playlist

Ancient clues

Fascinating talks about humanity's beginnings and evolution's journey.

  1. 17:08
    Yuval Noah Harari What explains the rise of humans?

    Seventy-thousand years ago, our human ancestors were insignificant animals, just minding their own business in a corner of Africa with all the other animals. But now, few would disagree that humans dominate planet Earth; we've spread to every continent, and our actions determine the fate of other animals (and possibly Earth itself). How did we get from there to here? Historian Yuval Noah Harari suggests a surprising reason for the rise of humanity.

  2. 27:25
    Jane Goodall What separates us from chimpanzees?

    Jane Goodall hasn't found the missing link, but she's come closer than nearly anyone else. The primatologist says the only real difference between humans and chimps is our sophisticated language. She urges us to start using it to change the world.

  3. 17:01
    Svante Pääbo DNA clues to our inner neanderthal

    Sharing the results of a massive, worldwide study, geneticist Svante Pääbo shows the DNA proof that early humans mated with Neanderthals after we moved out of Africa. (Yes, many of us have Neanderthal DNA.) He also shows how a tiny bone from a baby finger was enough to identify a whole new humanoid species.

  4. 15:51
    Zeresenay Alemseged The search for humanity's roots

    Paleoanthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged looks for the roots of humanity in Ethiopia's badlands. Here he talks about finding the oldest skeleteon of a humanoid child — and how Africa holds the clues to our humanity.

  5. 15:36
    Louise Leakey A dig for humanity's origins

    Louise Leakey asks, "Who are we?" The question takes her to the Rift Valley in Eastern Africa, where she digs for the evolutionary origins of humankind — and suggests a stunning new vision of our competing ancestors.

  6. 16:48
    Juan Enriquez Will our kids be a different species?

    Throughout human evolution, multiple versions of humans co-existed. Could we be mid-upgrade now? At TEDxSummit, Juan Enriquez sweeps across time and space to bring us to the present moment — and shows how technology is revealing evidence that suggests rapid evolution may be under way.