Cultural practices among communities have been changing since it wasfirst established by humans. I believe that culture has beenfacilitating their development in the society. The beliefs and valuesmust have begun from one generation and passed on to others who addednew elements and removed others. Which raises the question didculture influence or contribute to the origin of the modern humanbeing? The paper seeks to determine the accuracy of the statement byfirst defining culture and explaining the first hominid to have hadit. It shall then discuss the models and provide the evidence thatexplains the origin of modern humans and conclude by comparing andcontrasting the life ways of the earliest stone tool makers andParanthropus.
What is Culture?Which is the First Hominid to have had it?
My understanding of the term culture is that it refers to the values,beliefs and moral practices of the people. These traits are shared bymembers who belong to a particular community and are unique from therest of the groups in the society. Individuals learn the customs fromtheir parents and relatives and thus shape their behavior, actions,and feelings towards other people.
I believe the first hominid to have had culture is the Homoerectus. Some of the factors that demonstrate the culturalpractices are the shared values that were learned from other speciesand the unique practices that they developed. The Homo erectusdemonstrated common traits that could have been learned from the Homohabilis. The Homo erectus advanced the kind of tools thatthey made by developing new ones such as the hand axes and thecleavers. They had better handles and more sharp at the edge tofacilitate their ease of use as compared to those made by the Homohabilis. One of the unique traits that the group managed todevelop is the use of fire. The Homo erectus invented the fireto beat the cold temperatures and to assist in the preparation oftheir food. This cultural aspect has been shared across variousgenerations since even in today’s society, we use the fire to cookour meals and as a source of warmth. Hence, based on the shared andunique practices, I believe the Homo erectus were the firsthominid to have had culture.
The Origin of theModern Human
I believe the modern human must have originated many years ago inAfrica. This notion arises from the fact that most fossils of theearly man were being discovered in the continent. Besides, the toolsthat enhanced their survival were also found in the region, whichimplies that Africa is indeed the origin of the modern human. One ofthe models that I can use to further explain the concept is thereplacement framework. It states that the people descended frommodern Africa and all others who came from the Homo erectusancestry became extinct. However, the modern man did not settle inAfrica as he migrated across the world resulting in the replacementof the Neandertals with the archaic humans. The framework argumentsappear accurate because some of the fossils appeared to be anenhanced form of the early man, which indicates that the Homoerectus ancestry must have become extinct. The better featuressuch as the enhanced brain size and morphology supports the idea aswell. For instance, the fossils of the modern humans indicate thattheir average brain size was 1350 cc and they had a slender skeletontoo. They also had a sharp rising forehead, a prominent chin, andsmall or absent eyebrow ridges. I believe the modern human wasreferred to as “the clever one” because of their advancedcultural practices and physique such as the large brain size. Theymanaged to develop complex tools from raw materials like bones.
Comparison of theLifeway’s of the Earliest Stone Tool Makers and the Paranthropus
The earliest stone tool makers and the Paranthropus speciesboth lived million years ago. One of the similarities is that theParanthropus might have also been using stone tools just likethe early humans. Their remains have been discovered in layers thatcontain the gadgets and the morphology of their teeth as well as thejaws suggests that they fed on nuts. The stone tools were primarilyused to crack the nuts. Hence, it can be argued that the Paranthropusalso used the Oldowan tools. However, a comparison of the brain sizebetween other early stone tool makers such as the Homo habilisand Paranthropus indicates that the latter had a smallercapacity of 100 ccs than their counterparts who had 680 ccs. Thesmall brain size of the Paranthropus suggests that they couldnot have been involved in the stone tool production. Anotherdistinction is that the Paranthropus hands supported precisiongrasping, unlike the other early stone tool makers who needed thegadgets to process very sturdy plant resources and to hunt animalsfor meat. Hence, since the Paranthropus were vegetarians, theyled a different lifestyle from the early stone tool makers.
In summary, the evolution of humankind appears to have indeed beeninfluenced by culture. The first hominid to have had the standardpractices is the Homo erectus. They learned behavior such as toolmaking and shared the making of fire with other human kinds. Theorigin of modern humans in Africa also reflects their culture. Thelife ways of earliest stone tool makers and Paranthropusdiffer on various levels such as their feeding habits, morphology,and the brain size. However, it is believed they are associated withthe stone tools in one way since their remains were discovered inAfrica.