humanity

Showing 12 posts tagged humanity

The question “Who was the first human?” was a very popular one in our house just last year, but the evolution videos we had in the archives – even the awesome Five Fingers of Evolution TED Ed video – didn’t answer it directly enough for my kids. This visual-filled video timeline from Joe Hanson of It’s Okay to Be Smart does: There was no first human.

You can never pinpoint the exact moment that a species came to be, because it never did. Just like how you used to be a baby and now you’re older, but there was no single day when you went to bed young and woke up old…

There was no first human. It sounds like a paradox, it sounds like it breaks the whole theory of evolution, but it’s really a key to truly understanding how evolution works. 

Also, your grandparents (a hundred eight-five million generations removed) were fish!

In the archives, more videos about evolution, Neil deGrasse Tyson explains evolution, and a related must-watch video about our human history: Carl Sagan’s Cosmic Calendar from the original Cosmos.

From jtotheizzoe.

The Verge reports on Anthropomorphism in Robots at the 2014 International CES (Consumer Electronics Show). Anthropomorphism, or personification, occurs when inanimate objects, animals, or things in nature are given human qualities.

There are more robots and more anthropomorphic examples in the archives, including eyebombing, the animated short Omelettethe Otamatone Jumbo, and one of our favorites: Cloudy.

"The human story is really nothing short of the story of a little corner of the universe becoming aware of itself." From National Geographic, paleo-artist John Gurche creates realistic human likenesses of our ancient ancestors. You can see them almost come to life at the Smithsonian’s Hall of Human Origins.

In the archives: more history, more humanity, and more evolution.

Imagine that the age of the universe, 13.82 billion years, is compressed into only one year. Carl Sagan explains this idea (using 15 billion years as his example) in a clip from his 1980 television series, Cosmos: A Personal Journey.

On this Cosmic Calendar, the Big Bang happens on January 1st at midnight, and we are at the end of the year, midnight on December 31st. Now look backwards: 

Down here, the first humans made their debut around 10:30 p.m. on December 31st. And with the passing of every cosmic minute — each minute 30,000 years long — we began the arduous journey towards understanding where we live and who we are.

11:46 - only 14 minutes ago, humans have tamed fire.

11:59:20 - the evening of the last day of the cosmic year — the 11th hour, the 59th minute, the 20th second — the domestication of plants and animals began, an application of the human talent for making tools.

11:59:35 - settled agricultural communities evolved into the first cities.

We humans appear on the cosmic calendar so recently that our recorded history occupies only the last few seconds of the last minute of December 31st. In the vast ocean of time which this calendar represents, all our memories are confined to this small square.

Every person we’ve ever heard of lived somewhere in there. All those kings and battles, migrations and inventions, wars and loves. Everything in the history books happens here, in the last 10 seconds of the cosmic calendar.

More Carl Sagan in the archives, along with The Big Bang and, looking forward, Al Jarnow’s Cosmic Clock.

via @alexanderchen.