Peking Man is one of the world's most famous fossil finds. Originally described from a single tooth, numerous fossils were subsequently found. However, these were all lost during World War II, and inferences have come from casts made of these fossils, as well as descriptions of those who had viewed the original fossils.
The findings of Peking Man show the innate curiosity and creativity of human beings, who have a desire to understand nature and to understand fundamental truths about the human species. It also shows the working of science. Although students and readers of popular literature may often come to the conclusion that scientists have found a great deal of top quality hominid fossils and are clear about our lineage, in reality findings of hominid fossils are fragmentary, and scientists do not even know whether Peking Man is the same species as earlier fossils for Africa also labeled Homo erectus. The fact that one tooth could be used to make the original diagnosis of a new species shows just how fragmentary fossil evidence can be.
Nonetheless, the concept that there were primitive species of Australopithecus and early species of the genus Homo is a well established finding. This is in alignment with Unification thought, which recognizes that development takes place in stages, whether the history of life (which passes through the Cambrian, Ordovician, and other stages) or the history of an individual (egg, birth, child, youth, adult, death). By such reasoning, Homo erectus, as exemplified by Peking Man, provided a foundation for subsequent stages. Mayr (2001) notes that it is widely accepted that H. erectus gave rise to both Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. From the point of view of religion, ultimately, at the end, human beings were endowed with a spiritual essence (soul or spirit).