When student paleontologist Lee Berger in a South African cave sweeps an object clean with a shovel, the common man discovers an interchangeable rock with small white and large ocher-red surfaces. But Berger – with his hat and khaki outfit reminiscent of Indiana Jones – sees a “beautiful fossil”. “I see the teeth here,” he told Geoffert Schilling, who was standing next to him, with the camera crew on his new series. Govt of human origin.
Of course, Berger, the eminent American scientist, got it right: it turned out to be a human skull. Such a thing had only been encountered seventy times before.
“It’s very special that we were here,” says Schilling, 64. “We were afraid that viewers would think we staged it.” Berger, who actually discovered homo naledi in 2013, may once again come up with the name of a new human species. Schilling: “He’ll come up with a magazine in a year.”
As a science journalist, Schilling, who also writes de VolkskrantKnown for his work in astronomy. Two years ago he made the series for NTR Government to the limits of the universe. In 2007, an asteroid (10,986) Juffert was named after him.
Before Govt of human origin, which can be seen on NPO 2 as of Friday, has entered relatively new territory for him: paleoanthropology, the study of extinct humans. We ask ourselves: Where did we come from? How did the development happen? How did Homo erectus and Neanderthals disappear and we, with Homo sapiens, are the only humans left? Schilling not only visited caves in South Africa, but also visited Georgia and Spain.
Schilling also deals with the future: will humans turn into robots? Should Homo sapiens leave Earth? Or are we doomed? Topics remind us of books Sabines employment God’s man Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari.
Fossils by definition have been around for a while. However, scientists like Berger have been making discoveries all the time lately. How did this happen? “Ancient anthropology arose in the nineteenth century,” Schilling says. But when I was a teenager, there were still relatively few scientists active in it. Now there are hundreds.
Schilling says technology helps, too. “Berger uses satellite technology to search African landscapes for caves he can still visit.” However, the number of human fossils that have been found is still small. Schilling: “They fit two trucks, maybe three pickups.”
Try to solve the giant puzzle based on a small number of puzzle pieces. This is what Schelling found interesting about ancient anthropology. “Just like with astronomy, you also know in the field that there’s only one origin story, and we’re trying to figure out a little bit of information.”
Schilling says the well-known picture of reconstructing evolution, beginning with a humpback monkey and ending with a straight man, should be short-disturbed. We are not descendants of chimpanzees, they are our nephews and nieces. We share with them a mysterious ancestor that is not yet known.
Evolution does not move from A to B. Schilling: “Some ancient anthropologists say you should look at it as a shrub, with branches and twigs going in all directions.”
It can be said that humanity owes a lot to the meteor impact that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, leaving room for mammals. in a Govt of human origin The paleontologist says hominins thrived with the creation of the Isthmus of Panama about 3 million years ago, which led to a climate change in Africa that turned dense forests into open savannas. This favored humans, who walked straight and did not swing from tree to tree.
“This is an evolution,” Schilling says. Adaptation to changing conditions. It’s cool to wonder if we’d have this conversation if that meteor hadn’t hit? ”
Recent discoveries by Homo naledi, Denisovans, and Flores have disproved the claim that Homo sapiens and Neanderthals were the only human species for the past 100,000 years. When are you talking about a new human species? “Some say you can talk about two types of people if they don’t have fertile offspring,” says science journalist Jovert Schilling. But based on that, you should see Neanderthals and Homo sapiens as one, because they could. You also have 2 percent of Neanderthal DNA. Schilling says there are two schools. The “dissenters” who are quick to talk about this and the more conservative “dissenters”.
Govt of human origin (NTR) It can be seen from Friday at 22.35 on NPO 2.
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