Life on earth began several billion years ago when the small chunk of rock that orbits the fast fusion reaction that is our sun cooled sufficiently to allow it to emerge. It will last until the sun begins to die and its atmosphere vaporises the inner planets. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, indeed. But, look on the bright side, we’re in roughly only half way through the story. On this solar timescale, of course, humanity is but a twinkling. Nevertheless, we’re the only species we know that cares about its prehistory and its future in more than the sense of the three F’s – fight, flight, or f…well you know the third one.
So, in celebration of Darwin Day here’s a video with Professor Gil McVean courtesy of Pulse-Project (thanks Colin) that celebrates how natural selection, evolution, and genes are braided to tell us about how humans evolved, how our ancestors colonised the planet, and how we adapted genetically speaking over millennia to cope with local pressures of diet, disease, and environment.