Mankind Rising

2012 ,    »  -   17 Comments
Ratings: 7.82/10 from 106 users.
Mankind Rising

Mankind Rising is a computer animated re-imagining of the biological evolution of humanity, beginning with the genetic makeup of the first primordial cell and ending with the emergence of the first bipedal species, Homo erectus.

Beginning 4,000 million years ago, the evolutionary timeline is illustrated here in great depth, tracing the first instance of cell division through the appearance of the first water worm 550 million years ago. The development of the first brain enabled early species to gain sight, one of the first major milestones in early biological development. The first segment of the film takes viewers underwater before emerging onto land, where the story turns to our reptilian and mammalian ancestors.

In addition to the many miracles of biology that have enabled our existence, the film highlights the other factors that have made humanity's survival so spectacular, such as numerous predators and natural disasters of immense scale. A volcanic eruption 225 million years ago lasted half a million years and eliminated 95% of the species on Earth, yet our ancestral species prevailed. Small, shrew-like mammals that superseded the dinosaurs traveled across the continents, spreading seeds and therefore food sources and life across the planet.

This ultimately lead to the appearance of primates, perhaps the greatest turning point in our evolutionary history. Over the course of the next ten million years, however, climate changes decreased the size of forests and impacted the availability of food, creating yet another shift in the biological makeup of Earth and its inhabitants. The need to travel greater distances and obtain a broader variety of nutrients required yet another step in evolution, paving the way for Homo erectus, who demonstrated an ability to problem solve, use tools, communicate, and manage fire. From here social constructs such as family and competitive behavior came forth.

Mankind Rising uses computer graphics and voice-over storytelling to create a dramatic narrative that is on par with the videos one might watch in a high school science class. It walks the viewer through the entire early history of mankind, shining light on the countless challenges and obstacles that were faced along the way.

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17 Comments / User Reviews

  1. pat

    Yes we come from under a rock ;)

  2. Dovid Witkowski

    There's more intellectual gravitas in a Tom and Jerry cartoon than this load of baloney!The voice over commentator contradicts himself right at the beginning by asserting that the narrative he is describing is in fact highly improbable! This type of pseudo science is ideally suited to an generation of adults who have been rendered entirely stupid having been subjected to a system of mind numbing indoctrination in the guise of education. It is well known that in the 1850's a Prussian form of mind control was imported to America as described in the book the Leipzig Connection specifically NOT to produce a nation of well educated, well informed critical thinkers. The reason being that such a population would never have willingly submitted itself to a mind crushing regime as demanded by the endless repetitive processes of the factory production line.

  3. Nin

    I was wondering why the ratings were so low. I'm pretty interested in this stuff myself, and throughout the whole doc, I kept giving it the benefit of doubt, but somewhere around the halfway mark, morale just dropped below critical levels... Mann!! The narrator was so robotic, and he just kept talking about SEX! This doc looks like it promotes species to species evolution when he keeps saying, "we're this, we're that", but that's not true, each species is located at the end of an evolutionary node. I don't like how the narrator keeps on bringing in vaguely-relatable points like hic-ups and goosebumps, and the "next time you squash a bug". It's not funny, it's just childish. there are so many stupid things he says, it's not the narrator, it's the script obviously, but "humans have pound for pound the largest brains?? are you kidding me? There are quite a few animals more encephalized than humans, rats for example.. omg, this doc is garbage. very deserving of such a low rating.

  4. Martin Hedington

    Frankly, I think this is perfect fodder to counter the creationist garbage aimed at say 8 to 10-year-olds. Simplistic perhaps but a lot more understandable and logical than the 'seven day event' espoused by deists.

  5. tcarson

    As a Coles Notes of human evolution I think it very good, perhaps it's just that I haven't evolved quite as fast as those with the above comments and I'm not sure I want to. Give it a look, it's a 45' video doc, not a 4 year post grad doctorate.

  6. Stephen

    For a low cost independent film I thought that doc was interesting to watch. While not a biologist or evolutionary biologist, I thought the inclusion of academics in the credits gave this film a high degree of scientific basis in fact or least what we know so far. It does not get into the details of evolution but provides a big picture and key turning points in our own evolution.

    I really didn't think this doc had an over emphasis on sex as one viewer pointed out and calling it "garbage" just underscores ones lack of appreciation of how knowledge is summarized in broad strokes.

  7. Gunnar

    ...we're spoiled with graphics these's not that easy to produce a thing like this...
    What I'm not crazy about is the apparent "homo sapience" worship if you will...we do not have the largest brains, at all...but even with the large brain we do have, we are the only species that threaten the existence of all life, on the very planet that spawned us...
    So for that reason, humans are an insult to Planet Earth
    The only thing that the integrity of the biosphere...and the only problem is an out of control human presence...

  8. Gizem

    I love this doc.

  9. Tauceti

    This visual documentary is more then adequate by providing broad strokes of evolution that focuses on key milestones that eventually leads to the end game that is currently modern man. If you find it has short comings, I suggest delving further into other source material, be it books, detailed documentary's, etc. that may provide extensive detail as this documentary just whets the the knowledge appetite of this genera.

  10. Muaddib

    I find it hilarious that Gunnar would say that "we are the only species that threaten the existence of all life", and completely ignores the fact that we are the only species that has the perception and power to save the Earth. No other animal on this planet has a moral drive to protect the planet, or if they did, they couldn't do anything about it.

  11. Rachael

    I found the documentary easy to watch but simplistic. It left me with the impression that there has been a lot of guesswork as to how we have come to be in our present form. My gut instinct tells me that there was more than a tiny chance of life developing on earth and I suspect that species evolve in similar ways at times and in almost opposite ways at other times depending on a number of factors. The question that isn't answered at all by this documentary is what gave life (i.e. a single cell) the drive to multiply itself in the first place. I'm not religious but there does seem to be something missing from this picture.

  12. onestrainofDNAonestrandoflife

    we are star dust that over billions of years went from simple bacteria through all life forms to arrive where we are today there is more evidence of this then things everybody accepts without question.

  13. onestrainofDNAonestrandoflife

    i used to beleive that is was possible for a human soul and afterlife to exist and that we couldn't have came from monkeys "why would there still be monkeys?" , "why is there no beings on the cusp of being human today" i was at the point becuase of gaps in my knowledge i hadn't been taught in school a comprehensive overview of our current state of knowledge regarding these issues and even though it was only a few big gaps in certain disciplines i was ignorant of it made every difference for my world view, as i began self researching the topics of biology and dna and archaeology as well as other scientific areas i couldn't believe how ambiguous our society is regarding of educated to children regarding the facts but when you look at the implications of such knowledge it destroys the world religions and spirituality of all types andd it began to make sense why the truth is more hidden then it should be.

  14. Darwin26

    It was very disappointing, what happened to Noah's Ark ? Obviously Jesus came from Montana, essentially ~ Sex is basic ~ so there's no reason for an age of consent ~ sheeeesh; How are we gonna evolve if we don't have sex with our family?
    Republicans are still at the level of Homo Erectus except for the Predator class like Hillary and Cruz. We must stamp out this spike in the evolutionary chain before they prey on us... amen

  15. Stefan

    Don't watch this documentary if you're older than 10 and have some knowledge of biology and etc.

  16. David Harding

    cool doc. An overview of some of the adaptions of our evolutionary past, encapsulated in a watchable condensed chunk.

  17. Dr Spacedog

    The initial stages of life, the suggestion that genes were spontaneously formed and then engulfed in a lipid envelope sadly lacks scientific credibility. Simple self replication molecules are more likely to have predated the even as described.

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