According to Charles Darwin, the process of human evolution took place so gradually. It was as a result of divergence that this species was able to transit from others. Initially, the mammals were living together and had similar traits (Gibbons, A., 2005). However, as a result of natural selection, each of them diverged into a totally new species with distinct features. This explains how the human beings diverged from apes into the Homo habilis and Homo erectus, before developing into the modern Homo sapiens.
This process took a very long time before the modern human species emerged. It came out to be an organized species with an ability to perform more complex activities which can not be done by any other species (Alexander, R. D., 2000). These include tool making, religion and speech.
According to scientists, the process of human evolution occurred as demonstrated in the following timeline:
- 85 million years ago: primates diverged from other mammals.
- 20 million years ago: Hominidae diverged from Hylobatiao
- 14 million years ago: Ponginae diverged from Hominidae
- 2.3 million years ago: Homo habilis emerged
- 1 million years ago: Homo erectus emerged
- 400,000-250,000: Homo sapiens emerged
Alexander, R. D. (2000). "How did humans evolve? Reflections on the uniquely unique species".
Museum of Zoology) (1): 1–38.
Gibbons, A. (2005) The First Human: The Race to Discover our Earliest Ancestor. Anchor
Johanson, D. & Wong, K. (2007). Lucy's Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins. Three Rivers