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Human Evolution

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 16 February 2006

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the story of human evolution, which stretches back over six million years. It is not the story of one species but of several diverse species, some of whom walked the Earth at the same time. From the earliest hominids to the early Homo sapiens, there was nothing inevitable about the course of human evolution.

But what conditions created the opportunity for diverse human species to thrive? What environmental factors led to the survival of one human species, but contributed to the extinction of so many others? What can the fossil record and the science of genetics tell us about our ancestors? How does the brain make modern man so unique in the natural world?

With Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics in the Galton Laboratory at University College London; Fred Spoor, Professor of Evolutionary Anatomy at University College London; Margaret Clegg, Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Biological Anthropology at University College London.

  • Further Reading

    Monte McCrossin, Craig Stanford, John S. Allen and Susan C. Anton, Biological Anthropology: The Natural History of Humankind (Prentice Hall, 2005)

    Chris Stringer and Peter Andrews, The Complete World of Human Evolution (Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2005)

    Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory , ed. by Ian Tattersall, Eric Delson, John Van Couvering and Alison S. Brooks (Garland Science, 1999)

    Steve Jones, The Language of the Genes (Flamingo, 2000)

    Steve Jones, The Single Helix (Little, Brown, 2005)

    The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution , ed. by Steve Jones, Robert Martin and David Pilbeam (Cambridge, 1992)

    John McCrone, The Ape that Spoke: How the Human mind evolved (Macmillan, 1990)

    Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin, Origins: In Search of What Makes Us Human (Abacus, 1993)

    Brace C. Loring, The Stages of Human Evolution (Prentice Hall, 1991)

    An Introduction to Human Evolutionary Anatomy , Leslie Aiello, et al (Academic Press Ltd, 1990)

    The Origin and Diversification of Language , ed. by Nina G. Jablonski and Leslie Aiello (University of California Press, 1998)

Credits

Presenter
Melvyn BRAGG
Producer
Ruth WATTS

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