ANTHROPOGENESIS

From Big Medical Encyclopedia
Fig. 1. Subhuman primates (anthropoids): 1 — a chimpanzee; 2 — a gorilla: 3 — an orangutan; 4 — a gibbon.
Fig. 2. Scheme of a family tree of primacies: 1 — semi-monkeys (lemurs); 2 — sobakoobrazny (martyshkoobrazny) monkeys; 3 — small anthropoids (gibbons); 4 — the modern person and his races; 5 — large anthropoids (a chimpanzee, a gorilla, an orangutan); 6 — broad-nosed (American) monkeys; 7 — dolgopyata (tarziyevy).

ANTHROPOGENESIS (grech, anthröpos of people + genesis origin, an origin) — process of evolyutsionnoistorichesky formation of the person. And. makes a subject of the special section anthropology (see). Elements of materialistic view on the nature took place in works of antique philosophers — Democritus, Epicurus, Lucretius, etc., but only after an era of the reactionary Middle Ages the materialistic outlook got into all fields of science, including medicine and biology. Reflection of this outlook in biology were attempts of creation of the theory of organic evolution. But originally materialistic interpretation of evolutionary process gained the further development only in Ch. Darvin's works: «Origin of species by natural selection» (1859), «Changes of domestic animals and cultivated plants» (1868), etc. In 1871 it published big work according to the theory of evolution «Origin of the person and sexual selection» where provided numerous proofs of an origin of the person from animal ancestors and the fact that his closest relatives are subhuman primates. On anatomo-physiological features of people, undoubtedly, the highest primacy close to subhuman primates (fig. 1). Relationship of the person with the highest monkeys is confirmed by similar skeleton structure, muscles, a brain, biochemical features of blood (see. Monkeys , Person ), data of embryonic development (see. Biogenetic law ). Ontogenesis of the person visually demonstrates existence at his ancestors of a tail and prehensile feet that is connected with lasagnas on trees. The important certificate of an origin of the person from animals are rudimental organs (see) and atavisms (see). Numerous bone residues (teeth, jaws, skulls, bones of a skeleton) of fossil semi-monkeys p their descendants - monkeys (including humanoid — the closest ancestors of the person) demonstrate accumulation of signs, gradual in the course of evolution of the primacies, inherent and to the modern person (fig. 2). One of transitional forms of the lowest primacies to primitive representatives of the highest monkeys — amfipitek mogaungskiya (Amphipithecus mogaungensis), found in verkhnemiotsenovy deposits in Burma. The remains of the most ancient representatives of subhuman primates (parapitek, propliopitek, etc.) are found in oligotsenovy layers in Egypt near Fayyum.

In the Soviet anthropology it is accepted to divide process And. on three stages: I \antropoidny ancestors of the person like Australopithecuses, II — most ancient (arkhantropa) and ancient people (paleoantropa) and III — neoantropa (fossil and modern Homo sapiens). Formation of the person at a stage of arkhantrop and paleoanthropes was connected with biological evolution of these people; with the advent of neoantrop the era of domination of laws social (Ya. Ya. Roginsky, 1967) without further essential morphological transformations of specific features of the person is approved.

Fig. 3. Skull of the Transvaal Australopithecus.

At sources this. the hominid (Hominidae) is group of fossil subhuman primates — large anthropoids: they belong to this. pongid (Pongidae). These are the driopitek of Asia and Africa and a ramapiteka of Asia living during a Miocene era (25 — 10 million years ago). Reduction of the areas of the woods and their poredeniye in connection with the increasing dryness of climate led to development in anthropoids of a new way of movement — on two legs. Some species of these monkeys in Africa and Asia adapted to get meat food by means of sticks or stones. The natural objects used as tools protected them from predators, fight for own existence caused the necessity to live in community. In the course of evolution at separate types of anthropoids higher nervous activity progressed. As «model» of Pliocene and later antropoidny ancestors of the person serve in most cases some more developed representatives of Australopithecuses of Africa (fig. 3). Among them so-called Homo habilis — the person skillful is most known. Its skeletal remains were found antiquity apprx. 2 million years in the gorge Olduvay in East Africa. Purposeful production of tools of the fixed form (that indicates emergence of abstract figurative ideas of the tool) is connected with development on Earth of qualitatively special living being — the person, though with even pronounced monkey appearance. This new stage in And. it is characterized by the beginning truly of work of the person.

Emergence and evolution of the person are rather accurately delimited from purely biological process of other animal species. Ch. Darwin assigned a leading role in anthropogenesis to biological factors — natural selection, variability, heredity. From positions of the dialektiko-materialistic theory And. emergence and development of the person is characterized as qualitatively special shift in process of fauna as the decisive turn in the course of biological evolution leading to emergence of new quality. Main motive power of process And. — public production and use of instruments of labor, production. In primitive herds of the most ancient people qualitatively new, social patterns arose and amplified. Such theory And., offered by F. Engels, allows to understand difficult essence of all history of evolution of the people who extraordinary highly rose over the whole world of living beings.

Fig. 4. Skulls of the most ancient people (pithecanthropi): 1 — the pithecanthropus of I; 2 — the pithecanthropus of IV; 3 and 4 — the pithecanthropus of VIII, a lateral view (3), an anterior aspect (4).
Fig. 5. Mandibles of the most ancient people: 1 — an atlantropa; 2 — the Heidelberg (mauersky) person.

The most ancient mankind occurred just seeing fossil subhuman primates, living in the considerable territory of the Southern Asia and in Northeast Africa (the theory of a monogenizm). Many anthropologists are inclined to consider an ancestral home of the person Africa as in it there live the closest relatives of people — a chimpanzee and a gorilla. There is a hypothesis and of an origin of ancestors of the person from several species of monkeys (the theory of a poligenizm): as if ancestors of white race occurred from a chimpanzee, yellow — from an orangutan, black — from a gorilla. However the proximity of races and their free metisation validate the theory of a monogenizm, i.e. an origin of the person only just seeing ancestors,

People, or hominids in narrow sense, appeared on Earth in the middle of an era of a pleistocene (anthropogene) apprx. 1 million years ago. Hominids in a broad sense could separate from the superfamily of gominoid (Hominoidea), general from pongida, approximately apprx. 15 million years ago, in the middle of a Miocene; they included ancestors of the person and close related to them forms of fossil anthropoids. The most reliable bone residues of the most ancient obezyanolyudy (arkhantrop) are found in deposits by antiquity of 700 — 500 thousand years in Asia, Europe and Africa. A series of skulls of pithecanthropi is found on the lake of Java (fig. 4). On a structure of a skull of pithecanthropi are similar to skulls Chinese obezyanolyudy, or the sinantrop living apprx. 400 thousand years ago. Capacity of their cranium (915 — 1125 cm 3 ) it is more, than at pithecanthropi (775 — 900 cm 3 ). Growth of pithecanthropi apprx. 165 — 170 cm, sinantrop of 152 — 163 cm. The Heidelberg person treats the most ancient people living in the territory of Europe. It is known only on a mandible (fig. 5, 2). In Arago's grotto, in 19 km from Perpignan (France), the skull of very primitive person living apprx. 200 thousand years ago was found. The remains of arkhantrop were found in Africa. In Algeria, in 17 km from Mascara, three mandibles of so-called atlantrop (fig. 5, 1) were found. Thus, arkhantropa were widely settled across Africa, Europe and Asia and considerable morphological variability was inherent to them.

Fig. 6. Skulls of ancient people (Neanderthal men): 1 — the skull found near Skhul (mountain Karmel): 2 — the skull found in La-Shapell-au-Saint (France).

The following stage of evolution of people is presented by paleoanthropes — ancient people, or Neanderthal men (fig. 6). Their skulls were for the first time found: in 1848 on Gibraltar (Spain) and in 1856 in Neandertale (Germany). The remains of similar primitive people (skulls, jaws, teeth and bones) were found also in Europe, Asia, Africa and in the territory of the USSR in deposits by antiquity of 200 — 35 thousand years. Are characteristic of them: a receding forehead, the continuous bone supraorbital roller, a large front part, lack of a mental ledge on a mandible. However many skulls of ancient people also meet the softened relief, poorly planned mental ledge.

The material culture of Neanderthal men is presented by stone tools — ostrokonechnik, skrebla, rubilets. Tools of the previous eras of the lower (early) paleolith, namely shellsky and acheulian (manual cut, etc.), are more primitive. Thus, biological evolution of a human body mutually is also closely connected with development of material culture.

Fig. 7. Skulls of fossil people of modern type (neoantrop): 1 — a skull from the Grotto of children near Menthones (Italy); 2 — the skull found in the village of Kostenki (near Voronezh).
Long process of formation of a human body

was resulted by people of modern type (fig. 7) there are kromanyonets and other fossil representatives of a type of Homo sapiens. According to F. Engels, «the forming people» turned into «ready people». Modern people are often called by neoantropam.

Studying of an origin of neoantrop from paleoanthropes has great scientific value in the light of a solution of the problem of an ancestral home of racial trunks of the modern person. Most of anthropologists inclines more and more that predkamineoantrop there were not «classical» Western European Neanderthal men, like found in La-Shapell-au-Saint (France) or in Monte Chircheo (Italy), and more ancient forms living in the territory of Central and Western Asia and Northeast Africa.

Emergence of neoantrop is connected with the last (vyurmsky) glacial era. They were creators of higher, than shellsky or acheulian, material cultures — solyutreysky, orinyaksky, seletsky and madlensky eras late, or upper, a paleolith. Absolute antiquity of people of a modern look is estimated in 35 — 40 thousand years. The territory occupied by people of a modern look was wider than an initial ancestral home of mankind and probably covered the Southern and Western Asia, east Mediterranean, East Africa, the Area of Western and Eastern Europe. In anthropology the concept of development of a type of Homo sapiens and its races is more widespread in one wide area (oykumena, from grech, oikumene — the manned earth) — a hypothesis of wide monocentrism. Formation of the main races of modern mankind, perhaps, happened after emergence of the basic like structure of the modern person (V. V. Bunak, 1956). Supporters of polycentrism [F. Weidenreich, 1943, etc.] believe that there were four areas (center) where allegedly and Australoid, Mongoloid, Caucasian and negroid big races were created. Anatomo-fiziologichesky radical relationship of all racial groups of modern mankind and their mental equivalence (see Races) are essential confirmation of correctness of the theory of monocentrism.

Motive powers And. at early stages there were factors natural. Later social patterns began to dominate. So, the natural selection exerting more noticeable impact on phases of evolution of the most ancient and ancient people, gradually in process of increase of a role of work, weakened, but variability and heredity continued to influence, though in a bit different forms of a combination of anatomo-physiological characters under more powerful influence of social factors.

In the course of social activities the thinking developed, the person seized the speech, his material and spiritual culture formed. And, though it «bears in the physical structure the indelible stamp of the lowest origin» (Ch. Darwin), to identify it with an animal, as well as to attribute the last difficult abstract, conceptual thinking, reason, the second alarm system, inadmissibly. Despite visibility of «division of labour» in animal communities, on their difficult constructions, work of the person qualitatively differs from activity of animals: only the person managed to create artificial tools, to develop abstract thinking and to purposefully apply it in the field of production of goods.

Problem A. — «question from questions of mankind» [Gekeli (T. N. of Huxley), 1863]. Development of the correct view of an origin and essence of a human body has very great theoretical and practical value.


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See also bibliogr, to St. Anthropology .

M. F. Nesturkh.

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