Of Homo sapiens , Darwin made only a passing mention on the third-to-last page of the tome, noting coyly that “light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.” That’s it. That is all he wrote about the dawning of the single most consequential species on the planet.
Such discoveries make for a much more interesting picture of human evolution than the linear account that has dominated our view of life. But they raise a nagging question: How did H. sapiens end up being the sole surviving twig on what was once a luxuriant evolutionary bush?
One wonders where the next 175 years will take us in the quest to understand who we are and where we come from. We may have found our place in nature, located our twig on the shrub, but we are still searching for ourselves. We’re only human, after all.