Human Evolution – Crash Course Big History [16:13]


John and Hank Green, as always, provide a fun and educational video, this time detailing one of the most controversial aspects of one of the most controversial theories: human evolution, or paleoanthropology.  Hank first discusses the unique aspects of our early ape ancestors, like oour intelligence, social hierarchies, and the differences between chimpanzees and bonobos.  About a third of the way in, they focus on hominids and how we again diverged by becoming bipedal, growing larger brains, and increasing tool use.  Our most important innovation as a species: social learning.  They end with a comparison between hunter-gathering, medieval peasant, and modern society.

Discussion Questions

  • Is there anything that makes humans unique from animals?  Or are we only different in degree?
  • Why does Hank focus so much on social or collective learning?
  • Would you rather be a hunter gatherer or live in today’s modern world?

Keywords: evolution, natural selection, Hobbes, Rousseau, society,


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