The existence of Beringia had a great impact on the spread of the human species only 16,000 years ago – and not long after, climatic periods like the Medieval megadroughts extending into the second millennium moved Vikings to Greenland, vineyards to England and played a role in the collapse of the Inca and Anasazi cultures.
And all this before humans took a role in shaping climate.
Now, according to earth scientists, paleontologists, and scholars in other fields, the planet has entered a new geological phase – the Anthropocene, the age of humans. How did this transition of our species from an apelike ancestor in Africa to the current planetary force occur? What are the prospects for the future of world climate, ecosystems, and our species?
In May, CARTA (The Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny) gathered the world’s foremost earth scientists, ecologists, and paleoanthropologists to address these questions – and with mostly dreadfully sobering evidence, they place the future of the planet squarely, and irretrievably, in our hands.
There’s plenty that goes on in these heads of ours — sometimes more than we want or understand. But just how much does the way our minds work distinguish us from other species?
In the latest series from UC San Diego’s CARTA, scientists from different fields discuss the cognitive abilities that are often regarded as unique to humans, including humor, morality, symbolism, creativity and preoccupation with the minds of others. They assess the functional uniqueness of these attributes, as opposed to the anatomical uniqueness, and whether they are indeed quantitatively or qualitatively unique to humans.
On the season premiere of Taking Control of Your Diabetes, Urban Miyares, a legally blind Vietnam veteran with type 1 diabetes, proves that a “can do” attitude and effective management can turn an upsetting diagnosis into boundless possibilities. Dr. Steven Edelman talks with Miyares, an accomplished athlete in both skiing and sailing, about his remarkable achievements in the face of a medical challenge.
CARTA: Culture-Gene Based Interactions in Human Origins
Have you watched UCTV Prime’s “Skinny on Obesity” yet? Well, now’s your chance to catch up. The 7-part series concluded at the end of May and all the episodes — including bonus footage and a wealth of complementary web material — are available online for binge viewing. Of course, you won’t be binge eating much after you finish.
You’ll also want to check out “UCTV Prime: Cuts” Tuesdays in June for a carefully selected series of excerpts from the Dalai Lama’s April visit to San Diego.
All programs repeat throughout the month. Visit the Program Schedule on our web site for additional air dates and times.