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The author of the article states that the evolution process of human being started roughly three million years ago in the East African region. I tend to disagree that evolution of human beings started in the East African region. This is because; numerous scientific and archeological studies indicate that pre-human remains have also been discovered in other parts of the world apart from the East African regions (Boeree). According to Boeree, remains of what archeologists refer to Homo erectus were found in some parts of Asia, and Europe. In fact, Boeree states that archeological findings indicate that Homo erectus inhabited in these areas as well. Some scientists argue that Homo erectus migrated from East Africa to these areas. However, this might not be true because, according to the author of the article, the pre-humans were the most defenseless prey on earth during that time. Bearing in mind that the distance between East Africa and Europe, and Asia is very big, one may wonder how the said defenseless prey was able to transverse through the thick tropical forests of the South West Africa, Asia, and Australia without being killed by the tropical predators, which inhabit in these forests. Moreover, there are numerous water bodies, which separate the African continent with other continents of the world. Therefore, it would have been difficult for the pre-humans to migrate from East Africa to far places such as Asia and Europe. Therefore, pre-human materials discovered in places such as Asia and Europe belonged to the pre-humans who inhibited those areas since the beginning of evolution. For this reason, evolution of human beings did not only start in East Africa, but was also present in other parts of the world.
According to the author, our pre-human ancestors went from among the weakest, defenseless prey on the East African savanna to the predatory terror of the world, all in an interval of perhaps a million years (Davenport). I tend to agree with the author’s statement that pre-humans were the most defenseless prey during that time. This is because, even in the current world, if a human being were left unarmed in the middle of a forest inhabited by predator animals, he would still be the weakest prey. It would be very hard for a normal human being to survive in a jungle, where there are numerous predators such as leopards, lions, hyenas, and cheetahs.
However, one may wonder how the pre-humans were able to survive in the said thick tropical forests of East Africa, without facing extinction due to predation by the predators. In fact, during that time, the number of wild animals was bigger than what we have today. Since the pre-humans were not armed, and they did not engage in human activities such as cultivation and building of houses, which threaten their survival, then their number was huge as opposed to that of the pre-humans. Even though the author states that the pre-humans had a larger brain as compared to that of ground predators, which assisted them to process critical visual input and do complex body movements, it would still be hard for the pre-human primates to survive the large number of predators during that time. I believe even the current human beings have larger brain than wild animals. However, as earlier mentioned, it would be hard for an unarmed human being to survive in a forest inhabited by predator animals for more than a day.
The author indicates that evolution of pre-human primates was driven by change of climate in the East African region: from tropical forests to savanna grasslands. As much as the author want to indicate that the climate of the East African region is characterized by savanna grasslands, this might not be true. Only a third (or less) of the East African region possesses this kind of climatic conditions. There are numerous highlands in the East Africa whose climate is very wet. These areas are covered by thick forests. In fact, predators such as lions, cheetahs, and leopards are not found in wet areas. They are commonly found in dry areas such as the Mara and the Tsavo regions of East Africa. Therefore, by arguing that the pre-human primates underwent the evolution process in order to survive the climatic transition that was taking place, the author might be wrong. If the East Africa region underwent climatic change from wet tropical climate to arid and semi-arid climatic conditions, then the whole of the East African region would be covered with savanna grasslands. However, this is not the case since only a few areas in East Africa have climatic characteristics of arid and semi-arid areas.
The author also indicates that one of the survival tactics that the pre-human primates developed in order to survive predations was the sweating technique. The author states that evaporation of the sweat cooled their bodies and delayed heat collapse, when their predators were chasing them (Davenport). Here, the author implies that sweating is not a natural metabolic activity, but rather, it was developed in humans through evolution. However, this might not be true because human beings sweat even when they are resting, or not engaging in any strenuous activities. In fact, even infants sweat during their first days of life. If humans really evolved the ability to sweat as a tactic of preventing them from collapsing when running, then we would only be sweating when running. However, this is not so. We sweat on daily basis, even when we are asleep. In fact, scientists in the medical field argue that sweating is one of the important biological processes that our bodies must undergo. It helps in removal of toxic substances from our bodies, hence purification of the body fluids.
There is another instance where the author asks if it is by accident that a runner with East African roots owns every world record in distance running events today. The answer to the author’s question is that apparently, this is just coincidental. These world record holders undergo a lot of training and exercises for them to be able to run the way they do. Moreover, not every world record holder in running events has East African roots. We have world record holders in running events who are whites. Additionally, other sporting events, which involve running such as football, basketball, and cricket, have their records held by individuals who do not have East African roots. Therefore, the ability to run for long distances or faster does not depend on the origin of an individual. It is something that any individual can undertake as long as he/she does enough exercises and training.
In my opinion, the author should have been more specific while referring to the climatic changes that took place in the East African region. I do not think that every part of East Africa region underwent the said climatic change. This is because we still have very wet areas and very dry areas within the region. Moreover, other areas in the region are semi-arid. If climatic change took place in East Africa, then many areas in this region would have been savanna grasslands as implied by the author. Additionally, archeological findings concerning pre-human remains were discovered in specific areas within the East Africa region. In fact, all pre-human remains were discovered in the semi-arid areas within the region. This implies that perhaps the kind of evolution that took place among the pre-human primates was specific to those areas. Therefore, the author should have given more information concerning the specific areas where the said evolution of pre-humans took place in East Africa.