Human Evolution Panel
This double whammy of talks will consist of two world class human evolution experts followed by a joint Q&A.
The Tales Teeth Tell: Human Development, Evolution, and Behaviour
Prof Tanya Smith
This talk will illuminate how a small part of our anatomy can teach us myriad things about how we grew up, evolved, and behaved during prehistoric times. Professor Smith will explain how careful scientific investigations have debunked controversies about the presence of faithful biological rhythms in teeth. This ultimately led to resolution of a century of debate over whether ancient human ancestors had childhoods like our own today. Teeth also have much to say about our ancient diet, ranging from their specialized shapes to tiny microscopic hints preserved on their surfaces for millions of years. These clues challenge popular mythology around the Paleo Diet, revealing just how unique our species is!
Who owns humankind - at the crossroad between scientific object and spiritual subject
Dr Renaud Joannes-Boyau
In this talk, we will first present the crucial role of fossils to advance our understanding of human evolution in particular (i) timing and (ii) ecology of our ancestors. We will present briefly the dating techniques and their importance in defining the sequence of events. We will then follow our discussion with the recent advance made in investigating early-life record of our ancestors. At last, we will end our talk by broadening the discussion to the complex aspect of fossil status as subject or object, investigating the legal, scientific, ethical and spiritual aspect of remains.