The Human Animal (1994–…): Season 1, Episode 2 - The Hunting Ape - full transcript

How did the human animal come to dominate all other life-forms

on the planet Earth?

What's the secret of our unparalleled success?

Could it have something to do with the way in which during the course of

our evolution,

we radically changed our social behaviour.
Becoming more cooperative

as we faced daunting new challenges.

In one important respect, we became unique among the primates. We became pack hunters.

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Indeed hunting became a human obsession,

that went beyond mere feeding
to become a whole new way of life.



It was to transform us
and make us, not the lion,

the king of all the animals.

For millions of years,

our ancestors were hunter-gatherers.

Now all that has changed.
Now we gather everything.

We still eat meat, but we no longer
have to hunt it down.

Instead we encounter it

neatly cleaned and packaged
as we forage among the urban

branches of our supermarkets,
packing food from the shelves

Viewed as a pattern of human
feeding behaviour, a trip to the

supermarket is the remarkable
end point of a long journey

through evolutionary time.
A journey that started in a primeval forest,

and ended at a checkout counter.

To me, it's a story of an arboreal ape
which became a ground-dwelling predator,



which in turn became a credit card customer.

It was working at the zoo back in the 1960s that gave me

my unusual approach to the subject of human behaviour.

I'd started out my studies
looking at fish, then birds

then mammals and finally, chimpanzees.

It was as though, without planning it,

I was approaching the human animal
by climbing up its family tree.

This gave me a very different slant from people like

psychologists or psychoanalysts,
or anthropologists or sociologists.

During my position here,

I gave the human species an animal
name, the naked ape.

And I set about describing our behaviour in exactly the same

way as I'd used
when looking at all those other species

in my earlier research.

The more I studied chimpanzees,
the more I realised just how

intelligent they are.

But despite their intelligence,
wild chimpanzees have to spend

most of their time feeding.

This interminable food collecting is typical of animals

that depend largely on a vegetable diet.
Nutritionally inferior,

to meat, a great deal of vegetation has to be eaten

every day for survival. In the primeval forests,

this feeding process has been going on for millions of years

endlessly time-consuming and
monotonously repetitive.

And it's against this background
that our own story begins.

About 10 to 15 million years ago,
the early apes from which

we ourselves evolved must have looked rather like this.

In this series, we've reconstructed
and reanimated our earliest

forbears as a reminder that humans did not in fact descend from

chimpanzees, but from this common ancestor.

It probably had a similar lifestyle to modern chimps with fruits, berries

and nuts as its main source of food.
And like them, it will

occasionally have eaten a little animal food

as a valuable addition to its diet.

Although later this was to change,

its original herbivorous
lifestyle is one that's left

its mark upon us even today.

From our ancient primate ancestors

we've inherited a love of
ripe fruits, berries and nuts.

Food which they found in the treetops
and which we still consume

today in a hundred different forms.

One of the key qualities
of this kind of food is its sweet taste.

And this has left us for the decidedly sweet tooth.

In fact, we're so fond of sweet things, that we will search

for them everywhere.

Even at the risk of being stung
by angry bees. In some tribal cultures

the craving for honey is so strong that the tastes

of as many as ten different types are distinguished by the

expert honey seekers.

And it's no accident that the very first alcoholic drink

ever created by our species was mead.
Made, of course from honey.

Another continent, other insect.

This type of ant collects honey in its abdomen which becomes

massively swollen and distended, making it easy to catch.

For these native australians,
honey ants are a special delicacy,

collected and savoured like small ripe fruits.

Everywhere you look in the world you find evidence of this

human devotion to sweetness,
inherited from our primate ancestors.

And nowhere

is it stronger than among our children,
as a simple experiment will show.

Here, sweet foods are on the left,
non-sweet foods on the right.

When children are allowed to take anything

they want, they fall on the sweet foods and ignore the others.

And it's not only children who react like this.

It's worth asking why, if eating sweet things is so natural,

it should often be viewed as unhealthy.

The answer is that in nature,
nutritional value and palatability

go hand in hand.

Whereas in modern life,
any food can be made attractive.

Simply by artificially sweetening it.
It's intriguing that

whenever we feel like a small snack between meals,

we usually choose something sweet as though in these casual moments,

we're reverting to the primeval feeding behaviour

of the forest.

The fruit picking life in the treetops
must have been comfortable

and secure for our ancient ancestors.
But then something happened.

Perhaps there was a dramatic change in climate.

Perhaps the forest suddenly shrank.
We can't be sure. But whatever

it was, it set our ancestors off in a search for a new habitat.

They struck out into more open country away from the trees

and began to explore this new environment.

And as they did so, their diet began to change.
The fruit-eating

forest ape had to become a meat-eating plains ape.

So the evolving human animal was to acquire a split personality.

Part herbivore, and part carnivore.

When our ancient ancestors turned
to meat-eating, they faced

a daunting new challenge,
because now, they were in direct

competition with the well-established carnivores and with

his powerful bodies and strong jaws and teeth,
animals like this.

With our weaker jaws and smaller teeth,

we had to find an alternative solution.

We had to use brain instead of brawn.
With our efficient hands

we began to make weapons.

Wooden spears to kill our prey.

In our early days the simple act
of accurate throwing must have been one of

the most essential of all human skills.
Precise aiming became

nothing less than a matter of human survival.

And we soon found that we were
at our most efficient when we acted together

as a hunting pack.
Mutual aid on the hunt became another

essential feature of our emerging species.

Selfish, self feeding herbivore
had to become a helpful social carnivore.

Old primate competition had to be tempered by new

human cooperation.

In this way, we were able to turn our attention to bigger

and bigger prey,
making our hunts increasingly efficient

and giving us more and more spare time,
during which our early

technologies could develop and prosper.

Our problems didn't end when the prey

was finally caught and killed. The meat
was too tough for our small jaws.

Our answer was to attack it not
with our teeth but with sharp implements.

About 3 million years ago

we invented the flint knife
to slice the meat up into chewable pieces.

And then with the discovery of fire about a million

years ago,

we were at last able to enter the epoch of the human chef.

We were able to prepare our meals instead of just bolting

them down.

We could cook and tenderize and savour the flavor by eating

them hot, as if fresh from the kill.
The hyena may have stronger jaws,

but we had better techniques.
Sliced and cooked, our meat

became as easy to consume
as a fruit or a berry.

Instead of adapting our teeth to our food,

we adapted the food to our teeth.

The very idea of mealtimes is linked to a carnivorous lifestyle.

Herbivores go munching monotonously
hour after hour.

The carnivores don't go for bulk.

They go for quality.

They only need to eat occasionally,
and when they do, they binge

and they eat together.

We humans too like to settle down
to big meals together.

Our meal times are social events.

Significantly, on the rare occasions when our relatives the

chimpanzees kill an animal and eat its flesh, their social

behaviour changes. Instead of
feeding independently of one another,

as they do when eating fruit, they feast together

as a group and share out the spoils. Watching these scenes,

it's easy to imagine the way in which our ancient ancestors

began on their long road towards a carnivorous diet.

When carnivores kill a large prey,
there's enough for all.

this isn't altruistic.

It's simply that there's
so much to eat all at once.

And for us, food sharing has become fundamental

to our social way of life.
When we take small sweet snacks, we're happy to do

so alone at anytime, anywhere,
but when we feast on meat,

we tend to gather together at a set time
and at a set place.

We sit down as a social group like lions around a kill.

The feast becomes a friendly event,
binding us together as a group

as we fill our bellies.

Everywhere. you look around the world
you find the same kind of human

feeding patterns. The menu may vary,
but the events are remarkably similar.

So powerful is this carnivorous urge to share food,

that occasionally, when we do have to dine alone,

we feel strangely uncomfortable.
The solitary diner exudes

the body language of unease.
Eating sweets alone in public

is pleasant enough,
but eating a full meal alone in public is not.

Ancient habits die hard.

The social aspect of feeding is taken to an extreme at the

typical cocktail party.
Here, people drink when they're

not thirsty and eat when they're not hungry.
Significantly, most of the food objects

on offer are savoury or meaty rather than sweet.

The food may only be a token,
but it retains the carnivorous

character that's in keeping
with the sociability of the occasion.

Here the feeding behaviour itself has become perfunctory.

The social element of feasting has become so important that

the feast itself is reduced to a mere accessory.

When we evolved from fruit-picking primates
into meat-eating carnivores,

we gained the huge advantage of being able to

consume almost any living thing.
By varying our diet.

We could spread out into almost every habitat on earth.

The Maasai of East africa survive largely on a diet of blood

and milk, both taken from their carefully tended cattle.

When the cattle are bled and bled but not killed,
the blood is collected

in long gourd. Milk is then mixed
with the blood and stirred to

coagulate it, producing a thick sticky liquid.

Some of it clings to the stirring sticks
and is eaten almost

as a solid food.

This is a favourite treat
for the young children of the tribe.

The rest is poured into drinking vessels.

The product of this process
provides an extremely high protein diet

without any loss of livestock.

Biologically, this could be described
as a predator of cattle,

becoming parasitic on them.
A highly efficient solution to life

in this particular environment.

We may find the idea
of drinking blood in this way repulsive,

but the Maasai undoubtedly feel the same way about some of

our feeding habits.

Every culture has its own food preferences and food taboos,

developed over many years.

These caterpillars
are another valuable source of protein.

Weight for weight,

they contain more protein than a sirloin steak.

Even if they lack what one might call barbecue appeal.

For these South Africans,

they also provide important phosphates,
minerals and vitamins.

In fact, insects are
an ideal source of food, much favoured by

tribal peoples all over the world.
Our modern preference for

attacking insect pests with chemicals rather than with our teeth,

is highly irrational.

Some cultures prefer
to keep animals out of their diet altogether.

The Toda tribes people of Southern India used to

slaughter their domestic stock,
but now refuse to eat meat

on religious grounds.

Here, they're consuming a mixture of rice, cane sugar and

salt wrapped in edible leaves.
But closer scrutiny reveals

that they're also adding
buffalo milk and honey to the mixture.

Despite the poor nutritional value of their main staple food,

the regular addition of the milk and honey ensures that they

remain fit and strong.
A fact which they're proud to demonstrate

with feats of strength.

One of the strangest of all human feeding patterns is this.

Earth eating.
Some clays taken from special sources

are rich in essential minerals.
In certain parts of Ghana

they're collected and moulded into egg shapes.

This is the ultimate exploitation of the environment.

Devouring the earth on which we stand.
But these clays, when chemically analysed,

were revealed to contain calcium, magnesium, potassium,

copper, zinc and iron.
Remarkably similar to the mineral supplements

recommended in Western society.

The never ending quest for food variety sometimes leads to danger.

The Japanese delicacy called fugu, a kind of puffer fish,

although much prized by gourmets,
contains lethal toxins.

If its toxic parts are not removed during gutting, they cause

death within a few hours.
200 Fugu diners die each year!

Clearly the human animal is the world's greatest omnivore.

Ready somewhere to eat almost anything.

And for many people it's not just a matter of eating anything,

but eating everything.
To see this in action, one need look

no further than the table of a French family about to tuck

in to a celebratory dinner.

Here, variety of edible life-forms
is the essence of the cuisine.

To start with cephalopods,
in this case squid, then amphibians

in the form of amputated frogs legs.

Then marine molluscs, some mussels.
Then reptiles, as turtle soup,

then gastropods, the inevitable snails.

Then crustaceans, more seafood.
Then echinoderm in the

shape of sea urchins,
followed by fish, birds, fermented fruit juice,

mammals,

with root vegetables, funghi, leaf vegetables,
decomposing animal fat

and finally fruits and nuts.
Given sufficient affluence,

we demonstrate with great panache the omnivory that has

made us great as a species.

No matter where we go,
now we can solve the problem.

Even in outer space we can find a way to nourish our bodies.

We've come a long way from the forest trees

of our remote ancestors and
our passionately varied diets have taken us

into every corner of the globe and beyond.
But how did we

start this amazing journey?
What were the formative stages

that were to take us
soaring up and away from our animal relatives,

leaving them gibbering
in the branches while we conquered

the stars?

Perhaps re-examining our evolutionary roots will help us

to understand.

This is where the human story began millions of years ago

in the heart of Africa.
But how it began remains something

of a mystery.

There's a gap in the fossil record when we can only guess

what was going on.
The gap in our knowledge lasts from roughly

4 million to 7 million years ago.

We know that apes went into it,
and ape men came out of it.

But that's all we do know.

Oh, and the ape men, of course when they came out of we

know what happened to them.
There aren't any missing links

in the popular sense.

We can trace our ancestry back for over three million years

and we can see how those ape men turned into modern men.

But back in that very early formative stage,

that's when the picture becomes vague.

Why did we shed

our coat of fur, stand up on our hind legs
and start to talk?

To understand why this took place,
we need to discover where it took place.

Perhaps it all happened here
on the open Savannah.

The traditional view, and it's only a guess,

is that our ancient ancestors
left the cover of the forests and moved

out onto the open plains in pursuit of large prey animals.

Once in open country, they had
to face a hot, dry exposed environment.

How did they adapt to it?

Other animals that live in hot dry environments have evolved

special survival mechanisms that reduce their water loss.

Surprisingly, we have none of these.
We have to drink more

than any other land mammal.

We sweat more than any other mammal,
and we die quickly

if we overheat. We have dilute
urine and moist dung.

These five qualities contrast strongly with the water economy

of the typical Savannah living animals.

The truth is that we're simply
not well adapted to Savannah living.

So what did we do when we left the protection of the undergrowth?

The traditional view of how ape became ape man has recently

been challenged.

It's thought that there might have been a vital

intermediate stage.
Instead of coming out of the forest

and straight onto the open grasslands,

the idea is that our remote ancestors

went instead to the water's edge.

There, they went more and more
into the water, becoming what you

might almost call an aquatic ape.
Newborn babies under careful supervision

can swim without any training.
Placed in a prone

position in warm water,

they show no panic, keep their eyes wide open and automatically

hold their breath.

Champion breath holders can hold their breath for up to three

and a half minutes underwater.
This and the swimming ability

of the newborn, are to say the least,
strange qualities for

a savannah-living animal.

There are a number of other aquatic features of our species.

We have an unusually strong diving reflex that slows down

our heartbeat when we put our face underwater.

Like other aquatic mammals, but no other primates,

we have a layer of blubber beneath our skin.

We've lost the long shaggy coat of other primates making

us more streamlined in the water.

We have a unique nose shape that shields our nostrils when

we dive below the surface.

We have more flexible spines than other apes,
enabling us to

swim more rapidly.

We have partial webbing between our fingers and toes.

Again, unlike any other primate.
We weep copious tears like other

marine animals, but unlike apes.
We can swim with great althleticism.

Apes cannot swim at all.
And the directions of

our hair tracks differ from those of other apes,

following the flow of the water.
Assembled in this way the evidence

for the aquatic origin of our species certainly looks impressive.

If this human baptism took place,
it probably occurred here,

on the esturies of the East African coast.
One of the effects

of moving into the water for these aquatic apes would have

been to find immediately a wonderfully nutritious source of food.

A new kind of food.
A change from the fruits of the forest

to the "fruits de mer".

These small boys in Kenya's rift valley
are behaving rather like otters,

catching fish without the aid of any weapons.

They're living today in the very region
where the human species evolved.

Could this have been the preferred way of life of

our early ancestors several million years ago?

A switch to an aquatic life style would suddenly have made

available

a high protein diet that would have reduced the amount of time

they had to spend finding food.

This would have given them
more opportunities for other activities.

Activities that could have led them
to develop important new skills.

The ancient ability to open tough nuts and fruits

would have made them immediately adept at cracking open the

hard shells of a great deal of easily collected seafood.

Marine molluscs and crustaceans would have had no protection from

the attacks of this new type of predator.

They were a plentiful food supply just waiting to be exploited.

Furthermore, a diet of fish and shellfish would have provided

the aquatic apes with an enriched source of the fatty acids

that are important for brain development.

An aquatic ape could easily have become a more brainy ape. These are the amazing

Moreauarmi divers of the Philippines.
Each member of a large

team of young male divers

lowers a rock attached to a long line down to the seabed.

Strips of white material scare the fish,
and as the lines are

moved along with their rocks repeatedly
banging on the reefs below,

they drive all the fish before them into an enormous net.

Once all the fish are in the net,
the young divers descend

without any breathing apparatus to a depth of 80 feet,

where they may stay for up to three minutes.

In the earliest days of the human story,
cooperative fishing

could easily have been the first step on the road towards

efficient pack hunting and
our eventual role as successful

land predators.

The aquatic ape theory of human origins remains unproven

because we still lack the fossil evidence to support it.

But whether we passed through an aquatic phase or not,

one thing is certain, our ancestors
did eventually move on to

the Savannah and start to hunt down large prey animals.

This was to become our new way of life

that was to sustain us for over a million years,

right up to the agricultural revolution a mere 10,000 years ago.

And even today in a few remote areas, the primeval hunt continues.

These are caribou, roaming the desolate lands of the far north

of Canada. For native Canadians,

these deer are an essential source of food.

For them, caribou hunting is a matter of survival.

`When the Dogrib people set off on the chase, the outcome

may make the difference between starvation and plenty.

The moment of departure is full of happy anticipation.

Anticipation of feasting to come.
The hunt goes through its characteristic stages.

There's the long journey to the hunting grounds.

Then the initial search for the herd.

The first sighting of them in the far distance is reassuring,

but they're in open country where they can't be approached.

Next there's the planning of the

strategy to be adopted.

Now there's more group cooperation
as the tactics of the

assault are put into action.
The hunt will be extremely physically demanding.

Weapons, as ever, are crucial to the success of the chase.

The women who accompany the hunters do not take an active part in

the kill.

While the men are stalking the herd,
they search for berries

in this desolate place,
following in the ancient footsteps

of the primeval food gatherers.

Like wolves encircling their prey,
the hunters move in close

in wooded territory for a clean kill.

But unlike wolves, their communication is complex,

and their strategy sophisticated.
As with all carnivorous hunters,

long distance vision is crucial to their success.

Their weapons may be modern, but the hunting pattern

these men are following is a million years old.
On this particular hunt

it took a week to make the kill.

And by this time, the group had been
almost without food for three days.

In the bitter cold of the northern landscape

starvation had been staring them in the face.

After the kill, the carcass is cut up and prepared

ready to be carried back to the community.

The intense relief that is felt when the feast finally comes

is something that is difficult
to appreciate for those who've never

experienced this ancient, uncertain
form of human food seeking.

It's easy to understand why
10,000 years ago we started to give up

this way of life
and turned instead to the security and

the predictability of farming.
Of controlling the wild animals

and making certain that
they were always around to provide

us with guaranteed regular meals.
But it has to be admitted,

there was something bravely hazardous about the hunt.

With the advent of agriculture, the drama of the chase was lost.

Only the Dogrib
and a few other remote hunting societies

remain to remind us of the earlier way of life.

For most of us today the rigours of the hunt,
its uncertainties

and dangers, are a thing of the past.
Nowadays, all we have to face

is a trip to the local supermarket.

So what happened to our inborn hunting urges?
Where did they go

in the modern world?
The primeval act of setting off

on the hunt has acquired a new name.

Now we call it going to work.
Modern hunters leave their home base,

not on a chase for large prey animals,

but in pursuit of contracts, deals and sales.

They'll make a killing in the city
and bring home the bacon

without ever setting eyes on wild game.

Each occupation has its own special kind
of substitute hunting elements.

For some, it's the comradeship of fellow hunters.

For a few, there remains the frison of
actual physical danger.

This was a key element in the original hunt.

But with modern substitute hunts,
it's now comparatively rare.

For some individuals though,

this danger element is crucial.

They need the adrenaline boost
that accompanied every dangerous

hunting trip.

For most, the risks have now become purely financial.

These are the typical hunters
of modern times, who have retained

the strategies and tactics,
the planning and the plotting

of the old hunting lifestyle,
but in a completely transformed state.

For some the pseudo hunt is a stalking, prowling affair

with the emphasis on the symbolic kill at the end.

The average traffic warden
has the immense satisfaction of

making many kills every day,
with from time to time the added excitement

of a little spirited, but futile resistance from

a squirming prey.

Each to their own kind of hunt.
Each to their own type of chase,

and each to their own form of kill.

The modern pseudo hunters are everywhere.

At the end of the hunt,
when the worker returns home, the spoils

of the chase, inside the pay packet
are handed over.

Those who are most engrossed in their work,
and find it particularly satisfying

are the ones whose activities contain most of

the old hunting habits.

For them, the symbolic hunt retains almost all its original excitement.

For some, the symbolism is very obvious,
with a specific and

visible prey to be pursued.
A Police chase brings out

all the old hunting skills.

Almost all the elements are still there.

The strategies and the tactics,
the cooperation and organization.

The concentration and the risk.
The arduous pursuit

and finally the climax of the kill.

A few people seem unable to make the symbolic

leap away from the primeval hunt
to one of its modern substitutes.

Trapped in the past,

they feel the urge to continue
needlessly to gun down

wild animals for sport.

These hunters are not starving
and their prey are not dangerous.

The animals have been
specially reared on game ranches

so that they can be shot at
by sporting gentlemen who don't

wish to suffer any undue discomfort in the process.

Thank you.

That's a long shot.

I'm glad I put two shells in there.

I was thinking about only putting one.
It was a good shot.

Killing these animals with high-powered weapons
is about as courageous

as shooting at a cow in a field.
But sport hunting which has

been going on ever since
the primeval hunt became obsolete

still manages to survive,

so deeply ingrained is
the predatory past of our species.

For most people today however,

the idea of killing animals for fun is repugnant.

Instead. when their hunting urges drive a man

to track down a wild beast and take a shot at it,

the loudest noise you hear
is the click of a camera.

These shots are all on target,
but no blood is spilled.

And the excitement of taking home
the pictures of these animals

provides a symbolic trophy more in keeping

with the modern environment
in which these symbolic hunters live today.

All over the world, the symbolic hunters are out stalking

their prey. And because they are symbolic,

the prey can take some rather odd forms.
As collectors, people

seem prepared to hunt down and carry almost anything.

Sometimes, at enormous cost.
For some collectors simply finding

the prey is sufficient reward.

For these trainspotters, the prey animal becomes the giant locomotive that glides into

their sight, giving them the hunter's thrill of discovery.

Like real prey,

each railway engine
is beyond their control. Only by being

in the right place, at the right moment,

can they add another exciting specimen
to their list of symbolic kills.

They can't eat these trains, but they can at least

feast their eyes on them.

Wherever today's pseudo hunters gather in small groups

there's a strong chance that some kind of symbolic prey

will be struck down. The nature of the prey can be reduced to the

simplest possible form.
In this case, a wooden skittle.

It's virtually impossible
to simplify the symbolic hunt further

than this, but the excitement is still there.
The human animal

can make a hunt out of almost anything,
and celebrate accordingly.

For many people,

the workplace is somewhat lacking in the more exciting elements

of the substitute hunt.
For them, special events outside

the working context are necessary to recreate the drama of the chase.

A solution for many millions
is professional sport.

Here on the football field, almost
all the stages of the primeval

hunt are displayed for the spectators.

There are the team tactics.

The group cooperation.
The long-distance communication.

The physical risks, the skills,
the stamina and the bravery. The stalking,

the cunning of the chase.

At last there's a moment of the kill as the tribal weapon

is driven into the mouth of the prey.

This act of aiming is common to most forms of modern sport.

With victory in sport,
as with victory in the hunt, there follows

triumphant celebration.
A moment of euphoria shared by all.

Sometimes the intensity of the moment becomes too great.

The passions of the primeval hunter
have been so aroused that

the symbolism is lost, and the violence of the hunt itself

is once again unleashed.

When a human being becomes the new prey

and the hunting pack turns on
one of its own kind, the savagery of the mob

knows no bounds. For the lynch mob,
the victim becomes effectively

a member of another species.
A prey to be destroyed.

This is not normal human aggression.

This is a corrupted hunting pack
on the prowl, looking for a kill.

In this case,

the victim was rescued.

Those who argue, through wishful thinking,
that the human animal

is essentially placid and docile,
is making a dangerous error.

They need look no further than the seemingly innocent games

of children to see the way the human mind works.

We're hunters through and through, always chasing something.

Always in pursuit of some goal,
whether abstract or real.

This human quality, this urge to meet a challenge,
to take a risk,

to track down a solution,
is one of our greatest attributes.

To say that man is a hunter is not to say
that man must be violent.

Far from it.

All it says is that he's not docile.

We're by nature go-getters,
but what we get is up to us.

All too often, the games
of childhood become corrupted

into the war games of adult life.
Instead of using our hunting

urges to chase wonderful ideals.

We use them to pursue a new kind of prey.
Human prey.

The hunting urge is a double-edged sword.

It can be used constructively to help us fulfill our greatest dreams,

or destructively to live out our greatest nightmares.

When the hunt became symbolic, it retained

its power, but lost its direction.

It's now up to us, to our intelligence,
not our instincts.

to determine that direction.
And it's a dark day whenever we fail.

In modern warfare, the combination
of the ancient hunting urge

and modern technology
has been deadly. Because the new

weapons act at a greater and greater distance,

the enemy is no longer identifiable
as a rival human being,

but a tiny speck in the distance.
There's no personal involvement.

The enemy soldiers are not people. They're prey.

If only hunting hadn't made us such a cooperative species,

it would be impossible for tyrants to form armies and set

them off on campaigns of mass destruction.
Warfare is the

darkest face of the human urge to hunt.

This all seems light years away from the quiet life

we left behind in the primeval forests.
When we gave up the

simple fruit picking existence and set ourselves the challenge

of a new way of obtaining our food by using tools and weapons,

we could never have guessed that far off in the future,

we'd be giving ourselves the possibility

of both a technological heaven,
and a technological hell on Earth.

Which of these two comes to dominate our lives in the future

remains the greatest of all human dilemmas.

And it's amazing to think that this whole story all began

with a small change in our diet millions of years ago.

One thing is certain.
When our ancient ancestors had passed

through the early phase of their evolution and had become

fully fledged hunters, their social way of life had to change.

When the males went off on the hunt,

they had to have somewhere to come back to with the spoils.

They had to have a home base.
A fixed home base. That meant

settlements and dwellings. And the way in which those early

dwellings grew and flourished and developed into our modern

megacities, is the subject of next week's program.

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