Homo Sapiens: Who Are We?

2011, Science  -   228 Comments
233
7.86
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Ratings: 7.86/10from 29 users.
Storyline

Homo Sapiens: Who Are We?This is an attempt to make a small scale science documentary on human evolution. Human evolution is a dynamic subject which is constantly being updated. Black Ryder Films tried to present timely information.

The latest news is that the anatomy of three new fossils (from Koobi Fora in northern Kenya), including a face, lends support to the hypothesis that there were at least two parallel lineages early in the evolutionary history of our own genus, Homo.

The new fossils confirm the presence of two contemporary species of early Homo, in addition to Homo erectus, in the early Pleistocene of eastern Africa.

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228 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Mother nature isn't an organizer? I would have to disagree. Decent documentary, not a fan of the narrator. It's like a giant run on sentence.

    1. lol

  2. This narrator is the worst.

  3. If you have a limited attention span like I do, this doc might not be for you.
    I felt like I was watching slide show, with a very droning voice, narrating so many interesting facts without any expression whatsoever.
    This is such a fascinating subject but its form of presentation caused me to quickly lose interest.

    1. You're criticism is valid, not only for this documentary, but for a number of others as well. The issue is not with the information presented in the documentary, but in its presentation. Scripting and delivering are two different areas.

    2. Forgive my ignorance, I do my best! Subject: [topdocumentaryfilms] Re: Homo Sapiens: Who Are We?

  4. Amazing synthesis of human evolution. It is a continuous process. Homo Sapiens have insulated themselves from the environment in a rather skillful way. Once it is tamed then only further morphological change would seem unlikely. The mammoth variable will be the expansion in the human brain. We patiently await the inevitable.

  5. There are human fossils that have been found that date back more 3 million years, and they are and were fully human. If humans evolved from monkeys, why are they not continuing to evolve? and also the animals around us? There are mutations, but no proof of species changes. The only changes that can be claimed are anomalies and simple mutations of a particular species, not genetic changes from one species to another. If so, how so, and how do you prove it?

    1. Mom
      are you pulling my leg? can you show me these fully modern human 3 million year old fossils? where does evolution claim we evolved from modern monkeys? are you also claiming we have no proof of any species change? if i gave you an observed example of one species evolving into another would that satisfy you? if not what would?

    2. Who says we're not still evolving. Do you know that the size of the human brain is shrinking. In the past 20,000 years our brains have become smaller by about the size of a tennis ball. That's evolution.

    3. What about those who have been able to survive the rarified atmosphere of the Himalayas while newcomers generally cannot. Talk about recent human evolution.

    4. Wrong. Humans did not evolve from monkeys. Monkeys and humans share a common ancestor.

      Wrong. Evolution is a slow process, taking hundreds of thousands to millions of years for most forms of life and thus is not directly observable, except in quickly reproducing types of life such as e-coli.

      Wrong. Birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs. The manatee and the elephant are closely related as are dolphins, porpoises and whales which all share a common ancestry with a land animal. Dogs, wolves, cayotes, cougars and pumas all share a common ancestry, as do snakes and lizards (however distant).

      Why don't you read up on evolution before posting about it? I suggest starting off with the Wikipedia article on the subject. And while you're at it, there's another fine Wikipedia article on the e-coli experiment which might set you straight on continuing evolution.

  6. Here is another problem I'm having and that is the upper limit set by those who propose interbreeding. The upper limit for the amount of Neanderthal DNA in the stated percentage of humans is around 400-450 viable off-spring. That is to say any more than that amount would produce a greater incidence percentage wise of Neanderthal DNA in human population. Now if that is the case it doesn't make sense that if there were interbreeding between humans and neanderthals that it would have stopped at 450 viable and surviving hybrids. If interbreeding were possible shouldn't we see greater evidence of interbreeding? And if interbreeding was occurring why did the neanderthal go extinct? Would not the evolutionary pressure be to merge the two species? I mean if they are mating why the competition which drove one species extinct.

    1. Ok, now you're talking genetics. As the saying goes, "You done left preachin' and gone to meddlin'!" =)

      I am not a genetic researcher, so my interest in that subject is a layman's; I freely admit that. But from what little I do know of the subject, it is still an ongoing area of study and so far based on small samples still being worked on. I think there is still a tremendous amount of research still in progress, and undoubtedly more will crop up as further discoveries are made.

      As far as numbers go, whether or not offspring were viable there are still many other factors affecting whether such hybrids would have been able to survive to reproductive age.

      I was never proposing that interbreeding of humans and Neanderthals was in large numbers or enough to sustain a population; merely that it was not only possible but probable to whatever extent opportunity allowed.

      But going back to horses and donkeys: considering that they have been deliberately bred for thousands of years by humans, we still don't have a self-sustaining mule population. Even in the rare instances that a fertile mule is produced, it is almost always a female (who very rarely produce offspring themselves), and only one case of a mule stallion has ever been verified afaik.

  7. Yurilynsky
    you state "two seperate species cannot produce an embryo." but as i pointed out with Przewalski's horse it is at least a subspecies if not a separate species and it does produce viable offspring. but for the most part you are right. in evolutionary terms an offspring whether or not it has the same number of chromosomes as the parent (example humans has a fusion event at some point and that has been proven) it is not a separate species from the parent or previous/current generation. evolution claims that if these mutations are beneficial and a group is separated from the rest for long enough these traits build up to a point where a new species cannot breed with the original group and therefore a new species (see ring species)
    you them state "(all species have a different number of chromosomes" i already gave you a link showing that to be incorrect. and also micro/macro evolution is almost exclusively used by creationists and those that don't fully understand/accept evolution. macro is just lots of micro. it is akin to stating that i"i can walk to the front door", "i might even be able to walk to the end of my driveway", "but there is no way i can walk to the end of the street" . not to be rude but the micro/macro statement sounds that ridiculous to the rest of us. do you frequent id/creationist sites for your information concerning evolution? if you are i suggest you stop they lie

  8. Why aren't you asking your professors these questions? What aren't you trying to seek answers from your textbooks? It's much quicker and more efficient than using this website. Something just doesn't add up?

  9. @Yurilynsky: You had some earlier questions about hominid evolution, which seems to indicate that you are thinking of bipedalism as only belonging to our own narrow species and direct ancestors.

    Some of what I've been reading on the subject indicates that bipedalism was produced more than once in primate evolution, and that it is a mistake to read the fossil record of all bipedal primates as belonging to homo sapiens' line only.

    I think the problem is that we humans like to think of ourselves as being totally unique in the world. Religions reinforce this particular fancy, especially with the injunction to 'hold dominion' over every other living creature.

    How does one justify that megalomaniac concept without also claiming to be so unique and special that one has the right--nay, the moral duty!--to do this?

    I think youngsters are somewhat shocked when they come to realize we are not such special cupcakes after all.

    Hopefully, upon reflection they come to realize that we out-witted, out-lasted and out-played every other hominid species. Which makes us very special cupcakes indeed, even if very homicidal cupcakes.

    I have always enjoyed fantasy tales about elves, goblins, and other human-like creatures. As I learned more about our hominid past, it has made me wonder if our stories about these creatures are actually the remnants of handed-down oral memories of a time when we did share the planet with other hominids, and possibly a way to mourn their loss.

    It is very sad to be an only child. I think there have been some recent discoveries that indicate the cleansing of all non-homo sapiens sapiens from the planet is somewhat more recent than we have previously believed.

  10. This is terrible...I think the budget on this was $5 and the info recycled...garbage

  11. It must be free know hidden charges of any kind!

  12. I really appreciate and like the information in this.

    HOWEVER. DNA IS NOT SET.

    The new field of Epigenetics proves that external stimuli like diet or toxins can effect, and does effect, the genetics of organisms. Not only does it effect one organisms genetics, but the changes that are made due to these stimuli like famine or BPA plastics are then hereditary.

    Please look at the great work done by Duke University on this topic. This is the most exciting new science in genetics in my opinion.

    You can also watch the documentary on this site called : The Ghost In Your Genes.

    1. DNA is set. Epigenetic changes are heritable and changeable, but do not change the actual DNA. Instead, they regulate expression of genes that are already there.
      This implies that organisms have a fast acting means to cope with (possibly temporary) stressors without modifying the genome. Unlike a change in DNA, an Epigenetic change in the expression or repression of a gene would be reversible.

  13. The Annunaki are our ancestors.. over 50.000 clay tablets which can be found in musea all over the globe, are a proof of that..

    1. that is wrong. you are reading books and watching videos made by pseudoarchaeologists.

      not a single serious archaeologist agrees with the crazy claims made by Zacharia Sitchin.

      you should do better research.

    2. This is as silly as Christianity.

    3. isn't annunaki a sumerian word for poppycock?

    4. There are so many ways to disprove Ancient Alien theory that I intend to write a thesis on it. At its roots, if you dive deep enough, you will find its links with Nazism. Even at its face it discounts the knowledge and ingenuity of Native and ancient peoples consistently,

  14. Seems we're all Jungle Bunnies out of Africa.

  15. Surprisingly good... but too much info in to short a period of time.

  16. Very good documentary: but PLEASE, put this on a faster server. This film stops and goes too much. Almost no buffer time to allow this film to smoothly progress.

    1. @Jr007r1. I know what you mean. This happens to my computer every single time I'm trying to watch a doc on utube. VERY annoying!

  17. total bee es

  18. Great Video!!! However the audio SUCKS!!!!!
    Why do editors like background music that blows and drowns the narator????
    And for what it is worth, the narator SUCKS TO!!!!!

  19. Last I heard the Homo floresiensis finds on Sumatra are thought to be minature versions of Home Erectus? Mammals isolated on islands tend to evolve into smaller versions. Look to Wrangel Island holocene dwarf Mammoths, as recently as 6000 years ago. Things change... to put it lightly, our understanding is incomplete.

  20. Why would you assume the same evolutionary pressure will produce the same results in different species?

    1. Convergent evolution is the name given to similar evolved characteristics among species that have dissimilar evolutionary roots. Convergent evolution is something that is widely taught and accepted among scientists. In other words, it IS widely assumed that the same evolutionary pressures will produce the same results in different species (this was not a personal assumption).

    2. This does not jive with what I've read about convergent evolution. So telling me who is assuming this.

    3. So the short answer to my question is that the same evolutionary pressures would not necessarily produce the same results? I was asking the question of Yurilynsky because I simply do not know.

    4. Here we agree. This is my understanding.

    5. Many times when I read an interesting statement by a commentator I don't go and look it up. I try, by what knowledge I possess, to reason it out. In doing so sometimes interesting questions arise.

      Intuitively, that premise seemed (and was) wrong. Now here is a question that's nagging me. Would a lack of evolutionary pressure produce the same or different results? Example: An abundant food supply. Would two different species respond (evolution wise) in the same way?

    6. I don't think so. What about Darwin's finches?

    7. I wouldn't think they would respond the same either. Yet I can't think of a reason why they would respond at all, other than mutation.

    8. ps I get what you mean by Darwin's finches.

    9. Not necessarily, but often times, they do. Not the exact same results, but very similar results, especially if the two species share similar niches in their environments. Just look up "convergent evolution" and you can check out the whole theory and see examples for yourself.

    10. There's also divergent evolution which must be studied at the same time.

    11. Seriously? Divergent evolution is the evolution of a new species in the first place -how can we not be talking about divergent evolution if we are talking about evolution altogether. I feel like your just shouting out the first thing that comes to your mind.

    12. Wrong as usual. The two are contrapuntal.

    13. Divergent evolution is when one species branches off into another species. You admitted that you don't have an education in biology, so did you even look up the word?! When members of a species are genetically isolated from other members of a species (which can occur in several different ways) they begin to fill different niches and adapt to their environment in different ways, and in theory, will eventually evolve into a completely new species. Like I said, how can we have a discussion about evolution WITHOUT talking about divergent evolution? I don't think YOU understand how evolution works.

    14. No, it's you who obviously don't judging from your comments and questions--and the two are contrapuntal in the sense that both occur simultaneously.

    15. The two don't always occur simultaneously. Convergent evolutin has occurred many times among many different species throughout the evolution of life, just as divergent evolution has even more obviously occurred many millions of times throughout the evolution of life. They are two completely different concepts that can only be described as contrapunel in the breakdown of thier very definitions: convergent evolution is when UNRELATED species evolve SIMILAR characteristics; divergent evolution is when a group from a SINGLE species evolves DIFFERENT characteristics due to its genetic isolation from the parent population. The only time that convergent evolution and divergent evolution occur simultaneously, is when convergent evolution takes place -however, divergent evolution often takes place without the occurance of convergent evolution -this is when new or unique organs and mechanisms for survival evolve. The evolution of bipedalism is an example of divergent evolution that did not simultaneously involve convergent evolution.
      Also, judging from my comments, any knowledgable person in this subject will tell you that while I am far from an expert, I DO, for the most part, understand HOW evolution works, and though I may have my arguments against many of the theories, I can explain these concepts with clarity, and I am generally well informed on the subjects that I mentioned. I admit that I was completely wrong about one thing (the ability to determine the arterial system from the skeletal system), but other than that, I have put up a good argument in which no one on this thread has been able to satisfyingly refute on their own.

    16. The point is that although you are only an undergraduate, you made an assertion as to what should and should not be taught. You are in no position to judge.

    17. I'm not judging. I'm stating my opinion. Since you don't know anything about biological anthropology, you are REALLY not in any position to judge ME.

    18. So softening your proscriptions to mere opinion makes it all right to state what should and should not be taught in biology classes--you're a second-year student, right? No one needs to know much about biological anthropology to notice by the number of times you've been corrected that you must not be a very good student. No one needs to know much about biological anthropology to realize from the questions you ask and your plaint about receiving no answers from your teachers that quite frankly you don't add up.

    19. Yurilynsky
      you stated "it IS widely assumed that the same evolutionary pressures will produce the same results in different species" nowhere that i know of does it say that.look up "Analogy" as it pertains to biology. the results may be similar but not the same. the most used example is bats,birds and flying insects while they all fly their wings are not the same.
      next you state ""freeing of the hands" may have played a role in the evolution of bipedalism, it is highly unlikely, considering the fact that tool use did not develop until much later than bipedalism. " could you point me to where a textbook states that (when tool use started)? and tool use isn't the only reason for bipedalism .as with many reasons for traits found in species there are usually more than one pressure acting on the species and many adaptations can have multiple uses and causes.

    20. I was right. It goes against everything that I've read about convergent evolution. Thanks for the scientific confirmation.

    21. robertallen1
      what i find scary/confusing is the inability of his/her professors to answer this. there may be a number of reasons for this so i won't speculate. but these are basic knowledge questions..

    22. He says he attends the University of Cincinnati, a highly credentialed school with a fine reputation. I think he's lying and I've told him so. I even went one step further and gave him the address and phone number of the National Center for Science Education to address his concerns about what he believes should not be taught.

    23. robertallen1
      the NCSE is not only a great place to go for answers and concerns. but also just a great place to learn.

    24. And as I've stated before, it's the only organization of which I'm a membe--and besides it costs just $35 a year. Also I recently asked for some back articles on the crank mathematics employed by creationists and the like and received them about three days after my request. So if Yurilynsky has the courage of his convictions, this is the perfect organization for him to express his concerns about what is being taught in the line of evolution--and present the staff with his credentials. I'll wager 50 American dollars to your 50 Canadian dollars that he doesn't bite.

    25. robertallen1
      depending on the economy i might come out on the losing end of that one (kidding). but either way i i don't like my odds

    26. I don't blame you. It would probably be a sucker bet anyway. Although Yurilynsky states that he is not religious, I'll bet (again!) that there's something religious behind his comments based on his belief in "greater forces."

    27. By "greater forces" I mean forces that are still not understood by mankind. Such as gravitiy before Newton's time. Imagine if we had the power to manipulate DNA to our likings -would this not make us gods? Perhaps there are/were tangible beings somewhere out in the universe that had the knowledge to do such things. I am not saying that I believe in this (as I have no reason to believe this without any evidence) but I am simply making the point that there is a great chance that we have not even come close to discovering all that there is to discover, and that one day the books may have to be rewritten -just as they have been so many times before. I think one of mankind's greatest obstacles is the ego -we always think we know it all -until we discover something new -and then we think we know it all. It is actually a great hinderance.

    28. Then you should have stated what you meant by "greater forces." I can only imagine what your term papers must be like, dean's list or no dean's list. Anyone can waste his time imagining things.

    29. Since we are having a scientific discussion, I thought it was unnecessary for me to verify that I was not talking about some sort of supernatural force when I used the term "greater forces." And actually, I am an excellent writer (besides my spelling), and I take extra care that I make precise points in my term papers, so I have never had any problems in that area. Also, how can you ever discover anything new if you don't first think outside of the box.

    30. Don't try that smoke screen about thinking outside the box. Won't wash. And don't try to cover up your obvious lack of precision with the self-serving assertion that you're an excellent writer who saves precision for term papers. I'm not fooled and I don't think anyone else is either.

    31. Whatever, you are really ridiculous -you don't know me at all, but you insist on down-talking me as if I personally offended you are something. No one else on this thread is being as critical with me as you are, because it is simply rude and disgusting behavior. I don't have to be precise with you -like I said, I thought that it would be quite obvious that I was not talking about supernatural forces in a scientific discussion. It's actually your biased assumptions about me that led you to make such fraudulent statements about my beliefs. What is the point of even commenting back to anything I say if you think that I am lying about everything that I have said about myself? Please, harass someone else if that is all that you enjoy doing on this site.

    32. I IMAGINE SO.=)

    33. I am definitely not a creationist, and honestly don't even know too much about what they believe in, so please don't associate me with them. However, as a twenty year old sophomore student, I still feel that I need a little more time before I go head to head with the big dogs.

    34. Then what makes you think you are qualified to dictate what should or should not be taught?

    35. I don't think I am qualified to dictate what should and should not be taught. In my OPINION some of these theories should not be taught. I am always entitled to my opinion. When I AM qualified to dictate what should and should not be taught, then maybe I will.

    36. Don't try that cover-up--again it won't wash. One opinion is not as good as another (as should be clear even to you). You made a definite statement that certain aspects of evolution should not be taught and this amounts to dictation. In short, at this stage of your education, your opinion is worthless.

    37. First of all, I am a she, and secondly, if you still don't believe me, you could always look up my name, Yuri Edwards, on UC's 2011/2012 dean's list online.

    38. I don't care which list you're on. You do not seem credible.

    39. You don't seem credible either -that is why all of your comments are short, rude, and lacking any knowledge of anything that is being discussed.

    40. First of all, I don't claim to be a biology student. Secondly, find one factually inaccurate or ignorant statement I have made. When a pipsqueak such as you starts to dictate (the facts speak for themselves despite your denial) what should be taught, she deserves the rudeness of which you complain.

    41. I never presented these particular questions to my professors. There were a few other questions that I have confronted them with that they were unable to answer. If I shared with you a couple of these questions, I am sure your professors would be unable to answer them as well.

    42. Considering the quality of the University of Cincinnati, I really don't believe you.

    43. You don't have to believe me -I go back to school tomorrow, whether you believe me or not, and I'll get my degree whether you think I am lying or not.

    44. Then maybe you'll be in a better position to assess what should or should not be taught, but you have a long way to go--and all I can say is that you have chosen a fine school from which you will hopefully benefit.

      Once again, I don't believe that you ever asked your professors those questions and received no answers because every one of the issues you have mentioned is basic biology. I wouldn't be surprised if the truth of the matter were that you simply did not like the answers you received.

    45. FOR THE THIRD TIME: I have NOT asked any of my professors any of THESE PARTICULAR questions. I have asked them a few OTHER questions in which they were unable to answer... Now I am starting to wonder if you have comprehension problems (that would explain a lot!)

    46. i BEG you to ask your professors these questions. I personally have worked with a number of professors at your school. my favourite was Sarah Jackson. im sure she can answer your questions. also Heather L Norton and specifically for your questions on osteology you might want to ask Katherine Whitcome.

    47. I have actually had a class with both Sarah Jackson and Heather Norton, who I both admire greatly. In fact, in case you also think that I am lying about my education, you could even ask Heather Norton about me, she knows me by name, and told me that she was very impressed with me as a student. I find it so interesting that you know some of my professors!
      I have often thought about presenting some of these questions to my professors, but they just seem so unorthodoxed in a college setting. I always end up asking the questions that aren't so obviously against the theory of evolution. I do intend to formally (in writing) present some of my arguments against the theory to my professors, but only when I am fully confident that I know all of my subject matter. However, that day may never come if at some point in my educational experience I am convinced otherwise.
      In fact, this is the first time that I have debated with others on this subject, simply because I don't like to be ridiculed.
      (By the way, Sarah Jackson is everyone's favorite!)

    48. Then if you're not so confident, where do you get off telling schools what shouldn't be taught? It's also obvious that you have not posed your questions to these professors as you say you have. The strains your credibility.

  21. "This is how evolution works:

    "A dynamic gene pool is encoded for by DNA.

    "This DNA is constantly mixing and occasionally mutating while being selectively culled by natural environmental pressures. Out of this dynamic mix arise organisms best suited for the conditions at hand.

    "Thus, mother nature, not by foresight, not by design, but by carefully rubbing and blowing on her dice, plays her magnificent game of chance; and we, and all we see, are the result. A bit skill and a bit of luck tempered and honed by the laws of chemistry and physics.

    "We are not here because mother nature is a designer, we are here because mother nature is a gambler." (from chapter 3 of the playlist)

    Best explanation ever of how evolution works. (Even if it *does* anthropomorphize a process.)

    I do agree with those who criticize the presentation; the background music is annoying and a little too loud (I find this a common problem in documentaries, though), and the narrator's voice is not the best for this task. But the information is interesting nonetheless.

  22. part 10 is missing

    1. There is no part ten here or on YouTube.

  23. Why am I the only person that feels like the evolution of humans is not logical in any way? First, I want to inform everyone that I am an anthropology major at a university with a gpa of 3.7, and at least a 90% average grade in all of my biological anthropology classes. I completely UNDERSTAND all of the theories and concepts that I have been taught in the evolution of humans, however, I feel that most of these theories are very illogical, and nothing more than desperate attempts to make the theory of macroevolution hold together. For example, the theory of bipedalism -one of the first evident characteristics of human evolution found in the fossil record -is thought to have evolved by natural selection from pressures to conserve energy in the hot savannah environment in which our earliest ancestors lived. This theory also suggests the reason for loss of bodily hair. However, if you look at some of the primates of today that thrive in similar environments to that of our earliest ancestors, there are no apparent selective pressures for bipedalism or loss of bodily hair. Baboons, for example, are predominantly quadrupeds with plenty of bodily hair, and seem to be very well adapted to their environment. Although I understand that all species will not adapt to an environment in the same way, as this depends on the mutations that occur, from the little that I know about genetics, I would argue that it is highly unlikely for a mutation in the spinal chord and pelvic bone that would allow for bipedalism to occur, as most (if not all) mutations that affect the skeletal structure of a mammal are disadvantageous. In fact, pretty much all observed mutations found in mammals that are truly beneficial (by "truly" I mean that they actually have a significant impact on the survival of the animal to reach reproductive age and provide sufficient maternal/paternal care to their offspring) are mutations that merely affect disease susceptibility. Furthermore, any early stage of bipedalism in our ancestors would likely be disadvantageous in itself. The early hominids would have been slow moving on two feet, causing them to be easy prey for large felines. I also find it unlikely that in a world so abundant with convergent evolution, not a single other species of the savannah regions of Africa, of similar size to humans, has resolved a thermo regulation problem with bipedalism and loss of bodily hair. Instead, most of these animals have a "network of fine arteries at the base of the brain coupled with the venous circulation through the muzzle" called cartide rete, which helps with thermo regulation. However, the early hominids supposedly did not have this feature. How millions of years old, fragmented skeletal remains is able to determine this, completely baffles me.

    1. Who said that hman evolution was based on thermo-regulation alone? I don't believe for a second that you have any of the qualifications you say you do. Why? Firstly, because you're missing two of the major evolutionary factors and benefits that are supported by bipedalism, secondly you are trying to wage the befits of bipedalism on thermo-regulation alone, which is bizarre to say the least and thirdly you apparently have limited understanding of fossilisation, genetics, fossil record and climate change.

      Bipedalism in humansis the trump card of previous evolutionary stagesthe totality of which allowed humansto gain communication, large brains and tool usage. Bipedalism allows for the ability to move while carrying objects with increased dexterity. It's true that humans are slower than other great apes in some citcumstances, but try getting great apes to carry weapons in their hands and run. Bipedalism may slow one down but it allows for many other opprtunites. Primarily the greater adaptability to environmental differences. How many great apes other than humans can you name, which travel from region to region and survive all conditions?
      Furthermore, if you had the qualifications and knowledge you claim to have, you'd know that our skeletons are not perfectly adapted for bipedalism. This is why back problems are such a common issue in modern humans.

      Finally, your claim that the only truly beneficial mutations in mammals are those which affect the immune system, is entirely b*llocks. For example, the mutations that have allowed Whales to hold their breath for extreme periods under water, have been incredibly beneficial. The whale wouldn't be much of a sea-bound mammal if it had to breath constantly at the surface of the water.

    2. First of all, I have no reason at all to lie about my educational background -I am not a graduate student, nor an expert by any measure -I am simply an undergraduate student in anthropology who is eager to learn as much as I can from my professors and text books, but also inquisitive enough to question and doubt the theories at hand...
      However, I feel that you have misunderstood many of the claims that I was making. One main point that I was trying to make is that evolution works by natural selection, so in that case, you cannot uphold the fact that there are several other benefits to bipedalism. Of course bipedalism is a very beneficial attribute in humans, that allow for a lot of other things that make us uniquely human, such as our large brains and ability to use complex tools, as you have mentioned, but those benefits are EFFECTS of bipedalism, not causes. When analyzing the possible REASONS as to why bipedalism may have evolved, one is very limited because the only way that evolution takes place is by both environmental pressures and the chance of beneficial mutations. So, for example, just because it may be beneficial for a squirrel to have a pouch on its underside to store food, doesn't mean that it WILL evolve to have a pouch on its underside. There has to be very strong natural selective pressures for this to occur, along with the chance that such a mutation will even come about. That is the same point that I am trying to make about bipedalism. To make my point even further, back problems in the human species persists despite its disadvantages, because it does not prevent us from surviving and reproducing, and those without any back problems do not have any serious advantages over those with common mild back problems, and therefore there are no strong natural selective pressures to evolve "perfect backs."
      Also, the mutation for whales to be able to hold their breath longer under water is a terrible counter argument for the claim that I was trying to make. First of all, this ability is not a new mutation found in whales, whales have been able to do this for as long as we have been around. Secondly, my main point was that there are no beneficial mutations found in mammals effecting the STRUCTURE of the skeletal system...
      Don't be so quick to just repeat everything that you have already learned and that everyone else already knows -instead, think about it a little more critically, be a skeptic for once, and maybe you will discover something new.

    3. You admit that you are only an undergraduate student in anthropology and yet have the temerity to try to dictate what should or should not be taught. Have you confronted your professors with your issues or have you kept them quietly to yourself? If the former, what have been their responses? This you haven't shared with us. If the replies you receive are those of mainstream science, has it occurred to you that there's probably a scientific reason which fogeyism has nothing to do with?

      It's fine to question, but it's even better to learn as much as you can before you do.

    4. Perhaps the need for bipedalism has less to do with the legs and more to do with the need to use the hands and arms for something else. I have come across a dozen articles mentioning that chimpanzees are starting to use tools -spears to be specific- to hunt. With time these chimpanzees are expected to use these spears more efficiently. Certain actions, including throwing a spear at a moving target, would require higher efficiency. Such actions would yield better results from a bipedal stance. Of course once one tool becomes common, hundreds of others are to follow and the use of arms for other purposes besides walking becomes a self-imposed necessity. Chimpanzees who cannot efficiently use their arms for such tasks become a rarity. As natural selection takes over, slowly but surely, chimpanzees walking on two feet become a common sight. Of course their constant need to climb trees might delay this process, but a group of chimpanzees with spear in their hands are bound to get the taste of good deer or buffalo meat sooner or later, after which the scraps they hunt for in trees should become a thing of the past. Your writing depicts a deep insight into this subject. However, stating evolution as completely illogical seems to be a little bit of an overstatement. Baffling? Sure. With many loopholes yet to be filled? Definitely. Completely illogical? No.

    5. Even though you still disagree with me, I really appreciate you understanding my stand point, and giving me credit in what I have learned and evaluated. Although many scientists are starting to doubt the serious role that the "freeing of the hands" may have played in the evolution of bipedalism due to the fact that bipedalism evolved much earlier than tool use, your comment on chimpanzees and their own development of tool use has given me greater insight on how this may have occurred in correspondence with other natural selective pressures in our own ancestry. Also, I acknowledge that the theory of evolution itself has a great deal of supporting evidence, and I completely believe in microevolution, I simply disagree with the possibilty of macroevolution. My opinion is not just based on what I have shared with you all in by initial comment, but also on many other factors that I have taken notes on and followed up on with research.
      Once again, thank you for being so civil with me, and if you have anything else to share, I would be more than glad to hear more.

    6. So you disagree with the possibility of macroevolution. First of all, where does microevolution end and macroevolution begin? Secondly, I realize that you are merely an undergraduate, but did you know that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs? Did you know that cetaceans such as whales, porpoises and dolphins are not only related to each other, but to artiodactyls such as hippopotami? Did you know that trichechildae such as manatees are related to pachyderms such as elephants? I'm not a science major or even someone with a science background, but I know these things. Why don't you?

    7. Yurilynsky
      please ask your professors for an answer. if they cannot give an answer containing evidence transfer to another university. are you a creationist? and if i can ask what university are you attending? if that question is too personal i understand.
      edit: out of respect for another poster i edited my comment and apologize for the original and retract any accusations

    8. You and I have no way to prove or disprove Yurilynsky's academic bona fides. Best to let that dog lie and take him at his word.

    9. lakhotason
      i admitted that i might be wrong and yes i agree that there is no way to confirm or deny another persons claims of the sort we are discussing. but i got a feeling and i felt the need to express it. but i take very few at their word and those that i do have to earn it. that being said a get your point and respect it

    10. I've been pretty much called a liar on TDF once before. It isn't a very desirable experience simply because it was unfair-I wasn't lying but there was no way I could prove otherwise Think of it in those terms.

      You do appear to be an open-minded and fair person.

    11. Just based on the comments between you and lakhotason, I kind of figured that you posted at some point that I was lying about my credentials. First, I want to thank you for editing your comment, as it must have been pretty nasty. I did not comment on this site to have any nasty arguments with anyone, I would much rather have an intelligent debate of some sort. I feel that we should all be able to respect one another, regardless if we disagree with them or not, as I have not said anything that should have offended anyone in any kind of way. But just for the record, I have not lied about anything. What edge can I get from lying about my educational background? Regardless if I were an anthropology student or not, I would feel confident in posting my opinion on here if I felt that I was knowledgable on the subject. I have no reason to lie about by grades -if my grades were bad I would simply not mention them at all. The only reason I gave any of that information in the first place was to simply imply that I UNDERSTAND the concepts of evolution, I just don't agree with some of them. I basically wanted to avoid people making comments that would spell out the basics of the theory of evolution as that would be quite pointless in my case. Apparently, I have to be either an i*iot or a liar to some people in order to get away with my initial post, but oh well -it was worth a shot.

    12. Yurilynsky
      yes i questioned your credentials. yes i should not have based on no proof to the contrary . no it was not nasty. but i apologize just the same

    13. No need to apologize -I can see that you are definitely a decent person, and I enjoy the intelligent debate!

    14. I attend the University of Cincinnati. Also, I have presented a couple of my professors with a few questions that they were not able to answer. The fact of the matter is that the theory of evolution is not complete, and so there are still many unanswered questions in the study. I feel that many of these unanswered questions are so desperately attempted to be answered that many of the existing theories involving evolution are quite ridiculous, but taught to students any way.
      However, I am not a creationist. I am not a believer of any particular faith. I am simply an inquisitive student who believes that we still have not quite figured out how the world has come to be as it is. I believe that in this infinite universe, there are much greater forces at work than we can even imagine at this point in civilization.

    15. Considering the quality of the professors at the University of Cincinnati and the university's fine reputation, I don't believe your story. Once again, considering the woeful incompleteness of your education, you have no business declaring what should or should not be taught.

      And just what are these greater forces? "I believe" doesn't cut it.

    16. In answer to the question which opens your blog, I'll tell you why. Because the evolutionists know more than you do and like several others on this thread, I doubt your qualifications and couldn't care less about your GPA.

    17. Ok, first of all, evolutionists will admit themselves that there are many unanwered questions in the theory. They will also admit that there are many studies that have been done that are not conclusive, and many theories that have been made that are highly debateable. At this point, I really don't care if anyone thinks I'm lying about my qualifications (what in the world could I gain from lying about that? and you all make it seem like I said that I was a professor of anthropology or something -I am a STUDENT, which means I am still learning, for goodness sake!), but if you simply took the time to research anything that I stated on my initial post then you would realize that I know my subject matter, and though by breadth of knowledge is far from complete, I presented quite a good argument.

    18. If you're simply a student, you shouldn't be saying what should or should not be taught.

      However, if you feel that there are certain aspects of evolution which shouldn't be taught, I suggest that you contacgt the National Center for Science Education, 420 40th Street, #2, Oakland, CA 94609-3682 (510) 601-7203. Make sure you present the staff not only with your arguments but with your qualifications as well.

    19. That is just my personal opinion as of now. It may likely change as I learn more throughout the course of my education. If not, however, I will definitely do so -and by then, I will be certainly qualified.

  24. Fantastic explanation that illuminates all the facts,a no nonsense accurate account based on all the fossil evidence and DNA we have to date.This is a precise and accurate account of human evolution a must watch.10/10

  25. It is damn annoying to watch the first four chapters of this doc and then..nothing. I detest watching half a program and I am sure I am not the only one!

    1. @Nfiertel,

      Rest assured, probably you're the only one. All chapters of this doc are fine.

  26. There was a lot of up to date information included in this documentary, which I appreciate. It filled in some gaps for me about the homo erectis and neanterthals finds far from africa, but I found the style of presentation a bit jumpy. I'll continue searching for evidence of massive climactic change that played into the fall of the older groups.

  27. We are not directly related to Apes and all animals have the same bone structure , check out a chicken wing same bones as us but fingers have joined at end. we all came from fish ( search here for doco ) and genes are switch on or off depending what we are to be.

  28. That was a great presentation. I looked around for chapter 10 here and YouTube - but no-go so maybe later.

  29. Another boring blacksploitation flick.

    1. "Another boring blacksploitation flick." WTF are you going on about?

    2. You comment is a perfect example as to why some people don't need to be on the internet.

    3. You should become a police officer and get shot

    4. Your original statement would indicate that you are a combative individual whose objective is to stir the pot and see what rises. It offers nothing of any intellectual value to add to any discussion of this film.

      Your response to CrashBandicootFan confirms what I suspected. It portrays an intellectual boor who lacks the ability to carry on any thing close to an intelligent conversation so you resort to insults and veiled threats. Shameful adult behaviour if indeed you are an adult. Sad thing is, you are probably quite pleased with yourself.

    5. If you say so Jack but what are we if not combatitive individuals? Not individuals if you ask moi, I think maybe you consider yourself 'easy-going' right? Easy going and survival don't mix, not in these wicked times you draft dodger. Why don't you do us all a favour and evolve and like the skin on our African ancestors here, lighten up.

    6. A very close friend lost his son who was murdered when he attempted to stop an individual who had stolen a vehicle. I find no humour in a suggestion to shoot a police officer or anyone else for that matter.

      Yes, I am an easy going guy. I have, also, worked as a bartender for over ten years. I have listened to these combative individuals who argue over anything, make inappropriate remarks, use abusive language about everything and at anyone, pick fights and have had to physically evict them from the premises. Nothing evolved about them.

    7. Fine that was an inappropriate remark by me. I've been a bartender too, in London England which was awesome I must say. I was young(22) and I worked in some toilets but I loved serving all the m*rons and listening to the garbage they'd spew. This is off topic but so what, its an off topic kind of world. peace

    8. sir,your comment regarding drinker69 was an unnecessary 'low-punch'
      with no identifiable reason,except personal dislike for sarcastic,ironic &/or british humour in general,maybe?making superficial psychological assumptions concerning the intellectual capability via belittlement due to having a fetish of imitating 'frasier',sadly in a non-humoristic way,is indecent conduct...especially as you 'charge' him of having an insulting demeanour.
      i guess ,'Like'-ing his 'non-threatening' ,'non-insulting' & 'cloaked-with-a-hint-of-education' response,was your way of saying:"excuse me,i was a bit over the top."?
      i always enjoy your comments,as you are very insightful on a vary of
      topics & have a clear style of conveying information,so there is no need of being a smart-ar*e a la 'sheldon cooper'.
      i don't mean to offend you & sincerly hope,that you aren't. it was just
      an ugly comment & i'm sure,that that's not your true nature.

  30. making me go nuts this guys dumb voice,

  31. Thank you for sharing. Love it.

  32. while i do not disagree with the information given i could not get into this doc. i did watch it all but it would not be in my top 10 of evolution docs to watch on this site and for a specific human evolution doc i recommend Origins of Us. not only does it contain Dr Alice Roberts and in my opinion worthwhile on that fact alone but i found it more entertaining and informative. that being said i appreciate the effort and free to use nature of this doc and the author obviously knows his stuff it didn't fit my particular taste.

  33. We're Homo Interneticus already

    1. This film leads me to believe that we have advanced to Homo Interneticus Boreustodeathicus. It amazes me how they could take such fascinating material and then present it is such a boring manner. This was duller than my grade twelve calculus class. If I took a shot of tequila for every time the narrator said "in the past" I would have spent the last few hours sicker than a dog.

      The information was as accurate as possible and one could learn a lot by watching this video if one could only stay awake through the whole thing.

    2. You certainly have a point about the presentation if not about calculus.