Gabriel Tordjman Darwin's Tea Party Humanities 345-101-MQ
Last Update: 6 September, 2016
Four timelines are provided below. These timelines provide you a sense of the age of the universe, life and humanity and also indicate the dates of some of the main ideas, people, events, themes covered in this class. You should be aware of the great difference between:
You are not obliged to memorize the names of all the geological periods indicated in Timescale #1.
1. GEOLOGICAL TIMESCALE
The Geological time scale measures events in the billions and millions of years. This illustration takes us back to the formation of the planet Earth about 4.5 billion years (bottom left of illustration), then spirals upwards moving closer to the present. Note how the earliest organic life forms are dated to about 3 billion years ago. But there is comparatively little life until after the pre-Cambrian period ending about 542 million years ago (mya). Since then, life forms become more numerous and more complex. Moreover, the history of the earth includes period of mass extinctions and repopulations. All along life forms of all sorts are evolving and going extinct, including dinosaurs who die out at the end of the Cretacious period about 65 mya. Human hominid ancestors make their appearance during the Pleistocene Epoch. Note that the Palelolithic era is not indicated in this illustration but begins roughly at the same time as the Pleistocene. Modern looking humans appear at the very end of the spiral and agriculture, civilization, all of recorded history are just a small sliver at the very end of the end of this spiral (too small a time period to be indicated on this drawing).
The Geological Clock
To give you a better idea of key highlights in the history of the earth and life and humans' appearance on it, imagine the Geological Timescale above proportionately reduced to 24 hours. Note the very early existence of bacteria already existing and producing oxygen at 9:04 am (3.8 bya). Earlier bacteria might be even older. Multicellular (aquatic) life appears around 12:00 (yay - lunch time!). The first plants (aquatic) appear at 18:40, the first fish at 21:20, the first land plants 21:36, etc...
On this scale, human ancestors make their first appearance only about 1 minute ago (23:59).
2. HUMAN BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION (HOMINID EVOLUTION) TIMESCALE
200,000 ya?. Homo sapiens (= "thinking human"). Authors distingish between Homo sapiens and even more recent Homo sapiens sapiens or "anatomically modern Homo sapiens". These differences in designation may reflect the larger role played by cultural transmission of knowledge (cultural evolution).
|500,000 ya. Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal man). Can also be catgeorized as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.|
|1.8 mya Homo erectus ("upright man"). Bigger brain, mastered fire, made stone tools and weapons.|
|2.4 mya - 1.5 mya Homo habilis ("tool-making human"); larger brain, use of stone, wood and bone tools for weapons and other purposes. First "homo" species.|
|3-4 mya “Lucy” (Australopithecus afarensis) upright walk but chimp-sized brain. "Missing link" b/w humans and apes?|
|5 mya Emergence of ape-like human ancestors (hominids) with ability to walk upright on two legs (in Africa). Hominid line splits from line leading to chimps and gorillas.|
A simplified view of Hominid Evolution, including estmates of "branching off" time of other primates, including chimpanzee. More recent work greatly complicates the simple picture of Homind evolution shown here.
|3. HUMAN PREHISTORY AND HISTORY (CULTURAL EVOLUTION) (brief) (Memorize this table)|
|From||To||Where||What (in brief)|
|A. Paleolithic Era||2.5 mya||10,000 ya||Everywhere||Apes evolving into humans but Cultural evolution becoming increasingly important.|
|B. Neolithic Era||10,000 ya||6,000 ya||Middle East||Humans all over the globe; Invention of agriculture|
|A. Ancient Period||6,000 ya||476 AD||Middle East, Europe, Mediterranean area , India, China||Birth of civilization, ancient Sumer, (Mesopotamia), Egypt, Greece and Rome
Invention of Philosophy (Greece)
|B. Medieval Period||476 AD||1450||Europe, Mediterranean area||Age of Christianity (Europe)|
|C. Modern Period||1450||1945||Europe, Americas||
New World "discovered"; (15th c)
|D. Contemporary Period||1945||Present||Everywhere||World War II, Holocaust, Biological (or Genetic) Revolution|
4. HUMAN PREHISTORY AND HISTORY (HUMAN CULTURAL EVOLUTION) TIMELINE (detailed)
|I.PREHISTORY (i.e., before history, written records & “civilization”).||
A. Paleolithic Era (Old Stone Age) 2.5 mya to 10,000 ya
200,000 – 80,000 ya Homo sapiens neanderthalensis : (“Neanderthal man”) brain size equal or larger than Homo sapiens. Sophisticated stone tools. Eventually dies out (or is exterminated?)
150,000 - 200,000 ya Emergence of HOMO SAPIENS ("thinking human"). Larger brain than Homo erectus, more sophisticated tools and development of language. Evidence of ceremonial burial of dead, jewelry, sculptures, indicates EMERGENCE OF RELIGIOUS, MAGICAL AND MYTHICAL IDEAS, self-consciousness, and abstract thought about life and life after death.
40,000 ya HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS (“thinking, thinking, human”) distinguished from earlier Homo s. by increased importance of culture, thought and technology). Cave art, indicates further development of religious, magical and mythical ideas, sophisticated artistic technique. Beginning of human caused mass extinctions.
40,000 - 15,000 ya Spread of humans to Asia, Europe, America.
B. Neolithic Era (New Stone Age) 10,000 ya 4,000 ya
10,000ya NEOLITHIC (NEW STONE AGE) REVOLUTION or AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION. Age marked by INVENTION OF AGRICULTURE in NEAR EAST (MESOPOTAMIA + Egypt), early agricultural villages, sedentary life.
10,000-6,000 ya Agriculture and improvement in stone tools and inventions shows importance of CULTURAL EVOLUTION.
-- END OF PREHISTORY/BEGINNING OF HISTORY--
|II. HISTORY (i.e., after written records and “civilization”) (4000 BC[6,000 ya]-476 AD).||
A. Ancient History (Ancient Near East Timeline)
3500 BC Emergence of Egyptian civilization (along Nile river).2000 Ancient Hebrews. ORIGINS OF JUDEO-CHRISTIAN-ISLAMIC TRADITION
1200-100 BC Hebrew Scriptures (“Old Testament”) written down. 1000?-c.500? BC? Genesis creation stories written down.
c.6 BC - 30 A.D.? Life & death of Jesus of Nazareth. ORIGINS OF CHRISTIANITY.100 Furthest geographic extent of Roman Empire
85-165 A.D.Ptolemy (developed GEOCENTRIC THEORY) most influential astronomer until Copernicus,
c. 1-40 AD? Jesus of Nazareth. Origins of CHRISTIANITY
330 AD Beginning of Conversion of Roman Empire to CHRISTIANITY.
476 AD Fall of Western Roman Empire. Collapse of Western science, technology and philosophy.
-- End of Ancient History (Middle East, Mediterranean Area)--
B. Ancient Greek Timeline
3000 BC Minoan civilization (Crete)
600-480 Pre-Socratic (Ionian) philosophers. BIRTH OF WESTERN SCIENCE & PHILOSOPHY (Sought to use reason to understand nature – finding natural causes for natural phenomena)
--- End of Ancient Greek Timeline ---
|Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46013|
--End of Ancient History --
C. Western Medieval History (or Middle Ages) 476-1450
-- End of Medieval History --
C. Modern History (1450-1945)
Revival of slavery (Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade) in the Americas.
SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION (phase I – mathematics, astronomy, physics)
1473-1543 Nicholas Copernicus (Heliocentric theory)
1561-1626 Francis Bacon (philosopher of empirical & useful science)
|1776 - Birth of USA (Declaration of Independence)
1776 Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations published.
1780-1880 INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION in Britain – age of machines and capitalism; marriage of science and technology. Expansion of British Empire.
| 19th century SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION (phase II – biology)
1809-1882 CHARLES DARWIN (THEORY OF EVOLUTION BY NATURAL SELECTION)
|1818-1883 Karl Marx (Revolutionary Socialism or Communism)
1820-1903 HERBERT SPENCER (SOCIAL DARWINISM - UK)
1820-1914 Age of Imperialism
1822-1911 FRANCIS GALTON ("father" of modern EUGENICS)
1840-1910 WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER (SOCIAL DARWINISM - USA)
1849-1936 Ivan Pavlov (conditioned response)
1856-1939 SigmundFreud (Father of psyhoanalysis)
1858-1942 FranzBoas (anthropologist, primacy of culture in shaping human behaviour)
1870-1924 Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (Soviet Marxism – or Soviet Communism)
1880-1930 Emergence of social sciences: political economy, anthropology, sociology, psychology
1879-1959 Albert Einstein (Theory of Relativity)
1914-1918 World War I
1917 Russian Revolution and Soviet Communism (collapse 1989)
1920-1945 Rise & Fall of Fascism & NAZISM in Europe
1939-1945 WORLD WAR II and HOLOCAUST
1945 Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki
|D. CONTEMPORARY HISTORY (1945 – present)
POST WAR PERIOD (1945-75)
1901-78 Margaret Mead (anthropologist, primacy of culture in shaping human behaviour)
1903-1989 Konrad Lorenz (pioneer in ETHOLOGY (animal behaviour science), theorist on aggression)
1934- Jane Goodall, scientist of chimpanzee behaviour
1904–1990 B.F. SKINNER (BEHAVIOURISM).
1945 United Nations established
1945-1968 Decolonization – many former colonies regain independence
1953 DNA MOLECULE unravelled by WATSON & CRICK; beginning of BIOLOGICAL or GENETIC REVOLUTION (Phase 1)
CURRENT (CONTEMPORARY) PERIOD (1973-PRESENT)1973 End of post war boom, beginning of decline of "Welfare State" and ideologies of "Globalism" and "Neoliberalism".
1975 E.O. WILSON’S SOCIOBIOLOGY published 1975
1975 - present Continuing development of BIOLOGICAL REVOLUTION, including GMFs, GMOs, gene testing, gene therapy, cloning, genetic engineering, etc…
1976 RICHARD DAWKINS’ THE SELFISH GENE published
1978 Apple II computer unveiled; begining of the Computer Revolution
1980s – present EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY develops and grows 1980s – present Latest phase of NATURE vs, NURTURE debate
1982-1990 Beginning of Expansion of the Internet
1982 rDNA technology used to make insulin. Development of biotechnology industry.
1986 DNA testing first used in criminal forensics (exonerates suspect)
1989-2000 HUMAN GENOME PROJECT maps human genetic code
1990-1991 Persian Gulf War (First Gulf War)
1994 The Bell Curve published
1997 Dolly the Sheep cloned
2001 September 11 Attacks on World Trace Center, New York City ("9/11")
2003-10 Second Gulf War
20?? Human control over human biological evolution…?