Dec 8, 2006 - ..Children, History, Science & Technology    5 Comments    12,213 views

Who was the first person on Earth?

Kids ASK! about Science & Technology

There many different stories people come up with to answer this question. These stories are sometimes known as creation myths.

Based on a Christian point of view, Adam was considered to be the first human on earth. However, other religions have their own version of creation.

From the scientific perspective, humans evolved from a common ancestor shared both by us and by the apes we see in the world today – gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans. This common ancestor is referred to as Kenyapithecus. Its fossils have been found in Africa, and are ~16 million years old, indicating it lived 16 million years ago! Over time (millions of years!), subgroups of Kenyapithecus became sufficiently different that they could no longer interbreed (different species). One of these subgroups led to the line Homo – our direct descendants.

Sources of information:
1. The Origins of Life by Roy A. Gallant. [Call no.: J 576.8 GAL]

For more information, you may wish to refer to these books:


The First Humans / by The Diagram Group
New York : Facts On File, c2004
Call No.: JR 569.9 FIR
Click here for item availability.


Darwin and the theory of evolution by Robert Greenberger
New York : Rosen Central Primary Source, 2005
Call No.: J 576.8 GRE
Click here for item availability.


Early humans by Andrew Campbell
Great Bardfield, Essex : Miles Kelly Pub., 2005
Call No.: J 569.9 CAM
Click here for item availability.


The big picture book : see life on Earth unfolding through time by John Long
Crows Nest, N.S.W. : Allen & Unwin, 2005
Call No.: J 576.8 LON
Click here for item availability.

Answered by Ms Azizah Osman, Librarian, Children’s Services

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  • I noticed you mentioned Christians believe Adam was the first man, but actually some Christians have put forth Bibilical arguments that humans thrived long before Adam. He may have been the first white man, but actually no one seems to know who was the first man at all.

    [ASK! Editor replies:
    Dear Eric, thank you for your constructive comment
    Indeed, this topic of discussion is very subjective and religion-sensitive as well. If left to pursue the root of it, i think it would result in a never-ending debate. What we have quoted were some references to the topic, which we found it useful for open discussion. These does not reflect NLB's stand that we actually approve or disapprove of them. That's why this blog is started to gather different opinions on . We seek your understanding on this and we look forward to your further participation in our blogs.

    P.S. You can also directly email to NLB's ASK! service at for any enquiries you may have e.g. school projects, casual enquiries, some questions that's been bugging you etc. ASK! service will endeavor to reply you within 3 working days with relevant and authoriative resources to your emailed questions.]

  • can you just tell me who is th first person on earth

  • If you have an I tune account… Search the movie \’Life To Eve\’ and go to the very almost end of it. I almost tells you. It tells you about anchient skulls from Africa, plzzzz wach it! ITS FREE!!!

  • Hi, I like to ask about the earth.

  • this alsome

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