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Evolution: Darwin's Dangerous Idea back to product details

A true revolutionary
written by BSauer April 28, 2006 - 10:55 AM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
This first installment addresses the central core of Darwin's contribution to a theory of biological evolution: the mechanism of natural selection as the engine that drives evolution itself. A radical notion in the society of the time, and dangerous too - to Darwin. This is lucidly and engagingly portrayed by a combination of dramatic reenactments from Darwin's life, knowledgeable commentaries and remarkable nature photography. Charles Darwin was not the first to propose that life evolves (after all, a statue to Jean-Baptiste Lamarque as the father of evolution, and who died penniless for it, graces the entrance to the Jardin des Plantes in Paris) and this is alluded to in a scene in which Erasmus (Charles's grandfather) Darwin's poetry is read extolling the idea of evolution. This film does a very good job (including the use of the HIV virus as an example) at addressing the subtleties of Darwin's insight into natural selection and how this proceeds by small changes. To quote Pete Seeger, "Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple."

One amusing observation: the graphics illustrating mutation of DNA are superb, but they show a left-handed helix! DNA is right-handed of course. Perhaps the illustrator was paying homage to Charles Darwin, who is shown, like Warren Spahn, to be a leftie.


(Average 8.17)
23 Votes
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