The history of our bones – Feet on the ground, head in the stars: The history of man (1996)

Simon Conway Morris

Where did we come from? Simon Conway Morris takes us three billion years back to the building blocks of life itself.

Watch time: 58:38
Simon Conway Morris in the Ri theatre
Image credit: Royal Institution

Lecture 5 – Feet on the ground, head in the stars: The history of man

In this CHRISTMAS LECTURE, Simon Conway Morris uses a fun demonstration of the quantities of chemical elements needed to create life.

He goes on to talk through the makings of the universe, our solar system and the evolution of humans which covers our beginnings as fish and reptiles. The relationship between Neanderthals and the human species of today is also probed.  


Palaeontologist Simon Conway Morris delivers five lectures on the important role fossils and bones play in helping us understand the past. 

In this set of engaging lectures and demonstrations from Conway Morris, he explains how fossils' markings have helped humans piece together the history of the planet.

There's an exploration of pre-historic creatures and dinosaurs including what caused their extinction. As well as a look at how life and mammals developed after this time and how we can trace our ancestry back more than 3 billion years.