Why Do People Study the Past?

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By studying the past, scientists are better able to determine how people and animals have evolved, how they lived and how they may continue to grow in future generations. Studying the past allows scientists to learn how problems arise in order to come up with a solution.

Archaeologists, anthropologists and paleontologists are some of the scientists who study a particular area of the past. They use fossils, scientific observations, and other means to piece together how people and animals lived, how they evolved, and how they died to gain a better understanding of how things happened to make predictions about the future.

Today's scientists study things like past climate events to find out what future climate events might be. Past civilizations are studied to find out how people hunted, made tools, developed social bonds, and how they may have died, to help humans evolve and avoid some of the same mistakes their ancestors made. Cosmologists and archaeoastronomers study past astronomy events so they can learn how the universe was formed and to predict how it will change.

The information gathered through studying the past helps to quench the thirst that many humans have for more knowledge. This allows people to understand why the world is the way it is today.