Techniques dating hominids
Darwinism is often mistaken for a synonym of evolution or theory of evolution.
The present article aims at analyzing this issue according to a paleoanthropological and evolutionary framework, in order to point out the biological and cultural identity of the human species and tackle the philosophical and theological opinions on the issue.Think of the capacity humans have to adapt their habitat to themselves, according to specific intentions and projects, and to adapt themselves to it in the most convenient way; their language, which allows them to communicate through universal and symbolic forms of communication, and develop abstract thought despite the concreteness and the immediateness of their instinctive life; their capacity to understand the natural world, whose behavior they are able to predict and transform according to their needs; their restless search for further knowledge and deliberate targets, which gives rise to their history.Yet the uniqueness of human beings emerges clearly from their capacity to produce culture and, especially, from their religious dimension, which has led them to wonder about the meaning of their existence, the freedom and morality of their actions, the beginning and the end of all things.Complementary, interdependent itineraries will be covered by other entries in this Encyclopedia.
As it happens for the confrontation between science and faith in other disciplines, such as cosmology, the paths followed by science to find an explanation for "the origins" should not be considered as a dialectic alternative to what human beings have learnt about "their origins" through sources and methods different from experimental science. The research on the origins of humankind has been enriched with many considerations, especially in the field of paleontology.
The study of the historical reconstruction of the appearance and development of human beings on Earth through paleoanthropology, biology, ethnology, and the various disciplines connected to them, has long fostered the debate between religion and science, especially from the 19th century on.