Can you explain evolution to me?
What do a sparrow of today and a giant dinosaur that became extinct millions of years ago have in common? For a long time it was impossible to imagine that there could be any connection between these animals. But then came a man who was convinced of it: Charles Darwin. More than 200 years ago, on February 12, 1809 to be precise, he was born in England. For his birthday, logo! the famous naturalist.
How did the species come about?
Darwin wanted to know how the different animal and plant species in the world came into being. To find out, the scientist observed the animal world. For example, he described the individual animal species, their appearance and behavior. On a circumnavigation of the world, Darwin also discovered many animals that no one had seen before.
Darwin found that the many different animal species had gradually evolved over millions of years. Darwin called this process "evolution". This is Latin and means "development". The environment changed over time: if there was less food, for example, the animals that could eat other things survived. They multiplied and so gradually different species emerged.
Darwin's teaching created great confusion. Because the Bible says that God created animals and humans. Darwin, on the other hand, claimed that humans evolved from the animal world.
Even if the Church thought Darwin's evolutionary teaching was wrong at the time, today almost everyone, including most church people, agrees: Darwin’s evolutionary teaching is correct and was therefore an incredible discovery for science. Thanks to Darwin, we now know that chimpanzees and humans have common ancestors.
Man is descended from the ape
About seven million years ago there were two species of monkeys in Africa. The chimpanzees evolved from one species and humans from the other over millions of years. Before that, however, the brains of our ape-like ancestors developed over millions of years: little by little, it got bigger and bigger. Our ancestors also learned to walk upright. One of these upright prehistoric men was "homo erectus", which means something like the upright man. 200,000 years ago, "homo sapiens", the knowing man, evolved from his species in Africa. And we belong to this kind. About 80,000 years ago some groups of "homo sapiens" finally left their homeland Africa and gradually settled the rest of the world. People around the world descend from the group who emigrated from Africa at the time.
But what do the sparrows and dinosaurs have in common? They are relatives too! The birds are even more closely related to the dinosaurs than the crocodiles. How so? The crocodiles did not evolve from the dinosaurs but from archosaurs long before there were dinosaurs. The little sparrow, on the other hand, descends directly from the dinosaurs.
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