Darwinism – “The most Powerful Idea Ever to Occur to the Human Mind”

Jumping the gun somewhat on the inevitable deluge of TV programmes, documentaries and radio airtime that will be dedicated to Charles Darwin and natural selection next year (2009 marks the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth), Channel 4 starts a three-part series tonight.

Richard Dawkins, a controversial figure in scientific circles for his vocal support of atheism leads viewers through how Darwin came to his theories on evolution and natural selection, as well as looking at how evolution and creationism are taught in British schools.  The programmes have been scheduled to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species”, first published in 1858.

To read a short blog article marking the anniversary of the publication of the book “On the Origin of Species” The 150th Anniversary of the “Origin of Species”

“Evolution is fact, backed by undeniable evidence” Dawkins asserts as he follows the journey of the Beagle to the Galapagos Islands and charts the events of Darwin’s life that led him to his dramatic and world changing conclusions.

Quoting the statistic that four out of every ten people in Great Britain say that God created the world, Dawkins sets out to explain the life and works of Darwin.  It is acknowledged that as Darwin himself was growing up he would have been taught that the Earth was only 6,000 years old,  a concept that was beginning to be challenged by the works of the early Geologists such as Adam Sedgewick.

No doubt the programme will contrast the theory of evolution with creationism, here’s hoping that the documentary series lives up to its billing and that it provides an basis for informed debate.

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