What makes us human? It's an age-old question, one that scientists are trying to answer. They're finding startling clues - in fossils and cave paintings, the behavior of primates and the neural networks of the brain. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, we begin a four-part series on "human origins."
Stanley Greenspan is a child psychiatrist at George Washington University Medical School. He tells Judith Strasser about his work with developmentally damaged children and his theory that children develop their cognitive abilities only after they've learned to respond appropriately to their emotional experience. Greenspan is the author of "The Growth of the Mind." Also, primatologist Richard Byrne tells Steve Paulson that the great apes have more, and more flexible, intelligence than all the other monkeys and provide good clues to the origins of human intelligence.SEGMENT 2:
Paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson hit the jackpot when he discovered "Lucy" - the oldest, best-preserved skeleton of an erect-walking human ever found. He tells Steve Paulson that his work in East Africa's Great Rift Valley goes on and that early human ancestors showed little eveidence of the brainy creatures we would become. Johanson is the founder of the Institute of Human Origins and author of "From Lucy to Language."SEGMENT 3:
Two novelists who've set works in pre-history share their takes on Neanderthals with Jim Fleming. Joan Lambert's "Circles of Stone" tells the story with a feminist slant; John Darnton's thriller "Neanderthal" features warfare and conquests, and has been optioned by Steven Spielberg's company, Dreamworks.
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