Monday, 2 February 2009

Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life

David Attenborough's documentary on Charles Darwin and evolutionary biology aired last night. As a televisually impaired person (no TV) I've just caught up on the BBC's iPlayer. And it's well worth seeing. Lavish modern footage is intercut with excerpts from Attenborough's earlier works to guide us through Darwin's scientific insight. Here and there though some topics are a bit rushed but given the 60 min time slot this is perhaps understandable. I would have liked a more convincing explanation of the way radiometric dating shows the age of rocks, but then the development of the eye is covered quite adequately. After that we are very quickly bounced from Gregor Mendel to DNA analysis but Attenborough pulls a great finale out of the bag. The short sequence below comes towards the end and recapitulates evolutionary history.

Thanks to The Lay Scientist for pointing out the link.

The Tree of Life.

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