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Ape to Man (History Channel)


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Ape to Man (History Channel) + Journey of Man + Becoming Human
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Editorial Reviews

It has long been considered the most compelling question in our history: Where do human beings come from? Although life has existed for millions of years, only in the past century-and-a-half have we begun to use science to explore the ancestral roots of our own species. The search for the ultimate answer has taken a number of twists and turns, with careers made and broken along the way. APE TO MAN is the story of the quest to find the origins of the human race - a quest that spanned more than 150 years of obsessive searching The search for the origins of humanity is a story of bones and the tales they tell. It was in 1856 that the first bones of an extinct human ancestor were encountered, unearthed by a crew of unskilled laborers digging for limestone in Western Europe. The find, which would be known as Neanderthal Man, was seeing the light of day for the first time in more than 40,000 years. At the time, the concept of a previous human species was virtually unthinkable. Yet just a few years later, Charles Darwin's work The Origin of Species first broached the subject of evolution, and by the end of the nineteenth century, it had become the hottest topic of the age. Adventurers had embarked on the search for the Missing Link, the single creature that represented the evolutionary leap from apes to humans. APE TO MAN examines the major discoveries that have led us to the understanding we have today, including theories that never gained full acceptance in their time, an elaborate hoax that confused the scientific community for years, and the ultimate understanding of the key elements that separate man from apes. DVD Features: Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 27, 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BKVLA2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,064 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. Callis on February 27, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I teach Intro to Anthropology at a local community college, and showed this in class last week. The students were engaged throughout, which is quite a feat, considering it's a 9:30am class. The information is factual, and the acting is only a little over the top. A great way to introduce students to the ideas behind human evolution, and to walk them step by step through the discoveries we've made in the past century. I would recommend it for high school and college classes.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Frederick on May 12, 2012
Format: DVD
We're following two time lines here: Our actual ancestral history, and the history of discoveries revealing that history. It's not a smooth line. But both stories are fascinating, and the History Channel does a great job of presenting both.

[Pause while I look up something that was not mentioned, and see if I can figure out why.]

OK, now I can explain why Cro Magnon was not mentioned. The term is essentially obsolete among anthropologists, since they simply say "early modern man." Fine; I'll go with that. This movie agrees with several things I have read or seen, that Neanderthals are NOT our ancestors. They were a branch of the tree that also evolved from Australopithecus, moved into Europe while those remaining in Africa evolved into modern man. Then when modern man migrated into Europe, the well-established Neanderthal could not compete, and died out.

The most recent fossil humans were thus Homo erectus, Java man, about 800,000 years ago. Neanderthal had already been discovered, but it seemed to imply that the most defining characteristic of our development was larger and larger brains. And of course the Piltdown Man hoax of 1912 didn't help matters any.

Without going into the details, which I would only screw up anyway, let's just say that there are four basic approaches here. One is seeing the scientists in reenactments as they make their discoveries. Another is watching the hominids themselves (also reenactments, of course, but with great makeup and authentic details) as they go about those elements of their lives that go into making humans what we are: Lucy walking erect, Homo Habilis using stone tools, and finally early modern man using language and social organization to defeat the Neanderthals.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Cybele Bell on February 24, 2010
Format: DVD
i think what some reviewers called over-dramatization is really just the efforts of the makers to show you where and how in someone's life a discovery was made, as opposed to listing out straight facts. i thought it was fascinating--they went to great lengths to find these details, and it puts into perspective how recently our science has changed our views.

and i read somewhere that a bigger part of the reason we outlived neanderthal was because they only hunted big game, and the ice age ravished a lot of the big game. since we also gathered plants and roots for food ('hunter-gatherers'), our diet was more diverse and more adaptable to changing environment.

other than the neanderthal die-off reasons, (they cited bigger brains and direct competition-killing each other) it was a great show for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark A Spencer on November 25, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A little outdated, but anything is involving human evolution these days. Still, its well done and worth watching for general understanding. So, if you are studying for your anthro exam, no. But darn good for the rest of us armchair life-students.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Wilson on February 5, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a very good introduction to the subject of the human family tree with important tie-in lessons suggested concerning the (often hostile and wholly erroneous) reception new, scientific evidence and theories initially receive.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul P. Sullivan on July 26, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I guess you can say it is somewhat made for mainstream television with all of the dramatic cuts, but that just spices up the content that is being viewed; also, it makes it easier to spread this beautiful story. It is worth watching.
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By Fried on April 16, 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great video to use along with my unit on human evolution.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nick James Johnson on May 8, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD has many interesting facts to offer in for human evolution. It is becoming more apparent that human evolution is real. Within even the last 20 years palentologists are gathering up the fossil and DNA evidence of our past. Hopefully 20 years from now we will have a better understanding of who we are and where we came from. This film is a must see.
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