Listen to part of a conversation between a student and a professor.
Professor: Um, Jonathan, can you come in here for a second? Pd like to discuss your final paper topic with you.
Student: Sure, Professor Briggs. What did you think?
Professor: Well, Oliver Stone has been beaten to death. I do, however, like your idea about Bono and how he has turned into a human rights activist over the years. Maybe you could explore how he has changed over the years from simply being a music icon into this kind of save-the-globe international entity.
Student: Yeah, that might work, ma’am. Thanks for the idea. By the way, how long does the final paper have to be?
Professor. Well, that’s really up to you. I didn’t put any real word count on it. I want you guys to decide that on your own. Typically, though, to give you an idea, final papers for this class will average between eight to ten pages. That doesn’t mean your paper can’t be four of five, Jonathan. Just as long as it is well organized, well written, and well argued. I don’t want any fluff in these papers. You guys should know what you are doing at this point.
Student: I see. I see. And, um, could you also remind me as to what percentage it is of the final grade?
Professor: Jonathan, didn’t we go over this in class? And I know for a fact it is all explained clearly in your syllabus.
Student: I know. I know. But, actually, the other day, I left both my text and all my notes in the coffee shop by Janson Hall, and, by the time I realized I had left them there and gone back, they weren’t there anymore. I asked the waitress and the management if they happened to have picked them up, but they said no. They said they’d keep an eye out for them, though.
Professor: Well, Jonathan, I’m sorry to hear that, but you must be more careful. This has happened before, hasn’t it?
Student: Oh, I know. I can be very forgetful when I have a lot on my mind like I have lately.
Professor I understand, Jonathan. I’ll tell you what. If you can’t find your notes by tomorrow, come back here, and I’ll see if I can help you out one way or another. Anyway, the final paper is forty percent of your final grade.
Student: That would be great! So, you think Bono is a good topic for the paper? Is it okay if I borrow your idea on how to organize it, ma’am?
Professor Sure. That’s why I suggested it to you although I’m sure you would have come up with that on your own, right, Jonathan?
Student: Okay. Well, maybe I’ll see you tomorrow, but I really appreciate your help, oh, and advice, Professor. Sometimes I just need a little nudge in the right direction; that’s all. Anyway, I really appreciate how you look out for me every now and then.
Professor: Oh, don’t worry about it. That’s what I’m here for, Jonathan. Again, if you need anything else, just stop by tomorrow. I’ll be in my office until six.
Listen to part of a lecture in an anthropology class.
Professor: That’s an excellent question. Well, today, most of the evidence points to Africa, probably somewhere in present-day Ethiopia, as the site of the origin of humans. Of course, scientists, especially anthropologists, have proposed this theory for many years because Africa has been the location where the oldest human fossils have been discovered. The dispute, of course, has been that older fossils could be out there, somewhere, and the Africa source cannot be completely proven. But today, many geneticists are beginning to agree as they take a look at the DNA and the genetic diversity of Africa, which they maintain could have only come about from a couple hundred thousand years of mutations. What I’d like to do today is kind of take you along the journey of the first humans as they migrated out of Africa and into other regions and continents. Any questions at this point?
Student A: Um, Professor McCloud? I’m sorry, but is Ethiopia located in central Africa?
Professor: Well, actually, it is more towards the central eastern side of Africa. If you look at the map on page 322, you can see exactly where it is located. Got It…? Excellent. Now, to move on, the earliest human fossils so far have been discovered in Omo Kibish, Ethiopia, and dated to around 197,000 years ago, give or take a few thousand years. Yes, I said thousands. From here, most experts agree that they began to migrate to the central western and southern areas of Africa as well as outside of the continent for the first time. Most likely, the earliest groups kept close to the Red Sea and probably migrated into areas along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean as well as into the Arabian Peninsula. Just for the earliest humans to make it out of Africa took about a hundred thousand years or so. Talk about a long journey! That’s a lot of time for genes to mutate and change, and the first humans to come out of Africa probably looked quite different than their own ancient ancestors and were probably much more developed socially. Okay. Is everyone with me so far?
We’re at about 100,000 years ago somewhere on the Arabian Peninsula. At this point, early groups of humans began to migrate both east and west. Most experts agree that they stuck to the coasts of the Middle East through India and journeyed down into southern Asia, where fish and other food sources are abundant. There is early human fossil evidence from the Niah Caves on the island of Borneo in the present-day state of Sarawak, Malaysia, that they reached this area about forty thousand years ago. Interestingly, there are also a couple of spots all the way down in Australia, such as at Lake Mungo, which predate the Niah Cave fossils by about 5,000 years. The Aborigines are probably the descendants of these early nomads, who made their way through southern Asia both by boats across narrow channels and across land bridges. Now, is everyone still with me? Are there any questions so far?
Student B: What about artifacts? Did they help experts determine the human migration?
Professor: Oh, without question. Tools and even fossilized wood from fires the early humans made can be carbon dated, and they give scientists a fairly accurate date of when they were used or made. Remember that scientists do not need to locate the actual bones of humans to be able to make an educated guess as to the date of a certain area or primitive settlement. They look for any bits of evidence from sites, and, once they find them, examine all of them very closely and then determine the general age of the artifact. Of course, DNA is a relatively new science compared to carbon dating and helps them place groups of people at certain places at certain points in history. Anyways, that’s another lecture for another time. The point is that geneticists and paleoanthropologists, in general, agree on the general migration patterns of humans from the earliest beginnings based on the evidence they have gathered and investigated. Their theories match up!
So, to continue, once more settled in areas such as central Asia, early humans began to push westward over land routes into Europe. This occurred around forty to thirty thousand years ago, and, around the same time, they pushed over the Himalayas into China and into other areas of Southeast and Northeast Asia. This is also around the time when they began to reach the eastern edge of Asia and migrated north into Siberia. Many experts agree, but not, by any means, all of them, that around twenty to fifteen thousand years, ocean levels were low enough for humans to cross over a land bridge and enter North America for the first time.