Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Becoming Human on NOVA

If you are not familiar with the show, [NOVA] is one of the regular programs on [PBS].  The focus is mostly (if not entirely) on scientific topics, and they recently had a rebroadcast of their three-part series on human evolution from 2009, which I missed the first time around.

Be assured that my ears really picked-up while listening to the introduction.  Humans, without a doubt the smartest animal on earth.  Yet, we are unmistakably tied to our ape origins.  Millions of years ago, we were apes, living ape lives in Africa.  So, how did we get from that to this?  What happened?  What set us on the path to humanity?  The questions are huge, but at last, there are answers.  More than six million years ago, we took that first step to separate from the apes.  “We see the launching of the career that ultimately led to Homo Sapiens.”  And three million years ago, we see the roots of our big brain begin to take hold in a tiny creature, more like a chimp than a human.  “The frontier of human evolution is really being brought to this razor-sharp edge.”  And we now know that for millions of years, many different human-like species lived together on the planet.  Until one day, there was only us.  Homo Sapiens, the most complex, adaptable animal on earth.  So, how did we get this way, and why?  A radical new theory reveals how episodes of cataclysmic change forced our ancestors to adapt, or die.  “I think we should actually look to our proud ancestry, and how we evolved in east Africa, and say, ‘That’s how we survived that, we can survive the future.’”  So get ready for a ride through millions of years of our history.  It’s the story of becoming human.  Our story, right now on Nova.

To be more specific, it was the, The questions are huge, but at last, there are answers, that brought my ears to full attention.  For that is rather bold statement for those who openly claim to only accept empirical evidence as proof of anything.

Alas, maybe I did not get the memo on how the rules for empirical evidence had changed to include mere speculation?  For all of the answers presented had no basis in fact, according to the rules of empirical evidence that I knew of.

Yes, there was mention of theory in the introduction, but weren’t we being led towards acceptance of fact beforehand?  Please let me know if you believe that I am just being asinine.

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.

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Lavender Darwin said...

Fairy stories, Fishhawk. And tax-payer funded ones at that.

Macro-evolution is beyond the purview of science. It's a religion.

FishHawk said...

Well, you are certainly right about it becoming a religion, my dear Lavender.