Charles Darwin and The Tree of Life (BBC Documentary)


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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. He 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 revolutionised 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.

  • Vince Boulter

    I have bought this BBC DVD. A must for all Darwin fans. If you’ve not been to Down House you should make the effort. David will ‘talk’ you through the tour.

  • Highest23

    IS THAT THE ONLY PIECE OF EVIDENCE  that supports the idea of revoulution

  • Highest23

    i meant evolution

  • Albert Rogers

    Dear Highest23
    Let us define evolution as the proposition that all Earthly organisms have a common ancestor. We’re not just related to the apes, we’re related to insects, worms, trees, fungi, bacteria, and even the Archaea that used to be called archaeo-bacteria but are less closely related to bacteria than we are!

    By far the strongest, but by no means the only evidence for this is the fact that they _all_ encode DNA into proteins using the same language.
    DNA is a double helix of a polymer of the sugar ribose, except each link has an acidic nature. These are balanced by a long string of paired organic bases, one for each helix, taken from a quartet of purines and pyrimidines known by their initials G,T,A,C.
    These four bases are the elements of a code, and for protein synthesis the code spells out the amino acids by triplets of bases, as if we had an alphabet of four letters, and each word is three letters long. A whole sentence (one of the codes isn’t for an amino acid, it simply means “stop”) corresponds to a protein, and some of them are very long.
    This is a language!

    When biochemists analyse and compare and perform the necessary experiments, it turns out that the words in the language have exactly the same meaning for every organism on Earth! This is like all human beings writing in Sanskrit, and knowing how to speak it!
    Therefore, we must all be related by a common ancestor.

    Darwin added the immensely important concept of how it came about by Natural Selection. The idea was so brilliant that Thomas Henry Huxley, himself a genius and a brilliant writer, said that he asked himself “How could I be so stupid as not to have thought of that!”

  • taylor shan shee

    i watched for my work and i got an A+ COOL

  • taylor shan shee

    hey guys this is cool