What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: What excites you the most about your current research?

Donald Johanson:   Well I think the…  I’ve worked in the earlier periods, three to four million years ago.  What excites me probably more than anything these days is the emergence of ourselves, the emergence of anatomically and behaviorally modern humans.  For many years we thought that this was an explosive moment.  It was called the cultural explosion or whatever, the cognitive explosion and what we’re beginning to find is that it is a sort of step by step development and most of those important steps were seminal in Africa, and I think that we’re going to be able to flesh out in much more detail the archeology, the paleoclimate, the biology and the behavior of the emergence of that creature, those creatures, early homo sapiens, that gave rise to all humans today, and it is my sense that all humans today come out of Africa, so by implication, regardless of what we look like on the outside, genetically, on the inside, everyone is an African.

Recorded on March 19, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen

 

“The Emergence of Ourselves”

Newsletter: Share: