The Human Family Tree

Ratings: 7.64/10 from 103 users.


The Human Family TreeOn a single day on a single street, with the DNA of just a couple of hundred random people, National Geographic Channel sets out to trace the ancestral footsteps of all humanity.

Narrated by Kevin Bacon, The Human Family Tree travels to one of the most diverse corners of the world -- Queens, N.Y. -- to demonstrate how we all share common ancestors who embarked on very different journeys.

Regardless of race, nationality or religion, all of us can trace our ancient origin back to the cradle of humanity, East Africa. What did our collective journey look like, and where did it take your specific ancestors?

At what point in our past did we first cross paths with the supposed strangers living in our neighborhood? Now, in The Human Family Tree, the people of this quintessential American melting pot find out that their connections go much deeper than a common ZIP code.

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103 Comments / User Reviews

  1. HaTe_MaChInE

    Started off slow... picked up speed towards the end. One of the better NatGeo docs Ive seen in a while.

    Thanks Vlatko

  2. LoVe_MaChInE

    You must have no life man cause your comments are on almost everyone of these docs LOL. guess that means i have no life either....

  3. Epicurean_Logic

    There's some serious man love going on here.

  4. Joey

    that was great

  5. capricious

    @Love - dude, his name is hate machine.. like he can have many friends! ;)

    Totally kidding of course HM - I completely enjoy both of your presences here.

    I watch 100% of the docs but often times fall asleep halfway through and don't reply cause I didn't end up seeing the whole thing unless it was a super interesting topic.

  6. Skye-hook

    Really enjoyed it! Very good documentary! :)
    @love_machine- I'm on a lot of them too, and I have a very busy life. I just love documentarys!
    I wish they'd somehow start fitting in where we all became hairless & upright, & I'm hoping they'll find enough evidence soon to start fitting in the hobbit people, cause a LOT of the changes that help make us human originated somewhere along there, especially the hairless & upright things. Have you peeps seen where many scientists think it had to happen due to living in water a lot of the time? I forget how to tell ya how to find it. Sorry. It's very interesting.
    Thanks Vlatko!

  7. Allan

    The entire history of mankind - The Holy Bible, the true unchanging words of G-d, all you need to know is in it.

  8. Epicurean_Logic


    Thanks for that. I have to say that it's very rare that i disagree with every single word that someone says, but in your case well done you have achieved what i previously thought to be unachievable. How it's possible for someone to be so completely and dangerously closed minded is a mystery?

    'The entire history of mankind – The Holy Bible'!!!!!!!

    'the true unchanging words of G-d' Unchanging!!!!

    'all you need to know is in it.'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sigh. I just don't know where to begin with you.

  9. Billton


    maybe he was beaten with a bible all his life

  10. Lamda.Phage

    Well actually one of the theories is that our ancestors lost most of their body hairs in order to obtain an optimal body temperature control(sweating). This was needed for long pursuits of prey while hunting under high temperatures in mid-day.

  11. Collette

    I love this discovery. Itconects people at the very base and suspitions fall out. But I really love diversety. Becming a little village makes that big diversety dissapear. That is kinda pitty also if necessary. Even if the appereance genece are ust a small dot in the big mass of genes, still I find those very interesting. The evolution of climat adaptation is written in them. This discovery makes us know how closely related we are. But even so we can be so different. I was always more facinated by knowing we are different than discovering we are close.

  12. rtm

    damn anti-rascism video, also promoting the unification of nations. Total b.s, " we are all the same "? maybe like the guy said 65 000 years ago but we are surley all different now, its obvious with one glance, maybe we came from the same place on this planet but we all changed pretty dramaticaly and too say that the neandethals when extinct is a freaking propaganda idea for the kind of truth they want to know.

  13. rtm

    And @ Allan
    Dude, I definatly am not a relative of yours weather i like it or not, cause you simply make me sick with your stupidity.

  14. Fan of Vlatko^^


    hope u never find the key to get out of ur house. mankind has enough dangerous need 4 u

  15. Epicurean_Logic

    It's interesting that 60'000 years ago there was a tall cigarillo smoking bushman that passed on his y-chromosone to all of us guys!!

    That means that in 60'000 years from now everyone coul be descendants of Achems Razors... What a wonderful world that would be...

    Socialistic health care and quantum mechanics for all...

  16. Epicurean_Logic

    It’s interesting that 60’000 years ago there was a tall cigarillo smoking bushman that passed on his y-chromosone to all of us guys!!

    That means that in 60’000 years from now everyone coul be descendants of Achems Razors… What a wonderful world that would be…

    Socializtic health care and quantum mechanics for all…

  17. DiannaK


    you didn't watch the doc, did you?

  18. TJ

    I'm pretty sure extensive DNA testing and investigation will tell you a hell of a lot more than "one glance."

    "damn anti-racism... unification of nations."
    Are you serious? Oh no, not anti-racism or unity, anything but that. Run for your lives, it's tolerance!

    Think harder, you're only looking skin deep. Literally.

  19. James Jackson

    Yes, rtm, this video offers too much political correctitude. In one part Wells says different "DNA doesn't mean you're better..." without defining what "better" might be, but, certainly, many remote ancestors lacked certain DNA to survive and, fortunately, died off without passing their defective genes down to us. "Better," of course, means better adapted to one's environment and able to adapt to changing environments.

    We are all similar back to a point. Go back 5 million years when lived our common ancestor with chimpanzees. Aren't we "better" than chimpanzees, even though "97%" the same? We are all better than that single-cell which generated all life on earth, I would suppose.

    I can't get into Neanderthals, but the latest Science Today restates and confirms genetically our interbreeding with them at one point, but I doubt I would be sexually attracted to one were they around today.

    If the weight of several disparate strangers were sinking a lifeboat, those least like the others would be the first thrown overboard--it's in our DNA.

    I do have hope for humanity, though first Allan and his ilk must evolve out of the race before we can all agree. Were it not for religion, for example, Jews and Palestinians would be happily interbred by now, concerned only with paying the mortgage and acquiring digital devices.

  20. Pacha

    Well clearly the christians aren't evolving so I say we throw Allan out of the lifeboat first.

  21. Pacha

    @ James Jackson
    I was watching Louis Theroux's weird Christmas last night.
    He'd gathered four americans together who had very different beliefs and ideals, just for a few days at christmas.
    Only four people (out of 6 billion) but you wouldn't believe how difficult it was to get them to agree on anything.
    What chance have we got of ever advancing really?

  22. James Jackson

    @Pacha: Good point! Made me think of all the family arguments behind all the divergences in Well's map of human migration.

  23. eireannach666

    None if science doesnt prevail over the simple religious and smaller grievances. Maybe when we are all gone.

  24. eireannach666


    SOunds like home.

    Is that on TDF? I love Louis.

  25. eireannach666

    I have to agree and copy that statement.

    Alone at last , right?

  26. eireannach666


    Hint , Hint.

  27. Optimist

    What wonderful world.

  28. jodee

    he should be looking for the genectic ape marker,if we decended or trace are liniage from one region then he should trace the ape we came from since darwin therory has been forced through are edgucation stystem to be the truth ,but wich ape species we came from,if we came from one original rrace then we came from one original ape ????? or is dna evidence not sound science.



  30. dread

    Everything changes in time, even the sciences & scientists. another theory like evolution...

    Do not get carried away mankind!!! 'cos not all come from the same seed. Always a negative seed and positive seed existed.
    Yin Yang.....

    Its the Negative who's always trying to link to the Positive. not in the idea of bringing peace and love. But in the idea of Globalization. Watch out its the ego capitalists sponsoring SCIENCEs.

  31. Ramus

    I really cant get my head around how some people think the "good" book is literal fact. Maybe in 2000 years people will think Lord of the Rings is the truth and trees talked, dragons hoarded gold and hairy footed midgets were the saviours of mankind.

  32. TheQueenOfCheese

    Nae bad, follows The Incredible Human Journey quite nicely

    you can also add: another theory like gravitation, no? :)
    good&evil, ying&yang these are abstract ideas with no reflection in nature; created by people just as imperfect as we all are.

    I really hope that in such a world we'd have some ritualistic hobbit-foot-massages. And just imagine the Xmas spread...

  33. Ramus

    By the way; talking of Christmas, there are demonstrations in the streets (well one street) here in Britain because the pc brigade want to call Christmas the Festival of Lights just in case it upsets Muslims. WTF! Festival of Lights??? I suppose next we have to rename Easter to Carnival of Eggs. Politicians and Zealots should be shot into space so the world can actually have some peace and quiet.

  34. Taharqa (Conqueror of Egypt)

    Wow this is so amazing!!!
    It's funny how when the minority of honest scientist disagree with the majority of biased or prejudice scientists they are immediately disqualified as rubbish, stupid or delusional.
    I know this documentary will piss some people off when they discover where they actually originated from. I wouldn't mention any names though LoL!!!
    This documentary should be translated in all languages and be shown in every school or classroom across the globe, and should be taught as history 101.
    Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop (historian, anthropologist, physicist and politician) may he R.I.P. would have loved to actually see most crooked or biased anthropologists and historians' faces when it was finally confirmed and revealed that the MONO-GENETIC theory ruled over the POLY-GENETIC theory( multiple origins of humans) which supported the ideology of inferior and superior human races.
    In 1912, a British geologist attempted to prove that life had begun in England by piecing together a fake fossil supposedly found on British soil. The fabricated skull was later found to have been a fake by an honest English anthropologist in the 1950's.The fabricated skull was later found to have been a fake by an English anthropologist in the 1950's. It was determined to have been constructed using the mandible and canine teeth of a monkey.
    Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop later reinforced his belief in the mono-genetic theory by saying "If Africans never left Africa, the rest of the world would be an unpeopled desert."

    keep up the good work as usual Vlatko!!!
    The truth shall always prevail!!!
    peace out!!

    Taharqa (Conqueror of Egypt)

  35. Gary V

    A superb doc & it's great that all the racists can finally realise that we can all trace our ancestors back to Africa. We are all one race, the Human race & there ain't a damn thing that you can do about it, It's in your DNA.

  36. withoutacountry

    All people but all people who can do this are not africans! Conscious Africans are not Africans because of birth or color..

  37. AlfBeta

    Interesting, so bible and scientific theory agree on something, that all people alive descended from a single man and a single woman. It's not much, but it's an agreement. Yes I know there's 6 million other things they don't agree on ...

  38. h

    We are all part Neanderthal - except those indiginous Africans like the San.
    This means that the San and their kin are the thoroughbred, pure H. Sapiens.
    Everyone else are cross-breeds, mongrels if you will !

  39. mike mall

    it isnt about not offending...calling it a "festival of lights", which it is, only helps bring more of us together in a one world, all people celebration. i live in the United states and we spend more time seeing and looking at the lighted houses, streets, and businesses. never do we talk about the biblical sense of christmas. the birth of some character in a fiction book no longer has any relevance in the world today

  40. ObamaATL

    That must explain the animal like behavior of the Caucasoid man. Interesting.

  41. Winston Smith

    i read that no matter how different anyone looks from anyone else on the planet that we are never more than 50th cousins apart and often much closer
    when people talk about 'races' they need to understand that superficial the differences are the result of adaptation to local environments.

    I have Wells' book too.. but havent read it .. yet ^^

  42. jonathan jackward


  43. Beth Scott

    ...boring... the interviews with New Yorkers and their reflections on what they consider their heritage, which would only be a few hundred years back at best, is a big snore. The journey of MODERN HUMANS and how we populated the planet and the archeological and DNA evidence is much more interesting - the personal stories of the New Yorkers break up the interesting bits. The British series 'The Incredible Human Journey' is a much better documentary.

  44. sknb


    As a lover of anthropology and genetics, I was thrilled by this journey. Wasn't bored for a second. Watched this three times over three months, actually.

    My brother lives very close to this street in Brooklyn. I am so thrilled when I can walk down the street and see all different kinds of people.

  45. sknb

    In Judaism, Hanukah is actually called the Festival of Lights.

  46. sknb

    (Also in the US)

    As a religious minority in the US, age 27, my experience is that people in America are constantly talking about the "biblical sense of Christmas".

    My choir teacher in high school couldn't understand why I would have an objection to singing a Christian song, at a Church, during an actual Mass.

    Some of the political candidates believe in Dominionism - the belief that Christianity should control all aspects of personal and political life.

    I think it is that people can't separate religion from morality, if only more people could understand that you can have morality without religion.

    Documentaries like this one help us understand that we are all humans.....

  47. Guest

    It would be so funny to analyse the genetic of some racists! Many could be surprised! Imagine this Arab or that Jew, Iranian or whatever...
    Having the fact under the nose that they are "Far cousins"!
    An insult? They'd refuse to be tested.
    Today, in the case of some orthodox Jews, they only can marry between themself! But this technic overpass many milleniums.

    And I think that their "Bible" (Thora) state that the beginning of time, the creation of human beings, dates back to only 5,000 years.
    As well, same thing for some religious christian fundamentalists I heard of.


  48. Areej

    Wow! The video was intersting to watch i was kind of suprised that we started in Africa. But i wounder How did they (scientist) come up with the idea to do all of this research and also how they tend to find DNA that is hundres thousands years ago?

  49. Garlin Maki

    I can't speak of everyone, but I know I don't want to force my religion on anyone else. Neither do I want the government from stopping me from expressing my faith. More and more Christians are the groups most restricted in living their faith everyday. No Christmas songs, etc. I don't have a problem celebrating my friends holidays with them. Should the majority be the ones most limited?

  50. Garlin Maki

    Loved this documentary! Very interesting. Makes sense. Look at how we respond to more or less sun, heat, altitude etc individually, let alone as a culture. Why wouldn't this change us permanently over the generations?

  51. Inanna Shu

    not sure that i quite believe the african origins,If the Sumerian culture is the oldest known documented then how can African genetics be considered to be the beginning of man.

  52. Epicurus

    man began LONG before civilization and the written word or even spoken language probably.

    there is no question about humans coming out of africa. there is nothing for you to be suspicious about. its a fact.

  53. gazzange

    Actually you definitely can have morality without religion.
    Morality is inate in all of us, it does not take a book or scriptures to instil morality.

  54. Sharon Thiel

    Without a benchmark for morality....a premise upon which there is understanding for what is "wrong" or "right" or "acceptable" or "unacceptable".... there is no definition for morality.
    It is something like this:
    A long time ago I spent a day with the young mother of twins who were about 18 months old at the time. Her major conversation with them was "no", "we don't DO that", and my personal favorite, "you know better than to do that". It's my favorite because the child looked up at mom and lifted his hands palm upward and said "what do?"
    At this point the mom was getting very frustrated and turned to me and said, "I just can't get them to stop........(whatever the messy action was that displeased her)". I quietly asked, "Have you told/shown them what you DO want them to do? I mean, instead of saying 'Don't" saying, "do this instead of that?" She just looked at me and said, "but they KNOW". And I asked,"How?" She started to speak and and then stopped. After a moment she said, "Well, we all have common sense when we're born, right? We know what's right and what's wrong!" Again I asked, "How?" The more she thought about it the more I saw comprehension in her eyes. She finally said,"I don't understand why I didn't think about that before."
    My reply was simple: "We sometimes don't realize that we learn virtually everything by watching, hearing and being shown/told. To some extent we can learn by trial and error, but that is a poor method for beings of such high intelligence. Humans will rarely do the right thing by instinct, they must have seen it modeled or be instructed. It is the nature of us, and that is just the way it is." That was the end of the conversation as I recall it. I moved away soon after.
    Years later I learned from someone else that this mom had responded to a compliment about her kids by sharing that her sons were such quick learners, and quickly comprehended the value in a positive choice, because 'some neighbor had made her realize years before that kids don't come with a downloaded instruction book for civilized living...they have to be shown and shaped with positive direction, and learning that had changed everything about her household with the kids."
    It made me feel good to know a small conversation could make such a difference, but it also made me more convinced that it is a true principle that genuine morality is not instinctive to humans, though the ability to grasp and embrace its value when it is revealed to us may well be. The Creator of life lacks nothing in wisdom and skill :-)

  55. Adam the apeman

    Yeah but the biblical Adam and Eve magically appeared from nothing and lived together, talking to snakes, whilst trying to educate guessing that's what the tree of knowledge is?? some magical tree that lets whoever eats its fruit to learn stuff? - maybe that's why the abrahamic god wasn't happy when they ate the fruit ...because then Adam and Eve would have probably become scientists and realised religion is a bunch of bull**** and fairy tales designed for insecure, illiterate, uneducated people who are scared of thunder storms!)
    The Scientific Adam and Eve lived thousands of years apart! There wasn't just 1 man and 1 woman who lived together and then they went on to populate the world...there would have been lots of humans BUT the only DNA lineages to survive and then populate the world can be traced back to 1 woman and 1 man.

  56. David Mkinley

    Nevertheless I find it worthy of note that ye olde biblio assert in this story All Current Humans Share A Single Pair Of Ancestors - and the scientific method arrives at the same assertion. As to the truth of that particular belief in common, I leave it to believers to be certain, I'm not. But there is more to myth, religion, legend than fodder for fools. No offence, but Science enthusiasts often SEEM not to have noticed th
    at, Hypnosis and unexamined dogma aren't restricted to religionists you know.

  57. disqus_0rM0tGwR0g

    'Its a fact'? - it has already been proven wrong. The geno project above is yet another attempt by the afro-centric proponents in their endeavour to uplift the African race. Spencer wells is a disgrace to science for agreeing to be part of this sham and any credibility he may have had has been destroyed.

  58. Epicurus

    well its clear you have a bias racist agenda.

    but genetic evidence has supported the out of africa theory. perhaps you need to catch up with modern thought.

    Genetic studies and fossil evidence show that archaic Homo sapiens evolved to anatomically modern humanssolely in Africa, between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago, that members of one branch of Homo sapiens left Africa by between 125,000 and 60,000 years ago, and that over time these humans replaced earlier human populations such as Neanderthals and Homo erectus. The date of the earliest successful "out of Africa" migration (earliest migrants with living descendants) has generally been placed at 60,000 years ago as suggested by genetics, although migration out of the continent may have taken place as early as 125,000 years ago according to Arabian archaeology finds of tools in the region. A 2013 paper reported that a previously unknown lineage had been found, which pushed the estimated date for the most recent common ancestor (Y-MRCA) back to 338,000 years ago.

    The recent single origin of modern humans in East Africa is the predominant position held within the scientific community. There are differing theories on whether there was a single exodus or several. A multiple dispersal model involves the Southern Dispersal theory, which has gained support in recent years from genetic, linguistic and archaeological evidence.

  59. disqus_0rM0tGwR0g

    Believe what you will - most uneducated people like you are like sheep and believe any drivel that is printed or told regardless how absurd it is - sorry to burst your bubble but the tooth fairy is also not true .... lol, you drone

  60. Epicurus

    Im educated and that is why i actually backed up what i said with evidence.

    you are uneducated especially in this subject. i wouldnt be surprised if your last science class was when you were 16 years old.

    if anyone is the sheep it is the mindless racist.

  61. disqus_0rM0tGwR0g

    lol ... you copy and paste and call that evidence? like I said, small minds believe anything they read. However, I must give credit to the fake doctor wells in his objective being achieved - the placebo effect is rather fascinating ! soon you may even start to believe your affirmative action job was attained on merit. So go ahead and stroke your fragile ego - who knows, it may even prompt you to stop being a welfare sponge ... lol, funny little creature you are.

  62. Epicurus

    LOL I love how you uneducated people just claim that education is brainwashing. thats some good cognitive dissonance.

    how about you address any of the things said? NOOOOO that would take too much thinking. you are right, humans just popped into existence fully formed by a magical man in the sky.

  63. kevin

    We are 1 Huge family

  64. YSoSure?

    Is it possible that the genetic material that is within us today split not within the past 100,000 years but more than a million years ago?

    And if not, why not?

  65. YSoSure?

    Forgive me for playing the skeptic but the premise of this documentary seems too narrowly construed. I've been coming to an understanding of how our ability to learn rests upon our ability to distill and compartmentalize input but these techniques seem to fall short on some subjects.

    Calling our solitary ancestors 'Scientific Adam and Eve' seems to highlight the flaw. Just as a god gives the quick and easy answers to difficult questions so it seems do Scientific Adam and Scientific Eve.

    I don't know what to believe but I have not ruled out the possibility that our genetic split didn't happen far earlier. It seems reasonable to assume that a genome separated by geography but given similar circumstances, i.e. the tropical climate of prehistorical S. Africa and northern S. America, would develop in a somewhat parallel fashion. Whatever mutations that were likely to survive in a particular environment would be likely to survive in another very similar environment. This would allow for humans to develop in the Americas independent of the African continent which seems much more likely than that ridiculous walk through such varied climates as Arctic and Tropical.

    The skill sets required for such a journey, even if made over generations are so varied that it sounds like a death sentence. Moreover what possible reasons could those creatures have for such a punishing adventure?

    Scientific Adam and Eve seem as plausible as the biblical pair. But who knows? I sure don't. And for that reason I'm absolutely sure of, and would fight to the death to defend, the fact that we should all keep an open mind.

    Thanks for reading my ridiculous opinion all the way down to the very last .... .

  66. YSoSure?

    I applaud your tendency toward thinking for yourself. I can't say that I fully understand your reasons but I really appreciate the sentiment.

  67. Epicurus

    The genetic markers that we have show the split occurring ~200,00 years ago. this also matches the earliest modern human skeletons we have.

    a million years ago there were other homo species but not homo sapiens.

  68. Epicurus

    im having a hard time understanding your first point about the splitting of genomes.

    However nothing about the neanderthals or the Denisovans contradicts what we know about the occurrence of modern humans.

  69. YSoSure?

    Excuse me for using the term 'split' in that context, it is a little confusing. I never meant the splitting of a particular genome but always the line of genomes reproduced through time, the iterations.

    I don't really think that, 'we know about the occurrence of modern humans.' But we've got some damn interesting theories. Some of the theories even use the most current information that we have...most of them don't. But we're getting better. I'm pretty sure that we're not there yet. But, I have hope. No faith, but hope.

    Don't mind the faith part. I've never had any before so it's not like I'm missing anything.

    Please excuse the mini tirade. I'm in New Orleans and by this time of night at least 85% of the population has had a drink or two.

    But please allow me the question: What accepted belief best refutes the possibility of life progressing independently in similar environments in strikingly similar ways?

  70. Epicurus

    the lack of fossil evidence. Like do you mean the multiregional hypothesis?

  71. sdfsdjk sdjkksdf

    Wow. Well, when some random person on the internet says it is a fact, it must be true! /s

    Why not add links to support your OPINION instead? That gives far more credit to it than simply saying it is true.

  72. Carolee Stout

    Very nicely done, but... aaah, the arrogance of our scientists! They are so certain about the information they distill, UNTIL the next finding, which will change everything. I have learned to be skeptical of such programs, knowing that there is much more to learn about human history. For example... who knew there was a step pyramid in the United States, just 10 minutes from the St. Louis arch? Cahokia... an amazing religious complex, larger than any of the pyramids of Giza. Who knows about it today? Science needs to do a lot more digging and exploring right here at home. What lies buried in the ground of North America? What would human remains found HERE tell us? That would be a very interesting story. I'm afraid I would still be skeptical of our all-knowing, every confident scientists but... it would be interesting.

  73. Pasha5

    Bravo! Most people of color have always heard that they were the original inhabitants of the earth; so its not new to many of us but nice that we can agree on that fact. I share this piece as much as I can. It is unfortunate that this has not gotten the media attention that it desires. Perhaps we could all get along now or at least behave like a real family, albeit a dysfunctional one that wants to seat down and solve what ails and divides us. I am game, are you?

  74. Pasha5

    Not addressing or defending the project but, we all know that humans develop different features to adjust to new environments as other animals of different phylum's have.

  75. kbeslic

    OK the scientific Adam is 60 000 and eve 200 000. u detrmine that by mitohindrial an Y kromosom genom which does not change. If it doesnt change how do u know how old it is? How can u be sure that the rate of mutations is constant through time? Why do u keep telling that the neadrethal went extinct when ppl living today have neandrethal DNA? What exacly makes neandrethals a seperate species?

    The bottle-neck is a theory not a fact. The fact that at some point in time u have 1000 or 10 versions of a gene does not mean that u have 1000 or 10 individuals. The reduction of diversity in a gene does not equal a reduction in population.

    Genetics and science are not cooking, stop simplifying it to the point of ridiculous.

    Stop pissing from a (anitwar) moral highground on ppl from Bosnia in a documatary made in a country that has 100 000's of soldiers stationed in countries all over the world "defending" not it's land and ppl but it's interests.

    Horrible doc sorry for teh time spent on it.

  76. abdulwalee

    funny how science is so limited. just read the Qur an

  77. bluetortilla

    I think the point here is not to prove anything scientifically or rigid, but a heart warming experiment to show how much we all have in common as humans and how indeed, we are all brothers and sisters from the same family. From that vantage it was a great success and quite moving.
    The one and only qualm I had with this piece was when the narrators had to take another crack at the poor Neanderthal; at how the first European humans did 'em in. The fact is we don't what was the cause of the Neanderthal extinction and until we do should give the dead their dignity.

  78. Heidi Standell

    Some of the comments on here seem very, well, to put it bluntly, racist. Since this documentary was made there has been even more dna testing done that affirms the first homo sapiens branch of "human" migrated OUT OF AFRICA and all the way to Australia (where there is DNA evidence that ancient Australians have a genetic heritage similar to the San tribe of central/southern Africa). There were many more African sourced migrations and people have settled and displaced and lines have become extinct and others flourished and split off and this story never ended and never will--everyone alive today has the tale of this genetic migratory history in their DNA! Why is this idea so aggressively attacked?

  79. bluetortilla

    I'm not sure, but it's my impression that far more people support the theory than are attacking it, particularly the science community. And they're the main impetus of our modern beliefs.
    In any case, what you say makes perfect sense and is sound.
    Finally, I'm of the impression that there is still far more genetic divergence of homo sapiens groups within Africa than outside it.

  80. Heidi Standell

    I was reading further down, below as well as other posts on the net I've come across. And yes, there is more genetic diversity in Africa. Population age is partly constructed upon greater diversity due to a longer time span :)

  81. DaveOD

    To go a bit further, they found San markers in Patagonia as well.

  82. BlckWhite

    Beautiful! There is only one race and that is HUMAN :)

  83. t hopps

    Spencer Wells made a doc over 10 yrs ago taking DNA samples from widely diverse people around the world. This doc like that one only goes so far in the investigation of our ancestors.

  84. t hopps

    Seriously, did you really think that you would get a forward thinking intellectual discussion of where we all originated? You know that the actual information given in this doc would only fill 10 minutes of tv time. But they pretty it up with scenery and actors marching through sand. It's grade 4 science at best. Spencer Wells should be ashamed for producing such a piece of trash.

  85. nathan

    Explains a hell of a lot more than any superstitious magic fairy tale Religion ever could, that's for certain.
    And it has some credible evidence to back it up, unlike any Religion on Earth.

  86. nathan

    Explains a lot more than any Religion ever could. Fact.

  87. Him Again

    Actually, there is a very simple hypothesis but absolutely unacceptable to Our Owners and other interested/vested parties:
    the Neanderthals were almost wiped out - but not annihilated - by the violent so-called homo sapiens, who live on to this day as Religionists - a polite term for Warriors/Killers.
    It *IS* most probably a magnified genetic fault that has prove so successful, that it is still with us to this very day.

    Of course, the Neanderthals are still with us and are basically the vastly numerically inferior Caucusoids. The vastly more numeric Negroids certainly do seem to have originated in Africa and are still on a killing spree that is rapidly spreading all over the world and have been breeding forcefully and by force, ever since.
    There is a perfectly reasonable anti-thesis to the "out of Africa" dogma which calls for analysing the extremely annoying anomaly of the continent of Australia and its original inhabitants:
    it is absolutely and completely unarguable that geologically and geophysically that continent is vastly older and more stable than Africa.

  88. Him Again

    No it isn't.
    Just read my post higher up. "Fact" means beyond dispute - proven - duplicable.
    There is also the point that the "Out Of Africa" nonsense is a political "tool".
    There is no science involved in such a wishful idea - (but is fully understandable as to its liking by Negroid people).
    See my other post today - "Tom Fum"

  89. Him Again

    Basically, because to a THINKING Scientist the "Out of Africa" theory is a warm dream for negroid people and a useful divisive tool for politics.
    Don't forget that there are a Billion people actually believe the story of Jesus The Christ and are waiting for his return.
    There is NO scientifically acceptable evidence for this story. But, it is a lovely warm dream.......

  90. Him Again

    Tom Fum - a wonderful story that comes out of New Guinea (as it was then) in WW2. The locals - mountain people who didn't even talk to each other (too difficult to reach) were suddenly confronted with the USA invasion of fantastic amounts of goods.
    A legend was quickly generated that these White guys must have intercepted all the goodies that just fell out of the sky. After all, the local people were THE people.
    Local leaders sprang up all over telling them that only they could really talk to these sky people, but the locals would have to prove their faith.
    They had to give up all their pigs and goodies (to the "contact") and build Airstrips, just like the White guys did and wait for the deliveries.

    The locals actually built airfields, complete to windsocks and towers.
    Too late. It was all over. The few Australian soldiers had already done so much damage to the Japanese that they quit and went home.

    Even today there are still "Tom Fum" (Tom Thumb) believers in the mountains..... still waiting.

  91. Epicurus

    your view is based on a racist interpretation of the facts. Go look at when and where homo sapians originated. look at where the fossil and DNA evidence points us. It all goes back to Africa 200,000 years ago. All the humans today share the same DNA and only europeans are mixed with neanderthals.

    you have no idea what you are talking about. all your posts have been nonsense.

  92. Epicurus

    What does this have to do with anything?

  93. Epicurus

    All of the DNA evidence and fossil evidence of human bones and tools shows that humans migrated out of africa.

    Where is a SINGLE shred of evidence showing anything different.

    Keep in mind you are speaking to an anthropologist.

  94. Epicurus

    WOOOOOOW. everything you say here shows that you have zero education in genetics. You dont know that we have mapped the neanderthal and human genomes. We have neanderthal DNA in some humans. We found the markers. we can date when it occured and show that everyone on earth is HOMO SAPIEN. Australia!?!!? We have studied Australia extensively and the earliest evidence of human occupation is 40,000 and 68,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene epoch. What could possibly make you think that humans originated in Australia when there are ZERO primates native to the island?!?!

    you are truly a special kind of stupid.

  95. Him Again

    No, you are certainly not an anthropologist, merely an Anthropologist. ( The difference in capitalisation denotes a truth not many "qualified" people ever want to face.) :-)
    Your cut n' paste figures do not stand up to the true scientific method.
    You are obviously young and newly "qualified" or worse - still a University student.
    The first and most obvious counter to the ridiculous "Out of Africa" nonsense is that the planet in those times would have made such insane journeys impossible.
    Even if for some inexplicable reason these creatures DECIDED to undertake such an epic trek!
    Even the geological (provable!) history of Africa and precisely the Rift make it a VERY long shot.

    To everyone who has fixed beliefs/conditioning about the origins of anything at all, I commend reading more of anomalies to their beliefs.
    Epicurus - in particular - (strange choice of pseudonym and fitting) needs to read some "unacceptable" sources out in the real world. An easy starting point would be those that question quite adequately - even the origins of human life on this planet.
    Or research the simple scientific improbability of the existence of our very own Moon!

  96. Him Again

    Everything. You have so much to learn......

  97. Him Again

    You are incredibly rude for an illiterate person. However, I do understand your automatic recourse to personal attack when faced with unassailable argument.

    It is common to the psycho-physiological profile you present.

    I will return just once more just to see your response to my following polite request for information (just for my interest as an investigative social psychologist) :
    1. Are you non-Caucasian?
    2. Are you female?

  98. Him Again

    Dear Pasha5, If you think it through from a socio-psychological perspective (vis: the other side), this modern strange excitement by modern Negroid people is not in their best interests!
    It is a great "tool" for the White antagonist to use!
    Think about it:
    Humans evolved from Apes (common belief).
    Every primitive group believes/believed that they were the originals ( or often the only ones till discovered).
    So, the out-of-Negroid- to-White theory is not positive for Negroid hopes, but entirely negative.
    Think it through: Whites must then have thus EVOLVED from the MORE PRIMITIVE (less evolved) Negroid.
    THAT kind of thinking we certainly do not need promoting in this already over-stressed world of today.

    The more truthful is that Mother Nature NEVER gambles on one strain of anything.
    If we Negroid and Caucasian really evolved from Apes, how come the Apes are still going strong?
    (Except for the fact that we are killing them off, a bit like the Neanderthals).
    Namaste! Be grateful, be happy, live peacefully.

  99. bluetortilla

    A "warm dream" for "negroid" people? I don't even know what that means. But I suppose the notion that the master race emerged independently of the African must be some sort of wet dream for you.
    If we divert our attention to more modern times, we can see clearly without any genetic evidence at all that all humans have transformed out of exactly the same type of tribal societies using exactly the same technology and exhibiting the same behavioral characteristics and belief systems. From Papua New Guinea to the Inuit of the Polar regions, to the Germanic tribes of not long ago, there is absolutely no difference in this human social paradigm. Humans, wherever they are from, can, and do with vigor, reproduce with each other, and join each other's tribes. Given our geological spread and adaptation to varying climates in a global range, our superficial differences in physical appearance are minimal to say the least.
    The theory that our origin is in Africa is certainly of scientific importance, it changes nothing about being human, as you seem to imply. Frankly, I find your projection that people of African descent would find that such a fact vindicates their equality amongst humanity to not only be disgusting, but a way of thinking that belong buried in the deep dark past as another of history's tragedies. You're not a scientist- you're just another racist hate monger.

  100. Epicurus

    You didnt present an argument let alone an unassailable one. you made a claim and didnt provide any evidence. THAT is not an argument.

    I dont think giving my ethnicity and gender would matter. What if I told you I am a white male that identifies as a black homosexual? or maybe im a black female who identifies as an hispanic male.

    How about instead of moving away from the topic you present some evidence for what you have said?

  101. Epicurus

    "No, you are certainly not an anthropologist, merely an Anthropologist. ( The difference in capitalisation denotes a truth not many "qualified" people ever want to face.) :-)"

    Don't be ridiculous.

    "Your cut n' paste figures do not stand up to the true scientific method."

    The scientific method has shown that humans migrated from Africa. I didn't copy and paste anything.

    "You are obviously young and newly "qualified" or worse - still a University student."

    I am middle age and very well qualified with an extensive resume. Ad hominems from random people on the internet mean nothing to me.

    "The first and most obvious counter to the ridiculous "Out of Africa" nonsense is that the planet in those times would have made such insane journeys impossible."

    .....give an example....we know very well what the geography was like when humans left Africa. If anything it would have been EASIER as sea levels were lower. The rift was much further south. I almost have a feeling that you have zero clue about what you are speaking of.

    "To everyone who has fixed beliefs/conditioning about the origins of anything at all, I commend reading more of anomalies to their beliefs."

    Instead of trying to sound smart (which, it is clear, you are not) just try to speak in plain English so you actually make sense. This sentence I quoted is meaningless.

    "Epicurus - in particular - (strange choice of pseudonym and fitting) needs to read some "unacceptable" sources out in the real world."

    so you read some pseudoscientific books and now you believe in silly things that have no evidence.

    I get the kind of person you are now. no need to respond, you will only waste my time by not providing any evidence for your claims and saying everything that IS evidence is just a conspiracy.

  102. Epicurus

    "Or research the simple scientific improbability of the existence of our very own Moon!"

    my goodness you are a fucking moron

  103. Kimberly Christensen

    why do you say "G-d".. ahh gees.. im not a close minded person but really..

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