• Question: when was the human race made

    Asked by persionsupreme to Anil, Blanka, Cees, Emma, Mike on 25 Jun 2012. This question was also asked by jacob983, whrhiandchels, whdavandbeat.
    • Photo: Blanka Sengerova

      Blanka Sengerova answered on 25 Jun 2012:

      The human species wasn’t really “made” as such, but humans (Homo sapiens) have evolved from apes and before that other animals. Evolution happens because during the production of gametes (egg and sperm cells) mutations happen in your DNA at random. Sometimes these mutations can lead to a benefit to the carrier of it. If it means it increases their chance of survival, then those carrying a certain mutation will become more prevalent in the population (called survival of the fittest) and eventually it might become the norm. Small mutations are what creates variation within a species and it takes a lot of these before one species becomes a new species – generally we say that a new species has formed when the new and old species cannot interbreed to produce offspring that are then also able to reproduce.

    • Photo: Emma Trantham

      Emma Trantham answered on 26 Jun 2012:

      That’s actually a really tricky question because as Blanka said, humans have evolved into humans over millions of years.

      If we look only at Homo sapiens then the earliest remains we’ve found of humans is from 200 thousand years ago (I had to do some reading because I’m not very good at remembering these sorts of numbers!)