If you haven't been following this series, I would strongly encourage you to look at it. I'm sure it will be repeated on the BBC. It is also available at the moment on iPlayer. I am not sure if it will be accessible outside the UK, but it is the kind of BBC product likely to be sold around the world.
The series explores the genetic heritage of modern humans from our origin 200,000 years ago in East Africa. It follows the great journeys of exploration that led to our populating the world. The presenter, Alice Roberts, is a medical doctor and anthropologist. She is also enthusiastic, sincere and immediately likable.
The story she tells of our ancestors, pieced together from fragments of evidence, is astonishing. It emphasises once again the common humanity of all people. I can't put it better than by quoting Alice Roberts's final statement in the last program.
Referring to the slaughter of native Americans by European settlers she describes it as:
"...a tragedy which seems so much more senseless in light of what we now know about our human story: our origins in Africa, the journeys our ancestors made and the close genetic bond we all share.
The differences between us all are really just superficial. We're all members of a young species that goes back less than 200,000 years and we're all surprisingly closely related.
This is the story that has emerged from the study of stones, bones and our genes: that wherever we've ended up, all over the world, we are Africans under the skin. And uncovering that story, retracing the steps of our ancestors has given me a profound sense of our common humanity, our shared past and our shared future."
If you follow this blog, you'll probably be aware of my view that, in the words of Baha'u'llah, we are all "leaves of one tree" and "fruits of one branch". You will also be aware that my emotions are never far buried. So you won't be surprised that I wept profusely on at the end of the program!
It is a truly beautiful series.