On Our Origin
This chapter begins with a discussion of religious and scientific accounts of the beginning of life. It then considers many other ideas that bear on our evolution and anchor us in the deepest roots of life. The history of our roots, of the frail and hesitant basis of humanity, has strong philosophical and religious implications. The distinction between man and animal does not reside solely in biology. Many specialists have opinions on this subject and can pique the interest of readers, listeners, and viewers for better or worse. The endless clues reported by thousands of detectives rummaging in our distant past allow the popular media to depict the dreams or reality of the extraordinary “transmutation” of animal into human. And everyone always wants to know more, which inspires others to look further for traces that will sustain the dreams. This is why the last few decades have seen increasing introspection on the phenomenon of the humanization of ancestral ape into man.
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