Twenty four hundred years ago, Plato, one of history’s most famous thinkers, said life is like being chained up in a cave forced to watch shadows flitting across a stone wall. Beyond sounding quite morbid, what exactly did he mean? Alex Gendler unravels Plato's Allegory of the Cave, found in Book VII of "The Republic."
Alice Roberts explores the latest discoveries in the study of human origins, revealing the transformation that has been brought about in this field by genetics. Traditional paleo-anthropology, based on fossils, is being transformed by advanced genome sequencing techniques. We now know that there were at least four other distinct species of human on the planet at the same time as us - some of them identified from astonishingly well-preserved DNA extracted from 50,000-year-old bones, others hinted at by archaic sections of DNA hidden in our modern genome. What's more, we now know that our ancestors met and interacted with these other humans, in ways that still have ramifications today. Alice uses these revelations to update our picture of the human family tree.
Can we bridge the divide between "us" and "them"? At a time when the whole world seems to be polarizing into irreconcilable camps, Morgan Freeman sets out on a journey in search of the forces that push us apart, from intolerance of differences to fear of outsiders, and the possibilities of coming together.
A fight on Everest? It seemed incredible. But in 2013 news channels around the world reported an ugly brawl at 6400 m (21,000 ft) as European climbers fled a mob of angry Sherpas. In 1953, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay had reached the summit in a spirit of co-operation and brave optimism. Now climbers and Sherpas were trading insults - even blows. What had happened to the happy, smiling Sherpas and their dedication in getting foreigners to the top of the mountain they hold so sacred?
2015 • People
The focus is set on individuals going beyond their physical boundaries. There’s freediving world record holder Herbert Nitsch who can hold his breath for more than nine minutes, “ice man” Wim Hof who likes going for a walk in the Arctic preferably without clothes, human echolocation expert Daniel Kish who can ride a bicycle despite his blindness and Bavarian ice climbing champion Ines Papers and mathematical super brains Gert Mittring and Rudiger Gramm who can solve nearly every arithmetic problem without a pocket calculator. How do they all manage to control their bodies? „Human limits“has the answer