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Filmography - Evolution: E - K

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012

Filmography - Evolution

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012.

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible.  All DVDs listed below are located in Media Services on the Lower Level of Bender Library. To search the library’s complete videos holdings on evolutionary topics (including VHS tapes) keyword searches in the library catalog will be necessary:

Over 800 videos on biology subjects (too numerous to list here) are available streaming through Films On Demand:

Films-On-Demand titles are password-protected and will require a login for students and faculty who wish to access them from off-campus.

Earth is born. 2004.  1 streaming video file (60 min.). This program gives viewers a spectacular glimpse of the tumultuous first billion years of Planet Earth--a time of continuous catastrophe. Vivid animation lets viewers witness the traumatic birth of the Moon from a titanic collision between Earth and an object believed to have been the size of Mars. Bombarded by meteors and comets, rocked by massive volcanic eruptions, and scoured by hot acid rain, the early Earth seems a highly improbable place for life to have taken root. Despite such violent beginnings, scientists have found new clues that life-giving water and oxygen appeared on our planet much earlier than previously thought. Part of the series Origins: 14 Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, with Neil deGrasse Tyson. Distributed by PBS Distribution. (60 minutes). Streaming video


Earth time Evolution and human memory. 2006.  1 streaming video file (50 min.). In the 17th century, an Irish bishop judged the year of Earth's creation to be 4004 BC. Although laughable by modern scientific standards, James Ussher's calculation was among the first rigorous attempts to comprehend the vastness of geological history. This program opens a window into time frames that dwarf human life spans-evoking the insignificance of civilization in comparison to the age of the planet itself. Host Michio Kaku illustrates life's evolution by driving the distance between America's coasts-with the final millimeter representing the human epoch. He also looks at the importance of DNA as a tool for studying human evolution. Original BBC broadcast title: Earth Time. (50 minutes). Streaming video


The enchanted loom Processing sensory information. 1 streaming video file (60 min.). The brain-the Enchanted Loom,as Sir Charles Sherrington, one of the founders of modern brain research, called it-is the most intricate, almost unfathomably complex product of evolution. It is a tapestry woven of a hundred billion threads-the fibers of all its nerve cells. Computers have large memories and prodigious abilities to calculate, but are slow at interpreting visual images that the human brain recognizes at a glance. This program looks at the range of sensory information that is transmitted to the human cerebral cortex, and examines how the brain sorts and classifies sensory information, searching for clues and interpreting them on the basis of expectation, past experience, and information from other sources. The senses provide the information, and the brain provides the meaning. (60 minutes). Streaming video


The end of evolution Breaking the link. 1996.  1 streaming video file (50 min.). In this program, genetic teams in England and Finland study how defective genes can be altered to halt transmission of disease through the generations. In England, geneticist John Burn discovers a woman's lethal cancer gene, inherited from her father. She undergoes early treatment that saves her life. Thirty genetic diseases exist in Finland. Steve Jones traces a defective gene in one family, which has caused brain damage in their child, to the couple's paternal ancestors. In an insular Pakistani immigrant group, another gene is identified that causes a life-threatening blood disorder. Both the Finns and the Pakistanis are beginning to marry outside of their own groups in order to weaken the offending genes. A BBC Production. (50 minutes). Streaming video


The evidence for evolution. 1992.  1 streaming video file (26 min.). Distinguished evolutionary biologists among the auditors of the foregoing lectures take on not only Luther Sutherland (who remains unconvinced by what they consider the obvious truth but is unable to convince them of the truth that is obvious to him), but one another as well-proving that Darwin's theory of evolution is itself still evolving. (26 minutes). Streaming video


Evolution. 91.  1 streaming video file (23 min.). Since Charles Darwin formulated his theory of natural selection, our view of the world has changed. Although Darwin's theory itself has evolved,scientists agree that living species slowly but surely diverged from common ancestors. This program begins with a segment on fossils, one of the most convincing proofs of evolution. It then retraces the major steps of evolution as they were uncovered by science. It also presents the major theories of evolution. (23 minutes). Streaming video


Evolution. 2001.  4 videodiscs (480 min.). "Evolution" offers a groundbreaking and definitive view of the extraordinary impact the evolutionary process has had on our understanding of the world around us. Beginning with Darwin's revolutionary theory, this seven-part series explores all facets of evolution--the changes that spawned the tree of life, the power of sex, how evolution continues to affect us every day, and the perceived conflict between science and religion. DVD 5721-5724


Evolution Man takes a hand. 1 streaming video file (27 min.). This program provides an explanation of how the twin techniques of gene splicing and cloning are helping to unravel the secrets of variation. Genetic engineering is altering the branching pattern of natural evolution-which proceeds by mutations within a species and sexual recombination within that species-into a network, in which genes are moved within the laboratory from any species to any other species. The program explains the irreversible and unforeseeable results of gene splicing and the scientific and governmental regulations under consideration-realistic scientific and moral questions, uninformed though highly imaginative hysteria... and the actual effects of cloning; it explains the sequences of DNA, how we are learning to read them, the masterminding message in the DNA of many different species, how cells activate only certain genes; and it follows the scientific and economic history of interferon and interleukin-2. (27 minutes). Streaming video


The evolution of human purpose. 92.  1 streaming video file (26 min.). All other life forms except humans exist to propagate themselves and pass on their genes; humans alone work to other ends. In this lecture, Richard Dawkins distinguishes between the result of eons of natural selection which has resulted in, say, a bird's tail, whose purpose is to enable the bird to fly-purpose with a survival value-and deliberate design, like an airplane's tail. Dawkins shows the relationship between the two in explaining the evolution of human purpose. (26 minutes). Streaming video


The evolutionary arms race Why sex? 2001.  Evolution.  1 videodisc (120 min.). The evolutionary arms race explores our own spiraling arms race with microorganisms-- the only real threat to our existence-- and trace the alarming spread of resistance among pathogens that cause disease. Why sex? investigates the endless variety of sexual expression and the powerful hold sex exerts over almost all living things. And discover why in evolutionary terms, sex is more important than life itself. DVD 5723


Evolve shape. 2008.  1 streaming video file (45 min.). This program explores the evolution of animal shape and how the slightest alteration of a leg or a head can mean the difference between existence and extinction. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. A part of the series Evolve. (45 minutes). Streaming video


Evolve venom. 2008.  1 streaming video file (45 min.). The deadliest natural weapon employed in the animal kingdom has independently evolved in creatures as diverse as jellyfish, insects, snakes, and even mammals. In this program, scientists show how evolution has adapted venom to fit the needs of the animals who wield it. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. A part of the series Evolve. (45 minutes). Streaming video


Factoring in mendel.  1992.  1 streaming video file (10 min.). Darwin was unable to explain how characteristics are transferred from generation to generation. The solution was found in Gregor Mendel's experiments with the common pea plant. Finally, we examine dominant and recessive traits and what the Hardy-Weinberg law proves. (10 minutes). Streaming video


Flock of dodos The evolution and intelligent design circus. 2007.  1 videodisc (85 min.). Tweaks egos and pokes fun at both sides in the evolution vs. intelligent design debate. From the shadowy, well-funded headquarters of the pro-intelligent design Discovery Institute in Seattle to the rarefied talk of scientists around a late-night poker table. 

Flock of dodos the evolution-intelligent design circus. 2006.  Ethnographic video online.  1 online resource (84 min.). DVD 3667


Flying high. 1996.  1 streaming video file (60 min.). Fascinated by flight? In this episode of the PBS Scientific American Frontiers series, host Alan Alda takes the viewer on a captivating journey through the world of aviation. From the evolution of flight in primitive insects to the latest in high-tech aircrafts, Flying High explores the flight secrets of birds, insects, and airplanes. This program features individual stories of avionic ingenuity and our natural world, such as: how birds fly; the test-flight of a solar-powered "eternal plane"; an evolutionary probe into how insects first took flight and how airline pilots cope with increasingly computerized navigation equipment. Lastly, it offers a rare view of a contest between aerial robots as they navigate, fly, and perform tasks...without guidance. Distributed by PBS Distribution. (60 minutes). DVD 7677 and Streaming video


Fossils Reptiles and Mammals. 1988.  1 streaming video file (20 min.). This program presents fossil evidence for the evolution of reptiles and amphibians; explains the reasoning processes scientists must use when no direct evidence is available for examination; illustrates field techniques for collecting fragile fossils for transportation to the laboratory, where examination can take place under controlled conditions; and traces the evolution of some modern mammals back through time. After viewing the program, students should know which major features distinguish amphibians from reptiles, when and for how long reptiles were the dominant land animals and by whom they were replaced, and recognize the feature in the fossil remains of land reptiles that may indicate that they gave rise to mammals. (20 minutes). Streaming video


The Gaia Hypothesis.  1990.  1 streaming video file (25 min.). In this program, James Lovelock explains the development and evolution of his Gaia hypothesis, which considers the Earth as an intimately linked system of physical, chemical, and biological processes, interacting in a self-regulating way to maintain the conditions necessary for life. He discusses counterarguments proposed by scientists including Richard Dawkins. The Daisyworld climatic prototype is explained in detail through scientific computer graphics and animation. Produced by the Open University. (25 minutes). Streaming video


Genetic discoveries, disorders, and mutations. 97.  1 streaming video file (26 min.). This program analyzes the contributions of Mendel and Darwin, the transmission of single- and multiple-gene disorders, and genetic mutation. Following a description of Mendel's landmark pea-breeding experiments, the principles of heredity are applied to the spread of congenital conditions such as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, myotonic dystrophy, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The second half of the program centers on types of mutation, including point mutation, deletion, frame shifting, insertion, and gross chromosomal abnormality. Darwin's theory of natural selection is considered as well. (23 minutes). Streaming video


Genetic translation.  96.  1 streaming video file (15 min.). In this program, we learn how genetic information is translated in cells to produce body tissues, organs, and fluids, and how a change in a genetic recipe can result in a mutation. Genetic testing is explored, focusing on amniocentesis, an invasive prenatal diagnostic technique. (15 minutes). Streaming video


Genetics and Evolution. 2005.  1 streaming video file (24 min.). What does genetic diversity mean, and what is its relationship to evolution? This video answers that intriguing question as it summarizes the theory of natural selection and describes the process of trait inheritance. Advances stemming from the Human Genome Project-an ever-deepening understanding of life on Earth, improvements in disease detection and treatment, and applications of genomics to agriculture, the environment, and forensic science-are also discussed. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. Correlates to National Academy of Sciences National Science Education Standards and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Benchmarks for Science Literacy. A Cambridge Educational Production. (24 minutes). Streaming video


The genius of Charles Darwin. 2009.  2 videodiscs (139 min.). Shaking Western culture to its very core after its publication 150 years ago, On the origin of species forced humans to rethink their place in the universe. In this lively three-part series, Darwin's passionate disciple, popular author and biologist Richard Dawkins examines evolution and its legacy, confronts Darwin's doubters head-on, and explains natural selection in clear, straightforward terms. DVD 7172


The God of the Gaps.  2005.  1 streaming video file (60 min.). Will modern science close the book on God, or can reason and faith coexist? This program analyzes how the process of scientific inquiry has challenged belief in a divine being. With visits to locations ranging from the CERN particle physics lab, to the Lourdes shrine, to Grace Fellowship Church, Kentucky, Robert Winston discusses the views of Pascal, Galileo, Newton, and Darwin; the Higgs boson, or God particle; the God gene; the curative power of faith; evolution versus creationism; and other topics with probability expert Stephen Unwin, physicists Jim Virdee and Jordan Nash, geneticist Dean Hamer, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, and creationist Ken Ham. A BBCW Production. (60 minutes). Streaming video


Great transformations Extinction! 2001.  Evolution.  1 videodisc (120 min.). Great transformations focuses on the evolutionary changes that triggered the earth's incredible diversity. Extinction! explores why, then confronts a frightening notion: are humans causing the next mass extinction-- the sixth in the history of life on earth? DVD 5722


Guns, germs, and steel. 2005.  2 videodiscs (165 min.). An epic detective story that offers a gripping expose on why the world is so unequal. Professor Jared Diamond traveled the globe for over 30 years trying to answer this question. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book. DVD 1417


Hominid evolution 1 the early stages. 2001.  Ethnographic video online.  1 online resource (38 min.). Streaming video;764764


Hominid evolution 2 the genus Homo. 1988.  Ethnographic video online.  1 online resource (50 min.). This video picks up the account of human evolution with Homo Habilis, the earliest currently accepted member of our genus and describes the similarities and differences between this form and the Australopithecines. It then continues with a discussion and demonstration of the features of the African Homo Erectus and the Asian forms including the material from Java and from China. Streaming video;764766


Homo Futurus A challenge to Darwinian thinking. 2005.  1 streaming video file (55 min.). Recent findings in the fossil record have, in some scientific quarters, led to radical ideas on evolution. This program presents an intriguing and highly controversial theory: that human development has been-and continues to be-guided by genetic forces within us, rather than by the pressures of our environment. Following the work of paleontologist Anne Dambricourt Malasse and orthodontist Marie-Josephe Deshayes, the film illustrates curious discoveries about the sphenoid, a small bone in the human skull, and its possible role as a kind of evolutionary regulator. Viewers will be immersed in anthropological and dental research occurring in South Africa, China, France, and Switzerland. Not available in French-speaking Canada. (55 minutes). Streaming video


How did we get here? A history of evolutionary science. 2010.  1 streaming video file (49 min.). The question of human origins, and of the beginning of life itself, is one of the most controversial science has ever wrestled with-and the debates are as divisive today as they were in the 19th century. This program tells the story of how scientists came to explain the genesis and diversity of living things; it also explores the connection between evolution and the long and violent history of our planet. Although Charles Darwin figures in most any discussion of evolution, viewers will also encounter ocean adventurers, eccentric French aristocrats, mountain climbers, a secret Victorian publisher with 12 fingers, and a ridiculed German meteorologist. A BBC Production. Part of the series The History of Science. (49 minutes). Streaming video


How life began. 2004.  1 streaming video file (60 min.). This program zeroes in on the mystery of exactly how life began on Earth. Join the hunt for hardy microbes that flourish in the most unlikely places: inside rocks in a mine shaft two miles down, inside a cave dripping with acid as strong as a car battery's, and in noxious gas bubbles erupting from the Pacific Ocean floor. The survival of these tough microorganisms suggests they may be related to the planet's first primitive life forms. Host Neil deGrasse Tyson deepens the search by investigating tantalizing and controversial chemical "signatures" of life inside three-billion-year-old rocks and meteorites found around the world. Part of the series Origins: 14 Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, with Neil deGrasse Tyson. Distributed by PBS Distribution. (60 minutes). Streaming video


The human influence.  88.  1 streaming video file (20 min.). This program illustrates how natural selection works to enable a species to adapt to adverse environments; shows how human breeding of desirable varieties-which antedates by millennia any theories of genetics or evolution-often overrode natural selection; demonstrates how species can be changed by artificial selection and in response to human interference with the environment; and explains the desirability of preserving the gene pool. After viewing the program, students should understand how environmental changes and artificial selection alter the random variability in a population, how breeders strengthen rather than create variation, and why it is so important to preserve the gene pool. (20 minutes). Streaming video


The human language series. 95.  3 videodiscs (165 min.). Explores human language, its origins, acquisition and evolution. DVD 9461-9463


Human life From evolution to self-evolution. 2004.  1 streaming video file (49 min.). An extraterrestrial biologist would probably not hesitate to classify Homo sapiens as just another chimpanzee. After all, the two species share 98 percent of their DNA-and yet what a difference that two percent makes. This program investigates how such similar primates became so very dissimilar...and how humans, having reached the point where they are little hindered by natural selection, are beginning to evolve themselves. This is a story full of surprises. Original BBCW broadcast title: Human Life. (49 minutes). Streaming video


The human spark. 2010.  1 videodisc (180 min.). Alan Alda takes a look at how humans first appeared on Earth millions of years ago, and how our species not only survived, but thrived, through some unimaginable conditions. Alda visits with dozens of scientists on three continents, and participates directly in many experiments - including the detailed examination of his own brain. DVD 7695


In search of history The Piltdown Man. 1997.  1 streaming video file (45 min.). This In Search of History program travels back to 1912, to the town of Piltdown, East Sussex, England, where workmen digging a gravel pit uncover a collection of bones which seem to confirm Darwin's theory of evolution and provide the "missing link" in the evolution of man. In reality, the Piltdown Man is perhaps the most famous archeological hoax of all time, confounding scientists for decades. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. (45 minutes).  Streaming video


In search of human origins. 1994.  3 videodiscs (171 min.). In this three part series, anthropologist Donald Johanson and his team demonstrate how to collect and analyze fossil evidence. He tells of his discovery of "Lucy," which sparked a controversial change in our view of human origins. Evidence is presented that indicates the first hunter may have been Homo erectus, a later hominid. Finally, Johanson and his colleagues gather new evidence that may begin to explain the demise of the neanderthals and the origins of modern humans. Features a re-creation of ancient man's appearance by special effects artists aided by computer technology.  DVD 9551-9553


In the beginning. 1992.  1 streaming video file (10 min.). Although the biblical account of creation was widely accepted, several 18th-century scientists unwittingly challenged the creation model and laid the groundwork for the theory of organic evolution. This program examines the contributions of pioneers Carl Linnaeus, le Comte de Buffon, and Jean Lamarck to the modern theory. (10 minutes). Streaming video


The incredible human journey. 2010.  2 videodiscs (293 min.). This videodisc undertakes five epic journeys across the globe, tracing the ancient routes of our early ancestors to reveal the extraordinary and brutal challenges they faced. Using the latest genetic and archaeological evidence, it shows how humans gradually adapted, culturally and physiologically, in response to their environment. DVD 8071


Inherit the wind. 2001.  1 videodisc (128 min.). A small Tennessee town gained national attention in 1925 when a biology schoolteacher was arrested for violating state law and teaching Darwin's theory of evolution in the classroom.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 1677


Intelligent design vs. evolution. 2005.  1 streaming video file (22 min.). Confronting one of the most complex and potentially divisive issues on the American cultural landscape, this ABC News program examines the intellectual and political forces that support the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. The video focuses on the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that has generated widespread enthusiasm-and criticism-for making I.D. part of science curricula. Also featured is an in-depth debate between George Will and Cal Thomas, two conservative commentators who differ on whether a non-testable, quasi-religious belief should be promoted in biology courses. The result is an effective springboard for class discussion on an extremely challenging topic. (22 minutes).  Streaming video


Introduction to life science. 2005.  1 streaming video file (18 min.). Launch a unit on life science with this video! It addresses central topics in biology-evolution, cellular structure, and hierarchical organization, to name only three; explains the process of scientific inquiry; and spotlights the contributions of key researchers in the life sciences, from Aristotle to Watson and Crick. The video also provides students with a bird's-eye view of many exciting biological fields, including biochemistry, ecology, genetics, marine biology, molecular biology, neuroscience, paleontology, and more. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. Correlates to National Academy of Sciences National Science Education Standards and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Benchmarks for Science Literacy. A Cambridge Educational Production. (18 minutes).  Streaming video


Journey of man. 2004.  1 videodisc (120 min.). How did the human race populate the world? A group of geneticists have worked on the question for a decade, arriving at a startling conclusion: the "global family tree" can be traced to one African man who lived 60,000 years ago. Dr. Spencer Wells hosts this innovative series, featuring commentary by expert scientists, historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists.  DVD 1493 and Streaming video


Judgment day Intelligent design on trial . 2008.  1 videodisc (112 min.). Captures the turmoil that tore apart the community of Dover, Pennsylvania, in a landmark battle over the teaching of evolution in public schools. In 2004, the Dover school board ordered science teachers to read a statement to their high school biology students about an alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution called intelligent design. This idea states that life is too complex to have evolved naturally and so must have been designed by an intelligent agent. The teachers refused to comply, and both parents and teachers filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the school board of violating the constitutional separation of church and state.  DVD 4417