Evolution

  • Are We Still Evolving?

    Dr Alice Roberts asks one of the great questions about our species: are we still evolving?

    There's no doubt that we're a product of millions of years of evolution. But thanks to modern technology and medicine, did we escape Darwin's law of the survival of the fittest?

    Alice follows a trail of clues from ancient human bones, to studies of remarkable people living in the most inhospitable parts of the planet, to the frontiers of genetic research to discover if we are still evolving - and where we might be heading.

  • Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life

    Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life is a documentary about Charles Darwin and his revolutionary theory of evolution through natural selection, produced by the BBC to mark the bicentenary of Darwin's birth. David Attenborough asks three key questions: how and why did Darwin come up with his theory of evolution? Why do we think he was right? And why is it more important now than ever before?

    David starts his journey in Darwin's home at Down House in Kent, where Darwin worried and puzzled over the origins of life. David goes back to his roots in Leicestershire, where he hunted for fossils as a child, and where another schoolboy unearthed a significant find in the 1950s. And he revisits Cambridge University, where both he and Darwin studied, and where many years later the DNA double helix was discovered, providing the foundations for genetics.

    At the end of his journey in the Natural History Museum in London, David concludes that Darwin's great insight revolutionized the way in which we see the world. We now understand why there are so many different species, and why they are distributed in the way they are. But above all, Darwin has shown us that we are not set apart from the natural world, and do not have dominion over it. We are subject to its laws and processes, as are all other animals on earth to which, indeed, we are related.

    Running time 59 min.

  • Darwin's Struggle: The Evolution of the Origin of Species

    Documentary telling the little-known story of how Darwin came to write his great masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, a book which explains the wonderful variety of the natural world as emerging out of death and the struggle of life.

    In the twenty years he took to develop a brilliant idea into a revolutionary book, Darwin went through a personal struggle every bit as turbulent as that of the natural world he observed.

    Fortunately, he left us an extraordinary record of his brilliant insights, observations of nature, and touching expressions of love and affection for those around him.

    He also wrote frank accounts of family tragedies, physical illnesses and moments of self-doubt, as he labored towards publication of the book that would change the way we see the world.

    The story is told with the benefit of Darwin's secret notes and correspondence, enhanced by natural history filming, powerful imagery from the time and contributions from leading contemporary biographers and scientists.

    Running time 60 min.

  • Evolution and Irreducible Complexity

    Another excellent series by QualiaSoup (the author of Atheism and Critical Thinking and Secular Morality).

    He discusses the following questions: What is evolution (and what is it not)? What is a theory in science? Genetic inheritance. Artificial selection and natural selection. Mutation. Epigenetic variation. Genetic drift and the impact of variations.

    Evolution is not 'pure accident'. No 'one size fits all'. Correcting the one-armed bandit analogy. Dramatic change one step at a time. Dogs don't produce cats and individual apes don't morph into humans. Why there are 'still' apes?

    The rise and demise of the crocoduck. Recognizing reality is not a supremacist policy. Misrepresentation of evolution. Evolution as fact and theory. Why understanding evolution is important? Scientific inheritance that benefits us all.

    Running time 31 min.

  • Evolutions

    Using CGI and fossil evidence, Evolutions demonstrates nature’s survival of the fittest in action.

    This three-part series illuminates unique and bizarre evolutionary journeys that have brought forth some of the world’s most impressive animals.

    We unearth a 50-million-year-old mystery mammal, discover the missing link between the velociraptor and modern day birds, and find out if a new bear species could be about to evolve before our very eyes.

    The Walking Whale. 50 million years ago, a hungry land animal waded in shallow sea water. Four million years later, it lived permanently in the oceans and seas of planet earth. Using cutting edge CGI, this film follows the extraordinary evolution of a land animal into the modern whale.

    Bear Necessities. This is the story of how a small dog-like animal descended from the trees 30 million years ago to become the most diverse and dispersed family of wild animals on earth today.

    Dino Turkey. Great Transformations focuses on some of evolution's most important changes-among them the development of the four-limbed body plan, the journey of animal life from water to land, the return of mammals to the sea, and the emergence of humans.

    Running time 142 min.

  • Facts of Evolution

    If you want to know what the scientists know about evolution, then here it is.

    An enormous breadth of information, assimilated, compressed, and congealed into an easily understood, visually irresistible presentation.

    Facts Of Evolution (made by the Cassiopeia Project) has layer upon layer of evidence that makes common descent and macro-evolution inescapable.

    Universal common descent is the concept that every living thing on earth is related to every other living thing on earth… genealogically, genetically related. All modern organisms are descended from one original species.

    And while in its simplest form, there is a genetic, linear progression that branches and forms a tree-like pattern, Common Descent is NOT restricted to this linear pattern.

    That is different species might recombine and generate hybrids; or genetic material may cross from symbiont to host; or perhaps by man’s own hand, genetic material may be implanted wholesale in another species.

    None of this changes the fact that every living thing on earth is related to every other living thing on earth.

    Along the way, many will applaud and many will object. But both reactions are inappropriate. Science as a discipline does not cheer for a given outcome of its experiments and investigations.

    Running time 51 Min.

  • Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism

    Ever wonder why creationism sounds like limp science? Wonder no more. Sit back & enjoy the ride as AronRa takes you on a Magical Mystery Tour of Blunderland.

    The U.S. population seems pretty evenly divided over whether the human species is biologically related to other animals or whether we were "specially-created" as part of a flurry of miracles.

    Even our collective politicians - seemingly all of them - are wrapped up in this controversy. Yet its hard to find even one of them who knows what its about.

    Why is it that there is such concern in so many grade schools (K thru 12) about teaching evolution, yet there is still a complete consensus among scientists all over America and the rest of the world - that evolution is the backbone of modern biology, and a demonstrable reality historically as well?

    Most people really don’t understand science; what it is, how it works, what hypotheses and theories are, or even the purpose behind it. Sadly even those on your school faculty or state Board of Education often need an education themselves before they can be trusted to govern how or what our kids will be taught.

    Running time 10 min.

  • Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey

    A fantastic documentary tracing the earliest human migration on this planet, as shown by our genetic roots.

    This informative film, full of surprising news, is based on the work of Spencer Wells, who is both innovative scientist and enthusiastic host.

    He and crew scour the world for indigenous people with deep roots in one place, asking for samples of DNA to test, in order to piece together our "big family" genetic tree.

    In Indiana Jones mode, Wells tacks down common ancestors and comes up with some surprising candidates which he interviews.

    The best parts are when he returns with DNA results and we see the diverse ways in which people and tribes react to the news of what science says about their arrival and relations. View this as adventure travel or as a painless way to begin your genetic literacy.

    Running time 1 hour, 53 min.

  • Origins of Us

    Dr Alice Roberts reveals how your body tells the story of human evolution. The way you look, think and behave is a product of a 6 million year struggle for survival.

    We have uncovered the secrets of the atom and traveled to the moon. But how did humans come to be so successful? This series explores the anatomical changes that have given us, and our ancestors, the edge.

    Everything from the way that we walk, to the shape of our jaw and even the way our thumbs move connects us intimately to the struggles and triumphs of our ancestors.

    Yet many of those changes have come at a surprising cost and the problems we face now are a direct consequence of our evolutionary journey.

    As much about our bodies today as about our bodies 6 million years ago, Origins of Us will change the way you see yourself.

    Bones. In the first episode, Dr Alice Roberts looks at how our skeleton reveals our incredible evolutionary journey.

    Guts. In this second episode Dr Alice Roberts charts how our ancestors’ hunt for food has driven the way we look and behave today – from the shape of our face, to the way we see and even the way we attract the opposite sex.

    Brains. In the final episode Dr Alice Roberts explores how our species, homo sapiens, developed our large brain; and asks why we are the only one of our kind left on the planet today?

    Full documentary 3 hours.

  • Richard Dawkins: The Greatest Show on Earth

    When he has that fire in his belly, Richard Dawkins is arguably the greatest living popularizer of evolution.

    His foundational work, The Selfish Gene, inspired a generation of evolutionary biology students, while The God Delusion was a powerfully effective self-esteem booster for atheists in the closet.

    With his new book, splendidly titled The Greatest Show on Earth, Dawkins joins other popularizers in what has become almost a rite of passage - to make the case for evolution to the general public.

    It's like the ring the bell game at the county fair where every able young male feels obliged to step up and swing the giant mallet.

    Running time 102 minutes.

  • The Genius of Charles Darwin

    The Genius of Charles Darwin is a three-part television documentary, written and presented by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

    Life, Darwin and Everything. In the first episode Richard Dawkins explains the basic mechanisms of natural selection, and tells the story of how Charles Darwin developed his theory. He teaches a year 11 science class about evolution, which many of the students are reluctant to accept. He then takes them to the Jurassic Coast in Dorset to search for fossils, hoping that the students can see some of the evidence for themselves.

    The Fifth Ape. In the second episode Richard Dawkins deals with some of the philosophical and social ramifications of the theory of evolution. Dawkins starts out in Kenya, speaking with palaeontologist Richard Leakey. He then visits Christ is the Answer Ministries, Kenya's largest Pentecostal church, to interview Bishop Bonifes Adoyo. Adoyo has led the movement to press the National Museums of Kenya to sideline its collection of hominid bones pointing to man's evolution from ape to human.

    God Strikes Back. In the third and final episode, Dawkins explains why Darwin's theory is one of history's most controversial ideas. Dawkins uses this episode to discuss the opposition that evolution has experienced since it was first discovered. He starts by approaching various anti-evolutionists, ranging from John Mackay from Creation Research, Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America, to English school teacher Nick Cowen. In order to address concerns they bring up, he shows the evidence for evolution, including fossil and DNA evidence.

    Running time 2 hours, 24 min.

  • What Darwin Didn't Know

    The theory of evolution by natural selection is now scientific orthodoxy, but when it was unveiled it caused a storm of controversy, from fellow scientists as well as religious people.

    They criticized it for being short on evidence and long on assertion and Darwin, being the honest scientist that he was, agreed with them.

    He knew that his theory was riddled with difficulties, but he entrusted future generations to complete his work and prove the essential truth of his vision, which is what scientists have been doing for the past 150 years.

    Evolutionary biologist Professor Armand Marie Leroi charts the scientific endeavor that brought about the triumphant renaissance of Darwin's theory.

    He argues that, with the new science of evolutionary developmental biology (evo devo), it may be possible to take that theory to a new level - to do more than explain what has evolved in the past, and start to predict what might evolve in the future.

    Running time 79 min.