Saturday, October 07, 2006

PBS: Evolution

1a. Darwin's Dangerous Idea pt1
1b. Darwin's Dangerous Idea pt2
Why does Charles Darwin's "dangerous idea" matter more today than ever, and how does it explain the past and predict the future of life on Earth? The first show interweaves the drama of Darwin's life with current documentary sequences, introducing key concepts of evolution.
2. Great Transformations
What underlies the incredible diversity of life on earth? Howe have complex life forms evolved? The journey from water to land, the return of land mammals to the sea, and the embergence of humans all suggest that creatures past and present are members of a single tree of life.
3. Extinction!
Five mass extinctions have occurred since life began on Earth. Are humans causing the next mass extinction? And what does evolutionary theory predict for the world we will leave to our descendants?
4. The Evolutionary Arms Race
Survival of the fittest: Raw competition? Intense cooperation? Both are essential. Interactions between and within species are among the most powerful evolutionary forces on Earth, and understanding them may be a key to our own survival.
5. Why Sex?
In evolutionary terms, sex is more important than life itself. Sex fuels evolutionary change by adding variation to the gene pool. The powerful urge to pass our genes on to the next generation has likely changed the face of human culture in ways we're only beginning to understand.
6. The Mind's Big Bang
Fifty thousand years ago, something happened -- the modern human mind emerged, triggering a creative, technological, and social explosion. What forces contributed to that breakthrough? Where might our power and mind ultimately lead us?
7. What About God?
Of all species, we alone attempt to explain who we are and how we came to be. This final episode explores the struggle between science and religion. Through the personal stories of students and teachers, it offers the view that they are compatible.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Controversies in Evolution

BBC: A War on Science

To its supporters, intelligent design heralds a revolution in science and the movement is fast gaining political clout. Not only does it have the support of the President of the United States, it is on the verge of being introduced to science classes across the nation. However, its many critics, including Professor Richard Dawkins and Sir David Attenborough, fear that it cloaks a religious motive – to replace science with god.
The Republican War on Science

The Republican War on Science first came out in hardcover in the fall of 2005, amidst the unprecedented destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Even as I went on tour and spoke to large crowds deeply worried about political attacks on science, my own family had fled New Orleans and my mother’s home in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood had been destroyed by ten feet of floodwater. It was a very difficult time, and yet also a crucial one for speaking out about the importance of good scientific information to public policy.

Evolution Documentaries

BBC: Ascent of Man

The Ascent of Man (1973) was a groundbreaking BBC documentary series, produced in association with Time-Life Films, written and presented by Jacob Bronowski. The 13-part series was shot on 16mm film. Executive Producer was Adrian Malone, film directors Dick Gilling, Mick Jackson, David Kennard, David Paterson (Malone and Kennard later emigrated to Hollywood, where they produced Cosmos with the help of a few home-grown Americans. Jackson followed them, and now directs feature films).

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Evolution Talks

Evolution Debates