The Genius of Charles Darwin: The Uncut Interviews

The Genius of Charles Darwin: The Uncut InterviewsRichard Dawkins’ 2008 hit television series The Genius of Charles Darwin explored Darwin’s theory of natural selection and some common misconceptions associated with it today.

The interviewees filmed for this documentary included biologists, philosophers, clergyman, business analysts, teachers, Evolutionary Psychologists and more.

This massive collection brings you over 18 hours of these fascinating uncut interviews and discussions, but here for your viewing pleasure I have 5 hours of it.

Interviews with: Steven Pinker, Peter Singer, Daniel Dennett, Craig Venter, Wendy Wright and George Coyne.

Watch the full documentary now (playlist - 5 hours)

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Ratings: 9.00/10 from 9 users.
  • Miau

    Hmm, 'blocked in my country'.
    I found it on youtube though. :)

  • migrantworker

    @Vlatko
    Thank you so much. This is my favorite web site EVER.

  • Whitt23

    Another Great Watch!!!

  • Mickey

    Probably the most sensible thing I have seen lately considering what is going on in the Middle East at the moment. A breath of fresh air for the human race.

  • Brian

    LOL the argument with Wendy Wright is priceless. I had to quit a summer job cus I worked with a guy like this...the appeal to irrationality is amazing. God loves me so I dont have to think at all, lol.

  • L.Walker

    Wendy Wright, thanks for the laugh.

    as if religion treats all people with respect. LOOOL.
    whurs teh ev'dence!

  • Waldo

    Loved it!! Until I got to Wendy thinks she must be Wright. The core of her case is basically that if we believe in evolution we will adopt the Darwinian philosophy as a social structure, and that is dangerous and leads to a cold uncaring world. This assumes something that is absolutely false, it does not follow that if we accept evolution as the process that gave us this wonderful biological diversity that we will also adopt its philosophy as a social structure at all. After all we have discovered thousands of natural processes that have helped create the world, and we did not adopt everyone of them as a guide to creating a better society. Man is extremely capable of looking at natural processes and deciding which ones we should imitate and which ones would lead us to an undesirable outcome.

    Another aspect of her tenet is that their is no evidence for macro evolution, yet she admits there is evidence for micro evolution. The truth of the matter is that science doesn't make a distinction between the two in the way she does. Science realizes, and there exists tons of evidence to show, that micro evolution leads directly to macro evolution. I mean the evidence is so numerous and overwhelming that its denial makes one seem so out of touch and stubborn in their own beliefs that they lose all credibility from that point forward, in my opinion.

    She asks over and over why is so important to you, meaning Dawson I presume, that others think the way you do. This is an insulting statement in and of itself. It suggest that truth and factual evidence has no place in the arguement and that evolutionist only want the submissive recognition of the masses that they were right- which is absolutely false and insulting. Truth is truth, no matter what connotations it brings along with it. We can't filter our understanding of the truth to fit in with any belief, no matter how altruistic or beneficial to man that belief may be. As humans we have great impact on the natural world, it is crucial that we understand it as it really is and not as we want it to be. Otherwise the destruction of the natural world is unavoidable.

    Another thing she continuously states is that if macro evolution were true that we should have an over abundance of evidence to support it. First of all we do have a great deal of evidence to support evolution. That said fossils do not form every time an animal dies, they are very rare occurrences. The vast majority of species that have lived on this earth left absolutely no evidence of any kind behind, this should not shock any one familiar with how fossils form. Besides, we decided a long time ago, in the age of Descartes and Bacon, what kind and what amount of evidence science requires to say something is true or that something happened. Evolution has met those requirements time and time again. The anti evolutionary movement seeks to change those requirements, to make them ever more stringent and rigid, when considering anything that speaks against their belief system. No matter what evidence is produced they will always require more, because in reality they are determined from the beginning that they will never believe in evolution no matter what is said or discovered. But if they state that fact out right they look biased or closed minded, and they don't want to look that way, so they simply redefine the rules of science continuously to make evolution look as if it isn't supported by enough evidence. Its an obviouse technique that takes advantage of the lack of scientific education of the masses, most of which have no idea how science truly works.

    Now I realize that as an atheist most will say that I disagree with her because she believes in god, not so. Dawson's interview with Father George Coyne proves the two beliefs are not exclusive in any sense, that is one can easily believe in god and still believe in evolution. I disagree with Wright's stance because it is so obviously biased and refuses to take into account the evidence as we know it. I disagree with her stance because it has a predetermined agenda, and therfore can never be said to be objective or scienitific. I disagree with her stance because it doesn't come from a place of scientific curiosity or a desire to find the truth no matter how offending or inconvenient, but rather springs forth from the feeling of being persecuted and having ones belief system challenged. I disagree with her stance because it states that we must lie to ourselves inorder to have a productive or caring society. I disagree with her stance because it lies about its own aim by implying that she is not necessarily asserting that the judeao-christian god is the creator that the intelligent design community supports. I disagree with her stance because it asserts that religiouse belief should be taught in a scientific class room. Lets face it they do not want us to just point out the evidence that calls evolution into question, they want us to say that evidence inturn supports an "intelligent designer", which is not the case at all.

    Yes, there is some evidence that does not fit into the grand scheme of evolution, but it doesn't point to an intelligent designer. It only suggest one of two things, that we as of yet do not fully understand the process of evolution or, and this is only very slightly suggested, that there may be some other natural mechanism that explains biological diversity. As of yet there is not one shred of positive evidence for intelligent design, not fitting into the theory of evolution does not mean it automatically fits into the theory of intelligent design.

    After hearing her main reasoning of why believing in evolution is not good for society, I clearly see why the religious right wants to rewrite history. They want to present a world that is more in line with their way of thinking, not the world that actually is reality. While this desire may come from a good place, that is they want to present this picture because they think it will lead to a better society and more caring individuals, it is still dishonest and delusionary. Besides, as a society by now we should realize that white washing the facts and presenting a more moral world fails to recognize the issues mankind faces, and that failing to recognize those issues means they will surface time and time again. We can not hope to eradicate war, genocide, greed, etc. if we fail to admit they are real problems that have really taken place and must be studied in a factual manner if we ever hope to live in world devoid of them.

    Sorry for the long post, but this is an issue I am very passionate about. I live in the southeastern US, called the bible belt, and therefore see everyday the damage this kind of ignorance brings to society. To claim that racism and intolerance are supported by scientific reasoning or the belief in evolution to me seems ridiculous. The southeast is the most religious and yet most racist and intolerant society in the US. Science long ago espoused the value of altruism, in fact it provides a scientific bases for saying altruism amongst individuals premotes our survival and progress.

  • driftaway

    Thank you Vlatko!
    Over the past few months this site has become my absolute favorite.
    @Waldo, Keep the comments coming! You never cease to amaze me with your well written and astute thoughts.

  • Cool E Beans

    As we understand genetics more and more I think the most intelligent statement made in recent times is 'You are what you eat'. But beyond that is that changes in what you are and become is exclusively caused by what you eat and not in what is trying to eat you.

    More specifically, how your father was feeling, whether ill or in good health, when the sperm that was to become you was generated and exactly what he had been eating at that time. Add to that how your mothers mother was feeling and what she was eating when your mother, having been concieved, was developing the egg that was to become you. To add more, how your mother was feeling and eating during her pregnancy with you.

    Consider a finch, as Darwin found, on an island which differed from its orriginating island faced with eating a nut with a much harder shell than it was accustomed. In order to survive it must have been able to eat that nut even with difficulty. Future generations of that finch 'evolved' harder, stronger beaks to be able to more easily crack the nuts and eat.

    Now, consider the nut itself. The nut contains all of the genetic information, when planted, to grow into a tree which will produce more nuts with the same hard shell as it had. The finch eats this genetic information by eating the nut while producing fertilized eggs. The next generation should show no significant changes but the 'seed' of change has been deposited into the unfertilized eggs of the new female chicks. With this new genetic information along with the male adding that information to his sperm, could cause the second generation of finches to have a stronger beak similar to the harder shell of the nut as described in the nuts' DNA.

    All finches exist on an evolutionary ladder but this ladder is laying on its side and the new, hard beaked finch, is just the newest rung of their ladder.

    As nearly all dogs came from wolves, they haven't done this on their own. Maintaining a simple unchanging diet, natural selection in wolves keeps them as wolves with an estimated 1% non-agressive. It was man who took this 1%, interbread with other non-agressive wolves, probably changing their diets also, and eventually domesticated the first dog. From there, selective breeding gives us the variety we have today but it was our intervention which 'created' the dog from the wolf (and one breed from fox if I am not mistaken).

    This intervention effectively creates a new ladder, or branch, attributed to dog which didn't exist before.

    So, natural adaptation occurs with changes in diet by the eater from the eaten while leaps of 'evolution' occur by the intervention of outside forces.

    Look what Monsanto is doing to our food supply and ask yourself in fifty years, if Monsanto dissapeared from our history, could you explain how a GMO tomato 'evolved' from a previously natural tomato.

  • http://! ha pakal

    wow, listening to Wendy talk is scary!! She demands evidence (of which there are gargantuan amounts).. and Dawkins gives her some.. and she says' I dont see it, show me.! 'There are none so blind as those that will not see.' Hey Wendy, every single living animal that has ever lived is an intermediate form between what came before and what will come afterward.. ALL OF US!! Even you. And there are so many direct examples of fossils having intermediate traits (many living animals do as well) one hardly knows where to begin.

    For one of the most obvious and irrefutable, take a look at Archeopteryx. It has the teeth of a lizard with the wings and feathers of a bird. Look the list (as in rock solid factual p;roof) of early hominids.

    People like Wendy are just offensive because they go around in circles and say nothing. "Show me the evidence" she repeats again!! regardless of the facts that there is a massively overwhelming amount of proof for micro and macro evolution.

    Evolution is called a "theory" because that is the proper scientific nomenclature for a body of knowledge developed to explain observable facts or events.
    So we have cell theory, gravitational theory, atomic theory etc

    Is Wendy going to ignorantly continue her same line of (lack of) reasoning?? and blurt out: "Show me the atoms. What atoms??? I cant see them so they dont exist" (But god she can believe in).heheh poor sod.

    I guess its good for Dawkins to show us this ignorant herd mentality that seems to be so prevalent among lesser educated religious people. No one could possibly do more to damage her credibility than she does to herself. Its clear she knows absolutely nothing about evolution! Controversy?? What controversy? There is no controversy.

  • Waldo

    @ Cool E Beans

    Cool idea, but it just that, an idea nothing more. You would have to prove by what biological process the ingestion of DNA could possibly influence the DNA of developing sperm and egg. I would say it doesn't. The digestive system would destroy any DNA you ingested. Your body is made to extract nutrients from food, not add its DNA to yours or add its DNA to your egg or sperm, which carries half of your own genetic makeup via a process called meiosis. If our gamete took on DNA from the food we ate our young would be sprouting chicken beaks and pig snouts, after all I for one eat tons of both.

    If you study reproductive science you know that each sperm or egg gets one half of the DNA of the person carrying it. These halves they get are almost perfect copies of the DNA of the parents, with slight variations called mutations sometimes occurring. The cause for these mutations is not clear, some are caused by radiation damage to DNA befor the process of meiosis but others occur randomly with no direct tie to nutrition or anything else we can discover so far. The only thing that would then influence the newly formed zygote and resulting fetus would be the health of the mother carrying the off spring, because her biological systems are directly connected to the developing fetus via the umbilical cord.

    I applaud your creativity and appeal for good nutritional habits, but it just doesn’t work the way you are explaining. This process has been physically observed by those studying genetics, it’s just not up for question. Now you could say that eating healthy foods assists the body with all biological processes, including the development of gametes via meiosis. It is also very important for mothers carrying off spring to eat correctly as the off spring she is carrying gets all its nourishment from what she takes in. You could also say that while predation affects natural selection so does availability of nourishment, i.e. adaptations allowing for the animal to consume more readily available foods or more nutritional foods lead to that animal reproducing more and passing on its genes. But this is no change to the current theory as it already takes that into account. Don’t be offended, people have been trying to debunk natural selection as defined for many many years, and no one has managed it yet. At least you are thinking critically.

  • http://! ha pakal

    Talking to wendy is like arguing with an automatin who simple ignores the issue that is on the table and responds with a completely unrelated and irrelevant answer!
    lol!! Dawkins tells her, Go to a museum, pick a branch on the Tree of Life, and just look at the facts. And she giggles nervously and says' look at the communities that believers in a loving god create vs those in which atheism rules.'

    She doesnt even know how to have a proper dialogue. Its i not hostility it's frustration bc its a coput to simple ignore the facts. She concedes gravity exists, so why not macro evolution? Both theories have overwhelming evidence supporting their claims. Perhaps none has been more tested and scrutinized than evolution. That is what makes it so certain and why it is literally fundamental to so many fields of study no one could list them all. It is the fabric that modern biological science and it behooves me to imagine how anyone could so blatantly and blindly argue it does not even exist!

    We can never show the process of evolution in a museum display a she so foolishly demands, but through snapshots. Evolution occurs gradually over log periods of time and we animals live comparatively short lives. Which is why people like Wendy will never be satisfied. She ignores Dawkins like she ignores the mountain of evidence proving evolution. (They are not just drawings Wendy but diagrams detailing facts and fossil finds READ THEM! -or remain ignorant of the fact of evolution

    'We are entitled to our own opinion, we are not entitled to our own facts.'
    --Patrick Moynihan

  • Bo

    Wow she is good! Made me very frustrated!

  • DJ

    The interview with Wendy Wright shows just how frustrating it can be to hold an intelligent and meaningful conversation with a person of “faith” about matters such as those presented by Dawkins. The normal rules of logic and reason are futile when debating with people like this woman. I personally found that section almost too hard to finish watching and can only commend Richard Dawkins for his self control! Her condescending smile while avoiding valid responses to Dawkins statements was almost too much to bear.

  • Phil

    The key word in Wendy's argument is "believe". She and those who subscribe to her idea of creation think that all you need to do is to "believe" something and that makes it a viable explanation of a process in the natural world.
    ....on the other hand, if you're a scientist, then she believes you need proof. Dr. Dawkins is arguing with someone who will never progress beyond her "beliefs". He should have asked her for proof of god! "Where's the proof?" Produce god.

  • Phil

    She keeps on bringing up societies that were "Darwinian" and citing Communist governments. Although communist governments are predominantly anti-religion, they are in no way Darwinian. The very concepts of socialism and communism are diametrically opposed to Darwinian principles. If communists and socialists were strict evolutionists, then only the most well adapted people or those deemed most fit would be supported by society. The truth is that these social systems were invented to "even the playing field" and distribute the resources of society equitably among the population. The fact that the implementation of the concept of communism was/is a failure is irrelevant.

    Hitler was a Catholic, so he doesn't count....and his government wasn't socialist (no matter what they called it) it was Fascist.

    I'm surprised that Dawkins doesn't make the case that more war and murder is committed in the name of god than for any other reason. How has belief in a maker made this a better world? When has it made "better societies"? Religion has done more to screw up the world than any other concept...today thousands die every day as a result of their religious beliefs. They're not being killed by atheists...they're murdering each other!

  • jack1952

    Ms. Wright kept saying "Show me the evidence." I wish Dawkins had taken her by the hand and took her to a museum and showed her; even if he had to take her to Nairobi. Another frustrating facet of her argument is she cannot understand that micro evolution is proof of macro evolution. You can't have one without the other.

    In the end the discussion between Dawkins and Wright gave me a headache. After 15 minutes of the dialog going around in circles I had to advance to another discussion.

  • jack1952

    I was once told, quite earnestly, that fossils were placed on earth by Satan to lead Christians astray. I was only 12 years old at the time and the person telling me this was an adult. I came to the conclusion that Satan must really want me because the farm that I grew up on seemed to be filled with fossils, thousands of them. I realized at that moment that I was a very important individual, at least to Satan. God should have removed all these fossils if he wanted to save my soul.

  • polar jo McKay

    This is so great! I just finished watching the interview with Biologist J.Craig Venter ... Wow. I haven't felt this hopeful for ages. Two things. 1. within a few years having your own genome analyzed may be affordable (then health becomes prevention rather than reaction). 2. that 'real' work is being done searching out energy alternatives to oil. This is so wonderful. Now I am going to watch the last interviews, including the one that has ticked off a few who commented. A thought that keeps me optimistic is that all those who come to this doc to watch 'that' interview, will also watch the rest of the doc :) and I would like to say to those folks: while you have been caught up in fighting with science, because you are afraid that the evidence threatens your emotional need for a specific creator, many many of these brilliant scientists and their teams are in a race of mega proportions, trying to save and extend YOUR lives and keep the planet we all live on from becoming an inhospitable place. While I sympathize with people's fear, I hope you will pause long enough to have, and perhaps show, some RESPECT for what you (we) have already been given.

  • Gary V

    Is Wendy Wright related to Ted Hagard? Because they both have the same crazy eyes & insane grin. Are they cloning these lunatics now?

  • robertallen1

    Over_the_Edge and Epicurus
    Have finished Jerry Coyne's book. It was everything you said it is--and more. Thanks again for recommending it.
    Is there anything I can read on the stabilizing factor, e.g, what keeps giraffes' necks from growing too long. Does natural selection somehow take care of giraffes with overly long necks by curtailing the passing on what is clearly a deleterious gene?
    P.S. Hovering over the up arrow no longer reveals the names of those who clicked on it.

  • robertallen1

    And Epicurus
    Checked out the site and registered, but while I am interested in some of the subjects (unfortunately I could not find any math courses offered), I wish to learn in comfort and not go through the hassle of taking examinations.

    Forgot to tell you, I asked basically the same question of Dr. Coyne who wrote back to me explaining about stabilization which was not covered in his book. I am curious to find out how the mechanism works and what triggers it. Perhaps, as you mentioned, Epicurus can shed some light.

    Which watching a ridiculous and ignorant set of "refutations" of Dr. Coyne by Green Slugg (check him out), I was struck by what seemed to be the one weakness in the book: except in one or two instances, Dr. Coyne does not directly quote from creationists/little ID people or even refer to them by name, but rather generalizes, thus leading to accusations of strawman. I did bring this to Dr. Coyne's attention lest he should be planning a later attention. Your thoughts on this (or anything else) would be appreciated.

    That's several that I owe you--subtle way of telling you that the Turing biography is yours for the asking.