Video: Human Spark
THE HUMAN SPARK explores one central question: what makes humans unique? Three and a half billion years of evolution have produced uncountable billions of living species. But only one -- humans -- can think in symbols; recombine those symbols into infinite meanings; invent a technology to disseminate the message; worry how others might react to it; ponder the past; speculate about the future; and imagine the unknown. This three-part series is hosted by actor, author and science buff Alan Alda. He travels the world and speaks to a wide variety of experts who share their original thoughts about our most human characteristics. Along the way, Alda forms his own intriguing personal view of what our spark is and where it lies.
Series host and narrator, Alan Alda, confronts the puzzle of why our ancestors in Africa got the Spark and evolved into us, while the first humans to leave Africa for Europe--the... 00:33
Alan Alda visits a dog lab where researchers are investigating communication talents our canine companions have that our much closer relatives the chimpanzees don't. Have we bred a glimmer of the... 05:12
Alan Alda becomes a research subject for scientist Tanya Chartrand as she studies how mimicry affects our social interactions and behavior. In "The Human Spark," Alan Alda visits dozens of... 05:15
Alan Alda talks to scientist Dan Lieberman about why the human ability to run could be an important prerequisite for the evolution of our bigger brains -- and the emergence of our human spark.... 03:56