Who am I? – Where do I come from? (2018)

Alice Roberts and Aoife McLysaght

Alice Roberts and Aoife McLysaght explore the tree of life and see where humans come from.

Watch time: 59:09

Lecture 1 – Where do I come from?

In lecture one of the 2018 CHRISTMAS LECTURES, Alice Roberts and Aoife McLysaght explore our animal family, meeting our distant cousins – from fish to fruit flies – unearthing clues to our evolutionary past and revealing surprising similarities as we discover our true place in the tree of life.


You share 99.4% of your genes with your neighbour, 98.7% with a chimp, and even 44% with a fruit fly – yet you are also entirely unique – there is nobody else quite like you. In this year’s CHRISTMAS LECTURES, Alice Roberts and genetics expert Aoife McLysaght, take us on a journey to answer this most fundamental question: who am I?

Humans tend to view ourselves as separate from the natural world, a special creation even, but we’re far more closely related to the rest of the animal kingdom than you might imagine.

From how our limbs evolved from fins, to the colour of our eyes, Alice and Aoife investigate our fascinating evolutionary story to reveal how we became who we are today.

This is the story of us – our past and our future – in all its deep-rooted, diverse, and surprising glory.

2018 CHRISTMAS LECTURES supporters