In 1879, German naturalist Ernst Haeckel drew his version of a “Genealogical Tree of Humanity” to show how human beings are related to other species of animals on the earth. The tall, slender, tree rendered by Haeckel has a distinct hierarchy: “monera” or single-celled animals at the bottom, mammals at the top, and at the very peak of the tree is “Man.” This simplified model, with humans shown as the inevitable result of evolutionary progress was taught for years. Now, though, thanks to breakthroughs in archaeology and DNA research, we know our heritage is much, much messier. Elizabeth Sawchuck, Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Mary Prendergrast, Professor of Anthropology at Saint Louis University – Madrid joined the Monday Buzz on January 13, 2020.
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