Gabriel Tordjman Darwin's Tea Party Humanities 345-101-MQ

Last Update: 6 September, 2016

Timelines

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:

  1. The GEOLOGICAL TIMESCALE (#1) and
  2. The HUMAN BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION TIMESCALE and
  3. The HUMAN PRE-HISTORY AND HISTORY (HUMAN CULTURAL EVOLUTION ) TIME SCALE (#3)

You should:

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)
I. PREHISTORY
(before history)
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
II. HISTORY
  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)
Scientific Revolution (18th c)
Industrial revolution, (19th c.)
Evolution theory (1859)

  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

  • Continuing biological evolution of hominids up to modern Homo sapiens sapiens.
  • Increasing development of BIOLOGICAL AND PHYSICAL KNOWLEDGE of the social and natural environment as shown by constant improvement of tools & weapons
  • Human Physical and Biological Knowledge transmitted by learning rather than through genes shows increasing importance of CULTURAL EVOLUTION.
2 mya The beginning of human CULTURE (hunter-gatherer cultures). Culture (in the anthropologcal sense) includes "...the sum total of the social habits, beliefs, arts, and institutions of any group of people." (T.H. Greer & G. Lewis, A Brief History of the Western World, p.6n).
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)

4000 BC (=6,000 ya). Agriculture in Middle East leads to emergence of CIVILIZATIONin Mesopotamia(along Tigris and Euphrates rivers). First civilization under Sumerians.

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)
1600-1200 Mycenaean Civilization. Origins of ancient Greek civilization  
1200
Trojan War
(Asia Minor, & Mediterranean)

1100-600
Greek Dark Age   
800
Homer's Odysee & Iliad written down

600-480 Pre-Socratic (Ionian) philosophers. BIRTH OF WESTERN SCIENCE & PHILOSOPHY    (Sought to use reason to understand nature – finding natural causes for natural phenomena)
c. 624-546 BC Thales of Miletus ("father of philosophy"): water basic stuff of the universe.
c. 576-490Xenophanes. Water and earth – basic stuff of the universe. Used evidence of fossils.
c.
480- 420 BC Leucippus of Miletus: " atomos" (indivisible particles) basic stuff of the universe (MATERIALISTPHILOSOPHY). [360 Democritus: extends atomic materialist philosophy to human psyche (mind or soul)]. Motion is due to contact between atoms (MECHANICAL PHILOSOPHY)   
c. 580-490 BC Pythagoras of Samos ("father of mathematics"): number & proportion basis of the universe. Combined science & mysticism.  
  
c. 535-475
Heraclitus
: there is no permanent stuff of the universe, all is process, change, becoming.  
c. 495-435
Empedocles. “Love and Strife” theory. Theory of the elements
.   Guiding Force or logos permeates the universe (anti-materialist philosophy).  
c. 460-370 Hippocrates. “Father of medicine”. Sought natural explanations for illness.

480-338
Classical Greece “Golden Age”
c. 470-399 Socrates. Apostle of Reason. Question accepted ideas – critical thinking.
c. 428-347 Plato. Opposed materialist philosophy. Theory of Forms, Essentialism, biological determinism?
384-322 Aristotle. Opposed materialist philosophy. Teleological concept, “three souls” concept, classification of the biological world, system of logic, man as the “zoon politikon” (rational and social animal).

--- 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

476-1000 AD. European "Dark Ages". Spread of CHRISTIANITY & FEUDALISM throughout Europe
570 Birth of Prophet Mohammad. Origins of
ISLAM
622 Beginning of Expansion of Islam through Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.
709-1492 Islamic (Moorish) Spain
1054 The Great Schism (split between Catholic and Orthodox Christianity)
11th c. Growth of universities and revival of learning

1228-1274
St. Thomas Aquinas and the "Two Truths".
Influence of Aristotle’s teleological ideas.
1346-53 The Black Death (Plague in Europe)
GREAT CHAIN OF BEING concept
Development of
NATURAL THEOLOGY

-- End of Medieval History --

C. Modern History (1450-1945)

Beginning c. 1450 Renaissance in Italy, partial recovery of ancient Greek & Roman learning.
1452 Gutenburg’s Printing Press invented.
1450
Beginning of Protestant Reformation.
1480 Spanish Inquisition begins
1492 Christians re-conquer last remaining Islamic kingdom of Spain (Granada)
1492
Columbus finds continent unknown to Europeans (America), beginning of colonization and slavery in Americas

Revival of slavery (Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade) in the Americas.
Decline of feudalism, development of capitalist economic system

The_Caxton_Celebration_-_William_Caxton_showing_specimens_of_his_printing_to_King_Edward_IV_and_his_Queen

18th century
SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION
(phase I – mathematics, astronomy, physics)

1473-1543 Nicholas Copernicus (Heliocentric theory)   
1596-1650 René Descartes (philosopher of deductive science, mechanistic phil., mind-body dualism)     

1561-1626 Francis Bacon (philosopher of empirical & useful science)   
1564-1642 Galileo Galilei (Telescope, confirms heliocentric theory)   
1642-1727 ISAAC NEWTON (Laws of motion & gravity)

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)
 1823-1884 GREGOR MENDEL (“Father of genetics”)

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)

1960S ERA
Expansion of "the Welfare State" among western countries. Period of "Post war Consensus...".
1954-1975 African-American Civil Rights Movement in
USA, key leader including
Martin Luther King
(1929-1968)
 
1965-1975 Anti-war movement in USA
1960s Sexual Revolution   
1960s Post war economic boom
1969 Woodstock music festival (USA)
1970s Second wave feminist movement   
1975 Vietnam War ends

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…?