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This programme is presented by Dr. Jonathon Hodge of the University of Pittsburgh. In it he traces the development of Charles Darwin's thoughts on evolution which culminated in the book "The O...rigin of Species by means of Natural Selection". Darwin was very much influenced by Sir Charles Lyell the geologist and before Darwin embarked on his famous voyage as naturalist of the "Beagle" Lyell's first volume of his "Principles of Geology" had been published. Dr. Hodge talks about Lyell's view of the world and how this view opened up the crucial question regarding the origin of plant and animal species. Darwin's voyage on the Beagle lasted five yaars from 1831 to 1836 and during this time he collected specimens and made observations wherever the ship stopped and particularly in South America and the Galapogos islands. Dr. Hodge discusses Darwin's methods of working and refers to his original notebooks and the entries in them which pointed the way to his final theories. Luckily Darwin wrote everything down and much of this crucial early speculation took place in Darwin's cramped quarters on the ship. For the programme a replica, as accurate as possible, of his cabin with all its contents, has been built. Dr. Hodge highlights Darwin's reflections and observations on the Galapogos finches, mocking birds and giant tortoises; his thoughts on sexual and asexual reproduction and the adaptation and survival of species. These observations and reflections of Darwin, coupled with the influence of Lyell, Malthus and finally Wallace led to the publication of "The Origin of Species" in 1859; a book which rocked Victorian society then and has been a centre of scientific philosophy ever since.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: AMST283, Science and belief: from Copernicus to Darwin
Item code: AMST283; 10
First transmission date: 11-09-1974
Published: 1974
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:25
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Producer: Jim Stevenson
Contributor: Jonathan Hodge
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Charles Darwin; Charles Lyell; Evolution; Galapagos Islands; Natural selection; Origin of species
Footage description: Seated in the studio, Jonathan Hodge introduces the programme by describing Charles Lyell's theory of the development of species being determined solely by environmental conditions. He demonstrates with a globe, and also shows Darwin's 'Origin of Species', Lyell's 'Principles of geology' and a photo of Darwin's copy of the latter. Hodge outlines the five year voyage Darwin spent as ship's naturalist on board HMS Beagle. Map of the world shows the route of the voyage. Elevation of the ship. Shots of sea from boat. A reconstruction of Darwin's cabin on board the 'Beagle', complete with all his possessions, is shown and Hodge enters and describes it. Stills show Darwin's notebooks, maintained throughout the voyage. Hodge points out they were mostly written in the cramped quarters of the cabin. Hodge describes how Darwin's observations led him to reject Lyell's theories and evolve his own 'apple-tree' analogy for new species. Hodge shows some of Darwin's notes on this, and also a huge fossil bone. Map of Australia The creation of divergent species through isolation was confirmed by Darwin's findings in the Galapagos Islands. Film of the islands of dried finch skins showing the differing beak adaptations found there, and of the differing giant tortoises found on the different islands. Shots of three varieties of mocking bird. Map of the Galapagos. The second major idea, that sexual and asexual reproduction have different functions, is summarised by Hodge speaking to the camera. He explains how these two themes led to Darwin's theory of natural selection and to publication of 'The Origin of Species'.
Master spool number: 6HT/71423
Production number: 00525_3119
Videofinder number: 3357
Available to public: no