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What Darwin Never Knew

n , a , Paula S. Apsell , Lisa Mirowitz  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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What Darwin Never Knew + NOVA - Cracking the Code of Life + NOVA: DNA - Secret of Photo 51
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Product Details

  • Actors: n, a
  • Directors: Paula S. Apsell, Lisa Mirowitz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0031SZER2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,102 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Earth teems with a staggering variety of animals, including 9,000 kinds of birds, 28,000 types of fish, and more than 350,000 species of beetles alone. What explains this explosion of living creatures-1.4 million different species discovered so far, with perhaps another 50 million more to go? The source of life's endless forms was a profound mystery until Charles Darwin's revolutionary idea of natural selection, which he showed could help explain the gradual development of life on earth. But Darwin's radical insights raised as many questions as they answered. What actually drives evolution and turns one species into another? And how did we evolve? On Charles Darwin's 2009 bicentennial, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, NOVA reveals answers to the riddles that Darwin couldn't explain. Stunning breakthroughs in a brand new science-nicknamed evo devo -are linking the enigma of origins to another of nature's great mysteries, the development of an embryo. To explore this exciting new idea, NOVA takes viewers on a journey from the Galapagos Islands to the Arctic, and from the Cambrian explosion of animal forms half a billion years ago to the research labs of today. Here scientists are finally beginning to crack nature's biggest secrets at the genetic level. And, as NOVA shows in this absorbing detective story, the results are confirming the brilliance of Darwin's insights while exposing clues to life's breathtaking diversity in ways he could scarcely have imagined.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars informative and interesting February 10, 2011
By Ray T
This is the best DVD I have seen on the topic of Evolution. I show it after a unit on molecular genetics as I am introducing Evolution to my AP Biology class. It is both entertaining (even to HS students) and instructional from beginning to end.
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80 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be a mandatory video at schools December 30, 2009
Watched it yesterday with great interest, even switched off the phone not to be distracted by anybody. Fascinating facts, thoroughly explored scientific paths leading to unexpected and often shocking discoveries like the one where humans have less genes than plants! Featured scientists have contagious curiosity and passion for discovery. This film should be a mandatory viewing at school: kids would grasp the facts in easy to understand manner and get inspired to explore the Nature.
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49 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent December 29, 2009
Wow. I watched the two hour documentary on PBS tonight. It's an exceptional introduction to evo devo. Two of the things I learned: the human thumb and jaw are very, very important to human evolution. To find out why, get this startling DVD.
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good intro to evolution May 14, 2010
By Nats
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I guess lots of folks would rather watch a DVD than read a book, for sure, there is no better book for the lay public than "Why Evolution
is True" by Jerry coyne. He gets into it way deeper than any video series ever could, so if you are serious about this subject, I would recommend his
book. As far as videos on the subject go, this is one of the better ones for folks who know absolutley nothing.

It does touch on most of aspects and discoveries, but like every other video, it leaves hugh gaps.
It does explain how science works and shows you alot of the evidence in a easy to understand and interesting way.

And, unlike similar videos which were produced in the USA, it does not attempt to reconcil religous dogma with undisputed scientific facts
in an almost apoligetic way just to make the subject more "acceptible" to Americans. The facts, evidence and science are presented straight forward.

Very highly recommended for the interested beginner who maybe does not have the time to read Dr Coyne's (or Dr. Dawkin's "Greatest Show on Earth").

This has enough tantalizing information to make you (hopefully) curious enough to invest more time to learn.

The scientific commuity now accepts evolution as fact, it's reality is not debated among scientists, only among the un-educated lay public.
This video is a great way to find out why that is true, and how much more we know now then we did when "Origin of Species" was first published.

Science has had 150 years to disprove Darwins theory, yet with every new discovery and every advance in analyitical technology, (the Human Genome
Project was probably the smoking gun) we can now say with utter certainty that evolution is as true to biology as atoms are to physics.

You do not have to be a science "nerd" to love this video. Very highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The video starts off by taking about what Darwin did know, so the viewer gets a little background before getting into genes and other things Darwin didn't know about.

DNA is covered at 3 levels. At the lowest level, there are genes that encode proteins that make body/cell parts. At the next higher level, there are DNA regions that regulate the expression of those genes: the show refers to these regulatory DNA segments as switches. And at the highest level, there are genes whose protein products throw the switches; that is, turn genes on or off by binding to the switches. And the video shows how changes to DNA at these levels can cause evolution. If people get nothing else out of the video, the topics in this paragraph should be the takehome part.

I am not doing the video justice -- a longer review would be needed to cover all the good things in this video.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good overall movie January 16, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a very good educational documentary about the break through that are occurring in studying some of life's mysteries through the use of DNA. I found the film to be informative about the research work being done to unlock some of the secrets that Darwin was not able to answer in his publication on the origin of the species. However, during some parts of the film I got lost in the discussion about the role DNA is playing helping to find answers to some of life's mysteries. After awhile the DNA discussion was just too hard for me to follow. I would recommend this film for those in the education field to show to their students.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing experience September 23, 2010
By Marge
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I turned this documentary on tonight by accident and was rewarded by the most amazing drama of the human experiment. I plan to buy the DVD and add it to my DVD collection. Shame on us for not using the TV media more in the education of ourselves and our children. What a waste.
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40 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars scientists after Darwin January 2, 2010
Really interesting stuff in this video. Todays scientist take Darwins theory of evolution and improve on it. Now there is DNA evidence, they have found that there is switches that turn on and off allowing limbs to grow even in animals that don't have limbs, they just get shut off while their still in an embreo state. More proof that evolution is real. Check it out if your not scared to hear the facts of how we got here on this amazing planet.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant!
The focus of this program is the roll of DNA and genetics in evolution, and there are numerous examples, from the creatures of the Galapagos to recent medical discoveries that bear... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Steve Schuler
5.0 out of 5 stars Appropriate for a High School Biology Class
This is a video that I loved when it was new but it already feels a little dated. I keep using it as a good evolution refresher, and I like the solid Darwin historical references. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Documentary, worth every penny
I have been showing this documentary to my biology classes for the last year now and it is a fantastic video if you want to know more about genetics and the connection to... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Eric Row
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating to watch.
The video does a very good job of combining evolution and genetics. However, it's not dry like one would expect for an educational video. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mary O'Connell
4.0 out of 5 stars Great theory on evolution, Many questions and many answers.
What did Darwin discover while studying developing embryos (snakes, whales, human)?
Darwin discovered that developing embryos contain certain traits/limbs that disappear... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Reader In Maryland
5.0 out of 5 stars Great video on evolution and the mystery of DNA...
Love this film, well made...I show my students this every year for Darwin and natural selection...they love it and really ask a lot of questions...
Published 8 months ago by spanky
5.0 out of 5 stars Creationists Vs Religion
My background is chemical eng. I like reading the cradle of civilisation, astronomy, physics, archaeology, palaeontology, biology, anthropology, electronics. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jonatan Sutrisna
5.0 out of 5 stars Darwin's 'theory" Updated very Clearly
I bought the Darwin DVD because I watched it on PBS some ago and was so impressed how clearly it updated Darwin's revolutionary theory of evolution and I wanted to send it to my... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Frank A. Moss
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Informative presentation in a very engaging and interesting format
I would highly recommend this presentation regardless of their age and interests
Enjoyed watching this... Read more
Published 9 months ago by M
5.0 out of 5 stars Very real
Good and informative information, excellent for everyone who would like to know about ourselves as humans. Read more
Published 12 months ago by magdalena marinescu
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