- The Genius of Charles Darwin
name = The Genius of Charles Darwin
Russell Barnes, IWC Media
Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett
Channel 4, RDF International
released = Part 1:
4 August 2008
11 August 2008
18 August 2008
1 September 2008
runtime = 138 mins
language = English
preceded_by = "
The Enemies of Reason"
website = http://www.richarddawkins.net/
imdb_id = 1279086
"The Genius of Charles Darwin" is a three-part
televisiondocumentary, written and presented by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.
It was first shown in August 2008 on
Channel 4. [ [http://www.channel4.com/science/microsites/F/famelab/ The Genius of Charles Darwin] FameLab, channel4.com]
Part 1: Life, Darwin & Everything
In the first episode
Richard Dawkinsexplains the basic mechanisms of natural selection, and tells the story of how Charles Darwindeveloped 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 Coastin Dorsetto search for fossils, hoping that the students can see some of the evidence for themselves. [http://www.channel4.com/science/microsites/F/famelab/darwin/series/prog1.html Series overview - Episode 1] channel4.com]
Nairobi, where he interviews a prostitutewho seems to have a genetic immunityto HIV, and talks to microbiologistLarry Gelmon. He goes on to predict that genetic immunityto HIVis 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
philosophicaland social ramifications of the theory of evolution. [http://www.channel4.com/science/microsites/F/famelab/darwin/series/prog2.html Series overview - Episode 2] channel4.com]
Dawkins starts out in
Kenya, speaking with palaeontologist Richard Leakey. He then visits Christ is the Answer Ministries, Kenya's largest Pentecostalchurch, to interview Bishop Bonifes Adoyo. Adoyo has led the the movement to press Kenya's national museumto sideline its collection of hominid bones pointing to man's evolution from ape to human. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1526191/Evangelicals-urge-museum-to-hide-man's-ancestors.html Mike Pflanz, Evangelicals urge museum to hide man's ancestors] telegraph.co.uk] The collection includes the Turkana Boydiscovered by Kamoya Kimeu, a member of a team led by Richard Leakey in 1984.
social darwinismand eugenics, explaining how these are not versions of natural selection, and that "Darwin has been wrongly tainted"Citequote.
He then meets with
evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinkerto discuss how moralscan 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 altruismand kindness among humans, he visits women who are looking for sperm donors, as well as a sperm bankmanager. Dawkins also explains kin selectionand 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. [http://www.channel4.com/science/microsites/F/famelab/darwin/series/prog3.html Series overview - Episode 3] channel4.com]
* [http://www.channel4.com/video/the-genius-of-charles-darwin/ "The Genius of Charles Darwin"] at Channel4.com
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