The PBS show NOVA began a three part series called Becoming Human that is an excellent roundup on the science exploring the evolution of humans. The show aired on Tuesday night but most PBS stations repeats NOVA throughout the week, and you can also watch the episode online.
Evolution is a controversial topic in this country, and a good portion of the population refuse to accept the concept, especially regarding the ascent of man from earlier species. From the time of Darwin through the Scopes trial, attackers of evolution have claimed that anthropologists have never found the missing link between man and monkey. Well this show covers a range of fossils that provide a succession of missing links. Not only that, but the show covers many new theories that go well beyond anything Darwin imagined in the 19th century. The time range and scope of human evolution is expanding as we gain more evidence. This is a very rich in ideas documentary.
I doubt this show will change anybody’s mind about evolution, but it does summarize the current knowledge in an excellent manner and provides terrific graphics to help imagine the immensity of the topic. I do believe that most of the people who refuse to believe in evolution do so because of their religion. I also believe those religions will die off in the future if they refuse to incorporate scientific knowledge and evolve.
JWH – 11/5/9