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The Incredible Human Journey: Australia

   2009    History
Dr Alice Roberts looks at our ancestors' seemingly impossible journey to Australia. Miraculously preserved footprints and very old human fossils buried in the outback suggest a mystery: that humans reached Australia almost before anywhere else. How could they have travelled so far from Africa, crossing the open sea on the way, and do it thousands of years before they made it to Europe? The evidence trail is faint and difficult to pick up, but Alice takes on the challenge. In India, new discoveries among the debris of a super volcano hint that our species started the journey much earlier than previously thought, while in Malaysia, genetics points to an ancient trail still detectable in the DNA of tribes today. Alice travels deep into the Asian rainforests in search of the first cavemen of Borneo and tests out a Stone Age raft to see whether sea travel would have been possible thousands of years ago, before coming to a powerful conclusion.
Series: The Incredible Human Journey

The Incredible Human Journey: America

   2009    History
Alice Roberts tries to find out how Stone Age people reached North and South America for the first time. She finds out about an ancient corridor through the Canadian ice sheet that might have allowed the first humans through. Old finds in Chile though point to a whole different route for the first humans making it there.
Series: The Incredible Human Journey

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.

The Genius of Charles Darwin: The Fifth Ape

   2008    Culture
Richard Dawkins deals with some of the philosophical and social ramifications of the theory of evolution. Dawkins starts out in Kenya, speaking with palaeontologist Richard Leakey. He then visits Christ is the Answer Ministries, Kenya's largest Pentecostal church, to interview Bishop Bonifes Adoyo. Adoyo has led the movement to press Kenya's national museum to sideline its collection of hominid bones pointing to man's evolution from ape to human.[5] The collection includes the Turkana Boy discovered by Kamoya Kimeu, a member of a team led by Richard Leakey in 1984. Dawkins discusses social darwinism and eugenics, explaining how these are not versions of natural selection, and that 'Darwin has been wrongly tainted'. He then meets with evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker to discuss how morals can be compatible with natural selection. He goes on to explaining sexual selection, with peafowls as an example. To find out whether sexual selection plays a role for altruism and kindness among humans, he visits women who are looking for sperm donors, as well as a sperm bank manager. Dawkins also explains kin selection and selfish genes.

Triumph of Life: The Four Billion Year War

   2006    Nature
A compelling new vision of the epic forces that have shaped every aspect of existence on our planet. Life on this planet has fought a ceaseless battle for survival since it first appeared some four billion years ago. Yet out of this eternal conflict has emerged the overwhelming richness and diversity we see around us. Exploring this paradox, Triumph of Life begins with a penetrating look at the process of evolution and the driving force behind it - genes.
Series: Triumph of Life
Empire of the Tsars
Empire of the Tsars

   2017    History
Planet Earth II
Planet Earth II

   2016    Nature
Myths and Heroes
Myths and Heroes

   2005    History
Through the Wormhole
Through the Wormhole

   2011    Science
The Cell
The Cell

   2009    Science
The Story of China
The Story of China

   2016    History