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What Darwin Never Knew

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Earth teems with a staggering variety of animals. The source of life’s endless forms was a profound mystery until Charles Darwin’s revolutionary idea of natural selection. NOVA reveals answers to the riddles that Darwin couldn’t explain. Stunning breakthroughs in a brand new science nicknamed ‘evo devo’ are linking the enigma of origins to another of nature’s great mysteries, the development of an embryo.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 46 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
informative and interesting Feb. 10 2011
By Ray T - Published on
Format: DVD
This is the best DVD I have seen on the topic of Evolution. I show it after a unit on molecular genetics as I am introducing Evolution to my AP Biology class. It is both entertaining (even to HS students) and instructional from beginning to end.
82 of 97 people found the following review helpful
Should be a mandatory video at schools Dec 30 2009
By Karina Private - Published on
Format: DVD
Watched it yesterday with great interest, even switched off the phone not to be distracted by anybody. Fascinating facts, thoroughly explored scientific paths leading to unexpected and often shocking discoveries like the one where humans have less genes than plants! Featured scientists have contagious curiosity and passion for discovery. This film should be a mandatory viewing at school: kids would grasp the facts in easy to understand manner and get inspired to explore the Nature.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Excellent details on, and evidence supporting, evolution, for the general public Jan. 18 2012
By DNAunion - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The video starts off by taking about what Darwin did know, so the viewer gets a little background before getting into genes and other things Darwin didn't know about.

DNA is covered at 3 levels. At the lowest level, there are genes that encode proteins that make body/cell parts. At the next higher level, there are DNA regions that regulate the expression of those genes: the show refers to these regulatory DNA segments as switches. And at the highest level, there are genes whose protein products throw the switches; that is, turn genes on or off by binding to the switches. And the video shows how changes to DNA at these levels can cause evolution. If people get nothing else out of the video, the topics in this paragraph should be the takehome part.

I am not doing the video justice -- a longer review would be needed to cover all the good things in this video.
49 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Dec 29 2009
By Santi Tafarella - Published on
Format: DVD
Wow. I watched the two hour documentary on PBS tonight. It's an exceptional introduction to evo devo. Two of the things I learned: the human thumb and jaw are very, very important to human evolution. To find out why, get this startling DVD.
37 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Very good intro to evolution May 14 2010
By Nats - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I guess lots of folks would rather watch a DVD than read a book, for sure, there is no better book for the lay public than "Why Evolution
is True" by Jerry coyne. He gets into it way deeper than any video series ever could, so if you are serious about this subject, I would recommend his
book. As far as videos on the subject go, this is one of the better ones for folks who know absolutley nothing.

It does touch on most of aspects and discoveries, but like every other video, it leaves hugh gaps.
It does explain how science works and shows you alot of the evidence in a easy to understand and interesting way.

And, unlike similar videos which were produced in the USA, it does not attempt to reconcil religous dogma with undisputed scientific facts
in an almost apoligetic way just to make the subject more "acceptible" to Americans. The facts, evidence and science are presented straight forward.

Very highly recommended for the interested beginner who maybe does not have the time to read Dr Coyne's (or Dr. Dawkin's "Greatest Show on Earth").

This has enough tantalizing information to make you (hopefully) curious enough to invest more time to learn.

The scientific commuity now accepts evolution as fact, it's reality is not debated among scientists, only among the un-educated lay public.
This video is a great way to find out why that is true, and how much more we know now then we did when "Origin of Species" was first published.

Science has had 150 years to disprove Darwins theory, yet with every new discovery and every advance in analyitical technology, (the Human Genome
Project was probably the smoking gun) we can now say with utter certainty that evolution is as true to biology as atoms are to physics.

You do not have to be a science "nerd" to love this video. Very highly recommended.