View Full Version : What Makes us Human? (BBC programme)

Jean M
07-05-2013, 11:10 AM
Alice Roberts discusses what makes us different from our cousins, the great apes, in a Horizon programme, shown on 3 July on BBC 2, which can be viewed online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b036mrrj/Horizon_20122013_What_Makes_us_Human/

She mentions some of points (e.g. instinct vs learning) that I made in this thread: http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?728-Neanderthals-not-as-bright-as-us

There is an amusing review in the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2013/jul/04/horizon-human-tv-review). Extract below:

Professor Alice Roberts is expecting her second child. I don't think I've ever seen anyone look so happy to be pregnant. She floats around, backlit by the sun and beaming, stroking her bump, marvelling at other babies and at the wonder of it all. Often she'll get out her sketchbook to draw some of it, the wonder. But this is not just Me and My Miracle, it's Horizon: What Makes Us Human? (BBC2). There's serious science to be done.

So she's off to meet the rellies, at Leipzig zoo. You know, bonobos, gorillas, chimps, the other great apes – 99% the same, 1% different, DNA-wise.

They are so much quicker out of the blocks. Even birth itself – they just shoot out like ferrets from a pipe. And they hit the ground running (or swinging). For us there's all that pushing and wailing and swearing by our mums. After which we just lie around helplessly, crying and pooing and not much else, before the tantrums start, which means more wailing and swearing by everyone. We're utterly useless, for years and years.

But we do overtake the other apes eventually. I mean the chimps never sketch us, do they, sequence our genome or plot our brains? Idiots. They are quite good at getting a peanut out of a tube though, quicker than Prof Roberts in fact.