Friday, May 1, 2009

We are all one species

Learning & Innovation – April 25, 2009

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM


We are all one species


I am back here in South Africa, this time to speak at the ASTD-SA Global Network Conference & Exposition in Cape Town, April 21-23.  My topic is "Leadership Branding through Organizational and Personal Learning" which i will share with you in subsequent columns.  It feels so good to be in South Africa with its vast open spaces, clean air, unspoiled  nature and wonderful people.


We just delivered our luggage in the beautiful home of our gracious hosts Juanita and Robin Probart, together with another speaker from Portugal, the very articulate Dr. Filipe Carrera, we motored to the Cradle of Humankind. 


Robin is the president of American Society for Training & Development-South Africa Global Network and is the one who set-up and manage its annual conferences and other activities, the one who invited all speakers. 


Okay, so do you know that you, me, all of us are descended from South Africans?  The exhibits at the Cradle traced the origins of man to SA from various fossils dating millions of years found in the Cradle's vast area.


Being a Catholic and believing in the Creation, let me just share with you parts of the systematically and creatively displayed artifacts and scientific assertions of the Evolution of Man and our changing environment.


·         SA has yielded fossils of some of the earliest known dinosaurs, at least 200 million years old. Massospondylus carinatus is the oldest known dinosaurs and lived over much of southern Africa during the Early Jurrasic.


·         Fossils of our distant mammal-like ancestors, which lived more than 200-million years ago, have been found in South Africa.


·         Many significant fossil finds have been made in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, including the famous fossils "Mrs. Ples" and "Little Foot."


·         Mrs. Ples is the best example of an adult Australopithecus africanus ever discovered.  The skull was found by Dr. Robert Broom and his assistant, John Robinson, at Sterkfontein in 1947.


·         Hominids, the ancestors of modern humans first emerged some 7 million years ago in Africa.


·         The first stone tools were made and used in Africa, at least 2.6 million years ago.

·         Our ancestors were able to use and control fire at least one million years ago in the Cradle of Humankind.


·         Homo sapiens, the species to which we all belong, evolved in Africa approximately 200,000 years ago.


·         Africa ignited humankind's imagination.  Some of the world's oldest rock art has been discovered in southern Africa.


·         All of humanity shares an African heritage.  We are one, diverse species across the globe, with our roots in Africa.






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