Christian Long

Zerensenay Alemseged: Looks for Humanity’s Roots

In TED Talks on April 18, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Reflection by BRITTANY M.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Zerensenay Alemseged:  Looks for Humanity’s Roots

Alemseged is a well educated paleoanthropologist who was apart of a digging crew who discovered the oldest skeletal remains of a human being. He is an evolutionist who believes the skeletal remains which they have name Selam trace around 3.3 million years old. His big question is,

“What makes us human?”

Selam is the remains believed to be around 3.3 million years old and belong to the Lucy species. The Lucy species was also discovered by Alemseged in 2000. He and his team do dig sites in Ethiopia which is also his homeland. They search through what looks to be massive deserts and find ancient skeletal remains from animals such as elephants and monkeys. He along with other scientist believe Ethiopia to be the beginning of the Earth and human as well as animal life.They studied the bones for five years before discovering the species of the remains. After a thorough cleaning they were able to discover the gender as well as age. They decided she was a three year old girl through her teeth and brain size. It is common for monkey brains to develop faster than the human brain which is still doing major development at year three.

Although Selam is the oldest remains to be found, she is also the first baby remains to be found. This helps the theory that they were made as babies and did not begin in the full adult size. I personally am a Christian so I do not agree with many of the points of view in this video but I think he had a very well researched information. He seems to be a very well educated man and strongly believes in his research which completely shows through his video. Alemseged’s next question was,

“What do we learn from our past?”

We can learn that we ultimately decide the fate of our planet’s future. It is our job to proceed in education and technological advancements. We want to be able to go into the future and say that we are proud and somehow assisted in our future generations knowledge. In order for this to happen we need to lend a helping hand to whoever needs it which right now would be Africa.

Just as Alemseged says,

“Promote a positive attitude of Africa to Africa”.

Just anything else, confidence is the key. If we are able to help build up Africans confidence and abilities they have a much greater chance at becoming a stronger country and taking the guns out of the hands of children and replacing them with books and an education.


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