The big question, how long have humans been on earth? Is a difficult one to answer, yet we attempt to do so, starting with our ancestors who have been around for approximately six million years, yet the modern form of humans evolved only about 200,000 years ago. The society we know is only around 6,000 years old, and industrialization began in the 1800s. While we have been able to accomplish so much in such short time, it also shows we have certain responsibilities as keepers for the planet we live in at the moment.
We cannot understate the effect of how long have humans been on earth. We have been able to continue to exist in different environments all over the world, including the harsh ones like Antarctica. Each year, we destroy forests and other natural areas, driving other species into minor areas or in endangerment, as a result of our need to construct more housing for our growing population.
With 7 billion people on Earth, contamination and pollution from cars and industry’s is a growing element in environmental change — which affects Earth in ways we can’t foresee. However we are already observing the effects of these changes in rising global temperatures and melting glaciers.
How long have humans been on earth? Answer to this is the first concrete linkage to humanity started more or less six million years ago with a group of primate’s called Ardipithecus, as told by the Smithsonian Institution. This Africa based group began the course of walking upright. This was one of the most important developments because it allowed for further free use of hands for working on weaponry, tool-making and other needs for survival.
The museum added that this Australopithecus group took hold between approximately 2 million and 4 million years ago, with the ability to climb trees and walk upright. After that, came the Paranthropus, who existed between 1 million and 3 million years ago approximately. The group is well-known for its large teeth leading to a wider diet.
The museum says, the Homo sapiens group i.e. our own species, arose more than 2 million years ago. They are distinguished by bigger brains, their tool-making and the capability to reach far ahead of Africa. Our species was notable around 200,000 years ago and they managed to thrive and survive in the face of the harsh climate changes at the time. Despite the fact that they started in moderate climates, approximately 60,000 to 80,000 years ago the first humans started wandering off outside the continent in which the Homo species was born.
“This great migration brought our species to a position of world dominance that it has never relinquished,” as per an article in Smithsonian Magazine in 2008, indicating that in the due course we averted the competition (most significantly including Homo erectus and Neanderthals). When the migration completed,” the article continued, “Homo sapiens were the last—and only—men standing.”
Using the understanding of ancient geography and genetic markers, scientists have partly recreated how humans would have made this journey. It’s assumed that the early voyagers of Eurasia went over there by means of the Bab-al-Mandab Strait which now segregates Yemen and Djibouti, as per National Geographic. These people came to India, and by 50,000 years ago, Australia and Southeast Asia.
The magazine added, sometime after that one more group began an expedition across the South-central Asia and Middle East making it possible for them to later reach Asia and Europe. This proved significant for North America, as around 20,000 years ago, a number of of these inhabitants crossed over to that continent by means of a land bridge made by glaciations. Then onwards, colonies were seen in Asia going as far back as approximately 14,000 years ago.