How'd you like the Evolution program?

PBS in Chicago is running an 8-hour show on Evolution, in 2-hour installments 4 consecutive nights yesterday through Thurs. Wondered if any of you caught it, and what you thought.

I caught the last half of last night’s offering (taped the rest) and was underwhelmed. Moved pretty darn slowly. I hate when they run shows like this on consecutive nights, forcing me to fill up a bunch of tapes I’ll probably never watch. And for the darn thing to have so much filler showed that it could have been done in much less time.

I sure was not expecting a Masterpiece Theater presentation of Darwin’s life. Tho moderately entertaining, I was expecting more science. What science there was seemed pretty basic to me, a a non-scientist with some interest in natural history. And they didn’t say anythng that was new to someone who reads Discover magazine and has read a book or two by someone like Gould.

I wonder who the target audience is supposed to be? I thought it might be more appropriate for my kids aged 10-13. Perhaps I was expecting too much.

That said, I guess each evening’s shows may be quite different. Anyone got any info on what to expect over the coming nights?

I found it mildly interesting. It was nice to see and hear Stephen J. Gould.
Interesting that HIV is used to demonstrate evolution. Obvously the reason homosexuality and evolution are condemned by certain religious groups.

Aw, man! That was on already? I missed it. Bugger. Well, it’s PBS, so it’ll be on again roughly 700 more times this month…

Did they run another Tuesday night? They had a evolution vs. creationism thing here, too.

Hour #3 and 4 aired tonight. Better than the first two installments, I thought. More to come tomorrow night.

What a shame my cousin isn’t watching this. He’s a fundamentalist Christian, and just saying the word “evolution” within twenty paces of him is enough to get him ranting about the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and the probabilities of a passenger jet assembling itself in a whirlwind.

I’m diggin’ on it. I’ve held evolution as the best explanation for life on Earth for a while but I’ve been pretty far from understanding it completely. This series helps a lot. I missed a lot of the first two episodes because the Tzeroling insisted on watching UPN instead (it’s “her TV” since her dad gave it to her. sigh) but I caught the whole of Tuesday. The extinction episode was a good one. Very thought-provoking.

Can’t wait for the reproduction episode tonight, though!

I thought it was pretty good for someone like me, who has a rudimentary understanding of evolution but could use some more details filled in. The segment on AIDS reproduction was especially interesting, in my opinion.

The Extinction show wasn’t as interesting as the rest, at least of the first three episodes, which are the ones I’ve seen. It meandered on about those guys with the stolen cameras a bit too long, I thought.

But overall, not too bad of a show so far.

I lost interest the first night when I realized they were spending more time on the political and social ramifications of the Theory than on the nuts & bolts of the Theory itself. Please tell me it got better.

It did. My personal favorite was the the episode (I forget exactly which one) that discusses how genetic changes occur, and the discovery of “master” genes. I’m sure I botched the terminology of that last term, but that’s as well as I could remember it.

If the discussion of the social ramifications turns you off, I’d avoid the last installment. It was about the creationism vs. evolution debate, and I thought it was outstanding. That Kevin Ham guy was a king hell riot.

I turned the last one on around 9 o’clock. And turned it off after 10 minutes or so when it showed no signs of leaving Wheaton College (3 miles west of my home.) Nothing new covered. Certainly no higher level of discourse than you find on these boards.

What a major disappointment (tho I admit, I only watched portions of the 1st and 4th shows).

Well, if you were a Fundie who also believes in evolution, the entire Wheaton segment was heartbreaking.

Here are these college kids, trying to get some “knowledge” and trying to sort out what’s what (I hated being 18 myself), and it’s all uphill against their parents. I especially grieved for the boy whose mom who chose to be filmed for the show during the cookout wearing an American flag blouse. They were all just so uncomfortable with the fact that, in their eyes, their son was going to Hell, and I wanted to sit them down and look deeply into their dim, uncomprehending eyes, and say, “No, he’s not.”

Except for Grandma–she rocked. Dad looked at her desperately at one point and said, “How do you feel about all this, Ma?” and she just smiled from the edifice of her 70-odd years and said gently, “Nick’s a smart boy, he’ll puzzle it out”, and she went on eating.

Now, her, I want in my family.

Damn! I missed that bit. It would have redeemed the whole episode for me. I swear, I think I almost set an endurance record for longest continuous bird-flipping at the TV with that particular show.

The rest of the series was actually pretty edifying, as far as I’m concerned. I may check it out if it ever hits the local library. As a matter of fact I should probably do the same thing for Ken Burns’ Civil War series, which I am ashamed to admit I’ve never seen.