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Alien Planet

   2005    Nature
The computer animated drama takes place on Darwin IV, a planet 6.5 light years from earth, with 2 suns and 60% of Earth's gravity. Earth sends a pilot mission with three probes. This robotic fleet is responsible for finding and assessing any life forms on Darwin IV. The probes soon find themselves in the middle of a developed ecosystem teeming with diversity of life of all sizes. "Alien Planet" is motivated by real science missions, such as the NASA Origins Program and the NASA / JPL Planet-Finder Mission, as well as the European Space Agency's Darwin Project. It is a cosmic expedition along side Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Jack Horner, Craig Venter, and George Lucas, and NASA's Chief Scientist Jim Garvin. No longer just the domain of science fiction, "Alien Planet" dramatizes an exciting and possible answer to what alien life really looks like and when we'll find it.

Are We Still Evolving

   2011    Science
Dr Alice Roberts asks one of the great questions about our species: are we still evolving? There's no doubt that we're a product of millions of years of evolution. But thanks to modern technology and medicine, did we escape Darwin's law of the survival of the fittest? Alice follows a trail of clues from ancient human bones to studies of remarkable people living in the most inhospitable parts of the planet and the frontiers of genetic research, to discover if we are still evolving - and where we might be heading.

Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life

   2009    Science
David Attenborough asks three key questions: how and why did Darwin come up with his theory of evolution? Why do we think he was right? And why is it more important now than ever before? David starts his journey in Darwin's home at Down House in Kent, where Darwin worried and puzzled over the origins of life. David goes back to his roots in Leicestershire, where he hunted for fossils as a child, and where another schoolboy unearthed a significant find in the 1950s. And he revisits Cambridge University, where both he and Darwin studied, and where many years later the DNA double helix was discovered, providing the foundations for genetics. At the end of his journey in the Natural History Museum in London, David concludes that Darwin's great insight revolutionised the way in which we see the world. We now understand why there are so many different species, and why they are distributed in the way they are. But above all, Darwin has shown us that we are not set apart from the natural world, and do not have dominion over it. We are subject to its laws and processes, as are all other animals on earth to which, indeed, we are related.

Darwin Struggle - The Evolution of the Origin of Species

   2009    Science
Documentary telling the little-known story of how Darwin came to write his great masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, a book which explains the wonderful variety of the natural world as emerging out of death and the struggle of life. In the twenty years he took to develop a brilliant idea into a revolutionary book, Darwin went through a personal struggle every bit as turbulent as that of the natural world he observed. Fortunately, he left us an extraordinary record of his brilliant insights, observations of nature, and touching expressions of love and affection for those around him. He also wrote frank accounts of family tragedies, physical illnesses and moments of self-doubt, as he laboured towards publication of the book that would change the way we see the world.

Deeper, Deeper, Deeper Still

   2014    Science
This episodes the nature of the cosmos on the micro and atomic scales, using the Ship of the Imagination to explore these realms. Tyson describes some of the micro-organism that live within a dew drop, demonstrating parameciums and tardigrades. He proceeds to discuss how plants use photosynthesis via their chloroplasts to convert sunlight into chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and energy-rich sugars. Tyson then discusses the nature of molecules and atoms and how they relate to the evolution of species. He uses the example set forth by Charles Darwin postulating the existence of the long-tongued Morgan's sphinx moth based on the nature of the comet orchid with pollen far within the flower. He further demonstrates that scents from flowers are used to trigger olfactory centers in the brain, stimulating the mind to threats as to aid in the survival of the species. Tyson narrates how Greek philosophers Thales and Democritus postulated that all matter was made up of combinations of atoms in a large number of configurations, and describes how carbon forms the basic building block for life on earth due to its unique chemical nature. Tyson explains on the basic atomic structure of protons, neutrons, and electrons, and the nature of nuclear fusion that occurs in most stars. He then discusses the existence of neutrinos that are created by these nuclear processes in stars, and that detecting such sub-atomic particles which normally pass through matter require subterranean facilities like the Super-Kamiokande that were used to detect neutrinos from the supernova SN 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud before light from the explosion were observed due to their ability to pass through matter of the dying sun. Tyson compares how neutrinos were postulated by Wolfgang Pauli to account for the conservation of energy from nuclear reactions in the same manner as Darwin's postulate on the long-tongued moth. Tyson concludes by noting that there are neutrinos from the Big Bang still existing in the universe but due to the nature of light, there is a "wall of infinity" that cannot be observed beyond.
Series: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Cosmos: Possible Worlds
Cosmos: Possible Worlds

   2020    Science
Earthflight
Earthflight

   2012    Nature
Wonders of Life
Wonders of Life

   2013    Science
The Making of the Mob
The Making of the Mob

   2016    History
The Putin Interviews
The Putin Interviews

   2017    Culture
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
The Mind of a Chef
The Mind of a Chef

   2017    Culture
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

   2014    Science