Thresholds in Human Evolution: From Ape to Artist
Session Chairs - Kathy Schick and Nicholas Toth
This session dealt with the
rise of bipedal hominids, the earliest tool-makers, and the increasing
trend towards cultural complexity and the modern human condition. Topics
discussed include the human palaeontological record, modern
primate analogs, the palaeolithic archaeological record, the molecular
evidence, the origins of art, and the rise of domestication of plants
and animals, sedentism, metallurgy and civilization. These topics
represent critical thresholds in becoming human and reveal the extended
nature of this process and the involvement of major shifts in diverse
domains, including biological structures, molecular evolution, the brain
and cognitive processes, technological developments, aesthetic pursuits,
harnessing of energy resources (food and otherwise), and development
of large-scale, complex societies.
1. Bruce Latimer, Human
paleontologist, Director, Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
“Upstanding Apes: The Rise of
Bipedalism and the Hominid Lineage”
2. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Duane
Rumbaugh, Great Ape Trust of Iowa, Des Moines.
“The Mind of an Ape: What Our Closest
Living Relatives Can Tell Us About the
3. Kathy Schick,
Archaeologist, The Stone Age Institute and Indiana University,
“The Learning Game: The Origins of
4. Nicholas Toth,
archaeologist, The Stone Age Institute and Indiana University,
“Chips off the Old Block: The
Co-Evolution of Human Technology and Biology”
5. Rebecca Cann,
Anthropologist and human geneticist, University of Hawaii, Manoa.
“DNA and Divergence: The Molecular
Evidence for Human Origins”
6. Henry Corning, Artist
and sculptor, Corte Madera, California.
“Symbols in Stone, Bone, and
Clay: The Beginnings of Art”
7. Alan Almquist,
Anthropologist, California State University, Hayward.
“Human Origins and Human
Education: Communicating Palaeoanthropology to
Students and the Public”
8. Paul Wason,
Archaeologist, the John Templeton Foundation.
“The Postglacial World: The
Rise of Farming and Civilization ”