The Day We Learned to Think

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Understanding of humans’ earliest past often comes from studying fossils. They tell us much of what we know about the people who lived before us. There is one thing fossils cannot tell us; at what point did we stop living day-to-day and start to think symbolically, to represent ideas about our environment and how we could change it? At a dig in South Africa the discovery of a small piece of ochre pigment, 70,000 years old, has raised some very interesting questions.

Anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) emerged in Africa roughly 100,000 years ago. We know from fossil evidence that Homo sapiens replaced other hominids around them and moved out of Africa into Asia and the Middle East, reaching Europe 40,000 years ago.

Prof Richard Klein believes art is a landmark in human evolution. Unquestionable art that’s widespread and common suggests you’re dealing with people just like us. No other animals, after all, are able to define a painting as anything other than a collection of colours and shapes. This ability is unique to humans.

Other scientists agree. They believe art defines humans as behaviourally modern, and its beginning must coincide with the ability to speak and use language. If someone has the imagination to devise a shared way to describe their environment using art then it seems inconceivable that they could not possess language and speech. The search for the moment our ancestors became behaviourally just like us is also the hunt for the first evidence of art.

The Day We Learned to Think, 3.6 out of 10 based on 19 ratings

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    Good Video, I love learning about the creators of our time. :)

  • http://www.wheretobuybacklinks.com How to Get Backlinks

    Good Video, I love learning about the creators of our time. :)

  • Overstanding71

    who the fuck is he meaning by us all the time?

  • Overstanding71

    we as “modern humans” still cant think beyond our instincts if you look at the state of the world today.

  • Overstanding71

    a lot of assumpions for science . its a good thing i didnt believe my history teatcher when i was a young boy.
    perhaps its better not to believe this documantary to.
    since the story keeps changing.i must say there are some nice drawings in here. 

  • Overstanding71

    a lot of assumpions for science . its a good thing i didnt believe my history teatcher when i was a young boy.
    perhaps its better not to believe this documantary to.
    since the story keeps changing.i must say there are some nice drawings in here. 

    • Flaggedgamertag

      yeah, you should probably believe the teachings of a 1500 year old book that was created by man before modern science was thought of…

      Go die for jesus or something 

  • Bremelo

    720P, full version on YouTube, so you don’t have to bother with that Veoh crap. Just sayin’.

  • Jezz

    Why do scientists continue to search and ask why, why , why? We began to think when Eve ate the apple. It’s so f*ckin simple and I dont even go to church!

  • shinz

    Of course they would say the day we started to think started in Europe. And call Africa the cradle of evolution instead of the cradle of civilization. Now we know archaeologists found oogles and oogles of refined art dated thousands of years before Europe in Africa with values, meaning, and cultural significance. The cultures may not be European but certainly are just as classical. We should have known that they would say that earliest stages of evolution, that is the most primitive, came from Africa. Just because some cultures are not as advanced like in Asia doesn’t mean they came from some half animal creature, Some times technology doesn’t spread. But they have their own technology, albeit crude. Cultures in Asia, China, Africa and everywhere have art that required a high level of skills.