I sent the text below to Dr Alice Roberts but her assistant thought it was "rude" and didn't pass it on.
In part two of the BBC series Origins of Us, Alice Roberts effectively argues that man has always lived in the monogamous, nuclear-family unit. She uses the Hazda people as an example of typical hunter-gatherers, implying that because they live in nuclear families today, they must have done this since time immemorial. This is hardly scientific. She also implies that the Hazda example can be applied to the totality of past human experience. Again, such a generalization is not scientific.
In the program, Alice refers to what she calls "defining characteristics" of humans, i.e., that distinguish man from all other animals. This is a descriptive apology for science. One can argue that a "defining characteristic" is that no other animal, bar man, has set foot on the moon. This method is not too useful. In reality, man is distinguished from animals when he begins to produce his means of subsistence. No other animal does this in a way comparable to humans. Only humans have made a transition to pastoralism and farming, i.e., to beginning to produce their means of subsistence.
In her method, if one can call it this, Alice fails to recognize that chimpanzees are also hunter-gatherers, albeit simple hunter-gatherers, as are the Hazda people. But chimpanzees don't live in monogamous nuclear families. The alarm bells should have rung in Alice's head.
Alice's position appears philistine. She seems to be unaware of, for example, Frederick Engels' Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State. Wikipedia says this about it:
"This book argues that the first domestic institution in human history was not the family but the matrilineal clan. Engels here follows Lewis H. Morgan's thesis as outlined in his major book, Ancient Society. Morgan was a radical American business lawyer who championed the land rights of Native Americans and became adopted as an honorary member of the Seneca Iroquois tribe. Traditionally, the Iroquois had lived in communal longhouses based on matrilineal descent and matrilocal residence, an arrangement giving women much solidarity and power. Throughout most of the twentieth century, the Morgan-Engels theory that early human kinship was matrilineal was considered by anthropologists to have been disproved. Modern evolutionary anthropology is currently reassessing that position."
In response to this, Alice's alternative can only be called infantile.