Discovering Our Distant Ancestors

Understanding what we inherit from our animal and primate past—and how we differ—is the first step in understanding our unique place and potential as human beings.

Photo of a Chimp and Bonobo

What we share with our nearest surviving relatives, the male-centered chimpanzee and the female-centered, erotic, and peaceable bonobo. How that understanding helps shape who we are vs. who we think we are.

Homonid skulls

Six million years ago as many as 18 different hominid species lived in East Africa. Only one can be traced to us. How did it evolve and survive?

human gene sequence

Genetics of Human Evolution

Knowlege of the human genome, sequenced in 2003, made a huge difference to our understanding of who we are, including our migration path out of Africa and our common genetic inheritance from a single maternal parent.

Smithsonian website

What Does It Mean to Be Human?

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Learn about 5 million years of early human evolution, track research in the science of paleoanthropology, get answers to your questions from the institute’s researchers, and much more.

University of California Evolution website

Understanding Evolution

University of California Museum of Paleontology and the National Center for Science Education

From a complete undergraduate course, to teaching materials for grades K-12, this website offers resources for teaching basic evolutionary patterns and processes, evidence supporting evolution, how evolution explains other biological phenomena, practical applications for solving real world problems, and more.

PBS evolution website



Launched in conjunction with the 2002 PBS series on evolution, this website provides supporting information and teaching materials covering the topics of Darwin, Change, Extinction, Survival, Sex, Humans and Religion. A DVD box set of the original series is available from Amazon.

Further Reading

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