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Heredity, Human
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Selection in Action [electronic resource]: Natural Selection

This program provides arguments in favor of continental drift and the one-time existence of a supercontinent, shows how isolation can give rise to different species and how species develop in response to their environments, and explains clines and suggests the reason for their existence. After viewing the program, students should understand the significance of the continental drift theory, the purpose of studying inherited variation in isolated populations, and the conclusions about an isolated environment in a species' ancestry that can be drawn from the presence or absence of variation.
2005; 1981

The Demonic Ape [electronic resource]

By turns charming, alarming, and poignant, this program questions the accuracy of the human evolution theory. Chimpanzees show signs of sophisticated language, advanced social behavior, and other traits thought reserved only for humans-even empathy. No one knows this better than the legendary Jane Goodall: her pride and joy, Frodo, grew up in front of film cameras in Gombe in Tanzania for over 30 years. But Frodo's killing of a child in May 2002 prompted huge debate amongst scholars about whether the origins of aggressive male human behavior can be traced back to our shared evolutionary ancestry with chimps.
2006; 2004

Darwin's Evolution [electronic resource]

As a naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle, a Royal Navy survey ship charting the coast of South America, Charles Darwin encountered evidence on the Galapagos Islands and elsewhere that encouraged him to question the biblical story of creation. This program explores the intellectual journey he undertook as a result. Presented by British scientist Adam Hart-Davis, the film invokes specimens in Great Britain's Natural History Museum, especially "Darwin's Finches," that were of fundamental importance to the naturalist's ideas; the two major components of his theory, common ancestry and natural selection; Darwin's sudden urgency regarding the publication of On the Origin of Species after Alfred Russel Wallace presented similar breakthroughs; Darwin's gradual confidence that evidence supportin [...]

The Evolution of Human Purpose [electronic resource]

All other life forms except humans exist to propagate themselves and pass on their genes; humans alone work to other ends. In this lecture, Richard Dawkins distinguishes between the result of eons of natural selection which has resulted in, say, a bird's tail, whose purpose is to enable the bird to fly-purpose with a survival value-and deliberate design, like an airplane's tail. Dawkins shows the relationship between the two in explaining the evolution of human purpose.
2010; 1992

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

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

Origins of Change [electronic resource]: Heredity and Mutation

This program introduces the concepts of naturally occurring and artificially induced mutagens, demonstrates how X-radiation and chemical additives can produce genetic mutations, introduces Dr. Maclyn McCarty (one of three researchers who identified DNA as the substance that transformed one variety of Pneumococcus into another), and shows how DNA is extracted and precipitated. After viewing the program, students should understand why Drosophila melanogaster is so well-suited to genetic investigation, how mutation can be induced by chemicals, and how inherited variation is the result of a change in the genetic code of DNA.
2005; 1988

DNA and the Evidence for Evolution [electronic resource]

This program shows the structure and replicating processes of DNA and the effect of genetic mutation; demonstrates the Lederberg Experiment; and recapitulates the evidence provided by fossils and structural and biological homologies that the process of adaptation and the selection of adaptors rests on a wide range of genetic variability. After viewing the program, students should have a general understanding of the general structure and functioning of DNA and of the Lederberg Experiment and its significance, and should be familiar with the range and types of evidence for evolution presented in the review section.
2005; 1988