Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Genius of Charles Darwin (Richard Dawkins)

Part 1: Life, Darwin & 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.
Dawkins visits Nairobi, where he interviews a prostitute who seems to have a genetic immunity to HIV, and talks to microbiologist Larry Gelmon. He goes on to predict that genetic immunity to HIV is a trait that will become more prevalent in the community over time.

Part 2: 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 Kenya's national museum to sideline its collection of hominid bones pointing to man's evolution from ape to human. The collection includes the Turkana Boy discovered by Kamoya Kimeu, a member of a team led by Richard Leakey in 1984.
Dawkins discusses social darwinism and eugenics, explaining how these are not versions of natural selection, and that "Darwin has been wrongly tainted".
He then meets with evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker to discuss how morals can be compatible with natural selection. He goes on to explaining sexual selection, with peafowls as an example. To find out whether sexual selection plays a role for altruism and kindness among humans, he visits women who are looking for sperm donors, as well as a sperm bank manager. Dawkins also explains kin selection and selfish genes.

Part 3: God Strikes Back

In the third and final episode, Dawkins explains why Darwin's theory is one of history's most controversial ideas.

1 comment:

FatNigga said...

Richard says "it is becomming more and more difficult for people to see the light." Obviously he is playing with the words to aggrevate believers of God. He also states "that is when I (bigger than God) became an atheist and I (more invincable than God) never looked back." Rediculously humble.

I enjoyed the documentaries.

However, I think he should allow more opposing arguments and not overdub his views over the counter arguments. This shows some weakness in his argument at the deapest level.

I think that scientists sometimes see the trees and not the forest. At what point of our understanding of evolution did we decide that this proves that there is no God? Even if evolution is true, it does not elliminate the possibility of God. If you look at the programming and logic of DNA, this is not just coincidence, there is some devine intelligence incolved. If we understand what a cake is made of and how the ingredients bond together, how do we get to the point that noone invented the cake, or there is no cook?

Non-athiests that deny gene mutations are as narrow minded as atheists.

The bible is not a science book, but a book on peoples experiences with God. If you disprove scientific facts in the bible, it does not elliminate God.

If all animals evolved over so many millions of years, then how come there is only one animal that can think? Why do watermellons not intelligently become handgrenades at the sight of a knife?

Theories theories theories, and no facts except at a basic level. So many questions still. And we as humans have made ourselves bigger than the system by saying that the milk man does not exist because there is milk in the fridge.

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