The Making of Humankind: Silica Lends a Hand (and Maybe a Brain)

  • Christina De La RochaEmail author
  • Daniel J. Conley


Not that you’d necessarily think so if you read the Interwebs or watch a modern Hollywood movie, but human beings are smart. Say what you want about the typical intellect of internet comment makers, but even the greatest of the other living great apes couldn’t even dream of being one, much less of being a coder, and what whale or dolphin knows to hope to someday grasp the concept of cinematography, calculus, or the cooking of Italian food. In the midst of even the most chaotic, smog-choked city, with everything it contains and jet planes flying overhead, you can stop and stand bewildered and, hands out, ask: How did we get here? How did we, human beings, get to be smart enough to figure all of this out?


Stone Tool Subordinate Clause Genus Homo Hand Bone Make Stone Tool 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Further Reading

  1. Harmand S, Lewis JE, Feibel CS, Lepre CJ, Prat S, Lenoble A, Boes X, Quinn RL, Brenet M, Arroyo A, Taylor N, Clement S, Daver G, Brugal J-P, Leakey L, Mortlock RA, Wright JD, Lokorodi S, Kirwa C, Kent DV, Roche H (2015) 3.3-million-year-old stone tools from Lomekwi 3, West Turkana, Kenya. Nature 521:310–315Google Scholar
  2. Higuchi S, Chaminade T, Imamizu H, Kawato M (2009) Shared neural correlates for language and tool use in Broca’s area. NeuroReport 20:1376–1381Google Scholar
  3. Marzke MW (2013) Tool making, hand morphology and fossil hominins. Phil Trans R Soc B 368. doi:  10.1098/rstb.2012.0414
  4. McPherron SP, Alemseged Z,. Marean CW, Wynn JG, Reed D, Geraads D, Bobe R, Bearat HA (2010) Evidence for stone-tool-assisted consumption of animal tissues before 3.39 million years ago at Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature 466:857–860Google Scholar
  5. Morgan TJH, Uomini NT, Rendell LE, Chouinard-Thuly L, Street SE, Lewis HM, Cross CP, Evans C, Kearney R, de la Torre I, Whiten A, Laland KN (2015) Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language. Nature Comm 6: 6029. doi:  10.1038/ncomms7029.
  6. Seemaw S, Renne P, Harris JWK, Feibel CS, Bernor RL, Fesseha N, Mowbray K (1997) 2.5-million-year-old stone tools from Gona, Ethiopia. Nature 385:333–336Google Scholar
  7. Tocheri MW, Orr CM, Jacofsky MC, Marzke MW (2008) The evolutionary history of the hominin hand since the last common ancestor between Pan and Homo. J Anat 12:544–562Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyLund UniversityLundSweden

Personalised recommendations