Did Climate Change Drive Human Evolution?

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There's a plan afoot among evolutionary scientists to launch a big new project — to look back in time and find out how climate change over millions of years affected human evolution.

A panel of experts from the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., has given its blessing to the plan. They say it could unveil a whole new side of human history.

Anthropologist Rick Potts, who heads the human origins department at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, has been pushing the idea that "climate made us" for years.

Lately, he's been putting together an exhibit called "What Does It Mean to Be Human?" Among cabinets displaying dozens of skulls of human ancestors, and bronze statues of Neanderthals and other evolutionary experiments, there are displays suggesting the novel idea that climate change influenced how we evolved.

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