PBS Evolution A Critical Review
Viewers Guide

Table of Contents

  • About Discovery Institute
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Episodes
    • Episode One: “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”
      Dramatizations of Darwin’s life, interspersed with commentaries by philosopher Daniel Dennett, biologist Stephen Jay Gould, and historian James Moore. Darwin’s theory that all living things evolved from a common ancestor in one “great tree of life.” Drug resistance in HIV. Biologist Kenneth Miller on the vertebrate eye and the role of God. Similarities between humans and apes.
    • Episode Two: “Great Transformations”
      Fossil whales. Similarities in limb bones. The transition from water to land animals. A “genetic toolkit” common to all animals. The transition from apes to humans.
    • Episode Three: “Extinction!”
      Mass extinctions. Dinosaurs and the first mammals. Saving an unspoiled forest near Bangkok. Biological invaders in the Hawaiian Islands. Using a beneficial insect to control weeds in North Dakota.
    • Episode Four: “The Evolutionary Arms Race”
      Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in Russia. Lessons from a cholera epidemic. Feline immunodeficiency virus. Leaf-cutter ants and symbiosis. Allergies and the importance of interactions among species.
    • Episode Five: “Why Sex?”
      Genetic variability as a reason for sexual reproduction. Sexual selection and peacocks’ tails. Lessons from chimpanzees and bonobos. Evolutionary psychology on the role of sex in brain evolution.
    • Episode Six: “The Mind’s Big Bang”
      The emergence of art, technology, and society about 50,000 years ago. Hominid evolution and Neanderthals. Early human migrations. Language. Memes and how they now counteract biological evolution.
    • Episode Seven: “What About God?”
      The creation-evolution controversy and U.S. science education. Biblical literalist Ken Ham. Students at Wheaton College struggle with their faith. A school board denies a petition to teach special creation alongside evolution.
  • Conclusion
  • Activities