A kind of long reason why I like this series (as a whole).
Historically, most physical anthropology documentaries go something like this:
1. There were people in Africa–in Ethiopia, most likely. These people became the modern humans you know today with the pinacle being white humans.
2. They have white people black facing it where you are squinting, really, really hard and not trying to vomit.
3. White archaeologists lording over PoCs as the greatest explorers ever.
You have no idea how many anthropology programs I’ve watched–if you’ve seen any from the 1980′s forward–I watched them all, including the Candian ones.
Then programs started to slowly change in the 1990′s and then PoCs actually got to play themselves, but the fault of this was often Africans (as the continent whole) were portrayed as only “ancient peoples” and never modernized in contemporary Africa with Africa being “dirty” and poor. You still got white people talking 100% for PoC populations, and mostly still white male. And still the pinnacle of human beings being Europeans, who then went on to lord over the world and beat their chest that they are superior to PoCs who never traveled anywhere. Diversity? Who needs that?
Also Neanderthal? Well, those are an extinct species and we have nothing to do with them. We killed them all and the hybrids died. (We like to bang everything–and I mean that in both ways. A marriage alliance after war kind of sums up what it means to be human, don’t you think?)
In the late 90′s the human genome was finally mapped out, though I should note they still chose a white male and some white males to do this. (you can insert a groan).
Then recently we got a surprise! Neanderthal are part of any population outside of Africa, with a few African peoples too.
The two theories out of Africa and multiregional theory looked like they were colliding a bit.
Plus not all of the anthropologists are white men either. There are also geneticists, and they manage to skate away from things like colorblind (which I got sick of watching in these programs) and white savior complex, which they also managed to put to sleep soundly. They do kinda fuck up the section on Africa by not showing a lot of Modern Africa as having cities, and so on, but they do manage to fix this for later programs in other areas. So overall, compared to other programs, this one is far less racist and firmly confirms things like diversity is key, and there is no superiority.
But this recent program and new evidence shows that the idea of putting Europe as this superior, can travel more than other populations and even more than ancient humans is ludicrous. Homonids as a whole, have been traveling a lot and for a long time. We’ve been banging everything.
I like the middle answer of that our ancestors were not afraid of species unlike us. I like the answer that we, as humans did more than kill other species. And I like the idea that while we all came from Africa, we also interbred. That diversity was critical to our evolution. I always like the middle answer anyway.
Diversity is KEY to human survival. And our species is the result of mixing with other archaeic humans–some of which we might not have found yet! Even in Africa, it’s giving way to the idea of speciation and conversion made our species possible. And personally, I think it’s time to say: About Time!!
So you racist homophobic, sexist, transphobic, ableist, etc fools out there, I have just the program series for you. It’s this one. You want to eugenics our population into not having diversity without asking what you are erasing by doing so, this program answers your foolish belief system and challenges it.
And the tag diversity made humans possible should be a thing. Natural variation in every breeding population includes humans. With out it, we wouldn’t have taken over the planet.