From you tube view the 13 parts of the journey of man, a genetic odyssey by: spencer wells - Essay Example

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Wells bases the first part of the documentary on Luca Cavalli-Sforza’s idea that it would be possible to get a clearer picture of our distant past through…
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From you tube view the 13 parts of the journey of man, a genetic odyssey by: spencer wells
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Summary: The Journey of a Man, a Genetic Odyssey Spencer Wells begins by introducing the idea that the human blood holds the key to discovering the history of mankind. Wells bases the first part of the documentary on Luca Cavalli-Sforza’s idea that it would be possible to get a clearer picture of our distant past through studying isolated communities. Spencer discovers an anomaly in the distribution of evolutionary time scale data, and decides to retrace the journey himself. In the second part, Wells focuses on the fundamental question: why did our ancestors leave their home? He hopes to get the answer from the few who chose to stay behind, the San Bushmen of Botswana. In addition, he explains the complexity of the DNA in simple terms as strands of chemical substances A, C, T and G. The aim is to indicate how the DNA writes the history of man. Wells explains the ideology of the family tree based on the male Y-chromosome.
In part 3 of the documentary, Wells engages in a hunting activity with the isolated tribe, the San. Here he discovers that our ancestors developed a language to communicate. In a preview, the documentary states the importance of language in organization through the exchange of ideas. Language is therefore a survival tactic for the humans. The fourth part focuses on the climatic changes that may have caused the ancestors to move away. According to Wells, about 70000 years ago, there was an ice age characterized by low sea levels and draught. The ancestors moved from Africa to Australia in an unexplained way. Wells tries to analyze the traditional music of the Aborigines of Australia to find a clue of the journey but fails.
In part 5, Spencer experiences the conflict between tradition and cutting edge science. Human traffic is one way from Africa to Australia; thus the question: which route did they use? Assuming a route through India, Spencer moves to India to trace the original genetic marker. In the next part, the documentary still focuses on finding a genetic marker that leads back to Australia. Spencer discovers the genetic marker occurring around 2000 years ago proving that our ancestors passed through India from Africa. This reveals evidence of coastal migration; though there is an open sea to Australia.
The ancestors of man arrived in Australia 50000 years ago. This part then shifts focus to the second wave of migrates who took a different route. This wave went to East Asia and separated. In Europe, Spencer analyses the caves settled in by the Cro-Magnon man. Part 8 gives a detailed description of the different climates between Europe and Africa based on the ultraviolet frequencies. The ancestors in the Northern areas were light skinned and wearing clothes due to the cold conditions. By tracing the ancient genetic marker, Spencer notes our ancestors spread through Asia before going to Europe.
Spencer traces the genetic marker through Middle East to Russia. He notices a correlation between the Middle East genes and the Chinese ancient hunters. In Russia, there exists a small tribe of ancient settlers with the clues to the European connection. In Russia, Spencer hopes to find out how the arctic travelers survived the harsh cold conditions. Here, they find the people living in the cold climate have small physical structures attribute to biological adaptations to the environment. It is evident that 20000 years ago, during the Ice Age, the climate was very cold.
The eleventh part of the documentary introduces the strange relation between the ancestors in Northern Russia and the rain dear. The people depended greatly on the rain dear; thus, the rain dear determined their travel patterns. It gets very cold and the rain dears have to migrate causing the villagers to move too. The Arctic travelers moved through the northern parts of the world to their final destination 11000 years ago, North America. The whole part involves a discussion with the people in North America based on logic. The people agree that the puzzle of their origin fits.
The final part explores the possibility that only a small group of people completed the journey through to South America. Spencer concludes by stating the complex lifestyle now adopted by the human race. He completes his journey in Brazil.
Works Cited
Wells, Spencer. The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2004. Print. Read More
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