Evolution on PBS
September 26, 2001 5:02 AM   Subscribe

Evolution on PBS - this is going to upset those who think the earth is only 6000 years old
posted by scotty (21 comments total)
I see they had to go and spoil it by making the final programme about God.
posted by Summer at 5:08 AM on September 26, 2001

What is this, TV Guide? No offense, but is there anything particularly interesting, anything Metafilter-worthy about a PBS show on evolution?
posted by gd779 at 5:21 AM on September 26, 2001

PBS has had evolution shows for at least 25 years. Nothing ground-breaking. Besides, almost everything will upset the literal-biblical-errorists. They have long "known" that PBS is helping to erode the moral foundation of the USA. (Julia Childs was a dead give-away).
posted by yesster at 6:46 AM on September 26, 2001

Well, I watched some of the previews on the website, and I think one thing that might make this a bit different is that it shows how Darwin's fear of persecution by the church kept him silent for many years. This program seems to be specifically showing how the church worked to keep scientific knowledge down.
Also, I don't have a TV, so I wouldn't have known about this otherwise. I don't know about a front page post, though. Maybe this is another argument for a second page/watercooler.
posted by nprigoda at 6:54 AM on September 26, 2001

Yea. All we need is yet another creation vs. evolution discussion.
posted by internal at 7:12 AM on September 26, 2001

In the words of the Mighty MC Stephen Hawking, fuck the creationists.
posted by Modem Ovary at 7:18 AM on September 26, 2001

biblical-errorists ... nice catch phrase, what are the chances mainstream media will latch onto like they have "muslim terrorist"?
posted by danOstuporStar at 7:36 AM on September 26, 2001

I can't wait for Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to weigh in on this one again. 0-2, c'mon. I've got money on this game.
posted by eljuanbobo at 7:38 AM on September 26, 2001

Here in Idaho the creationists won't get too upset, because our public television station is broadcasting a couple of creationist documentaries right after the "evolutionist" ones. More about the whole sorry story here.
posted by gamera at 7:54 AM on September 26, 2001

While perusing the NYT this morning, I noticed they were running an ad for this site. It's has an episode-by-episode viewers guide for the critical consumer that concludes: This is not education. [...] this is propaganda.

As much as I would like to read the whole thing as light amusement, I don't think I will. It seems they quote the entire documentary, following each sentence with "but is it really true?". Hope they show the series here in Europe, though.
posted by thijsk at 7:54 AM on September 26, 2001

At least one writer who has watched all the episodes sees Evolution not as an exacerbation of the conflict of scientific atheism/agnosticism and religious fundamentalism, but as the milquetoasts' attempt at their reconciliation.
posted by sj at 9:06 AM on September 26, 2001

i can walk on water too you know.
posted by Satapher at 9:48 AM on September 26, 2001

i can walk on water too you know.
posted by Satapher at 9:48 AM on September 26, 2001

Ah, even deities are not immune to double posting, though.. :)
posted by zempf at 9:59 AM on September 26, 2001

The creationist debate aside, these are beautifully produced and wonderfully informative programs (though I've only seen the first one as yet). Half dramatic recreation and half traditional documentary, they make for a compelling hour of television.

And they're made for HDTV. Makes me want to watch them over at the ritzy video store down the street.
posted by aladfar at 10:37 AM on September 26, 2001

Is anyone who insists the earth is 6000 years old taken seriously?

I mean really... I guess dinosaurs and neanderthal man are just figments of our imagination. All those fossils and bones and ancient tools and "scientific" proofs sure had me fooled...

Oh, and gd779, you're right. This isn't TV Guide. But it's also not BushFilter or JihadFilter or SalonFilter.

It's MetaFilter. If you're really that tight about cutting down the noise, start at a personal level.
posted by tomorama at 10:47 AM on September 26, 2001

saw the first two -- great programs. I'm not normally a huge fan of biology pix, but are fairly decent. maybe the only quibble is that they tend to simplify some of the more interesting concepts. 'course, in a way that's a good thing, because it actually interests me in the subject matter. Like maybe someone here could explain how they "isolated" a gene in the fruitflies that actually allowed them to see a dark band on the embryo?
posted by fishfucker at 10:50 AM on September 26, 2001

To be unconvinced about evolution does not mean I believe creationist theory either.PBS is,afterall,just a television network.I found http://www.vision.net.au/~apaterson/science/darwin_critique1.htm to be as thought provoking as PBS.
posted by Mack Twain at 11:36 AM on September 26, 2001

Darwin's "Origin of Species" made people think not just parrot back theory they had been taught. To me any thing that gets you to think is good for developing your own character and life philosophy. Whether you are evolutionist, creationist or fall somewhere in between it is always good to question.
posted by bjgeiger at 12:15 PM on September 26, 2001

I'm looking forward to the upcoming Discovery Channel special on the evolution of PBS.
posted by martk at 1:30 PM on September 26, 2001

The documentary does indeed focus much on reconciliation with creationists. There seems to be (at least tacit) contempt of Christianity in this discussion from some, so I thought these following quotes might be appropriate for some additional understanding of how Christians (Muslims too?) might reconcile religion and evolution. For some excellent essays on this subject... read "Religion and Science" and "Dogma and the Universe" by C.S. Lewis.

"... science studies Nature. And the question is whether anything besides Nature exists--anything "outside". How could you find that out by studying simply Nature?"

"It was never possible to oppose seriously the dogma of the Creation except by maintaining that the world has existed from all eternity in more or less its present state."

"... [entropy] is the real cosmic wave, and evolution only a momentary tellurian ripple within it."

and then one I can't find...

[Science can try understand the links of a chain, but can't explain the existence of the chain itself.] (metaphor)


posted by aaronshaf at 3:28 PM on September 26, 2001

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