Earth Story

Earth Story

1998, Science  -   158 Comments
Ratings: 7.79/10 from 43 users.

Earth StoryEarth Story unravels the secrets of our planet and brings it alive. The series took three years to make, cost 3 million and was filmed all over the world, from the craters of active volcanoes to the ocean floor.

Where the cameras could not go, in both time and space, the latest animation techniques take over.

Combining live-action footage with state-of-the-art computer graphics which enable us to travel back and forwards through time, this is a fantastic journey of scientific discovery and a comprehensive history of life - in all its forms - on the planet.

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158 Comments / User Reviews

  1. This is the BEST, more accurate and elegant documentary about the history of the Earth!

    Charming narrator and researchers throughout the series, very good animations, fantastic soundtrack and plenty of breathtaking landscapes from all around the world as they explore different sources of evidence that support the colossal, continuous force of a geologically living planet - the Plate Tectonics - and its consequences into shaping the life on Earth. And too the influence of living beings over the transformations of the planet.

    Essential to everyone who is interested in both Geology and Biology and also one of the touchstones that support Evolution Theory through which the variety of species came to be.

    1. Essential to everyone who is interested in both Geology and Biology
      and also one of the touchstones that support Evolution Theory through
      which the variety of species came to be.

    2. Douglas I agree completely, this is not only the best documentary ever made about the history of the earth, I would contend that this is possibly the best documentary ever made about anything. Before seeing this I couldn't have believed that a combination of geology and geography could be so utterly spellbinding, involving, and intellectually stimulating and presented so immaculately and informatively.

      This is simply utterly stunning, and is worth watching again and again and again, because it is so richly informative while seemingly proceeding at a comfortable pace. Yet the information is presented in a manner that is utterly digestible because it is presented so logically and carefully.

      This documentary is a masterpiece.

    3. Whilst I agree with you about Mr Manning generally, you have to remember that all theories about the past are subjective.

      I found his ignorance about religion demeaning and, was I a Muslim, I would have no qualms about some sort of reprisal.
      What did you make of the dismissal of the epochs mentioned in the first few minutes?

      Anyone that purported to know something about earth-sciences ought to know that the solar system runs on days called Right Ascension. In fact one "day" in the life of a galaxy is about 24 thousand years. What a day is in the life of the material universe is, I doubt many can imagine.

      To quote Mr Manning: "in the bible..." Moses was quite categorical about the steps in creation. Are these correct or not?

      Again "in the bible" the writers make a distinction between the material creation and that the other part of creation was already up and running by then.

      I think it is time to redeem this old list of human error. Fancy a job?


      I wanted to know how much time has been estimated for a galactic day and according to the first source I looked at it is 220 Million Years!

      "Our galaxy is rotating incredibly slowly, however. It takes the Sun 220 million years to complete a single orbit around the galaxy. In the 4.6 billion years that the Sun and planets have been here, they’ve only rotated around the center of the galaxy about 20 times."

    4. What are all these comments by religious nutters on here? Religion is bull****. It doesn't deserve any "respect" just for the sake of being called "religion". I can understand why people might want to continue practising certain traditions because it gives them a sense of comfort and a link to their own cultural heritage, but all the ridiculous fairy tale claims made by religions are just that - fairy tales. Moreover, religious people should not try to practise their "religions" in foreign countries because this is disrespectful to the native people. Thus, muslims should not practise the evil political cult of islam in western countries, because it just doesn't belong in western countries and is an insult to the native people. White people colonised the west and it's only a matter of time before they kick out all the foreigners who have invaded their lands at the invitation of idiotic politicians who did not represent the interests of their own people. Islam is an evil political force, which idolises a murdering paedophile. Without islam, the world would be civilised and sensible. The sooner the evil political cult of islam is ended, the better.

  2. What is the best documentary made on the history of the earth?

  3. certainly gives a new meaning to time,with the dating of the rocks, if true, human beings are only in the first seconds of life by comparison.

  4. Rabbinicle scholars have been asking that very question for thousands of years and not just about the creation itself. They have written thousands of volumes on the subject collectively called the Talmud. They have the added benefit of being able to read it in the original Hebrew, on all it's levels. I do not. However, I'm pretty sure that if you found the most studied rabbi on the planet and asked him he would answer with one of three things. Who can know the mind of God? To give us life so that we may learn that the journey is important, not the destination. Maybe He was lonesome.
    What is the use of God now? That seems to be an individual question. Perhaps so that there will be no atheists in foxholes. Maybe to help give us continuity and purpose. He could be there to keep the human ego from getting out of hand and to remind us of how small and lost we really are in the immensity of the universe. Read the Bible, honestly, you'll find many interesting stories in there that can be read on more than one level. My favorite is at the end of Exodus where Moses has an argument with God and Moses wins. Religion itself may not be for everyone, there are so many how can one choose? If you don't like kneeling and bowing and scraping, stay away from the Muslim and Catholic religions. If you don't want to go to a church, temple, synagogue, just have a quiet talk with Him. He's a great listener, the original therapist. And He might even surprise you. It's nice to have someone around who's always there. You really think Creation is finished? There's a reason it's called The Living Word. Short of any of this watch A Fiddler on the Roof. Wonderful keitel music.
    Now, the reason I started with a joke: Religious, Atheist, Creationist, Evolutionist, whatever, both sides of the aisle need to Lighten Up! God evolved each of us a brain, do as you will with your own but don't tell each other what to do with theirs. That's how unpleasantness begins.

  5. A number of experiments have found that decay rates of other modes of artificial and naturally-occurring radioisotopes are, to a high degree of precision, unaffected by external conditions such as temperature, pressure, the chemical environment, and electric, magnetic, or gravitational fields. Comparison of laboratory experiments over the last century, studies of the Oklo natural nuclear reactor (which exemplified the effects of thermal neutrons on nuclear decay), and astrophysical observations of the luminosity decays of distant supernovae (which occurred far away so the light has taken a great deal of time to reach us), for example, strongly indicate that decay rates have been constant (at least to within the limitations of small experimental errors) as a function of time as well.

    Recent results suggest the possibility that decay rates might have a weak dependence (0.5% or less) on environmental factors. It has been suggested that measurements of decay rates of silicon-32, manganese-54, and radium-226 exhibit small seasonal variations (of the order of 0.1%), proposed to be related to either solar flare activity or distance from the sun. However, such measurements are highly susceptible to systematic errors, and a subsequent paper has found no evidence for such correlations in six other isotopes, and sets upper limits on the size of any such effects.

  6. God and a scientist were having a discussion and the scientist was saying " you see with all our expanding knowledge we won't even need you in a few more generations why with all our work in DNA and cloning we will even be able to make people before very long."
    At this the good lord, who had been nearly napping, perked up and said, "Really? Let's have a good old fashioned man-making contest, whoever does the best, wins."
    The scientist rubbed his chin a moment and then said, "All right, just let me get back to my lab."
    "One thing," said God, "We're doing it the way I originally did it, with a lump of clay."
    "Challenge accepted," declared the scientist and bent over to scoop up a handful of earth.
    "Uh, uh, uh," God wagged a finger at him, "Get your own dirt."

    The longer I live and study the smaller the contradiction between religion and science. The farther back the timeline is pushed, the greater the glory of God. The more we understand quantum physics the more the mystery of creation. The Bible tells us what God did, it's not so clear on the details of how. Science tells us how he may have done it, it's not so clear on why.

    1. You say:

      "The Bible tells us what God did, it's not so clear on the details of how. Science tells us how he may have done it, it's not so clear on why."

      I assmume that the "what" of what God did is "create everything", yes?

      Then what IS the why?

      And if that's the mystery... then what use is God now? I mean, he already created everything and can't explain how or why. If the only function he serves now is to be blindly worshiped, then how is that any better then the presumably mindless idolatry of polytheism he originally replaced?

    2. i believe it was for his amusement at our confusion on the matter. thats why he said dont eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. it will only confuse you.

    3. Oh dear.... -.-

    4. There is no 'why' as you intend, only 'how'. To ask 'why' is to ask to the wrong question.

    5. The longer I live and study, the smaller the place of God has become. My cosmology has gone from hypothesizing on a monotheistic deity, to polytheistic, then to pantheistic (god being reality itself).

      This pantheism then fizzled out to nothing because then there would be no purpose in differentiating between "creator" and "created".

      The universe, in all its beautiful expansiveness, is not big enough for any gods.

      The joke misses a key point: God has never engaged in such a conversation because, unlike the dirt and the scientist, even the remote philosophical basis of god has never manifested itself into substance in any falsifiable way.

      Atheists and theists would argue that it is better this way. That's the real joke.

    6. Funny story. Too bad God didnt invent himself to talk. You mind as well talk about Santa Clause and reindeers.

    7. guys... i can't
      believe you claim to be so open-minded while you don't want to read the bible
      just from curiosity.... just once!

      Let me share some key points. God created everything we see [genesis 1:1]. Even
      more. Now, the first way to learn his ways is by examining nature [romans
      1:20-23]. The details are so many, you will need millions of years maybe to get
      to the middle! Will you have all this time? that was one part of god purpose.
      still is. people live forever [ecclesiastes 3:11]. why do we die then and even
      more, suffer until we die [genesis 2:15-17][genesis 3:1-7]? So, will that
      purpose be fulfilled [revelation 21:4,5]? Ok. After this brief info, the WHY
      remains. hmmm. we can find many clues though, through bible study starting from
      genesis 1:26. In our image??? that means God has qualities like ours! Yes
      indeed. And the basic from them all is referred in 1John 4:8.

      I don't
      know about you, but i see god talking A LOT through the bible he gave to
      people. He talks? And then, why we (or most of us) can't understand anything? [James
      4:6]. now, there is another question... if he is so almighty, why he chose to
      speak with this old fashioned way? (i mean a bible? really?). the answer is
      simple. if u are a coder, u already know, that it is difficult for us to
      understand the machine language. we are more comfortable to read for ex a .c
      file than an .o in c. the same is with god and bible. not only, it is more easy
      to understand it, but also to accept it from a human who is like us with the
      same flows. consider, if we were to receive commandments from angels for
      example, we might say that it is impossible to obey cause we are mere humans
      while they are perfect beings.

      there are
      many questions. but don't make the same mistake with others. if you are to
      proclaim a theory (religion) as fake, the least you have to do is read its
      basis, not hear from others.

    8. You do realize that humans wrote the bible right? Men, not "God". Scientific evidence is fact. You fictional bible requires faith. Faith is essentially the stubborn belief in fiction.

  7. These people like rocks way too much.

  8. You didnt say what?

    1. "now you are saying gravitational force is fictious? WTH does that mean?"

      i didnt say that gravitational force was fictitious.

  9. nice doc. focused on the methods of investigation, more than the narrative or collected understanding.

    very well-conceived, if a bit drawn out. also, the narrator pretended to be rather implausibly clueless.

    watched all episodes, it was worth it.

  10. If religion were true, there would be only 1 religion. Because there is only 1 truth. But darwins version of evolution as far as humans are concerned, has been proven wrong. So why doesnt religion use that proof, to argue their point? Because religion and darwinism hold hands and walk the path together. They have to explain things in terestrial terms. BIBLE= basic instructions before leaving earth. humans: 46 chromosomes. ALL other primates: 48 chromosomes. That difference is insurmountable and requires another explaination than darwin or religion, as its conducted, can give.

    1. Evolution has been proven wrong?

      You are profoundly uneducated. There are plenty of very well made documentaries on this very site that can rectify that.

      Humans have 46 chromosomes while other primates have 48 chromosomes. This is the reason you doubt evolution? Really? We are a relative of primates; we did not evolve from them. Chimps have always had 48 chromosomes while humans have always had 46. We have a COMMON ANCESTOR. At some point in our evolutionary history we diverged. This is basic bio 101 here. Something a high school student could explain to you. The evolutionary tree that Dwarin proposed has been proven to be entirely correct in every way. Evolution has concrete evidence showing that it is in fact correct. There are mountains of data supporting it, including observable occurrences of natural selection. There are even things that Darwin hadn’t even come up with. But hey, don't take my word for it. Get educated.

    2. since you put it that way, you are profoundly educated wrong. And furthermore the standard storyline for all the sciences are about to change in a big way. Now if most of us weren't busy hero worshipping, we might actually do some research. Research thats not polluted by peer review such that it is, nor any of the other status quo dogmas. Galileo and newton lived a long time ago. Don't you think we should move into the 21st century as that's the current dateline . When the old guard dies and the next generation that has an open mind, can accept the new ideas coming from better investigative tools, you will see a change in the current belief system to one better adept in knowledge.

    3. If you have as much courage to Check out Lloyd Pye as you do insulting me, your life might change. Try actually learning rather than following the leader. The leaders are old and tired.

    4. HAHAHAHAHA Lloyd Pye has been shown to be wrong.

      Tests conducted utilizing mtDNA recovered from the skull have established it as human. Experts believe it to be the skull of a child who died as a result of known genetic or congenital abnormalities, such as congenital hydrocephalus.

      havent i already told you on another doc that you were wrong? why do you insist on believing this lie? maybe you should think about that....why do you want this to be true? why are you so afraid of looking at it objectively?

    5. yer a joke. what experts/ yours :)) speaking of afraid of looking when did you look. dont cr*p on my head wipe yourself. And do you know the meaning of the word objective? Try it sometime.

    6. what experts? experts in anatomy! experts in Genetics! experts in anthropology.

      and Lloyd Pye's level of education in anatomy genetics and anthropology is what exactly?? oh thats right he has no education in any of those things.

      i cant believe you have let yourself be swindled by this fool.

    7. lol you got to be kidding ken miller is a babbling idiot. He thinks chromosomes just fuse? Who is the fool? hehe. good 1 bozo.

    8. LOL Kenneth Miller is one of the most famous biologists and is probably the author of the biology textbook at your high school. he is also a catholic.

      lol you dont think chromosomes fuse? look up Robertsonian Translocation.

      do you know what down syndrome is? do you know how it happens? In humans, when a Robertsonian translocation joins the long arm of chromosome 21 with the long arm of chromosome 14 (or 15), the heterozygous carrier is phenotypically normal because there are two copies of all major chromosome arms and hence two copies of all essential genes. However, the progeny of this carrier may inherit an unbalanced trisomy 21, causing Down Syndrome.

    9. ya and your so sure of yourself , that you didnt review any of lloyd Pye's work you just slandered him. So laff at yourself and go be a bum to the rest of the idiots you think you have convinced. :)))

    10. lol yes i absolutely known about Lloyd Pye and his "work". what it actually is, is just fiction writing. he has NEVER gone and dug anything up, he doesnt know how to do genetics testing, he doesnt know how to do any dating techniques. he just uses his imagination and because it amuses you, you believe it.

      lol i dont have to convince anyone, you do. you are the one with the crazy belief.

    11. well what exactly do you discredit? You think chromosomal changes on that magnetude just happen? You should be a religious fanatic. lol. Ya so far you have engaged in talkin trash. But it's obvious he is way over your hea.

    12. chromosomal changes happen due to mutation. yes mutation is random.

      whats obvious is that you are clinging to someone who is not taken serious by ANY scientist because he just puts forth imagination with no evidence. but there will always be people like you who will believe him without any education on the topic.

    13. Wow it's obvious you do no research of your own. If you did you would have something specific to say. But I guess this subject is so far over your head. Oh and I'm not foolih enough to believe debunkers with personality disorders like your own. Say something specific. Make me know that you even have a clue.:D

    14. oh so you think we humans are the down syndrome offspring of apes? wow your are so deep.

    15. your inability to understand genetics makes me laugh. do you know what a straw man is?

      i dont think you have a single degree because based the way you speak you dont seem like someone out of high school.

    16. the word swindle means what to you exactly? well I'll copy and paste your opinions and I'll see what he wants to reply back about it. I dont think you read or watched his lectures. But you try and run your mouth real well.

    17. @homie12
      you make me laugh. you make claims and show no proof for them and when your claims are debunked you dismiss or ridicule them and still provide no proof .finally you say "I'll copy and paste your opinions and I'll see what he wants to reply back " why? do you not have the knowledge to respond yourself. does that mean you are following him without fully understanding or able to defend your belief? you have yet to answer 1 question put to you i addressed your claims and asked questions of my own (as well as Epicurus,) and the response from you is void of any substance. if you want to exchange facts and proof i am willing, but if the best you can do is insult and defer any questions to someone who is not here then i am not interested.

    18. excuse me but I've been busy, as I have a life. Who are you picurus' punk?

    19. @homie12
      again with the insults without any proof

    20. yes again you are a lazy bum

    21. Oh and as I have stated Lloyd Pye's name you can take it or google it from there. This site has deleted many of my links as spam or something. So I gave you the direction get off your rear end or are you a couch potato?

    22. i think you spent to much on your diploma

    23. your lack of a rebuttal shows that you dont know what you are talking about.

  11. Nice doc...

  12. This is getting boring. Interesting though.

  13. After having watched this (except for 7 and 8 episode) I wish I was a geologist. It is so wonderful to see how Earth is not a static 'thing' but rather an organism of a kind with various cycles. It all makes humans just a minor detail in the whole history of Earth.

  14. This is all NON SENSE... rocks can not move! They are not alive!

    GOD moves them...

    Just kidding...

  15. Why is evolution and geology still questioned by most Americans? Is it any wonder that we can not move forward politically? As long as ignorance permeates our populace we will produce dysfunctional government. As long as we continue to let dogma trump science out of a misguided "respect for beliefs" than we will continue to risk our society. It is people like us who must stand up and say NO MORE IGNORANCE! YOUR RELIGION IS WRONG!

    1. “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” ? Isaac Asimov

    2. ASIMOV! One of my "proper gods," for sure.
      And a helluva quote, I might add, one that a great many Americans, in particular, these last 30 years (especially) would have done well to read and heed...

      Here's another one of his I like: Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.

    3. I couldn't agree more.

    4. you ***** scientists might be right but did u ever think that this is how god intended it to be!! this is how god wanted the world to form??

    5. Yes I did think that. But not since I was a kid.

    6. ya maybe. no one says that option is ruled out, just that there is no evidence. and if you do think that how do you then decide which god and which religion? most likely the one most ingrained into your culture.

    7. epicurus, a classic example of how religious people often can be very stupid to listen to.

      like you say, there are thousands of gods throughout history, what makes the christian one right? nothing, it is only because its been put on you by society.

      and that is what i think why religion should play a waaay smaller role in the world. cause you absolutely cant use religion for s*** once it comes to being logical and making the things you can actually sense in your life work out.

      and the things that are in the bible and various other books that make sense, is because theyre already f***ing logical?!?! like dont kill, dont steal, we know this shit already cause you cant have a stable society if stuff like this runs loose.

      WE DONT NEED RELIGION, NOBODY NEEDS RELIGION, people just need to learn to love themselves.

      and not believeing in god, doesnt mean that the world is boring, quite the opposit actually, just watch some of the many science and theoretic videos on this page.

      science and its uncertainties impress and blow my mind way more than any silly religion ever could.

      "you ***** scientists might be right but did u ever think that this is how god intended it to be!! this is how god wanted the world to form??"

      and this is what makes me laugh at religion, cause its so loosely put together, that you can excuse anything with... anything really.

      they change their minds all the time, but only a little. like first everyone who doesnt believe the earth is 5k years old is stupid and wrong. but hey now you see a lot of religious people accepting that thats now how the world works and was created.

      and i feel that in the future, when perhaps we finally find out what very weird and complex stuff has made our whole reality. and itll probably be nothing like what they perceive as god, but theyll call it god anyway and tell us all they were right.

      religion tries to take credit for way too much. when all they can really do, is to take credit for making the world generally much s***tier. and i can see a mod edited your curse, but im still gonna say f*** religion, cause that is how i feel. religion is a pest, created by man to control the population, or at least thats what it turned into.

      f*** religion, take charge of your own life

    8. What god are you talking about exactly? people like u are slowing the world down. If people need somthing to believe in, believe in the Sun! (where more or less ALL of the religions are formed!) were chemically connected to the earth, biologically connected with eachother and atomically connected with the rest of the universe!! Why hide behind a god? open your eyes!

    9. If people have to believe in something, why not Zoidberg? :E

    10. I believe that god and nature are one. If you really want to understand god, then go and study a blade of grass, that's how he operates.

    11. study the student studying the blade of grass, the i, and you'll get even closer.

  16. Can't believe I watched the whole thing

  17. 6000 fundies will watch this, and still say God did it, and the earth is 6000 jears old. :-(

  18. This doc is a thing of beauty. Required watching.

  19. Good overview of well documented earth sciences

  20. This is all way too complicated for me, I might just stick to the god theory. And whoever said sarcasm is the lowest form of wit was obviously at the brunt of it when that defense was formed. ;)

    1. ....either that, or they'd never seen anyone get a custard pie thrown in their face. ;)

      I enjoyed this series, and I think Aubrey Manning is an excellent presenter.

  21. Very good.

  22. I just watched part 1 and I enjoyed it. Considering how old it is, it is quite good. I'm not that interested in geology either. Maybe I am just bored so anything decent seems better than it normally would be

    1. I just watched the second one. I actually really enjoy this series. It explains the history of our understanding of the history of the world. The production quality is quite good, and it covers some interesting topics like magnetic pole shifts and the life around underwater volcanic vents.

  23. quite boring

  24. This documentary was ok, but lacking slightly by BBC standards.
    I found it was more focused on the history of human development in the understanding of geology, rather than the history of the planet.

    1. That would be because it is only part one of a series.

    2. So you have seen the rest, and this focus changes?

    3. @natasha0 - no, I just watched this one so far but Aaron above mentions it.

    4. good point Natasha. I watched the whole series over a year ago on another site, and several times to. And that view had escaped me until you brought it up.