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Where Did We Come From?


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Channel: It's Okay To Be Smart
Categories: Archeology / Paleontology   |   Biology   |   Society / Culture   |   Science   |   Social Science  
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Ready to untangle the branches of the human family tree?
Part 1 of our special series on Human Ancestry. Watch it all:
↓↓↓More info and sources below ↓↓↓

In part 1 of our special series on human ancestry, we tour through our family tree to meet our ancestors and distant cousins, and to find out what made us human along the way.
The story of human ancestry is not a simple progression from primitive apes to us, with all the ape/human intermediates in between. The real human story is much richer and more complex, full of branches, gaps, and shadowy parts. A century and a half of fossil finds tells us perhaps two dozen human species lived on Earth between now and the time when our ancestors split from chimpanzee ancestors. The new era of DNA and genetics is upending that story yet again.


Stringer, Chris. “Lone survivors: How we came to be the only humans on earth.” Macmillan, 2012. (Library:

Stringer, Chris, and Peter Andrews. “The complete world of human evolution.” London: Thames & Hudson, 2005. (Library:

Tattersall, Ian. “Masters of the planet: the search for our human origins.” Macmillan, 2012. (Library:

Walter, Chip. “Last ape standing: the seven-million-year story of how and why we survived.” Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2013. (Library:

“Evolution: The Human Saga.” Scientific American 311.3 (2014): 4-100.

Strait, David, Frederick E. Grine, and John G. Fleagle. "Analyzing Hominin Hominin Phylogeny: Cladistic Approach." Handbook of paleoanthropology. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2015. 1989-2014.

Wood, Bernard, and Eve K Boyle. "Hominin taxic diversity: Fact or fantasy?." American journal of physical anthropology 159.S61 (2016): S37-S78.


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It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
Director: Joe Nicolosi
Writer: Joe Hanson
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Producer: Stephanie Noone and Amanda Fox

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