What Darwin Didn’t Know – The Evolution of Evolution

This excellent BBC documentary, presented by the lucid Professor Armand Leroi, tells the story of the theory of evolution since Darwin postulated it in 1859 in ‘On the Origin of Species’.

The theory of evolution by natural selection is now scientific orthodoxy, but when it was unveiled it caused a storm of controversy, from fellow scientists as well as religious people. They criticized it for being short on evidence and long on assertion and Darwin, being the honest scientist that he was, agreed with them. He knew that his theory was riddled with ‘difficulties’, but he trusted that future generations will complete his work and prove the essential truth of his vision, which is what scientists have been doing for the past 150 years.

Evolutionary biologist Professor Armand Marie Leroi charts the scientific endeavours that brought about the triumphant renaissance of Darwin’s theory. He argues that, with the new science of evolutionary developmental biology (evo devo), it may be possible to take that theory to a new level – to do more than explain what has evolved in the past, and start to predict what might evolve in the future.

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