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Masters of the Planet

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Paleontologist Ian Tattersall discusses the wide range of other early humans and looks at why homo sapiens were vaulted forward. Masters of the Planet explains the physical traits and cognitive abilities that made homo sapiens stand apart and thrive.

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Ian Tattersall
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Comments [8]

Ed from Larchmont

The Catholic view is that there are two possiblibities: that God took an ape and replaced its soul with a human soul. Or, God indeed took dust from the earth, formed a man, and breathed life into his nostrils. This is in line with the scientific finding that the whole human race can be traced to one couple in Africa. (Can that take place in the gradualism of evolution?) With earlier species it's almost as if God were experimenting, seeing what worked, what he wanted.

Apr. 02 2012 06:10 AM
Hugh Sansom

If language developed only 100,000 years ago, but Homo sapiens appeared some 200,000 years ago, then our species existed for 100,000 years without language?!

Mar. 28 2012 12:29 PM
Hugh Sansom

What can be said about the development of language, if anything? Were Neanderthals speaking? How about older hominids?

Mar. 28 2012 12:23 PM
John Weber from NJ

Re: MEAT Yes our ancestors probably ate meat which lead to increased brain size etc. But the organization needed to hunt meat may not have been there before the brain big enough to conduct the hunt. Is there any evidence or theories that say we walked to the coast, and found plentiful meat in the form of shellfish and were able to gorge on meat for generations without hunting?

Mar. 28 2012 12:23 PM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn, NY

I have heard it argued that Homo sapiens came near to extinction perhaps 80 or 100 thousand years ago. This view is based upon how long our species has been in existence and how little diversity there is in our genome given that time.

Is this an accepted view now?

Mar. 28 2012 12:15 PM
Ash in Chelsea

I've been wondering: (1)If man, as a specie(s), has evolved from some earlier state, why don't earlier versions of man exist today? (2) If apes or other species represent an earlier evolution of man, why aren't there more versions of the evolution?

Mar. 28 2012 12:13 PM
Bob from New York

What evolutionary process caused female human breasts to be so much larger than other mammals?

Mar. 28 2012 12:13 PM
emmanuel from westchester

I've heard that according to one of the leading theories of evolutionary biology, that states minimizing error rates in the reproduction of DNA, leads to the success of the species. I forget the author, but he said that the human species has such high error rates, that we should have died out a long time ago.. Is this true?

Mar. 28 2012 12:10 PM

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