Trial and Error

 National Geographic Channel  ORIGINS: The Journey of Humankind - Medicine
Jason Silva, narrator
National Geographic/ Asylum Entertainment


Each episode is 50 minutes in length
8 Episodes in this series


Episode Two shown March 13, 2017
Medicine (subtitles)


This week on National Geographic’s  ORIGINS, narrator/ host Jason Silva explores the world of medicine and healing from the beginnings of mankind to present day. “Cheating death” is what happens when a person manages to heal from a deadly disease or severe wound. As man matures through the centuries, he discovers that there are “tiny animals” living inside him that can help or hurt, depending on the situation. As the episode tells us, we have “microscopic armies” inside us.


During the years of the Greek and Roman periods, there was little medical knowledge and life was fragile, indeed. Sometimes, the ability to heal was considered a “Dark Art,” as a person in a coma, coming out of the coma, wasn't supposed to happen. So it was supernatural instead of natural. Galen of Pergamun, a healer shown during the gladiator period, tried to heal and took copious notes about what worked and what didn't work. No pain pills then, it was bite on something and hope for the best.  His notes became the knowledge used for hundreds of years. Eventually, medicine was going from trial and error to science.


It wasn't until man entered more modern times that a three-part system was devised. First, experiment, second hypothesis and third, test. Now, in the modern age, the question becomes, “How far can we go?” Experimentation has gone so far as labs that have a catalog of someone’s personal cell structure, or even being able to synthesize DNA.  The next step is any one’s guess, the future is wide open.


For anyone who has overcome a severe wound or illness with antibiotics or has a bionic limb, this would have been impossible a century ago. Listening to grandparents speak of using aspirin for the first time, or during WWII, sulfa as being the “wonder drug,” is family informative. This episode may prompt you to ask questions and with Jason Silva's direct delivery, we see that life is a learning experience..


Direction, cinematography and music are excellent.


ORIGINS: The Journal of Humankind is produced by Asylum Entertainment for National Geographic. The series will run on television in 171 countries and 43 languages. The eight episodes are “Fire” (March 6, 2017), “Medicine” (March 13, 2017)  “Money” (March 20, 2017, ) “War” (March 27, 2017), “Communication” (April 3, 2017), “Shelter” (April 10, 2017), “Exploration” (April 17, 2017) and “Transportation” (April 24, 2017.)  Special effects are by John Boswell (also known as Melodysheep.)  For more information see or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Linkedin and Pinterest.




Copyright 2017 Marie Asner