What were the selection pressures that drove human evolution?

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Offline thedoc

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Guy Stapleton asked the Naked Scientists:
   Human evolution.

Is there a decent explanation somewhere to explain the natural selection of humans from the primate tree? For us to evolve, a combination of mutation and environment factors must have caused selection pressures and we went from tree dwelling, herbivorish semi quadrupeds to ground walking, omnivorish bipeds. Does anyone anywhere effectively explain this transition? I would love a copy of the transcript. I am yet to find a decent one page summary, as most mutations disadvantage any given population and how does spontaneous change in one or two beings carry over to the rest? The chances of this happening and taking hold are remote. Am I meant to suspend my disbelief at this moment and accept the scientific mantra which states that this process is full of chance and mutation - is that it? Is that a good enough explanation? Does Richard Dawkins have something on this maybe? Or does the spontaneous change take hold of a lot of the
 population at once? At the moment, I am mystified.


Guy Stapleton
Science teacher
Melville SHS
Western Australia

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 04/10/2013 08:30:02 by _system »