Mark Pagel: How language transformed humanity


Here, Pagel discusses the most dangerous trait our species has ever evolved, our ability to learn through culture from others, and the problems of misusing this to steal the ideas of others through visual theft, and the effects this had on the evolution of our languages as a means of cooperation to sidestep it.

Language… It’s our means of transferring our thoughts to the minds of others through simple speech and writing, no special abilities needed, a natural outgrowth of the consequences of social learning, and our use of it that often frightens the powers that be into suppressing it.

Spencer Wells builds a family tree for humanity


Spencer Wells discusses his Genographic Project, to show how we are all connected in the most meaningful ways by the shared DNA we all inherit from our ancient African ancestors.