Aired Wednesday August 11th, 2010 at 7:00 pm on KUED HD Ch. 7.1
Three-and-a-half billion years of evolution has produced an extraordinary number of species, but one stands out from all the others. Only one can write, think in symbols, recombine those symbols into infinite meanings, invent a technology to disseminate the message, think how others will interpret it, ponder the past, speculate on the future and imagine the unknown?
The Human Spark, a three-part series hosted by actor, author and science buff Alan Alda, explores where we come from, what we are and why we do some of the things we do. In each episode Alda combines humor and ingenious curiosity when analyzing the latest scientific research on the human species and why we are so special. The Human Spark airs on KUED, beginning Wednesday, August 11, at 7:00 p.m.
In the series, Alda explores a plethora of theories and engages in a number of activities. He reconstructs the tools the Neanderthals used, analyzes ancient jewelry made of human teeth and examines a 120,000-year-old human skull. Pointing out that the chimpanzee shares 99 percent of human DNA, Alda takes viewers on a far-reaching quest to uncover why we are genetically so similar to the chimpanzee, yet behaviorally a world apart.
"What makes this series unique," says executive producer Jared Lipworth, "is that it crosses into so many different scientific disciplines. Archaeology, primatology, neuroscience, behavioral psychology, even philosophy."
From the cave paintings in France, the archeological digs in Kenya and the inner recesses of brain, Alda, the long-time host of the PBS series Scientific American Frontiers, will spark your imagination as he explores our most defining abilities and how they arose.
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