It has long been considered the most pressing issue of our history: Where did humans come from? Although life has existed for millions of years, only in the past century and a half we have begun to use science to explore the ancestral roots of our own species.
The search for the ultimate answer has taken a series of twists and turns, with careers made and broken on the road. Ape to man is the story of the quest to find the origins of the human race – a quest that spanned more than 150 years of obsessive searching Searching for the origins of mankind is a history of bone and feature stories .
It was in 1856 that the first bones of extinct human ancestor were encountered, discovered by a team of unskilled workers to excavate the limestone in Western Europe. The finding, to be known as Neanderthal Man, was seeing the light of day for the first time in more than 40,000 years.
At that time, the concept of a previous human species was virtually unthinkable. However, only a few years later, the work of Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species first broached the subject of evolution, and by the end of the nineteenth century had become the hottest topic of the day.
Adventurers had embarked on the search for the missing link, the only creature that represents the evolutionary leap from apes to humans. Ape to Man examines the major discoveries that have led to the understanding we have today, including theories that never gained full acceptance of his time, an elaborate hoax that confused the scientific community for years, and understanding short of the key elements that separate man from apes.