Awesome animation – Speciation and the tree of life

The BBC, the Wellcome Trust and Open University have released a video as part of the 150 year celebrations commemorating the publication of “On the Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin. In this video they explain one of the central ideas of Darwinian Evolution; the tree of life.

It is a simplified view of the tree but it still works very well. If they had included everything that we know about the tree of life it would run for many hours and would be too complicated to follow, so this introduction to the idea is detailed enough to get the concept across and is easy enough to use as an educational resource for children.


(Thanks to Coops at the Derren Brown Blog.)

~ by James on 3 February 2009.

5 Responses to “Awesome animation – Speciation and the tree of life”

  1. The tree of life concept is under some serious pressure due to horizontal gene transfer:

  2. Yeah, perhaps “web of life” might be more appropriate. Of course the finer details of the mechanisms behind evolution were completely inaccessible in Darwin’s day, so there are a few concepts (like this one) from Darwinian evolution which have been refined or even replaced in the modern synthesis. Still, I don’t want to take credit away from the man for taking that first ground-breaking step – and I’m sure that wasn’t your intent either.

    I hope that other readers also find the more detailed modern explanation fascinating (moving beyond the simplified “lies to children” that popular culture accepts as the definition of evolution). I have recently started to do so (well, for about one or two years now).

    Before any reader says that I’m defending “the lie” of evolution, let me explain; “lies to children” refers to the way that parents will often give simple answers to questions that their children ask rather than going into detail that could take a long time. The simple answer is technically incorrect but that means that the child has the wrong understanding – not all of mankind.

  3. […] watched a video that sped evolution up after discussing the timeline. Here it […]

  4. boring

  5. it was the most boring est thing ever

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: