The alignment parameter ensures that a bin boundary will be aligned on that value. For example, if, for some reason, you need a bin to begin at the value 3, setting the alignment parameter to 3 will guarantee that.
If you don’t set the alignment parameter, is the default always to start the first bin at 0, even if there are negative values in the data? Also, I tried changing the alignment for bins for mammals’ lifespan from 0 to 10, and it gave me a bin of [-10, 10), even though there are of course no negative values for this attribute. I guess that makes sense in a certain way (having equal bins for -10 to 10, 10 to 30, 30 to 50, etc.), but is also a bit weird.