“A scientist attempts to answer the question of how humanity spread itself across the globe in this documentary produced for PBS. The Journey of Man focuses on the research of geneticist Dr. Spencer Wells, who wants to prove his theory that the global migration of man began with a tribe of Africans who, battered by famine and drought, left their home literally searching for greener pastures some 60,000 years ago. Wells leaves his laboratory behind and sets out on a research mission in which he attempts to trace the common genetic thread which connect such varied travelers as the Aborigines of Australia, the Bushmen of Namibia, and the Native Peoples of North America”. (NY Times review) At the end of your documentary review, connecting the film to course content, please address these questions. 1. Comment on the dialog with the Australian Tribal Leaders. How does this conversation relate to the cultural relativism/ethnocentrism article in Chapter 21 of the Zulke and Kirley textbook for this class? 2. What can the Y-chromosome tell us about human descent? If you are not a biology major, were you able to follow the scientific reasoning discussed in this film for DNA evidence? 3. How does environment affect the physical differences found in humans? 4. What impact has the world glacial ice age had on the movement of humans? Why are “we all Africans under the skin”? Look at Chapter 10 in your textbook and the discussion of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. How might GIS help us understand the human migrations discussed in the film.
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