D.3.5 Outline the trends illustrated by the fossils of:
Australopithecus including A. afarensis and A. africanus,
Homo including H. habilis, H. erectus, H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens.
Knowledge of approximate dates and distribution of the named species is expected.
Details of subspecies or particular groups (Cro-Magnon, Peking, and so on) are not required.
D.3.6 State that, at various stages in hominid evolution, several species may have coexisted.
An example of this is H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens.
D.3.7 Discuss the incompleteness of the fossil record and the resulting uncertainties about human evolution.
Reasons for the incompleteness of the fossil record should be included.
TOK: Paleoanthropology is an example of the diverse aspects of science, in that it is a data-poor science with largely uncontrollable subject matter. Paradigm shifts are more common in a data-poor science. The discovery of small numbers of fossils has caused huge changes in theories of human evolution, perhaps indicating that too much has been constructed on too little. Conversely, discoveries such as those made in Dmanisi, Georgia provide examples of falsification of earlier held positions, indicating why paleoanthropology can be considered a science.
D.3.8 Discuss the correlation between the change in diet and increase in brain size during hominid evolution.
D.3.9 Distinguish between genetic and cultural evolution.
D.3.10 Discuss the relative importance of genetic and cultural evolution in the recent evolution of humans.
TOK: This is an opportunity to enter into the nature/nurture debate. There is clear causation when a genetic factor controls a characteristic. Cultural factors are much more complex, and correlation and cause are more easily confused.