Why do humans live in monogamous couples, sharing parenting responsibilities? What does the difference in size between men and women have to do with marital infidelity? Why do females of our species stop having children in midlife and continue living so long? Jared Diamond explores the human lifecycle, looking to evolution for clues to how we became what we are.
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What makes us human? In this episode Jared Diamond reveals the biological origins of human art, by looking at breathtaking examples of "art" made by animals and early humans. He unravels the mysterious mechanisms that determine how humans and animals choose their mates, with a fresh take on Charles Darwin's theory of sexual selection.
This time he discusses space exploration and the discovery of habitable extrasolar planets, which hold the possibility of life. If aliens visited, would they come with friendly intentions? Then he explores our own species' shocking capacity for murder, war and genocide, and the "us vs them" mentality we share with other animals, including our cousins the chimpanzees.
Jared Diamond explores how mass extinctions of the past and the collapse of civilizations foreshadowed our role in climate change and mismanagement of natural resources. Examining the dangers of the growing wealth gap within societies and between nations, he leaves us with an urgent warning that now is the time to pursue solutions, as well as a message of hope.
Nothing changed human history more than the birth of agriculture, giving us culture and civilization. But this unique feature of our species, absent in our nearest animal relatives, also brought health and social problems. In this installment of his lectures examining how we became human, Jared Diamond reveals agriculture's influence on our development over the last 11,000 years.
Presented from the Los Angeles Zoo, the first episode explores how we share 98.4% of our DNA with chimpanzees. What's in the extra 1.6% that gave us music, art, culture, and an advantage over other animals? A master storyteller, Dr. Diamond looks to evolution for clues and dives into the origins of human language.