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Evolution offers a groundbreaking and definitive view of the extraordinary impact the evolutionary process has had on our understanding of the world around us. Beginning with Darwin s revolutionary theory, this seven-part series explores all facets of evolution the changes that spawned the tree of life, the power of sex, how evolution continues to affect us every day, and the perceived conflict between science and religion. Includes:
Darwin s Dangerous Idea: Interweaving key moments of drama in Darwin's life with current research, Darwin s Dangerous Idea explores why his theory of evolution might matter even more today than it did in his own time.
Great Transformations: From the development of the four-limbed body plan, the journey of animal life from water to land, and the emergence of humans, Great Transformations focuses on the important evolutionary changes that triggered the earth s incredible diversity.
Extinction!: Some 99.9 percent of all species that have ever lived on earth are now extinct. Extinction! explores why, then confronts a frightening notion: Are humans causing the next mass extinction the sixth in the history of life on earth?
The Evolutionary Arms Race: Survival of the fittest: Is it raw competition, a level of cooperation indispensable to life, or both? Explore our own spiraling arms race with microorganisms the only real threat to our existence and trace the alarming spread of resistance among pathogens that cause disease.
Why Sex?: Investigate the endless variety of sexual expression and the powerful hold sex exerts over almost all living things. And discover why, in evolutionary terms, sex is more important than life itself.
The Mind s Big Bang: Between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago, something happened that triggered a creative, technological, and social explosion, allowing humans to dominate the planet. What forces may have contributed to the emergence of the modern human mind?
What About God?: Of all the species on earth, only humans try to explain who they are and how they came to be. Encounter real human stories of people struggling to find a balance between religion and science, realms that play very different roles in assigning order to the universe and a purpose to life.
The long, long story of evolution is told very well in this extensive eight-hour series originally shown on PBS. The production begins with a dramatization of the struggles of Charles Darwin in a two-hour film aptly titled "Darwin's Dangerous Idea." Scenes of actors portraying Darwin and his contemporaries are supplemented by interviews with experts such as Stephen Jay Gould. In further installments, various topics related to evolution, such as major transformations of species, the intellectual development of humans, the phenomenon of animal extinction, and even the organized opposition to evolutionary theory by religious fundamentalists, are discussed with considerable depth. Interview segments with scholars (and their opponents) are accompanied by extraordinary visuals, including some computer-generated sequences (such as one illustrating how whales left land and evolved in the oceans) that are dazzling. This series, which is narrated by actor Liam Neeson, is a remarkably intelligent and entertaining approach to a fascinating topic. --Robert J. McNamara
- Acces to the Evolution Web site, which includes interactive games, activities, and biographies; comprehensive evoltion library, with video and audio segments, interviews, images, source documents, Web links, and additional resources; online teacher course and student lessons; printable teacher's guide; evolution glossary and FAQs
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Let's talk about a Theory. A good theory will describe a large range of phenomena on the basis of a few simple postulates and will make definite predictions that can be tested. If predictions agree with the observations, the theory pass the tests, though it can never be proven correct. (Stephen Hawkings "Universe in a Nutshell")
When Evolution first made it's appearance to the public, many challanges were needed to overcome to verify this theory. Charles Darwin made some of those challanges himself. The first was to find Transistional forms which for man was the missing link. Over many discovers of Man's ancestory, it's not a missing link, but a series of transistion forms. Many discovers been made of transitional forms from free swimming worms to fish, fish to amphibians, amphibians to reptiles and from reptiles to birds and mammals. All of these have a series of transitional forms. Evolution Theory passed the test. Charles stated that there must be earlier forms of life than of the Cambrian period. It was just recently discovered of an earlier forms before the Cambrian, again the theory pass the test. Sexual Selection works because one male can fertilize many females that why males are colorful and females are not. Again the theory pass the test. When man was discovered to have only 23 chromosomes while all the great apes have 24, a research has discoverd that 2-chromosomes had fused together to make one in Man. This must have occurred in one of the transitional forms of Man ancestory. This was the toughest test, but Evolution was vendicated and passed with flying colors. Now we know that mutation can occur in chromosomes.
It would be a pity if we lost this powerful tool to Man's arrogance and religious fervor. I would like to ask these religious zealots, do you want to go back to the good old days when a young couple goes out into the world and have a dozen or so children and are lucky to get half of them to adulthood. Keep messing with Evolution and you will get those good old days.
I decided to write this after seeing the review from the "viewer in Seattle"
He claims to believe in Common Descent and to be a trained anthropologist.
But if he were, he would know that the evidence for human evolution is much too great to "fit into a medium-sized shoe box". This is a frequent creationist distortion, and an odd claim for someone who accepts common descent.
He also says "Princeton-educated mathematicians, Physicists, biochemists, molecular biologists, etc. are not YEC ruffians. There are real scientists with genuine complaints about Darwinism. Can't Darwinists even admit that?" Note that only one field noted deals with biology, and remember that none of these people have written anything in the scientific press. Anyone can get a book published, but it is not so easy to write scientific papers for peer-reviewed journals. Why haven't any of these "scientists" ever done so? The truth is they do not do science; at least not where evolution is concerned.
Also, note that Darwinism is not evolution. Watch the show and you will understand this. Darwinism, or Natural Selection, is the theory that explains the observation of evolution. Funny that an anthropologist would not have this basic grasp of science.
The program is quite well done, though I wish it had hit creationism and Intelligent Design (creationist pretending to do scientist) a lot harder. The enemy of creationism is not science; it is honesty.
Portraying why evolution became accepted and remains so is sufficient to do away with any of the claims of YEC or ID style creationist. This program does a good job at hitting the basics, but since it deals with science it does not deal much with creationism.
We do not know everything about life and how it evolved. Any scientist will tell you that. But the evidence shows that life did evolve, and this show gives a good background as to what we do know, and how we know it.
I give it 4 stars.
This set ends with "What About God?" The decision most of us have to make is whether we will adopt science or worship a fictional deity living in the sky. Evolution is based on science, religion is fiction. You can't have it both ways. Those who choose God want to force public schools to teach religion instead of science. They will not give up easily.
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Evolution: The Triumph of an IdeaRead more