from the apes.(PG. 180)." The notion that human's "descended from apes is incorrect. We know today that humans and apes share a common ancestor(homo-erectus), and from there we evolved into two completely different species.

Kameron Lindsey said...

"Charles Darwin knew that humans evolved from apes, but he died before the strongest fossils that prove our connection with primates had been discovered. In "The Descent of Man" he wrote, "Those regions which are the most likely to afford remains connecting man with some extinct ape-like creature, have not as yet been searched by geologists.""(pg 181) I found this fascinating because Darwin was able to discover a connection before the strongest evidence to this theory had even been found. Amy then tells after this that the evidence would not be found until a century later.

Diana L said...

This reading was very interesting. I've grown up in a religious family, but we've always believed in evolution. The part of the reading that stuck out to me was on page 180 when there is mention of Lucy, "Her ancient skeleton's partially human, partially chimpanzee features were a clear indication of our descent from the apes." This was interesting to me because in school I learned that we are not directly descended from apes, but have a common ancestor. This is a controversial topic, nonetheless, it made me think about everything I have been taught and told; it shows that not everything is as-is and there is always more that can be found and discovered.

Devin Ellis-Martin said...

I found this reading extremely interesting. I love history and discovering where we came from and our own past. Evolution is something that I have always been interested in evolution. My favorite quote from this section is, " After thousands of years of various individuals doing this, might some of them have learned how to bang one rock against another and make their own sharp stones to carry?" (Pg 186). This was stated when discussing how "Lucy" may have learned how to develop tools.

-Devin Ellis-Martin

Kiara Coker said...

Due to my religion, I have never really questioned evolution but reading this left me with many questions. Many of the discoveries discussed in the book intrigued me. For example, on pg.180 it states "...had discovered Lucy in 1974. Her ancient skeleton’s partially human, partially chimpanzee features were a clear indication of our descent from the apes." Although I've heard the theory of evolution starts with apes I have never seen or heard any solid evidence. Also on pg.187 she states ""According to the paper, the marks are 'unambiguous' evidence of stone tool use, 800,000 years earlier than when paleontologists thought it arose" It's amazing to me how resourceful indigenous were.

Shaina Falkner said...

Evolution is something that was barely taught during my school years. It was a taught in a short, brief lesson, so I never fully understood the true meaning of when they said humans descended from apes. After reading about the discovery of Lucy, It gave me a better idea of the process of evolution, because it was a real life example. On page 180, Maxmen writes about Lucy, "Her ancient skeleton's partially human, partially chimpanzee features were a clear indication of our descent from the apes." This sentence served as the most intriguing part in the writing.

Kailey Main said...

While Reading "Digging through the World's Oldest graveyard" by Amy Maxmen I was very intrigued by the process and length of time it takes to uncover fossils. On page 180 it reads,"Slowly, over a period of years, he and he colleagues carefully unearthed a petite skeleton of a child who had likely died in a flood and been buried in soft sand, 3.3 million years ago."(Maxmen pg.180). This stuck out to to me because I think it is so interesting that they could pin point the time the skeleton was probably alive. It is also crazy how long it takes to put all the pieces together and be able to figure all of the facts out. It definitely would have to take a lot of dedication but it is very fascinating.

Jaleel Fuquay said...

The evolution of mankind, to me, is one of the most fascinating aspects of human history. This article struck me because it made me think even more about how much our ancestors truly meant to the evolution of our species. Without them being as intelligent as they were when they created tools, we very well might still be in the Stone Age trying to figure out how to create a spark.
- Jaleel Fuquay

Dayejah Coates said...

I find this article very interesting because I have always been torn between whether humans were descended from apes, or created in the beginning like the bible says. However, after reading this text I definitely believe that there is a greater possibility that we were descended from apes, and that blows my mind.

Kameryn Sabino said...

Within the text as the author described the discovery "australopithecus afarensis", it reminded me of the evolution of human life as we know it. The discovery show's the progression of the human body especially within the description you can compare all of the differences between "Salem" and the human body of today. She did keep her head upright while walking which leads to the discovery of her walking on two feet just as we do today. I feel that this discovery is most important because it shows the amazing amount of progression we've made as humans. -Kameryn Sabino

Christen King said...

I thought the overall reading was very interesting and insightful. A few parts stuck out to me but the one that did the most was on page 180 stating, "her ancient skeletons partially human, partially chimpanzee features.." This sentence clearly indicates what happened during evolution which is why I do not understand why its still a topic for debate and controversy. This discovery was made in 1974, which gave people factual evidence that we were descendants from apes/monkeys. The other ideas that some people have, that have no factual discoveries to back it up, is difficult to understand. In a religious aspect, how can you just be created as a man and woman when there is factual evidence saying otherwise? I thought this article was fascinating and thought-provoking.

Lena Searcy said...

What I found most interesting in the article was the short section on Ardi. It was fascinating to learn about the types of mammals and other animals that might of existed. Some, like Lucy, I had learned about before but Ardi was interesting because her discovery revealed that species that walked upright had existed before. The way one discovery can lead to a whole new possibility or scenario that one may not have thought of before really stuck out to me. The whole text had information I did not know before, my understanding and knowledge of evolution was part of my 7th grade curriculum therefore very basic. This article revealed that evolution was more complicated than I had previously learned.

Kayla Summy said...

What caught my attention was the prediction made about the fossils they could find. "Lucy's predecessor was supposed to represent an earlier step in the chain, (185)" I found this interesting in the fact that while they had what they believed to be evidence and were convinced that evolution went a certain way, it seems like adaptation was not accounted for.

T-Bird For real said...

The part that I found most interesting was when they talked about finding a child that was over 3 million years old. I have always been interested archaeology and anthropology, so reading about things like this was very interesting. " She was a member of Lucy's tribe...when our lineage went one way and the containing chimpanzees went another." (pg. 180). It was very interesting to hear about the break from chimpanzees and us turning into humans.
- Tara Thompson

Avant Hall said...

This story focused mostly on the life of archeologists finding great discoveries for the advancement of out knowledge. It shows how they struggled to find what they did and it also educates us on what they're doing. Even though I have been educated on evolution, this showed me many worthwhile things about the history of humans and their common ancestors.

Qcadwell said...

The part of the article that stuck out the most to me was the fact that the scientists discovered ancient use of tools 3.4 million years before the previous estimate. However, even though the paleontologists found the use of tools, they still argued about the significance of it if at all. This is important because it shows the virtue of human nature. Even in the face of mankind's biggest triumph they still bicker and engage in intellectual one man upmanship. This took place on page 189. While science provides a crucial insight into ourselves, this article put a highlight on how selfish we can be.

Chidera Onyeizeh said...

Reading this article, I wasn’t really shocked. I’ve prior knowledge about Lucy and her origin page 180 before reading this article. I see that there is a lot of evidence pointing towards the evolution of humans from apes pg 187 that make it hard to doubt that humans evolved from apes.
I also got informed about Adri about a year ago, when I did learn about Ardi I was really fascinated about it page 184.

-Chidera Onyeizeh

Chidera Onyeizeh said...

Reading this article, I wasn’t really shocked. I’ve prior knowledge about Lucy and her origin page 180 before reading this article. I see that there is a lot of evidence pointing towards the evolution of humans from apes pg 187 that make it hard to doubt that humans evolved from apes.
I also got informed about Adri about a year ago, when I did learn about Ardi I was really fascinated about it page 184.

-Chidera Onyeizeh

Rodney Clark said...

"Digging Through the World's Oldest Graveyard", written by Nautilus, was focused around the discovery of pieces in the evolutionary chain. It spoke of the aspects that go into looking for the remains of past human-like creatures. Like other bones they had to find individual pieces that were in simple places. Not only that, but the article was also about the scientific community and its influence over different areas. Even though Ethiopia was having troubles people provided money for the remains to be discovered. One of the humans was a chimp-like creature with a longer toe. It also lived in a different climate that could maintain more trees. This article does a lot to tell people of the trials that researchers must go through to find the ancestors of humans that have long since died.

-Rodney Clark

Tyla Lucas said...

I thought it was interesting how discovery can change our perception of previous discoveries. As I was reading about Dr. Asfaw's various discoveries there was one skeleton that caught my attention. Ardipithecus ramidus took nearly two decades to create a visual representation. With its discovery it changed how the scientist viewed Lucy. "With Ardi, a couple of existing views went up in smoke" (page 185). I think it's really amazing how one thing, one experiment, one discovery can change the foundation of everything.

Kelsey McNeil said...

While reading "Digging Through the World's Oldest Graveyard" by Amy Maxmen, something that stuck out to me was the part when they discovered the skull of a child from 3.3 million years ago (180). I was surprised to learn all the information they could get about her just from her bones and how they could trace everything back to how far they did. This specific part was so important to me because it really brought to my attention how advanced our research and things are in the world today and it made everything very interesting to read. it also caught my eye because of the point how we knew that we were ancestors of apes but this specific child was different because of how she walked on two feet.

Anonymous said...

From personal experience growing up in a church, I have always been taught to look away from and not believe evolution; however, findings such as Lucy always make me wonder whether what the church says is correct. Lucy was a linking species between humans and other previous ancestors. Page 180 confirms this, saying that Lucy was "from a period halfway between today and the time when our lineage went one way and that containing chimpanzees went the other." This always makes me wish that I could go back in time and witness whether evolution or creation is the truth.
-Kevin Cox

Jonathan Sanchez said...

In this article, I found many interesting points. I found the discovery of Lucy very interesting because it supports Darwin's theory. What I found the most interesting, though, was the discovery of Selam. I Wasn't necessarily interested in the actual discovery, but I was very impressed that archeologist can tell so much from just some bones. On page 180, Amy Maxem reviews the discovery of Selam and describes how the fingers and gorilla like shoulders meant she could swing like a gorilla, but her skull was human-like in the way that the scientists could tell she held it upright meaning she walked on two legs. It is also baffling that they can tell how Selam developed because of her skull size, saying she had a brain development similar to how early childhood growth occurs in humans now. This intrigued me that all this can be told from a skeleton from millions of years ago.

Jayla said...

To me this was a hard section to read. As i was reading it nothing really caught my attention, so I had to read it multiple times just to catch and understand what I was reading. The one thing that did catch my attention as I was reading was when they were talking about Lucy, because we had just started talking about her in my Anthropology class. It was interesting to learn more about the discovery of Lucy. The fact that they also found another fossil just like hers was intereasting. When they talked about Selam, it was interesting because they said “Selam’s gorillaish shoulder blades and long fingers betrayed a penchant for swinging on branches.” As they go on to explain how much Selam was like a mixture of a gorilla and human was interesting to read and learn more about. When Alemseged said, “when you realize that you, as an individual, are part of a very long line, you begin to take it personally, you really are afraid to cut off that line.” It got me to think about how much that is true. When you tale something personally, it drives you do learn more and work harder to learn or figure it out. It’s like when I learned that I was Puerto Rican, it made me want to learn more about my heritage and just learn more about the culture as a whole.

Breonna Roberts said...

I have always been interested in what to believe in when it comes to how everything was created. I have always had my family and media telling me to believe God created everything in 7 days but I was learning about evolution in science class and that made a lot of sense to me. I still don't know what t o fully believe, but when the quote by Charles Darwin, " Those regions which is most likely to afford remains connecting man with some extinct ape-like creature, have not as yet been searched by geologist." Really made me think, if there truly is that creature connecting human to apes, why has it not been discovered yet? I'm not really sure, its just something that makes me think.

Chikelue nkemeh said...

One aspect of the essay I found interesting personally is the discovery of the "earliest child in the history of humanity" (180). Also, the fact they described the bones as "partially human, partially chimpanzee" (180). This discovery shows us the connection between our ancestors and our evolution from that point on.

Isaiah Johnson said...

A couple things I found that were interesting was that I never heard of this guy, despite his accomplishments, which was promptly answered in the text explaining the lack of electricity in Ethiopia. I also found the statement, "...the first signs of butchery" a bit comical, but very significant (even though it is disputed later in the story). I fell like if we keep digging (pun not intended) into our past, we will continue to uncover more of our story and origin, as Alemseged and his multiple teams had, and are still doing to this day.

Jada James said...

I already knew about Lucy and her origins before reading "Digging Through The World's Oldest Graveyard," but only because I was taught evolution practically every year in school. I'm from Chicago, and at the Field Museum there's an "Evolving Planet" exhibit that goes through the stages of human and plant evolution, so I've seen that as well. I did think it was interesting that this team found the "earliest child in the history of humanity," as said on page 180. I never even considered that they might want to find the skeleton of a child, but now I realize that they're interested in also learning about the development of early hominids, not just their evolution.

Stella Nguepnang said...

I have never given evolution much of a thought so I was really interested in reading this section. I did realize that there were a lot of special themes and things to learn about throughout the writing. On page 184, "This disconnect to the rest of the world explains why Asfaw is rarely mentioned in magazine articles and books on human evolution, despite his dozen publications in top journals." I believe that this was meant to show that a lot of the times, we don't give credit where credit is really due. Amy Maxmen also stated on page 189, "Their colleagues in offices.... may not appreciate the effort that that goes into unearthing the fossils in the first place,'They don't know that the Jeep broke down in the desert.... and he got malaria.'" This shows this theme even more because people often fight over things almost doing a disgrace to the people who got that information or not really realizing the work that is put in before they are able to do any work.

Samontriona P said...

As I read "Digging Through the World's Oldest Graveyard" by Amy Maxmen the thing that stuck out me me the most was on page 180 when they found a child with "gorillaish shoulders and long fingers" but it also had " bones at the base of her head [that] showed that she held it upright and therefore walked on two legs." That stuck out to me because in history you dont usually hear about the children being discovered. Alemseged said, " It's the earliest child in the history of humanity." That was very interesting to me.

Ronnie Akpan said...

From the context in "Digging Through the World's Oldest Graveyard" by Amy Maxmen, one piece of information that really stuck out to me was the comment about how one discovery leads to another discovery. This makes total sense in the perspective of today's society: new innovations to our world are coming in each and every day that makes the usage of communication really easy and efficient. One example is the iPhone; users of that device hold the world in their hands. For example, if a bombing were to happen in Europe, we could find out about it within seconds. It amazes me how blessed we are to live in a world where we are open to these new discoveries.

Anonymous said...

To me, the most fascinating thing was the extent that each researcher and scientist had to go through to conclude what the species were and how they came to be. As an English major, I constantly think of things in a social science type of way -- why people act the way the do and what drives them. Putting all of the "science-y" stuff beside, I found it awe-inspiring that so many people were willing to dive in this expedition and help change the world. In my everyday life, I find it hard sometimes to put forth 1/100 of the energy that these particular people put forth in finding fossils. The quote that most stuck out to me regarding the mentality that one must have to do something so transformative was found on page 187; Dean Falk stated “You need a plan, you need the motor skills to do it, you need to keep the task in mind for as long as it takes, and you need the motivation to go to all that work in advance of when you need the tool. That’s all frontal lobe stuff.” In it's entirety, this quote makes full sense in and outside of the science world. Research can take years to complete and many trials and tribulations; just as goals take a really long time to complete. You have to keep that goal in mind. You need a plan. You need resources. And you absolutely NEED determination and motivation.

--Toriel S.

Kamela Cross said...

Evolution has always been something that I believe strongly in and am always fascinated to learn new things about it. What really surprised me was the section on page 181 which talked about hominids, who came way before homo sapiens. I didn't know there was a stage between us and apes, so to learn about this amazing discovery has made me curious to more about evolution as well as the paleontology that supports it.

Daeja Daniels said...

The idea of evolution has been debated for a long time. A concerning point for me in the article was while reading was on page 180 when they found a child with "gorillaish shoulders and long fingers" but it also had " bones at the base of her head [that] showed that she held it upright and therefore walked on two legs." I found this interesting because typically when hearing about evolution it is taught in terms of animals or of adults over time. Also, this article was interesting because it shows the other side for me that humans have come from apes where as I personally believe that humans came from God. This allows for me to get a new perspective of how others think and view humans.

Daeja Daniels

James Beverly said...

Evolution has always been that topic that’s pretty controversial amongst us. Some believe the scientific way, and others believe the more religious way. This reading here explained the more scientific way towards evolution, in which I agree with. A clever point that this reading makes is be fact that we continue to make innovations in our society, that it will inhibit future generations to make some of their own. I still found it cool within the reading that the found the skeletons of homosapiens by excavacating the entire area. Overall, this was a good reading on the subject of evolution.

Abraham Carmichael said...

Personally, evolution is a topic that I struggle to grasp because of personal beliefs. I am a born christian so my religious beliefs make me skeptical of the scientific explanation, as well as others in the world. I believe that at one point we could've resembled monkeys or primates, but because primates exist today and we have not seen them evolve. The author does a good job supplying evidence like on pg. 180 where they describe the discovery of Lucy and how similar she was to a primate.

- Abraham C.

Anonymous said...

I am a strong believer in evolution and have always been fascinated by it, though avoiding the topic for its obvious controversy. The part of the reading that stuck with me the most is from this excerpt:

"The size of her (Selam) skull suggested her brain developed slowly through early childhood, a distinct characteristic of humans from long before modern humans evolved."

In comparison to modern humans, where childhood is where a LOT of brain development occurs. It's when we absorb the most information and learn things the fastest.

-Dasia Anderson

Ronnie Akpan said...

What really stuck out to me is the debate between creationism and evolutionism. I have spent the entirety of my life raised in a Christian family, so I always tended to reject any of the slightest belief on evolution occurring in our planet. I love the mentioning of evolution, however, because not only does it allow me to get a taste of what others believe is true, but it also allows me to understand why others may believe in a certain belief. Although I have my beliefs that creationism is the true reason for living organisms on Earth, I respect the beliefs of those who believe that creationism is true.

Marley McCoy said...

After reading "Digging through the world's oldest graveyard" by Amy Maxem I learned a little bit more about how archaeologists can provide evidence for evolution. I think that evolution is very interesting and it is something that is hard to understand sometimes. I found it interesting that archaeologists can find so much information just from examining fossils.

Alishiana Ivy said...

When reading "Digging Through the World's Oldest Graveyard" by amy Maxem I realized that this was by far the most interesting article that we have been assigned to read. One of the quotes that stood out to me was when they were talking about Charles Darwin. "Charles Darwin knew that humans revolved from apes, but died"(181). I found this quote interesting because I was just in biology watching a documentary about how humans evolved from fish. I think that it is amazing that we come up with all these theories to prove religions wrong, but in the end the theories just cancel each other out.

Tomika Collins said...

The reading "Digging Through the World's Oldest Graveyard" by Amy Maxmen in my opinion, was a very difficult reading. I am a Christian and the idea of evolution sickens me. We were all created by God and not as science experiments so to speak. Knowing that archaeologist have the ability to provide proof of evolution is an interesting concept though. They discovered a child over 3 million years old. They described her as having "gorilla-ish shoulders and long fingers" in contrast it also had " bones at the base of her head [that] showed that she held it upright and therefore walked on two legs." Wow all this is very interesting. I don't believe humans evolved from gorillas. Humans and gorillas are two separate species. Always have been and always will.

Demarco Mccottrell said...

One comment that really intrigued me was the fact that there were "11 new species of hominids" and they were all found within "the past two decades"(184). The first reason being that I was not aware of just how many different species of just hominids there were in the past. I had only assumed that with evolution there were probably around 10 different species. Another thing was that these 11 species were only discovered between a 20 year time span, which only makes me wonder if there could be at least a hundred more species that are not yet known, but will be discovered in the coming decades.

Dejanee Geeters said...

Dejanee Geeters

When I was in high school and we learned about evolution I was tempted to say it was against my religion, because I never really believed in it. I feel that all the evidence pointing towards evolution are assumptions and I feel you could point to any bone and say what it belongs to. I am a Christian, and we were all created by God, nothing else. Page 180 the description of a girl with "gorillaish shoulders and long fingers" with " bones at the base of her head [that] showed that she held it upright and therefore walked on two legs." The first quote is not worth considering, but the second makes me think.

Kobi Phillips said...

After reading "Digging Through the World's Oldest Graveyard" I immediately noticed the conflict of religion totally opposing the views that archaeologists and scientists bring forward due to their own personal beliefs. I myself have never been a very religious person, which I am somewhat grateful for. I appreciated reading this because it forced me to deeply think about our species as a whole and how we were truly originated. Overall, I found this to be a good read on the controversial topic of evolution.

Kiana S said...

One of the things Maxmen mentioned that really stood out to me was the discovery of Selam. It is solid, physical evidence of evolution in our species. "Selam's gorillaish shoulder blades and long fingers betrayed a penchant for swinging on branches. But bones at the base of her head showed that she held it upright and therefor walked on to legs. The size of her skull suggested that her brain developed slowly through early childhood, a distinct characteristic of humans from long before modern humans evolved." (p. 180) This species was a split between human and chimpanzee characteristics. It blows my mind that there is a definite "halfway point" that was discovered. This part stood out to me so much because it shows the specifics of the shift that got to the homosapiens we are today.