There are three main theories of human origin. They are:
Mythical theory: Among traditional communities, different stories of origin are told to the young explaining how members of their community are thought to have come into being.
Creation theory: Christians believe that God created the first human beings whom he named Adam and Eve.
The two got children from whom all the people of the world descended.
This is called “The theory of creation”
Scientists have put forward theories to explain how human beings came into being.
They believe that people developed through a process called evolution.
Evolution is a process of development.
It involves slow change from one stage to another.
The Theory of Evolution was developed by a British scientist called Charles Darwin.
According to Darwin, all living things developed over millions of years from a simple state to their present developed state.
Human beings can learn about evolution by studying the remains of ancient plants and animals that are trapped between layers of rocks and are sometimes exposed by erosion.
Remains of ancient plants and animals are called fossils.
People who study fossils are called archaeologists.
Archaeologists also collect remains of tools or other items that may help to explain how ancient people lived.
They also study rock and cave drawings and paintings made by the ancient people.
From these, they tell for example, if the people were hunters, gatherers or cultivators.
They can also identify the types of animals found during this period.
The Theory of Evolution divides the development of human beings into three main stages.
These stages are also called Stone Ages.
This is because the people used stones to make their tools.
The three stages are:
Also known as the Early Stone Age people.
The early stone age people are believed to be the earliest descendants of human beings.
They are thought to have lived about 20 - 25 million years ago.
Characteristics of Homo Habilis
Below are two images of the Homo Habilis.
Also known as the Middle Stone Age people.
The people who lived in the Middle Stone Age were more developed than those in the early stone age.
They included the Homo Erectus.
Characteristics of Homo Erectus;
Below is an image of a middle stone age man, and some of the tools they used.
Also known as Late Stone Age people. They were more developed and resembled human beings.
Characteristics of Homo Sapiens:
However, they had learned how to;
Below is an image of the Homo Sapien.
Gradually, towards the end of this period, human beings continued to develop.
At this time they began to:
Cave drawings and painting are interpreted by archaeologists to show different economic activities, cultural practices and religious beliefs of people who drew them.
Below is an image of some Homo Sapien art