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Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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"Our Earth is the only known planet that sustains life. And it does so in abundance. I have been fortunate enough over the years to travel to some of the most extraordinary and remote places on Earth to find and film animals...The sheer number and variety of animals and plants is astonishing. Estimates of the number of different species vary from six million to a hundred million...

There are often a multitude of variations on a single pattern. Nearly 200 different kinds of monkeys for example. And 315 humming birds, nearly a thousand bats. And beetles, at least 350 thousand species of them. Not to mention nearly a quarter of a million different kinds of flowering plants. The variety is astounding...

Why should there be such a dazzling variety? And how can we make sense of such a huge range of living organisms?

Two hundred years ago, a man was born who was to explain this astonishing diversity of life. In doing so he revolutionized the way in which we see the world and our place in it. His name was Charles Darwin."

The above comes from the introduction to this astonishing documentary hosted by broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough (born: 1926). This documentary was made to celebrate the 200TH anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth (in 1809) and the 150TH anniversary of his scientific masterpiece "On the Origin of Species" (first edition published in 1859 with a longer title).

This documentary has it all and explains as well as shows all basic aspects of Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. You'll learn other interesting information such as about significant historical figures of that time period, about Mendel's laws of inheritance, and of course about the clashes with religion that resulted from the introduction of this scientific theory.

This documentary also shows parts of the documentary "Life on Earth" (1979) that features a younger David Attenborough.

There is one bonus entitled "Darwin's Struggle: The Evolution of the Origin of Species." This excellent bonus feature explains everything that was going on in Darwin's life prior to the publication of his scientific treatise. It includes biographical material on Darwin, the world he lived in, and the inspirations for "The Origin."

Finally, this bonus feature is just as long as the main feature described above. This bonus feature is not hosted by David Attenborough.

In conclusion, this documentary explains and shows quite well Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. After viewing this documentary it's apparent that:

"Nothing in the natural world makes sense except when seen in the light of evolution."

(2009; 1 hr; bonus feature also 1 hr; 12 chapters; bonus feature 6 chapters; wide screen)

<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2010
This is an amazing presentation of the life and work of Charles Darwin. Although evolution vs creationism is discussed, this video allows the veiwer to draw his or her own conclusions. Watching it as a family, it stimulated conversation and thought. David Attenbourgh has spent his life examining, explaining and entertaining people about the wonders of our planet. This gives him the credibility to discuss this subject in a thoughtful and insisive manner. Well worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2012
A brilliant documentary on Darwin admiringly presented by the ageless Attenborough.
A masterpiece from from the first moment to the last. Loved the extra material too.
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on March 23, 2015
Great review for high school biology.
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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2011
To me, this documentary does provide some evidence about evolution. Though even if you can find every type of creature, not one of these creatures can be said to be in the living process of change. Else the change is so slow that we never will notice. What intervention causes this change? Does the turtle want a longer neck so he gets one? I mean who is pushing the buttons? If we are from ape then why are there still apes? Lots of questions are left to be answered. But this film is very good. Thanks
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