THE FIRST MAN
Different theories have been put in place trying to explain how the first man came in existence. They include; the evolution theory, creation stories and traditionalist stories.
All these theories help to explain the origin of man but two of them have become outstanding namely ;
THE EVOLUTION THEORY (THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION)
This theory was put down by Charles Darwin a son of a doctor. His father wanted him to become a doctor too but his family members wanted him to work in the church.
Charles did not have any interest in any of the two areas above. He was interested in nature right from childhood so he spent most of his time drawing pictures of plants and animals in his notebook.
In 1831, when he went on journey in South America on pacific Islands, he used a survey ship called “Beagle”.
AN ILLUSTRATION OF DARWIN’S THEORY OF EVOLUTION OF MAN
On this journey he studied the formation of rocks and discovered how different features came into existence.
In his conclusion, he said that all things developed from very simple forms. His discoveries came to be known as the evolution theory.
In 1859, when he was 50 years old, he published his theory in a book called “The origin of Species”.
Darwin was strongly opposed because his theory was against God`s creation story of the world in six days, which the Christians believe in.
They mainly opposed Darwin`s statement or assumption that man developed from a monkey /Ape yet according to hem man is created by God.
Besides, Darwin complied his study basing it on the three Archeologists i.e. Dr. L.S.B Leakey, Mary Leaky and Jonathan Leakey (their son).
His study revealed that in th ancient times there were Apes like
Australopithecus Boisei (Aboisei short)
Homo erectus (the upright man)
Nean Derthal man
Homo Sapiens (a thinking man)
And so he concluded that man came out of this development because he is a thinking being.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE EVOLUTION THEORY AS REGARDS THE ORIGIN OF MAN
This theory assumes that;
Man was not formed /made as he is but gradually developed through several stages.
Man is an animal since according to this theory he developed from Apes.
Man has undergone several changes for example losing his tail and fur / hair, development of speech (he can now talk), standing upright etc.
Change or human development is a gradual process i.e. it has taken time for man to attain his present state.
THE CREATION STORIES (GENESIS 1 AND 2)
These stories are mainly accepted by Christians who put all the creation work of the universe on God. According to these stories, God is the creator or maker of everything including man.
In the first stages God was simply saying “Let there be “and it was done. On the sixth day in case of man he said “Let us make”.
These stories emphasize that God created the world in six days, man being the last creature of God and so the highest form of creature, so valuable to God.
Man was given the authority to rule over the rest of creation including monkeys and Apes.
The story of creation brings out the idea of trinity (meaning three in one) in the statement “Let us make man in our own image….”. “Us” and “Our” stand for the three –in- one (Father, son and Holy Spirit)
Man having been made as the highest or most valuable creature is made in the image and likeness of God.
He was made as he is right from the beginning that is he did not develop from any other creature but from dust. Man was given the responsibility of becoming a co-creator of God (Gen 1:28)
God provided for man`s needs (Gen 1:29) and in the beginning all creation was good in the eyes of God (Gen 1)
NB: The creation stories emphasize that man was created as he is that is black or white, tall or short and black or brown.
On the first day God created light and separated it from darkness. Light was “Day” and “Darkness was night”.
On the second day God created a dome to separate the water and make a Sky.
On the third day, God commanded the water to collect in one area and named it sea.
On the fourth day, God created birds and sea creatures and told them to reproduce other animals like them to fill the earth.
On the sixth day, God commanded that the earth should produce all kinds of animals.
WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM THIS STORY
We learn that God created all human being all over the world; no one came from a monkey or Ape not even from Nambi and Kintu as some theories assume.
We learn that God loved human beings so much that he made them in his own image and likeness.
We learn that God gave man power to rule the rest of creation.
God provided man with all their needs.
God made the rest of the universe i.e. other creatures both living and non-living.
God created monkeys and apes as they are.
THE TRADITION THEORY
The traditional Africans had their stories explain the origin of man. Different tribes use different explanation.
Case study: The story among the Baganda
The Baganda believed that Kintu is their first man, that Nambi was his wife. The father was Ggulu (Heaven) and they originally lived there. Kintu and his wife came on earth because Nambi was running away from her stubborn brother Walumbe.
Initially they were not to die but to live forever. Unfortunately, when they came on earth because of Nambi`s forgetfulness (she forgot her chick`s millet) her brother Walumbe followed them to earth. When they produced their children Walumbe started killing them one by one (the origin of death)
Nambi`s father sent his son Kaikuzi to look for his stubborn brother Walumbe but he failed to see or arrest him. From that time Walumbe comes for Kintu and Nambi`s Children and grandchildren and takes them to Tanda where he made his permanent hiding place and home.
MAN AND OTHER CREATURES.
Of all the creatures that are in the world, man is a unique (very special and different) creature.
He has gone further than any other living creature. Man is therefore a superior being to other creatures because of the following reasons;
Man has a well-developed brain i.e. human beings can think and reason out things.
He has a great sense of memory that is he can remember things.
N.B:these two characters make man to be the most intelligent creature of all.
Man has an upright posture. He can make use of only two limbs to walk (legs), while the rest (arms) are left to do other activities.
This enables man to do much more work than any other creatures
Man is gifted with the power of speech that is well developed speech while other creatures can only make instinct noise but man has properly developed words.
This has helped man to communicate with each other at a deeper and higher level. Man has flexible fingers that come into contact with and enable him to handle big and small, cool and hot, blunt and sharp objects.
As a result, man has been able to make or invent very complicated or multipurpose tools for instance; he can weave, plait hair, sew, weed, knit, curve, assemble, built etc.
Generally, man has been able to tame or domesticate and harness (control in order to use) his environment in order to supply or meet his demands (needs).
Therefore he is civilized unlike other creatures which live under the mercy of the environment.
WHY IS E AFRICA BELIEVED TO BE THE CRADLE LAND OF THE EARLIEST MAN
Africa and East Africa in particular is believed to be the cradle land of the first man because of the following;
The vegetation in East Africa being Savannah grassland is believed that this was the home of the first man.
The Fossils found in the historical sites for example the skull at Olduvia George in Tanganyika reveals East Africa as the cradle land. It had much water surface than today.
Many early man tools for example bolas, hand axe were found far from water bodies (rivers and lakes) which show that early man was a hunter such tools were discovered as a result of earthquake that revealed their existence.
N.B: such tools were later dug out as Archeology evidence. Hence these are the findings talked about regarding the different discoveries of apes.
The paintings on the walls found in caves revealing man`s daily activities for example hunting and fishing proved East Africa as the cradle land.
They believed that the Hominids (Man and other creatures) lived near lakes and rivers as shown in the rift valley region and around Lake Victoria.