Movie Details

This is the sixth episode in a seven-part PBS series that provides viewers with an overview of the theory of evolution: how the theory was conceived, how it has broadly influenced science, how it is commonly misunderstood, and how the theory effects everyday life. Written by John Heminway and produced by Heminway and Michelle Nicholasen, this installment of the documentary examines the evolutionary factors that led to the triumph of homo sapiens over other hominid relatives. Series advisor William H. Calvin of Washington University has postulated in his book The Cerebral Symphony that what we value as higher intelligence may well have developed as an offshoot of a survival trait: the ability to throw, and thereby safely hunt from a distance. The act of throwing involves a relatively complex sequential "firing" of synapses, as does higher thinking. Narrated by acclaimed actor Liam Neeson, highlights include footage of cave paintings by prehistoric men, animation sequences illustrating evolution, interviews with various scientists, and archival footage from a variety of sources, including the Archive of Kebara Cave, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle, Musee de l'Homme, the National Geographic Film Library, and the University of Toronto. Among the other distinguished advisors for the series are Jane Goodall and author Stephen Jay Gould. The series was originally televised September 24-27, 2001. ~ Steve Blackburn, Rovi