The Human Body - First Steps

Continuing with his investigation of The Human Body, Lord Robert Winston explores today the process of birth and the first few years of a baby's life and its development. You probably think babies are cute and adorable, of course, and, as you'll see, that's partly because babies have evolved the ability to manipulate a sort of mind control over adults which is virtually irresistible. Just try not smiling to a baby who smiles at you, try not getting restless when a baby cries, or just try speaking to a baby like you would an adult... impossibly hard!

One of the many interesting things about babies is their display of instinctual reflexes that point directly to our evolutionary ancestry. Next time you see a newborn, hold your index fingers up to its hands, and when it grasps, slowly lift your fingers. Newborn babies have the ability to carry their own body weight. We get that from our monkey/ape ancestors :)

But their development goes beyond physical strength and the ability to walk and focus their eyes. As their little brains develop, their minds undergo changes that are just baffling, effortlessly learning cognitive abilities that we still don't have a clue how to program into artificial intelligent machines: language and syntactical rules, norms of social behavior, self-awareness, strategic lying and theories of mind.

To watch the entire documentary, download the Veoh Web Player.

Check oure more of The Human Body.
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