Duke University anthropologist Steven Churchill presents his research on the evolutionary origins of projectile weaponry, and how weapon use changed interactions between humans and other species—including, perhaps, the Neandertals. (October 20, 2009)
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We were apes before we were humans. But humans were the onetime apes who ultimately mastered fire and cooked.
Primatologist and anthropologist Richard Wrangham says that in evolutionary terms, that made all the difference. And not just because it put flambé on the menu.
Fire meant proto-humans could cook. Cooking, he says, meant they could get dense, empowering nourishment. Then came bigger brains, a different body and — voila! — homo sapiens. Complete, he says, with a social structure built around that fire.
Homo sapiens have been around for 250,000 years - surely long enough to have become fully evolved?
It was thought that the dramatic extension of life spans during the 20th century eliminated natural selection, but new evidence shows that to be false.
Will selection always be natural, or could postmodern also mean posthuman?
Paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey talks about what several generations of fossil finds reveal about human origins, and how modern Homo sapiens are threatening the future of life around the globe. Evolutionary biologist Quentin Atkinson joins to discuss the origins of language, which, like hominids, he’s traced to Africa.