This two-hour scripted drama tells the remarkable story behind the unveiling of the most influential scientific theory of all time, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.
Resources for Organizers
- On Darwin
- On Evolution
- Discussion Topics
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?
Science is “exhibit A” in a landmark trial on the teaching of evolution.
Learn about Darwin’s Life, from his Birthplace and Childhood, College Years, Voyage of the Beagle, London, to Down House.
In 1842 Charles Darwin penned his first sketch of what became On the Origin of Species.
Ten years ago, the MIT faculty made a bold decision to support global education by openly sharing their intellectual resources at no charge to anyone anywhere in the world. Over these ten years, OCW content has reached 100 million individuals and MIT has helped to spark an open education revolution that now includes hundreds of universities and organizations sharing courseware, text books and other digital learning resources.
The lecture presents an overview of evolutionary biology and its two major components, microevolution and macroevolution. The idea of evolution goes back before Darwin, although Darwin thought of natural selection. Evolution is driven by natural selection, the correlation between organism traits and reproductive success, as well as random drift. The history of life goes back approximately 3.7 billion years to a common ancestor, and is marked with key events that affect all life.
Genetic transmission is the mechanism that drives evolution. DNA encodes all the information necessary to make an organism. Every organism
Adaptive Evolution is driven by natural selection. Natural selection is not “survival of the fittest,” but rather “reproduction of the fittest.” Evolution can occur at many different speeds based on the strength of the selection driving it. These types of selection can result in directional, stabilizing, and disruptive outcomes. They can be driven by frequency-dependent selection and sexual selection, in addition to more standard types of selection.
Neutral evolution occurs when genes do not experience natural selection because they have no effect on reproductive success. Neutrality arises when mutations in an organism