New Nova Series, Evolution Website

| 19 Comments

First things first. The 3-part series is called Becoming Human, and it begins tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern time (and 7 p.m. my time, so check your local schedule).

The website, which is in a beta edition right now, is called simply “Evolution.” Today, it features articles on Becoming Human, Evo-Devo, and The Evolution of Motherhood, among others. It looks as though a regular feature will include links to recent news articles, and there are also links to apparently original material by Neil Shubin, Sean Carroll, and Carl Zimmer. There are additional links to a number of relevant books and websites. Finally, you can watch “Intelligent Design on Trial” and “Darwin’s Darkest Hour” just by following links prominently displayed on the “Evolution” website.

19 Comments

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

Hiya, chunky. Still living under that bridge, boy?

Hiya, chunky. Still living under that bridge, boy?

Please don’t feed the trolls. Go watch Becoming Human.

Matt Young said:

Please don’t feed the trolls. Go watch Becoming Human.

Would if I could. “This video is not available in your area due to rights restrictions.” {grumble}I’d give them rights. And a couple of lefts, too.{/grumble}

Would if I could. “This video is not available in your area due to rights restrictions.” {grumble}I’d give them rights. And a couple of lefts, too.{/grumble}

You’ll probably be able to watch it online in a few days.

I just finished watching the first episode of the series. It’s extremely well done and brings us up to date on what has been discovered about the rapid climate changes that were cycling back and forth when homo habilis evolved.

This sleuth work links together several different disciplines and gives a nice summary of how all these disciplines converge on the same results; an important point to be made to the layperson.

Thanks for bouncing that troll,Matt.

Okay, you can now watch it online: here. Parts 2 and 3 will be on the next 2 Tuesdays. It might be a good idea to make a “sticky” for this series.

I really enjoyed the show, but something that caught my ear: they kept using the word “kind”, e.g., “Lucy’s kind”. Just thought that was a bit weird.

Nope, as before. It would appear that Australia is a little far to go.

Also that opening comment about us being “the most complex” creature surprised me. PT has really put me on my guard about such things.

e-dogg said:

I really enjoyed the show, but something that caught my ear: they kept using the word “kind”, e.g., “Lucy’s kind”. Just thought that was a bit weird.

I have DVRed it and have not watched it yet. So please don’t reveal the ending and spoil the suspense ;-)

Kind seems to be a very good choice of word. Species sounds too restrictive and genus too broad. Anyway both sound to sciency and unfamiliar.

Ravilyn Sanders said:

Kind seems to be a very good choice of word. Species sounds too restrictive and genus too broad. Anyway both sound to sciency and unfamiliar.

I agree, but “kind” is a loaded word around here. I wouldn’t have noticed it if it hadn’t been repeated so many times. Now that I think about it, it is tough to come up with a suitable replacement.

Like fnxtr, I also took note of the “most complex” statement at the beginning. I suppose I’m just too sensitive about these things…

Ravilyn Sanders said:

I have DVRed it and have not watched it yet. So please don’t reveal the ending and spoil the suspense ;-)

(walking out of theatre, shouting): DARTH VADER’S HIS FATHER!

Arg no joy for those of us living in Australia. And from prior experience ordering DVDs from WGBH, my home town PBS station, is impossible if you are over seas. Sigh, I’ll be forced into finding and downloading the as a torrent.

It’s not available in Europe either. But rather sooner than later a charitable soul will upload it to YouTube.

Again, you can watch it online here.

Thank you, Karen, I appreciate your help, but your link keeps telling me that there are copyright restrictions for my country.

Thank you, Karen, I appreciate your help, but your link keeps telling me that there are copyright restrictions for my country.

Sorry– that really stinks! Then you best bet really is YouTube. The whole PBS evolution series is there, so hopefully this will be, too.

Caught it online. Professionally done, but I found it a bit irritating. Here are my gripes.

One is the style. Perhaps the slap cut style is unavoidable, but I find it distracting and somewhat of a tease. They’ll show you a hominid skull and instead of dwelling on it for a while ala Ken Burns documentary style so you can get a good look, it’s a glimpse one moment then suddenly zoom into it with a flash of bright light. Aggravating. Pause button necessary.

Another is the endless repetition of the same 3D reconstructions rather than using that valuable time to show more shots of real stuff. Come on! There’s plenty of actual material that can be shown! Show us less about current conclusions and more of the actual evidence and relationships between what has been found that lead to those conclusions. Changes in the skulls and teeth, etc. The emphasis on reconstructions is unfortunate.

Finally, the evidence that is included is kinda scattershot and not well integrated to see where the big picture conclusions come from. Comparing the brain size of a couple of endocasts is well and good, but how about showing the bigger context such as the larger number of individuals that have been found and their relative sizes over time (Nick Matzke’s splendid Hominin skull graph gets this larger contextual point across very well http://pandasthumb.org/archives/200[…]omini-2.html).

Hoping 2 & 3 are better

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on November 3, 2009 4:22 PM.

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