October 22, 2004

Evolution

This article had many interesting points and several good arguments for his paper. In his paper the author brought forth many ideas that had been fiercely debated by scientists. In his first section the author discussed the theory that our evolutionary path was a “bush” instead of the generally accepted ‘tree” theory. To support this argument he discussed the fact that there were five separate species that developed in Africa. He supported his bush theory by illustrating the fact that these species developed at different times and then migrated, essentially creating evolutionary waves of prehistoric man. Each wave then replaced the succeeding wave. I believe that the author very successfully stated and supported his argument while also refuting the points made by others in the past.
The second argument the author made was relating to the evolution of the species. Some scientists believe that our species developed in three
different continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa; rather than all forming in Africa and spreading outward. To support the point that all species came from Africa he used the findings of a scientific study. The DNA of 42 populations were studied for genetic variations, Populations with the most variations were the oldest since they had the most time for development and variation. In the study 21 of the 24 variations that were found were found in Africa, thus the African populations are the oldest. From this he concluded that the majority of evolutionary advances occurred in Africa.
The final argument that was brought forth was whether or not the modern human was in fact a descendant of the prehistoric Neanderthal. The author sited a study that found huge genetic variations between modern humans and Neanderthals. This variation supported the belief that the two species were actually not directly related; instead Neanderthals were a dead end species.
The author could have used pathos in his article in several places. For example in his introduction, instead of jumping into the debate among scientists he could have appealed to emotions by telling a story. In addition, when the author was discussing the link between modern Homo sapiens and Neanderthals, he could have given it a more human face rather than just the facts. An example of using pathos for the link between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals could be something like the following. Scientists do not believe that the two species united and thus Neanderthals became part of our genetic line. It seems unlikely that a Neanderthal man would wander far from his cave into the harsh elements in search of a companion. Instead this man would have found prehistoric happiness with the Neanderthal woman living in a cave just down the hill.

Posted by firn0004 at October 22, 2004 6:56 PM