According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future
aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater
Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma
It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds
assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

Sunday, April 11, 2021

R.E. Slater - The Birth & Death of God

 


The Birth & Death of God

by R.E. Slater


"They spoke death to me during the day.
They spoke death to me in the night.
God spare me the Great Corruption.
Let me speak life and light."- res


"God is love," I said,

But God must condemn!

"God is love," I said,

But God must hate!

"God is love," I said,

But God must kill!

"God is love," I said,

But there must be justice!

"Then God must be dead,

And we have killed Him."


             . . .



Be careful how you birth

God to the world;

What you birth may bring

Beauty or destruction,

Salvation or death.

Let God love and be love,

All other loves are death.


R.E. Slater
April 11, 2021

@copyright R.E. Slater Publications
all rights reserved
 
Notice what the “death of God” means in the chiasm: God dies unless we come to God’s aid and let God be God in our lives. What has been traditionally called death of God theology is a headline grabber but it is a misleading misnomer—it should have been called the birth of God…
That is why I never speak of the death of God but of the birth of God or the desire for God... God is what God does, and what God does is what is done in the name of God, which is the birth of God in the world.
- Jack Caputo (Biography; Books) 






Friday, April 9, 2021

The Politics of Love in an Age of Qanon


Why So Many QAnon Believers Are Evangelical Christians
April 5, 2021



The Politics of Love in an Age of Qanon

by R.E. Slater

The Qanonny mess hasn't left the evangelical church. Listening to Fox News 14 hours a day vs. the local church pastor speaking for 1 hour a week doesn't begin to compensate for the disinformation Fox is broadcasting into the ears of the willing believer. Which is a shame because many good pastors have attempted to re-right Christian messaging but cannot succeed given the daily orations of lies and propaganda by rightwing media.

  

I grew up inside of Christian fundamentalism familiar with the Scottish theologian John Darby's bible hermeneutic, Dispensationalism. Had read about all America's past reformational movements over the years. And understood how this socio-religious form of church history would later captivate church audiences under the Billy Graham era and become popularised in books like Hal Lindsey's "Late Great Planet Earth," and Tim LaHaye's "Left Behind Series."


In my university years I had joined Campus Crusade for a few years. Here to was another evangelical organization preaching "End Times" watch-and-wait jargon. The better chapters, like my own campus group, wrapped it in God's Love. But even the Evangelical Christian church which I began going to had matriculated from Johnathan Edward's phrase "sinner's in the hands of an angry God" to John Piper's "the end of the world has come and all is doomed" phraseology.




Which, at this point, left me needing a newer Christian message made all-the-more-true based upon the love of God - and against all the wrongheaded teachings of an angry God waiting to wipe us out. I also needed a bible and a Christian gospel pointing to loving one another by reclaiming this earth and human society by active socio-economic messaging of healing, equality, and justice. Where God's love could be visualized through new human relationships with one another.


Another Christian message I longed to hear was to lean into this world to redeem it in some fashion rather than to wait outside of it, hating it, fearing it, and praying for its destruction by God's end times judgment. Nietzsche in many ways had it right when saying "We have killed God." Whenever we chose to hate (or do nothing) rather than to love one another by our words and deeds, God is made dead to those needing God's love.

Bad preachers and bad politicians have picked up on this alt-message of the church using the Lord's congregations shamelessly for their own ends as well as to the end of a civil American democracy. They are false preachers, wolves in sheep's clothing, and anti-christs all. And they are to be removed from our hearts and ears by simply turning of  their unloving, unChristian libel.

So let bad evangelicalism die... and with it the church's errant theologies speaking doom and judgment rather than love and beauty. The church must be at the vanguard of expressing an open and expanding democracy to its fullest. By embracing the love of God in all that it can mean to a society. By driving forward in embracing ecological civilizations centered in social and environmental justice.

This actions are necessary now. We cannot wait around for the Lord's coming to do what is right. God has already come in Christ... what more needs to be done but to take God's atoning redemption and apply it right quick into the lives of men and women??

These, among other humanitarian movements, are much better end-time theologies to be believed and promoted and wrapped around the love of God. And why? Because the church has reoriented its beliefs and preachings around the love of God rather than the doom of God.


Moreover, as a more proper evangelical gospel emphasizing God's love over doom we may now speak into the meaning and purpose of individual lives. Why one might get out of bed everyday and have a purpose to make the world a better place against all the awfulness it seems to dwell upon.

Love is a patient, powerful force. How do I know? Because of God's portrayal of Himself in Jesus on this earth as God served and taught. And because of the loving sacrifice of God's Self upon the Cross of Calvary. His one real opponent other than sin and the devil were religious people with religious beliefs obscuring God's love by religious codes, rites, and dictum. I'm afraid today's Christian Church has been doing the same - to which Jesus was none too kind when speaking to the religious leaders and beliefs of His day.

The judgment of God is that we have taken His love and buried it in the ground rather than to internalize it and broadcast it out as a farmer would his purchased seed in order to raise new crops.

The Christian church is thereby judged for its ill-usage of the gospel of God. NOT the world for which God came to serve and to save.

God loves in all ways... think on these things and foreswear the duplicity of any politician or preacher not working for the good of humanity. Even as God is loving the world through His Holy Spirit and is working ever-and-always to redeem the world in everyway possible.

Peace, my friends,

R.E. Slater
April 9, 2021

1 John 3 (the literal bible)

1See what love the Father has given to us, that we may be called children of God; because of this the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2Beloved, now, we are children of God, and it was not yet revealed what we will be. We have known that if He may have appeared, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is; 3and everyone who is having this hope on Him, purifies himself, even as He is pure.

4Everyone who is doing sin, he also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness, 5and you have known that He appeared that He may take away our sins, and sin is not in Him; 6everyone who is remaining in Him does not sin; everyone who is sinning, has not seen Him, nor known Him. 7Little children, let no one lead you astray; he who is doing righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous, 8he who is doing sin, he is of the Devil, because the Devil sins from the beginning; for this [reason] the Son of God appeared, that He may undo the works of the Devil; 9everyone who has been begotten of God, he does not sin, because His seed remains in him, and he is not able to sin, because he has been begotten of God. 10In this are revealed the children of God, and the children of the Devil; everyone who is not doing righteousness, is not of God, and he who is not loving his brother,

11because this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we may love one another, 12not as Cain—he was of the evil one, and he slew his brother. And for [what] reason did he slay him? Because his works were evil, and those of his brother [were] righteous.

13Do not wonder, my brothers, if the world hates you; 14we have known that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers; he who is not loving [his] brother remains in death. 15Everyone who is hating his brother is a manslayer, and you have known that no manslayer has continuous life remaining in him; 16in this we have known love, because He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brothers; 17and whoever may have the goods of the world, and may view his brother having need, and may shut up his yearnings from him—how does the love of God remain in him? 18My little children, may we not love in word nor in tongue, but in work and in truth! 19And in this we know that we are of the truth, and before Him we will assure our hearts, 20because if our heart may condemn—because greater is God than our heart, and He knows all things. 21Beloved, if our heart may not condemn us, we have boldness toward God, 22and whatever we may ask, we receive from Him, because we keep His commands, and we do the things pleasing before Him,

23and this is His command, that we may believe in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ, and may love one another, even as He gave command to us, 24and he who is keeping His commands, remains in Him, and He in him; and in this we know that He remains in us, from the Spirit that He gave us.





Sunday, April 4, 2021

R.E. Slater - Ruptured Soils

 


Ruptured Soils

by R.E. Slater


As cold, dark earth must yield,
    to warmth and new life,
Even so does Jesus' Resurrection rupture,
    the broken soils of darkened hearts.
In whom death has been defeated,
    darkness disspelt, and
New life in God's love made alive,
    birthing beauty from old.

Jesus' death and resurrection,
    celebrates all who we are,
Embracing darkness and death,
    before arising, breaking forth.
Bursting the tired bonds of earth's
    unyielding fellowships,
In resurrecting power from death
    to life, by God's renewing Spirit.

We, who are the healed, the delivered,
    from the cold soils of bondage,
Who must shout, who must rejoice,
    "Jesus is Risen!"
Washed in Holy Spirit power,
    raised from creation's cradle,
In whom all our yesterdays, todays, and
    forevers, rise before Calvary's Cross.


R.E. Slater
Easter Sunday
April 4, 2021


@copyright R.E. Slater Publications
all rights reserved




Friday, April 2, 2021

The Evolution of Man in Process Terms of Biblical Import


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Occasionally I like to update myself and Christian readers with developments in the anthropological world of human evolution. I find it helpful to remember how the human species fits in with the larger evolutionary history of the world as we push forward into a number of areas including:

1. Cosmo-evolutionary societies and civilizations

2. Process-based evolutionary thought, and when

3. Reading of the Genesis story in the bible.

 

All of which are to remind us that God, creation, man, sin, and salvation have actual theological roots in the process world of evolution:

  • That when reading the bible we need to remind ourselves that a literal reading of Hebraic legends are not factual but are culturally constructed narratives through recitation of oral histories at the time giving that part of the Semetic world its own separate identity of who they are and where they are going.
  • That we we cannot dismiss the "process complexity" of evolutionary creation but that we can praise God who created us and the heavens around us for the wonder of its beauty and novelty set within a highly relational cosmos.
  • And lastly, that when discussing origins, or free will agency, in process theological terms that biblical observations of sin and temptation are no less than what they are in the real world. That a process-based creation strives within itself to be in fellowship with its Creator God at all times even as it exercise agency at all times.

Yes, the language changes but not the concepts. The forms change but not the observations that Christ came into this world to save us not only from our sins BUT that creation and man become fully who we were made to be in the fullness of the Godhead. In God's beauty and love, wholeness and fellowship.

In these observations then a process-based world of evolution is no less biblical than the Hebraic world of creational stories meant to provide godly (theistic) identity, wellbeing, and purpose. Each projection attempts to achieve the same ends regardless of the temporal society it was spoken in.

Blessings,

R.E. Slater
April 2, 2021

As an aside, I posted this article on Good Friday of Easter Weekend. In my comments I would like to remind fellow Christians of the following truths:

"Today is Good Friday and the start of Easter Weekend. What better time to explore man's evolutionary origins than now. The Christian observation of salvific "Death and Resurrection" is as true now as it was at the creation of the heavens and earth by the Lord God of Creation. Cosmic, Geologic, and Biologic death and resurrection are all process pictures of Christ's death and resurrection. All of salvation history is written in terms of death and resurrection. As in evolutionary history so too in God's usage of death and resurrection in the life of Jesus. Who is Savior no less to man than He is to all of creation. The cycles (motifs) of death and resurrection are important process cycles all creation is familiar with. It was from within the very processes themselves wherein God gave new hope to all things living and non-living. That creation may rejoin with its purpose of loving wellbeing, novelty, and reformation forever and ever and ever because of Jesus' death and resurrection which we remember this weekend." - re slater


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HELPFUL ILLUSTRATIONS

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New discoveries fundamentally change the
picture of human evolution in Africa

by Katie Hunt, CNN
Wed March 31, 2021

Archaeological excavations at Ga-Mohana Hill North Rockshelter, where crystals and other early evidence for complex behaviors among early Homo sapiens was discovered:


(CNN)The story of humankind's origins was thought to have largely unfolded in a cave with a sea view.

The earliest evidence suggesting that modern humans were capable of symbolic thought and complex behavior -- the use of ochre pigments paint and decorative items -- comes from coastal sites in Africa that date back to around 70,000 to 125,000 years ago. These types of objects give us insights into the human mind because they suggest a shared identity.

Archeologists had assumed that many of the innovations and skills that make Homo sapiens unique evolved in groups living by the coast before spreading inland. Predictable marine resources like shell fish and a more forgiving climate may have allowed more early humans in these areas to thrive. Plus a diet rich in sea food, which contains omega-3 fatty acids that are important for brain growth, may also have played a role in the evolution of the brain and human behavior.

However, new discoveries 600 kilometers (about 370 miles) inland in the southern Kalahari Desert contradict that view, and a new study suggests that early modern humans living in this region did not lag behind their counterparts living on the coast.

Crystals collected by early Homo sapiens in the southern Kalahari Desert 105,000 years ago.

Some 22 calcite crystals and fragments of ostrich shell -- found in the Ga-Mohana Hill North Rockshelter in South Africa and dated to approximately 105,000 years ago -- are thought to have been deliberately collected and brought to the site. The crystals serve no obvious purpose, and the researchers suggested that the ostrich shells could have been used as a water bottle.

"They're really well-formed, white and visually striking and lovely. Crystals around the world are really important for spiritual and ritual reasons in different time periods and different places," said Jayne Wilkins, a palaeoarchaeologist at the Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, and lead author of the study that published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

"We tried really hard to find out whether or not natural processes could explain how they got into the archeological deposits but there isn't an explanation. People must have brought them to the site."

Wilkins said that in light of these findings, ideas linking the emergence of Homo sapiens and coastal environments "needed to be rethought." She suggested that humans' origin story was more complex, involving different places and environments in Africa and different groups of early people interacting with one another and contributing to the emergence of our species.

"Before this, the Kalahari was not considered an important region for understanding the origins of complex Homo sapiens behaviors, but our work shows that it is. Ultimately, this means that models that focus on one single origin center, like the coast of South Africa, are too simplistic," she told CNN in an email.

Pamela Willoughby, a professor in the anthropology department at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, who was not involved in the research, agreed with this assessment.

A calcite crystal being excavated from 105,000-year-old deposits at Ga-Mohana Hill North Rockshelter.

"The objects they found suggest it is time to revise current thinking about the emergence of cultural innovations among early human populations," she said in a commentary that was published alongside the study.

The climate in the Kalahari 100,000 years ago would have been much different than the arid place it is now.

The newly uncovered artifacts would have been in human hands at a time of increased rainfall. The researchers said that the greater availability of water might have led to greater population densities, which could have influenced the origin and spread of innovative behavior.

Willoughby said that part of the problem in untangling the complex story of human origins is that only a few African regions have been studied in detail.

She said that the fossil record in Africa "now indicates that there does not seem to be any single pattern of technological and social development over time. Initiating surveys and excavations of lesser-known areas will help to clarify what it was that made our immediate ancestors truly modern, both biologically and culturally."


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RELATED ARTICLES





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Australopithecus (/ˌɒstrələˈpɪθɪkəs/, OS-trə-lə-PITH-i-kəs;[1] from Latin australis 'southern', and Greek πίθηκος (pithekos) 'ape'; singular: australopith) is a genus of early hominins that existed in Africa during the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. The genera Homo (which includes modern humans), Paranthropus, and Kenyanthropus evolved from Australopithecus. Australopithecus is a member of the subtribe Australopithecina,[2][3] which also includes Ardipithecus,[4] though the term "australopithecine" is sometimes used to refer only to members of Australopithecus. Species include A. garhi, A. africanus, A. sediba, A. afarensis, A. anamensis, A. bahrelghazali and A. deyiremeda. Debate exists as to whether some Australopithecus species should be reclassified into new genera, or if Paranthropus and Kenyanthropus are synonymous with Australopithecus, in part because of the taxonomic inconsistency.[5][6]

The earliest known member of the genus, A. anamensis, existed in eastern Africa around 4.2 million years ago. Australopithecus fossils become more widely dispersed throughout eastern and southern Africa (the Chadian A. bahrelghazali indicates the genus was much more widespread than the fossil record suggests), before eventually becoming extinct 1.9 million years ago (or 1.2 to 0.6 million years ago if Paranthropus is included). While none of the groups normally directly assigned to this group survived, Australopithecus gave rise to living descendants, as the genus Homo emerged from an Australopithecus species[5][7][8][9][10] at some time between 3 and 2 million years ago.[11]

Australopithecus possessed two of three duplicated genes derived from SRGAP2 roughly 3.4 and 2.4 million years ago (SRGAP2B and SRGAP2C), the second of which contributed to the increase in number and migration of neurons in the human brain.[12][13] Significant changes to the hand first appear in the fossil record of later A. afarensis about 3 million years ago (fingers shortened relative to thumb and changes to the joints between the index finger and the trapezium and capitate).[14]

Scientific classificatione
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Primates
Suborder:Haplorhini
Infraorder:Simiiformes
Parvorder:Catarrhini
Superfamily:Hominoidea
Family:Hominidae

Wikipedia - Ape

Apes (Hominoidea /hɒmɪˈnɔɪdiːə/) are a branch of Old World tailless simians native to Africa and Southeast Asia. They are the sister group of the Old World monkeys, together forming the catarrhine clade. They are distinguished from other primates by a wider degree of freedom of motion at the shoulder joint as evolved by the influence of brachiation. In traditional and non-scientific use, the term "ape" excludes humans, and can include tailless primates taxonomically considered monkeys (such as the Barbary ape and black ape), and is thus not equivalent to the scientific taxon Hominoidea. There are two extant branches of the superfamily Hominoidea: the gibbons, or lesser apes; and the hominids, or great apes.

  • The family Hylobatidae, the lesser apes, include four genera and a total of sixteen species of gibbon, including the lar gibbon and the siamang, all native to Asia. They are highly arboreal and bipedal on the ground. They have lighter bodies and smaller social groups than great apes.

Except for gorillas and humans, hominoids are agile climbers of trees. Apes eat a variety of plant and animal foods, with the majority of food being plant foods, which can include fruit, leaves, stalks, roots and seeds, including nuts and grass seeds. Human diets are sometimes substantially different from that of other hominoids due in part to the development of technology and a wide range of habitation. Humans are by far the most numerous of the hominoid species, in fact outnumbering all other primates by a factor of several thousand to one.

Most non-human hominoids are rare or endangered. The chief threat to most of the endangered species is loss of tropical rainforest habitat, though some populations are further imperiled by hunting for bushmeat. The great apes of Africa are also facing threat from the Ebola virus. Currently considered to be the greatest threat to survival of African apes, Ebola infection is responsible for the death of at least one third of all gorillas and chimpanzees since 1990.[4]


In the early Miocene, about 22 million years ago, there were many species of arboreally adapted primitive catarrhines from East Africa; the variety suggests a long history of prior diversification. Fossils at 20 million years ago include fragments attributed to Victoriapithecus, the earliest Old World monkey. Among the genera thought to be in the ape lineage leading up to 13 million years ago are Proconsul, Rangwapithecus, Dendropithecus, Limnopithecus, Nacholapithecus, Equatorius, Nyanzapithecus, Afropithecus, Heliopithecus, and Kenyapithecus, all from East Africa.

At sites far distant from East Africa, the presence of other generalized non-cercopithecids, that is, non-monkey primates, of middle Miocene age—Otavipithecus from cave deposits in Namibia, and Pierolapithecus and Dryopithecus from France, Spain and Austria—is further evidence of a wide diversity of ancestral ape forms across Africa and the Mediterranean basin during the relatively warm and equable climatic regimes of the early and middle Miocene. The most recent of these far-flung Miocene apes (hominoids) is Oreopithecus, from the fossil-rich coal beds in northern Italy and dated to 9 million years ago.

Molecular evidence indicates that the lineage of gibbons (family Hylobatidae), the "lesser apes", diverged from that of the great apes some 18–12 million years ago, and that of orangutans (subfamily Ponginae) diverged from the other great apes at about 12 million years. There are no fossils that clearly document the ancestry of gibbons, which may have originated in a still-unknown South East Asian hominoid population; but fossil proto-orangutans, dated to around 10 million years ago, may be represented by Sivapithecus from India and Griphopithecus from Turkey.[10] Species close to the last common ancestor of gorillas, chimpanzees and humans may be represented by Nakalipithecus fossils found in Kenya and Ouranopithecus found in Greece. Molecular evidence suggests that between 8 and 4 million years ago, first the gorillas (genus Gorilla), and then the chimpanzees (genus Pan) split off from the line leading to the humans. Human DNA is approximately 98.4% identical to that of chimpanzees when comparing single nucleotide polymorphisms (see human evolutionary genetics).[11] The fossil record, however, of gorillas and chimpanzees is limited; both poor preservation—rain forest soils tend to be acidic and dissolve bone—and sampling bias probably contribute most to this problem.

Other hominins probably adapted to the drier environments outside the African equatorial belt; and there they encountered antelope, hyenas, elephants and other forms becoming adapted to surviving in the East African savannas, particularly the regions of the Sahel and the Serengeti. The wet equatorial belt contracted after about 8 million years ago, and there is very little fossil evidence for the divergence of the hominin lineage from that of gorillas and chimpanzees—which split was thought to have occurred around that time. The earliest fossils argued by some to belong to the human lineage are Sahelanthropus tchadensis (7 Ma) and Orrorin tugenensis (6 Ma), followed by Ardipithecus (5.5–4.4 Ma), with species Ar. kadabba and Ar. ramidus.

TAXONOMY

Terminology
Humans are one of the four extant hominid genera.

The classification of the great apes has been revised several times in the last few decades; these revisions have led to a varied use of the word "hominid" over time. The original meaning of the term referred to only humans and their closest relatives—what is now the modern meaning of the term "hominin". The meaning of the taxon Hominidae changed gradually, leading to a modern usage of "hominid" that includes all the great apes including humans.

A number of very similar words apply to related classifications:
  • A hominoid, sometimes called an ape, is a member of the superfamily Hominoidea: extant members are the gibbons (lesser apes, family Hylobatidae) and the hominids.
  • A hominid is a member of the family Hominidae, the great apes: orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees and humans.
  • A hominine is a member of the subfamily Homininae: gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans (excludes orangutans).
  • A hominin is a member of the tribe Hominini: chimpanzees and humans.[12]
  • A homininan, following a suggestion by Wood and Richmond (2000), would be a member of the subtribe Hominina of the tribe Hominini: that is, modern humans and their closest relatives, including Australopithecina, but excluding chimpanzees.[13][14]
  • A human is a member of the genus Homo, of which Homo sapiens is the only extant species, and within that Homo sapiens sapiens is the only surviving subspecies.



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 The Hominini form a taxonomic tribe of the subfamily Homininae ("hominines"). Hominini includes the extant genera Homo (humans) and Pan (chimpanzees and bonobos), but excludes the genus Gorilla (gorillas).

The term was originally introduced by Camille Arambourg (1948). Arambourg combined the categories of Hominina and Simiina due to Gray (1825) into his new subtribe. This definition is still adhered to in the proposal by Mann and Weiss (1996), which divides Hominini into three subtribes, Panina (containing Pan), Hominina ("homininans", containing Homo "humans"), and Australopithecina (containing several extinct "australopithecine" genera).[2]

Alternatively, Hominini is taken to exclude Pan. In this case, Panini ("panins", Delson 1977)[3] may refer to the tribe containing Pan as its only genus.[4][5] Or perhaps place Pan with other dryopithecine genera, making the whole tribe or subtribe of Panini or Panina together.

Minority dissenting nomenclatures include Gorilla in Hominini and Pan in Homo (Goodman et al. 1998), or both Pan and Gorilla in Homo (Watson et al. 2001).

Terminology and definition
Further information: Human taxonomy

By convention, the adjectival term "hominin" (or nominalized "hominins") refers to the tribe Hominini, while the members of the subtribe Hominina (and thus all archaic human species) are referred to as "homininan" ("homininans").[6] This follows the proposal by Mann and Weiss (1996), which presents tribe Hominini as including both Pan and Homo, placed in separate subtribes. The genus Pan is referred to subtribe Panina, and genus Homo is included in the subtribe Hominina (see above).[2] However, there is an alternative convention which uses "hominin" to exclude members of Panina, i.e. either just for Homo or for both human and australopithecine species. This alternative convention is referenced in e.g. Coyne (2009)[7] and in Dunbar (2014).[5] Potts (2010) in addition uses the name Hominini in a different sense, as excluding Pan, and uses "hominins" for this, while a separate tribe (rather than subtribe) for chimpanzees is introduced, under the name Panini.[4] In this recent convention, contra Arambourg, the term "hominin" is applied to Homo, Australopithecus, Ardipithecus, and others that arose after the split from the line that led to chimpanzees (see cladogram below);[8][9] that is, they distinguish fossil members on the human side of the split, as "hominins", from those on the chimpanzee side, as "not hominins" (or "non-hominin hominids").[7]

Cladogram

This cladogram shows the clade of superfamily Hominoidea and its descendent clades, focussed on the division of Hominini (omitting detail on clades not ancestral to Hominini). The family Hominidae ("hominids") comprises the tribes Ponginae (including orangutans), Gorillini (including gorillas) and Hominini, the latter two forming the subfamily of Homininae. Hominini is divided into Panina (chimpanzees) and Australopithecina (australopithecines). The Hominina (humans) are usually held to have emerged within the Australopithecina (which would roughly correspond to the alternative definition of Hominini according to the alternative definition which excludes Pan).

Genetic analysis combined with fossil evidence indicates that hominoids diverged from the Old World monkeys about 25 million years ago (Mya), near the Oligocene-Miocene boundary.[10] The most recent common ancestors (MRCA) of the subfamilies Homininae and Ponginae lived about 15 million years ago.[11] In the following cladogram, the approximate time the clades radiated newer clades is indicated in millions of years ago (Mya).

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Evolutionary history
Further information: Chimpanzee–human last common ancestor
Model of the phylogeny of Hominini over the past 10 million years.

Both Sahelanthropus and Orrorin existed during the estimated duration of the ancestral chimpanzee-human speciation events, within the range of eight to four million years ago (Mya). Very few fossil specimens have been found that can be considered directly ancestral to genus Pan. News of the first fossil chimpanzee, found in Kenya, was published in 2005. However, it is dated to very recent times—between 545 and 284 thousand years ago.[12] The divergence of a "proto-human" or "pre-human" lineage separate from Pan appears to have been a process of complex speciation-hybridization rather than a clean split, taking place over the period of anywhere between 13 Mya (close to the age of the tribe Hominini itself) and some 4 Mya. Different chromosomes appear to have split at different times, with broad-scale hybridization activity occurring between the two emerging lineages as late as the period 6.3 to 5.4 Mya, according to Patterson et al. (2006),[13] This research group noted that one hypothetical late hybridization period was based in particular on the similarity of X chromosomes in the proto-humans and stem chimpanzees, suggesting that the final divergence was even as recent as 4 Mya. Wakeley (2008) rejected these hypotheses; he suggested alternative explanations, including selection pressure on the X chromosome in the ancestral populations prior to the chimpanzee–human last common ancestor (CHLCA).[14]

Most DNA studies find that humans and Pan are 99% identical,[15][16] but one study found only 94% commonality, with some of the difference occurring in noncoding DNA.[17] It is most likely that the australopithecines, dating from 4.4 to 3 Mya, evolved into the earliest members of genus Homo.[18][19] In the year 2000, the discovery of Orrorin tugenensis, dated as early as 6.2 Mya, briefly challenged critical elements of that hypothesis,[20] as it suggested that Homo did not in fact derive from australopithecine ancestors.[21] All the listed fossil genera are evaluated for:
  1. probability of being ancestral to Homo, and
  2. whether they are more closely related to Homo than to any other living primate—two traits that could identify them as hominins.
Some, including Paranthropus, Ardipithecus, and Australopithecus, are broadly thought to be ancestral and closely related to Homo;[22] others, especially earlier genera, including Sahelanthropus (and perhaps Orrorin), are supported by one community of scientists but doubted by another.[23][24]
Scientific classificatione
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Primates
Suborder:Haplorhini
Infraorder:Simiiformes
Family:Hominidae
Subfamily:Homininae
Tribe:Hominini
Genus:Homo


Homo (from Latin homō 'man') is the genus that emerged in the (otherwise extinct) genus Australopithecus that encompasses the extant species Homo sapiens (modern humans), plus several extinct species classified as either ancestral to or closely related to modern humans (depending on the species), most notably Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis. The genus emerged with the appearance of Homo habilis just over 2 million years ago.[1] Homo, together with the genus Paranthropus, is probably sister to Australopithecus africanus, which itself had previously split from the lineage of Pan, the chimpanzees.[2][3]

Homo erectus appeared about 2 million years ago and, in several early migrations, spread throughout Africa (where it is dubbed Homo ergaster) and Eurasia. It was likely the first human species to live in a hunter-gatherer society and to control fire. An adaptive and successful species, Homo erectus persisted for more than a million years and gradually diverged into new species by around 500,000 years ago.[4]

Homo sapiens (anatomically modern humans) emerged close to 300,000 to 200,000 years ago,[5] most likely in Africa, and Homo neanderthalensis emerged at around the same time in Europe and Western Asia. H. sapiens dispersed from Africa in several waves, from possibly as early as 250,000 years ago, and certainly by 130,000 years ago, the so-called Southern Dispersal beginning about 70–50,000 years ago[6][7][8][9] leading to the lasting colonisation of Eurasia and Oceania by 50,000 years ago. Both in Africa and Eurasia, H. sapiens met with and interbred with[10][11] archaic humans. Separate archaic (non-sapiens) human species are thought to have survived until around 40,000 years ago (Neanderthal extinction), with possible late survival of hybrid species as late as 12,000 years ago (Red Deer Cave people).

Names and taxonomy
Evolutionary tree chart emphasizing the subfamily Homininae and the tribe Hominini. After diverging from the line to Ponginae the early Homininae split into the tribes Hominini and Gorillini. The early Hominini split further, separating the line to Homo from the lineage of Pan. Currently, tribe Hominini designates the subtribes Hominina, containing genus HomoPanina, genus Pan; and Australopithecina, with several extinct genera—the subtribes are not labelled on this chart.
A model of the evolution of the genus Homo over the last 2 million years (vertical axis). The rapid "Out of Africa" expansion of H. sapiens is indicated at the top of the diagram, with admixture indicated with Neanderthals, Denisovans, and unspecified archaic African hominins. Late survival of robust australopithecines (Paranthropus) alongside Homo until 1.2 Mya is indicated in purple.

Main articles: Human taxonomy and Names for the human species

See Homininae for an overview of taxonomy.

The Latin noun homō (genitive hominis) means "human being" or "man" in the generic sense of "human being, mankind".[a] The binomial name Homo sapiens was coined by Carl Linnaeus (1758).[13][b] Names for other species of the genus were introduced beginning in the second half of the 19th century (H. neanderthalensis 1864, H. erectus 1892).

Even today, the genus Homo has not been strictly defined.[15][16][17] Since the early human fossil record began to slowly emerge from the earth, the boundaries and definitions of the genus Homo have been poorly defined and constantly in flux. Because there was no reason to think it would ever have any additional members, Carl Linnaeus did not even bother to define Homo when he first created it for humans in the 18th century. The discovery of Neanderthal brought the first addition.

The genus Homo was given its taxonomic name to suggest that its member species can be classified as human. And, over the decades of the 20th century, fossil finds of pre-human and early human species from late Miocene and early Pliocene times produced a rich mix for debating classifications. There is continuing debate on delineating Homo from Australopithecus—or, indeed, delineating Homo from Pan, as one body of scientists argues that the two species of chimpanzee should be classed with genus Homo rather than Pan. Even so, classifying the fossils of Homo coincides with evidence of: (1) competent human bipedalism in Homo habilis inherited from the earlier Australopithecus of more than four million years ago, as demonstrated by the Laetoli footprints; and (2) human tool culture having begun by 2.5 million years ago.

From the late-19th to mid-20th centuries, a number of new taxonomic names including new generic names were proposed for early human fossils; most have since been merged with Homo in recognition that Homo erectus was a single species with a large geographic spread of early migrations. Many such names are now dubbed as "synonyms" with Homo, including Pithecanthropus,[18] Protanthropus,[19] Sinanthropus,[20] Cyphanthropus,[21] Africanthropus,[22] Telanthropus,[23] Atlanthropus,[24] and Tchadanthropus.[25][26]

Classifying the genus Homo into species and subspecies is subject to incomplete information and remains poorly done. This has led to using common names ("Neanderthal" and "Denisovan"), even in scientific papers, to avoid trinomial names or the ambiguity of classifying groups as incertae sedis (uncertain placement)—for example, H. neanderthalensis vs. H. sapiens neanderthalensis, or H. georgicus vs. H. erectus georgicus.[27] Some recently extinct species in the genus Homo are only recently discovered and do not as yet have consensus binomial names (see Denisova hominin and Red Deer Cave people).[28] Since the beginning of the Holocene, it is likely that Homo sapiens (anatomically modern humans) has been the only extant species of Homo.

John Edward Gray (1825) was an early advocate of classifying taxa by designating tribes and families.[29] Wood and Richmond (2000) proposed that Hominini ("hominins") be designated as a tribe that comprised all species of early humans and pre-humans ancestral to humans back to after the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor; and that Hominina be designated a subtribe of Hominini to include only the genus Homo — that is, not including the earlier upright walking hominins of the Pliocene such as Australopithecus, Orrorin tugenensis, Ardipithecus, or Sahelanthropus.[30] Designations alternative to Hominina existed, or were offered: Australopithecinae (Gregory & Hellman 1939) and Preanthropinae (Cela-Conde & Altaba 2002);[31][32][33] and later, Cela-Conde and Ayala (2003) proposed that the four genera Australopithecus, Ardipithecus, Praeanthropus, and Sahelanthropus be grouped with Homo within Hominini (sans pan).[34]

Evolution
Further information: Timeline of human evolutionSee Hominini and Chimpanzee–human last common ancestor for the separation of Australopithecina and Panina.

Australopithecus
Further information: Australopithecus

Several species, including Australopithecus garhi, Australopithecus sediba, Australopithecus africanus, and Australopithecus afarensis, have been proposed as the ancestor or sister of the Homo lineage.[35][36] These species have morphological features that align them with Homo, but there is no consensus as to which gave rise to Homo.

Especially since the 2010s, the delineation of Homo in Australopithecus has become more contentious. Traditionally, the advent of Homo has been taken to coincide with the first use of stone tools (the Oldowan industry), and thus by definition with the beginning of the Lower Palaeolithic. But in 2010, evidence was presented that seems to attribute the use of stone tools to Australopithecus afarensis around 3.3 million years ago, close to a million years before the first appearance of Homo.[37] LD 350-1, a fossil mandible fragment dated to 2.8 Mya, discovered in 2015 in Afar, Ethiopia, was described as combining "primitive traits seen in early Australopithecus with derived morphology observed in later Homo.[38] Some authors would push the development of Homo close to or even past 3 Mya.[39] Others have voiced doubt as to whether Homo habilis should be included in Homo, proposing an origin of Homo with Homo erectus at roughly 1.9 Mya instead.[40]

The most salient physiological development between the earlier australopithecine species and Homo is the increase in endocranial volume (ECV), from about 460 cm3 (28 cu in) in A. garhi to 660 cm3 (40 cu in) in H. habilis and further to 760 cm3 (46 cu in) in H. erectus, 1,250 cm3 (76 cu in) in H. heidelbergensis and up to 1,760 cm3 (107 cu in) in H. neanderthalensis. However, a steady rise in cranial capacity is observed already in Autralopithecina and does not terminate after the emergence of Homo, so that it does not serve as an objective criterion to define the emergence of the genus.[41]

Homo habilis

Homo habilis emerged about 2.1 Mya. Already before 2010, there were suggestions that H. habilis should not be placed in genus Homo but rather in Australopithecus.[42][43] The main reason to include H. habilis in Homo, its undisputed tool use, has become obsolete with the discovery of Australopithecus tool use at least a million years before H. habilis.[37] Furthermore, H. habilis was long thought to be the ancestor of the more gracile Homo ergaster (Homo erectus). In 2007, it was discovered that H. habilis and H. erectus coexisted for a considerable time, suggesting that H. erectus is not immediately derived from H. habilis but instead from a common ancestor.[44] With the publication of Dmanisi skull 5 in 2013, it has become less certain that Asian H. erectus is a descendant of African H. ergaster which was in turn derived from H. habilis. Instead, H. ergaster and H. erectus appear to be variants of the same species, which may have originated in either Africa or Asia[45] and widely dispersed throughout Eurasia (including Europe, Indonesia, China) by 0.5 Mya.[46]

Homo erectus
Main article: Homo erectus

Homo erectus has often been assumed to have developed anagenetically from Homo habilis from about 2 million years ago. This scenario was strengthened with the discovery of Homo erectus georgicus, early specimens of H. erectus found in the Caucasus, which seemed to exhibit transitional traits with H. habilis. As the earliest evidence for H. erectus was found outside of Africa, it was considered plausible that H. erectus developed in Eurasia and then migrated back to Africa. Based on fossils from the Koobi Fora Formation, east of Lake Turkana in Kenya, Spoor et al. (2007) argued that H. habilis may have survived beyond the emergence of H. erectus, so that the evolution of H. erectus would not have been anagenetically, and H. erectus would have existed alongside H. habilis for about half a million years (1.9 to 1.4 million years ago), during the early Calabrian.[47]

A separate South African species Homo gautengensis has been postulated as contemporary with Homo erectus in 2010.[48]

Phylogeny

A taxonomy of Homo within the great apes is assessed as follows, with Paranthropus and Homo emerging within Australopithecus (shown here cladistically granting Paranthropus, Kenyanthropus, and Homo).[49][50][3][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61] The exact phylogeny within Australopithecus is still highly controversial. Approximate radiation dates of daughter clades are shown in millions of years ago (Mya).[62] Graecopithecus, Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, possibly sisters to Australopithecus, are not shown here. Note that the naming of groupings is sometimes muddled as often certain groupings are presumed before a cladistic analyses is performed.[55]

click to enlarge

Several of the Homo lineages appear to have surviving progeny through introgression into other lines. Genetic evidence indicates an archaic lineage separating from the other human lineages 1.5 million years ago, perhaps H. erectus, may have interbred into the Denisovans about 55,000 years ago.[63][64][65][54][66][67] Fossil evidence shows Homo erectus s.s. survived at least until 117,000 yrs ago, and the even more basal Homo floresiensis survived until 50,000 years ago. Moreover, a thigh bone, dated at 14,000 years, found in a Maludong cave (Red Deer Cave people) strongly resembles very ancient species like early Homo erectus or the even more archaic lineage, Homo habilis, which lived around 1.5 million year ago.[68][69] A 1.5 million years Homo erectus-like lineage appears to have made its way into modern humans through the Denisovans and specifically into the Papuans and aboriginal Australians.[54] The genomes of non-sub-Saharan African humans show what appear to be numerous independent introgression events involving Neanderthal and in some cases also Denisovans around 45,000 years ago.[70][66] Likewise the genetic structure of sub-Saharan Africans seems to be indicative of introgression from a west Eurasian population some 3,000 years ago.[71][72]

Some evidence suggests that Australopithecus sediba could be moved to the genus Homo, or placed in its own genus, due to its position with respect to e.g. Homo habilis and Homo floresiensis.[56][73]

Dispersal

By about 1.8 million years ago, Homo erectus is present in both East Africa (Homo ergaster) and in Western Asia (Homo georgicus). The ancestors of Indonesian Homo floresiensis may have left Africa even earlier.[74]
Successive dispersals of   Homo erectus (yellow),   Homo neanderthalensis (ochre) and   Homo sapiens (red).

Homo erectus and related or derived archaic human species over the next 1.5 million years spread throughout Africa and Eurasia[75][76] (see: Recent African origin of modern humans). Europe is reached by about 0.5 Mya by Homo heidelbergensis.

Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens develop after about 300 kya. Homo naledi is present in Southern Africa by 300 kya.

H. sapiens soon after its first emergence spread throughout Africa, and to Western Asia in several waves, possibly as early as 250 kya, and certainly by 130 kya. In July 2019, anthropologists reported the discovery of 210,000 year old remains of a H. sapiens and 170,000 year old remains of a H. neanderthalensis in Apidima Cave, Peloponnese, Greece, more than 150,000 years older than previous H. sapiens finds in Europe.[77][78][79]

Most notable is the Southern Dispersal of H. sapiens around 60 kya, which led to the lasting peopling of Oceania and Eurasia by anatomically modern humans.[80] H. sapiens interbred with archaic humans both in Africa and in Eurasia, in Eurasia notably with Neanderthals and Denisovans.[81]

Among extant populations of Homo sapiens, the deepest temporal division is found in the San people of Southern Africa, estimated at close to 130,000 years,[82] or possibly more than 300,000 years ago.[83] Temporal division among non-Africans is of the order of 60,000 years in the case of Australo-Melanesians. Division of Europeans and East Asians is of the order of 50,000 years, with repeated and significant admixture events throughout Eurasia during the Holocene.

Archaic human species may have survived until the beginning of the Holocene (Red Deer Cave people), although they were mostly extinct or absorbed by the expanding H. sapiens populations by 40 kya (Neanderthal extinction).