Segments in this Video

Richard Attenborough on Diversity on the Planet (04:42)


Darwin's explanation of Earth's millions of species runs counter to the Biblical explanation. The Bible tells humans to "have dominion" over life on Earth. Is this justification of humankind's exploitation of the planet?

Charles Darwin: His Voyage on the "Beagle" (04:49)

Charles Darwin finds 69 species of beetle in Brazil in one day. In 1835, the "Beagle" arrives at the Galapagos Islands. Here they find creatures that exist nowhere else on Earth. Darwin contemplates an evolutionary theory of life on Earth.

Theory of Natural Selection (03:59)

Darwin returns from the voyage of the "Beagle" and catalogs his specimens. Still, he wonders about the different species on the Galapagos. To answer that question, Darwin proposes the theory of natural selection.

Domestication and Selective Breeding (03:01)

Through domestication and breeding, a wide variety of dog breeds now exist from one common ancestor, the wolf. Just as humans have been selectively breeding animals for centuries, Nature has been doing so for millennia.

Publication of "On the Origin of the Species" (03:35)

Having collected evidence of his theory of evolution for decades, Darwin publishes "On the Origin of the Species." Denounced by the Church and most of society, the theory proposes that complex forms evolve from simpler ones.

Darwin: Species Interconnectedness (04:14)

Those who oppose Darwin's theory of the interconnectedness of species do so on grounds that each species is divinely created and, once created, does not change.

Discovery of Intermediary Species (03:16)

The discovery of the part bird/ part reptile Archaeopteryx provides the world with an example of an intermediary species. Today, the hoazin young have claws on the tips of their wings. Evidence of modified forelegs?

Pre-Cambrian Fossil Evidence (03:03)

Evidence of jellyfish are found in rocks much older than Cambrian rocks, which contain what were considered the oldest fossil animals. This evidence lends credence to Darwin's theory of evolution.

Age of the Earth (03:22)

The Old Testament genealogy suggested to 17th century scholars that the creation of Earth was in 4004 BC. The discovery of uranium and radiation makes dating more exact. Sea floor evidence suggests that continents are still drifting.

Deity vs. Evolution (02:56)

At the beginning of the 19th century, Anglican clergyman William Paley proved the existence of God with the theory that every design must have a designer. Darwin's theories suggest it is not necessarily so.

Modern Genetics and Darwin's Theory (03:58)

Natural selection suggests that animal characteristics are handed down from one generation to the next. Mendel demonstrates this phenomenon, and scientists discover DNA, the genetic code for inheritance.

Evolution of Life (04:05)

Richard Attenborough traces the evolution of life from single-celled bacteria to 65 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

End of the Dinosaurs (03:21)

Because of a cataclysmic event sixty-five million years ago, all the dinosaurs became extinct except those that had taken to the air. Ultimately, the planet was home to warm-blooded creatures.

Celebrating Darwinian Thought (02:36)

The Natural History Museum in London is the most important of its kind. Evidence within proves the validity of Darwinian thought. Darwin's statue now stands in the museum. Darwin proves that humans are not apart from the natural world.

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Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life

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Marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, this program shows how Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution and explores its ramifications in today’s scientific community. Renowned natural history interpreter David Attenborough travels the globe, examining fresh evidence for Darwinian thought and illustrating why it is more relevant than ever. Viewers encounter findings from a wide range of disciplines, including paleontology, biogeography, anatomy, and embryology, as well as early controversies surrounding the study of plate tectonics. Spectacular wildlife footage reveals fascinating animal behavior and helps depict the theory that changed the world’s thinking. A BBC/Open University Coproduction. (52 minutes)

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL40443

ISBN: 978-1-60825-905-2

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

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