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Human Beings — Origin
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After Darwin [electronic resource]: Genetics, Eugenics, and the Human Genome

From the promise of eliminating genetic disease to the threat of eradicating human diversity, the potential of genetics to benefit humankind is matched only by its capacity for harm. Using interviews, archival footage, and period film clips, this insightful program traces the history of genomic research and its dark offspring: behavioral genetics, eugenics, and the commodification of children. Spotlighting topics including the Human Genome Project, gene patenting, cloning, fertility clinics, genetic testing, and the discriminatory practices of insurance companies, Nobel Laureate Dr. James Watson, Dr. Leroy Hood, and numerous other experts examine the potential of the biotechnological revolution and the moral and ethical issues it raises.
2005; 1999

Did Cooking Make Us Human? [electronic resource]

The use of heat and utensils to process food may be more than a by-product of human evolution. According to theories presented in this program, cooking began much earlier than previously thought and ignited a series of changes that shaped our physical and mental abilities. Viewers visit South African caves containing evidence, including tools and charred bone material, that pushes back the timescale during which proto-humans began to hunt and tame fire. Meanwhile, several noted anthropologists share other ideas concerning the evolution of the human jaw, stomach, and cranium-asserting that the digestion of cooked meat instead of raw helped our ancestors build bigger brains.

Are We Still Evolving? [electronic resource]

Assume, for the sake of argument, that our species has created everything it needs-all the comfort and protection that technology can provide. Does that mean our biological evolution has come to an end? Not necessarily, says anatomist and anthropologist Alice Roberts. In fact, technology may be driving human evolution, and at breakneck speed. Dr. Roberts meets scientists who are detecting and analyzing recent changes in the human genome and visits other researchers who have been able to, in effect, alter the development of some plant and animal species. In addition, the program examines the highly significant role of disease in evolution and the possibility that humanity could evolve into two distinct species.

Did Darwin Kill God? [electronic resource]

In this program, philosopher and theologian Conor Cunningham argues that only extremist viewpoints-Creationism and ultra-Darwinism-make evolution and religion mutually exclusive. Experts from across the gamut of opinions frame the debate and trace its origins, including Father Gregory Tatum of the Ecole Biblique; University of Oxford historian Pietro Corsi; Darwin scholar Nick Spencer, author of Darwin and God; "Answers in Genesis" lecturer Terry Mortenson; Francis Collins, former director of the Human Genome Project; philosophers Daniel Dennett and Michael Ruse; Susan Blackmore, author of The Meme Machine; and University of Cambridge paleobiologist Simon Conway Morris.
2010; 2009

Journey of Man [electronic resource]: The Story of the Human Species

Fossil evidence more or less proves that humanity sprang from an African cradle. But what can the science of genetics tell us about our origins? Researchers have arrived at a startling conclusion: the global family tree can be traced to one African man who lived 60,000 years ago. Eminent geneticist Dr. Spencer Wells hosts this innovative program, traveling to every continent in search of the people whose DNA holds humanity's secret history: the Namibian Bushmen, the Chukchi reindeer herders of the Russian Arctic, Native American tribal groups, and indigenous Australians. The program also features commentary by historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists.

Homo Futurus [electronic resource]: Challenge to Darwinian Thinking

Recent findings in the fossil record have, in some scientific quarters, led to radical ideas on evolution. This program presents an intriguing and highly controversial theory: that human development has been-and continues to be-guided by genetic forces within us, rather than by the pressures of our environment. Following the work of paleontologist Anne Dambricourt Malasse and orthodontist Marie-Josephe Deshayes, the film illustrates curious discoveries about the sphenoid, a small bone in the human skull, and its possible role as a kind of evolutionary regulator. Viewers will be immersed in anthropological and dental research occurring in South Africa, China, France, and Switzerland.
2009; 2005

Natural Selection [electronic resource]: Its Place in Today's World

How do humans influence changes in other species? Has Homo sapiens itself stopped evolving? This program explores natural selection as an ongoing phenomenon, showing how evolutionary processes continue to shape the future of all life on Earth. Exploring the competition for resources, territory, and mates that occurs in any ecosystem, the video illustrates how species differentiation takes place-whether the environment is a petri dish, a jungle, or a major city. Also discussed: morphological, physiological, and behavioral variation; the relationship between agriculture, selective breeding, and genetic modification; and the puzzling anthropological discovery known as the Hobbit.
2009; 2008

Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life [electronic resource]

Marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, this program shows how Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution and explores its ramifications in today's scientific community. Renowned natural history interpreter David Attenborough travels the globe, examining fresh evidence for Darwinian thought and illustrating why it is more relevant than ever. Viewers encounter findings from a wide range of disciplines, including paleontology, biogeography, anatomy, and embryology, as well as early controversies surrounding the study of plate tectonics. Spectacular wildlife footage reveals fascinating animal behavior and helps depict the theory that changed the world's thinking.

Of Apes and Men [electronic resource]: Culmination of Darwin's Research

When On the Origin of Species appeared in 1859, it quickly took hold in the popular imagination-but it also glossed over significant and rather disturbing questions. This program explores Darwin's ideas on human evolution, which he developed and made public toward the end of his life. Science interpreter Jim Doherty reveals how Darwin searched for parallels between humans and animals through a diverse array of experiments. Beginning by testing the intelligence of earthworms using Darwin's paper triangle method, Doherty then focuses on the Victorian biologist's observations of monkeys, apes, and children, as well as his interest in the work of French anatomist Guillaume Duchenne, who studied facial musculature and expressions.
2009; 2008

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Svante Paabo, DNA Clues to Our Inner Neanderthal

In this TEDTalk, geneticist Svante Paabo offers biological proof that early humans mated with Neanderthals after migrating out of Africa. Paabo also provides an overview of mutations and genetic variance, giving audiences a clear picture of the types of early hominids that lived in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East 100,000 years ago. Paabo explores human genetic evolution by analyzing DNA extracted from ancient sources, and worked with the team that presented the first version of the Neanderthal genome.

Health News and Interviews [electronic resource]: Genetics Video Clips

This collection of 18 video clips (1 minute to 2 minutes 30 seconds each) takes a close look at genetics. Topics range from the human genome, to "junk" DNA, to genetic implications for obesity, dyslexia, eating disorders, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, substance abuse, weight loss, and aging. Video clips include: Genetics * Junk DNA * Living Longer * Secrets of the Y Chromosome * Tiny Genes, Big Role * Genome ABCs * Custom Cures * SIDS Test * Blame Your Mother * Mom's Genes * Exercise Gene * Dying to Be Thin * Maternal Separation * Models of Health * Age Accelerator * Redefining Race * Ethnic Drug * Egg Regs * Sex Cells.
2008; 2007