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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Evolution > Science > Biology > Politics > British TV > Mini-Series > Charles Darwin & The Tree Of Life: Hosted by David Attenborough (BBC DVD)

Charles Darwin & The Tree Of Life: Hosted by David Attenborough (BBC DVD)

Picture: B
-     Sound: B-     Extras: B+     Documentary: A

Advocates of science, rational thinking, and progress could not hope for a better champion of their position than David Attenborough.
 As both writer and narrator, Attenborough uses Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life to eloquently hammer home the importance of the theory of evolution, and its powerful affect on many branches of modern science.  Along the way he intersperses wonderful clips of himself as a much younger man from the 1979 Life on Earth television series to further illustrate his points.

This one hour documentary celebrates the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, and the 150th anniversary of his book, On the Origin of Species.
 It was that little book that set the scientific community of its time on its collective ear, and ushered in a new flood of rational thought, and a rejection of the sort of magical thinking that would have humans believe that they were placed at the center of the universe by some benevolent creator.  Attenborough's almost musical narration, both current and from 1979, coupled with the lush photography of the documentary's many gorgeous locales makes for compelling viewing from start to finish.

The disc also includes Darwin's Struggle: The Evolution of the Origin of Species as extra content. This wonderful second documentary explores Darwin's sometimes difficult life and the winding road he took to get On the Origin of Species into print. This documentary could stand on its own, so including it with Tree of Life makes the whole package doubly desirable. And in the end Attenborough once again steps to the forefront as one of science and rational thought's most powerful advocates. This is evidenced most convincingly by his suggestion toward the end of Tree of Life that the science behind evolution also underpins most other scientific disciplines. This can be seen most keenly in the field of medicine.
 The ideas behind evolution also hold when applied to the changes bacteria and some diseases go through in their life cycles.  To reject evolution, one must also turn his back on many of the modern medical advances of the last five decades.

Evolution will stand or fall on its scientific merits, and every day more evidence is uncovered to buoy its legitimacy.
 Attenborough and the Tree of Life eloquently further evolution's cause in a manner both pleasing and powerful.



For more on Darwin, try these links:

Genius Of Charles Darwin (Athena DVD Set)


Evolution (WGBH DVD)



   Scott Pyle


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