Jan
05
2010

Watch "The Human Spark" on PBS

After some three and a half billion years of life’s evolution on this planet – and after almost two million years since people recognizable as human first walked its surface – a new human burst upon the scene, apparently unannounced.

It was us.

Until then our ancestors had shared the planet with other human species. But soon there was only us, possessors of something that gave us unprecedented power over our environment and everything else alive. That something was – is – the Human Spark.

What is the nature of human uniqueness? Where did the Human Spark ignite, and when? And perhaps most tantalizingly, why?

In a three-part series to be broadcast on PBS in 2010, Alan Alda takes these questions personally, visiting with dozens of scientists on three continents, and participating directly in many experiments – including the detailed examination of his own brain.

"The Human Spark"

Twin Cities area show dates and times:

  • Wednesday, January 6, 7:00 pm, on 2
  • Thursday, January 7, 1:00 am, on 2
  • Thursday, January 7, 3:00 pm, on LIFE
  • Wednesday, January 13, 7:00 pm, on 2
  • Thursday, January 14, 1:00 am, on 2
  • Thursday, January 14, 3:00 pm, on LIFE
  • Wednesday, January 20, 7:00 pm, on 2
  • Thursday, January 21, 1:00 am, on 2
  • Thursday, January 21, 3:00 pm, on LIFE
  • Sunday, January 24, 1:00 pm, on 2
  • Sunday, January 24, 2:00 pm, on 2
  • Sunday, January 24, 3:00 pm, on 2

"Our Origins: Exploring the Human Spark"

Twin Cities area show dates and times:

  • Sunday, January 24, 4:00 pm, on 2
  • Sunday, January 24, 8:00 pm, on MN
  • Sunday, January 31, 12:00 pm, on LIFE

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

bryan kennedy's picture

The show just after the Human Spark in the schedule, This Emotional Life, is a pretty interesting look at the human brain and our societal needs and interactions. Watch it with your partner and I'm sure you'll have some interesting conversations.

posted on Wed, 01/06/2010 - 10:59am
Drew S 23's picture
Drew S 23 says:

watched it loved it!!!!!:} :} :}

posted on Thu, 12/23/2010 - 2:05pm
Zeek the Geek's picture

I worked with and researched primates for five years before getting my current job. It seems to me that the human spark is actually a continuous trait. In other words, we're like other primates, but more so.
Monkeys and apes have rudimentary cultures that vary from social group to social group and are learned over time. Monkeys and apes are able to use appropriate plants to treat themselves when they are sick with parasite infections. While humans are unique in the quality of their achievements, I think many primates have similar basic capabilities, but to a lesser extent.

posted on Sat, 12/25/2010 - 7:14pm
claude's picture
claude says:

Until then our ancestors had shared the planet with other human species. But soon there was only us, possessors of something that gave us unprecedented power over our environment and everything else alive.

posted on Sat, 01/15/2011 - 2:03am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Watched it and liked it a little bit

posted on Thu, 03/17/2011 - 1:53pm

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