The question “Who was the first human?” was a very popular one in our house just last year, but the evolution videos we had in the archives – even the awesome Five Fingers of Evolution TED Ed video – didn’t answer it directly enough for my kids. This visual-filled video timeline from Joe Hanson of It’s Okay to Be Smart does: There was no first human.
You can never pinpoint the exact moment that a species came to be, because it never did. Just like how you used to be a baby and now you’re older, but there was no single day when you went to bed young and woke up old…
There was no first human. It sounds like a paradox, it sounds like it breaks the whole theory of evolution, but it’s really a key to truly understanding how evolution works.
Also, your grandparents (a hundred eight-five million generations removed) were fish!
In the archives, more videos about evolution, Neil deGrasse Tyson explains evolution, and a related must-watch video about our human history: Carl Sagan’s Cosmic Calendar from the original Cosmos.
We also recommend this episode from Vermont Public Radio’s But Why? podcast for kids: Who was the first person?
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