human evolution

Homo Sapiens Versus Neanderthals

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Explore the origins of modern humans. Fossil evidence from Middle East caves and elsewhere has revealed some competitive advantages modern humans, known as Homo sapiens, are believed to have held over the more archaic human species, Neanderthals. For example, during the time in which the two species may have coexisted, Homo sapiens lived on high ground, from which they could survey the landscape and plan their hunting expeditions. Some scientists have theorized that the success of this strategy may have contributed to the demise of the valley-dwelling Neanderthals, who became extinct about 30,000 years ago. Adapted from NOVA.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

SciGirls | Digging Archaeology 05: Share

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The SciGirls collected specimens and made detailed observations in their studies of the ancient Fremont culture. They took these observations into account and made some hypotheses about what the ancient people ate and how they lived.

Why Do We Cook? | It's Okay to Be Smart

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Ever wonder why we cook our food? We do it because it tastes good, of course, and because our customs and traditions are built around it. However, we also cook our food for some basic biological reasons.

The Power of Play in Child Development | STEAM: Ideas That Shape Our World

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Peter Gray, a research professor in the Department of Psychology at Boston College, studies the role of play in human biological and cultural evolution. In his talk at the 2017 IdeaFestival in Louisville, Gray discusses the correlation between the decline of play and the rise of mental disorders, and explains why play is crucial for child development.

When We First Walked | Eons

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Fossilized footprints have proved that human ancestors were already striding across the landscape 3.6 million years ago. But who started them on that path? What species pioneered this style of locomotion? Who was the first to walk?

A Mutation Story

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This video segment tells the story of a genetic mutation affecting the population of West Africa. Although helpful in preventing malaria, this mutation can also lead to sickle cell anemia. Sickle cell specialist Dr. Ronald Nagel stresses the genetic diversity required for the survival of a species.

Does Technology Ruin Relationships? | BrainCraft

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How does our excessive use of technology and social media affect our relationship with other people?

The Human Spark | The Community of Symbolism

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In this segment from The Human Spark, host Alan Alda explores the significance of jewelry made by early humans eighty to ninety thousand years ago. Pierced seashells, soapstone, and teeth provide evidence that human societies had advanced beyond simple survival, allowing themselves to engage in the time consuming creation of jewelry. These ornaments which were worn by early humans were symbols extending a sense of community and a network of cooperation to a larger group of individuals than would otherwise be connected.

Does Evolution Have a Point? 12 Days of Evolution #12 | It's Okay to Be Smart

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Some of the biggest evolution questions finally answered.

The Human Spark | Beyond the Present

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This video from The Human Spark briefly discusses humans' ability to reflect on the past and think about what might happen in the future. In contrast, other animals focus only on the moment. It is this ability to think beyond the present that makes us uniquely human.

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