Spotlight TEDx Talk: What we know about early humans has changed … a lot

TEDxVictoria speaker Melanie Chang with a Neanderthal skull (Photo: Melanie Chang)

TEDxVictoria speaker Melanie Chang with a Neanderthal skull (Photo: Melanie Chang)

What we know about our evolutionary history has changed quite a bit over the years. As data is collected, the story grows and changes, says anthropologist Melanie Chang at TEDxVictoria, and since our early discoveries of now-extinct human species, our concept of this history has evolved significantly.

“Human evolutionary studies are especially vulnerable to revelation,” she says in her talk, “… perturbations due to the discovery of previously unknown unknowns.”

At TEDxVictoria, Chang gives a rapid-fire run-through of our ever-evolving knowledge of just one extinct human species — the Neanderthal — which she notes  are “the first fossil humans known.”

Watch the whole talk below:

Insight from the TEDx office — Why we like this talk:

The speaker is an expert in her field who paints a nuanced portrait of the evolution of her subject of study, using evidence from research, popular culture and beyond. She presents her idea in a way that is clear, accessible, compelling and supported by data.

 

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