The appendix is a small, finger-shaped pouch attached to the large intestine. It has long been considered a vestigial organ, meaning that it has no function in the human body. However, recent research suggests that the appendix may actually serve as a reservoir for beneficial gut bacteria. The appendix is an example of a Phenotype …

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man holding scroll

First Mail, First Postal System

The first known postal system goes back to the Pharoah’s of Egypt circa 2400 BCE. Pharaohs used couriers to send out decrees throughout the Egyptian territory. The earliest surviving piece of mail dates back to 255 BCE and is also Egyptian.

Neanderthal-Denisovan Split

12,000 Generations Ago Neanderthals and Denisovans had a common ancestor about 300,000 BCE (current estimates range from 250,000 to 500,000 BCE and possibly as far back as 1.3 million BCE). Humans did not evolve from Denisovans nor Neanderthals, but both were the evolution descendant of a common ancestor with Homo Sapiens tentatively identified as Homo …

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Gyeongbokgung Palace, South Korea

Xia Dynasty (2070-1600 BCE)

The Xia Dynasty is the first documented government of ancient China. The first to adopt dynastic succession. In modern times, it was regarded as a myth created later by Chinese historians, but 20th-century excavations uncovered sites which corresponded to descriptions in earlier historians’ accounts. This fact is an important lesson on understanding how little survived …

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Pythagoras (570-495 BCE)

The Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras was born in Ancient Greece on the island Samos which is about a mile off the coast of modern Turkey. History looks at Pythagoras as an educator and philosopher as well as a cult leader. He discovered the musical octave, used deductive reasoning, and embraced an early version of …

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Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE)

Augustine is known as the father of Western religious scholarship. He reconciled the science and philosophy of Aristotle with church beliefs. Contrary to modern racists who portray Augustine as a white man, Augustine was a North African black man. That fact is sure to make the racist religious right’s heads explode! My favorite translated Augustine …

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Realistic Earth Planet against the the star sky

Spherical Earth

The Greeks knew the Earth is spherical. For example, Pythagoras (570-495 BCE), Aristotle (384-322 BCE), and Euclid (circa 450 BCE) wrote about the Earth as a sphere. Eratosthenes (276-194 BCE) even calculated the circumference of the Earth to within 1%. He also wrote about the idea that India could be reached by sailing westward from …

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Marble statue of the ancient Greek Philosopher Plato.

Socrates (469 – 399 BCE)

Socrates was a Greek philosopher and is frequently credited as the founder of Western philosophy. He left no writings, but his student Plato documented his philosophy. Some of my favorite translated sayings attributed to Socrates: Enjoy yourself — it’s later than you think. He who is not content with what they have will not be …

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Proto-Sinaitic script

155 Generations Ago The Proto-Sinaitic alphabet is considered the earliest trace of alphabetic writing and the common ancestor of both Ancient South Arabian script and the Phoenician alphabet. The ancient South Arabian script evolved about 900 BCE which continued to evolve into today’s Modern South Arabian languages. The Phoenician alphabet evolved into the Greek alphabet …

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Phoenician Alphabet

133 Generations Ago The Phoenician alphabet is a direct continuation of the Proto-Canaanite script circa 1300 BCE. Starting about 900 BCE, the Phoenician alphabet thrived and was adapted by others. It evolved into use by many languages including Greek, Old Italic and Anatolian scripts. These early uses of the alphabet evolved into the alphanumeric alphabet. 


40 Generations Ago Spaces between words started circa 1000 CE because those copying texts found it easier and faster to copy if they introduced spaces between words. The 1215 Magna Carta is a good example of this quality of writing which included word-spacing, uppercase, and lowercase, but no punctuation, nor paragraphs. 

Upper and Lowercase Starts

50 Generations Ago Uppercase and lowercase started circa 800 CE. Notice in the image above of an actual book from 460 CE that although it is missing word-spacing, punctuation, paragraphs, and lowercase it does make use of two colored text as well as margin notes to orient the reader. Many pre-printing press books very well …

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Law of the Twelve Tables

The Twelve Tables were rules citizens had to follow, and limits on the powers of the government. This idea was used several times during Roman history to force the Patricians, aristocrats, to consider the views of the plebeian citizens, commoners. In 451 BCE, plebeians went on strike to protest the tyranny of magistrates. The Twelve …

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Noah’s Flood Myth

The legendary story of Noah’s flood occurred in the year 2348 BCE if you believe Ussher’s biblical timeline he made up in 1654. However, this flood myth is clearly based on the Sumerian flood story documented in the Epoch of Gilgamesh circa 2100 BCE. The Epoch of Gilgamesh is regarded as one of the earliest …

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Sumerian Civilization

Human DNA today is the same as 50,000 BCE. There is no doubt there were many dozens and perhaps thousands of civilizations prior to the Sumer civilization, but Sumer is the earliest known, or at least the earliest well known. The Sumer civilization first established between 6500 and 4100 BCE. We know quite a bit about …

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Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 CE)

Some of my favorite translated meditations include: Learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference. The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.

Oldest Known Air Breather

The millipede Pneumodesmus newmani is the oldest air-breathing animal known to date. This ancient denizen of the Scottish waters once roamed the Earth during the early Silurian era. The millipede likely supplemented its oxygen intake through air as well as using its gills while in water.      

Animals, Plants, and Fungi Split

Eukaryote cells evolve into three separate lineages, the ancestors of modern plants, fungi and animals. Later animals evolve into the animal kingdom which includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, crustaceans, arachnids, echiniderms, worms, mollusks, and sponges.

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