Darwin/evolution content in C-SPAN’s video library

Via Carl Zimmer at The Loom, I learned that C-SPAN has opened its video library online. So, of course, I entered “Charles Darwin” and “evolution”  in the search bar, and here’s some of what popped up:

Adam Gopnik talked about Angels and Ages: A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life (Knopf; January 27, 2009). The book is an examination of the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, who were born on the same date, February 12, 1809. Mr. Gopnik profiles both men’s personal and public lives and the effect they had on how the world would think in the future. Following his remarks he responded to questions from audience members. Adam Gopnik is the author of Through the Children’s Gate and Paris to the Moon. He has been a writer for The New Yorker for the past twenty years, where he has been a three-time recipient of the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism. WATCH

Michael Shermer talked about his book In Darwin’s Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace, published by Oxford University Press. He discussed the life and accomplishments of British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. Wallace, independently of Charles Darwin, came up with the theory of natural selection, the process that explains how evolution works. Mr. Shermer talked about Wallace’s work, his relationship with Darwin, and his eventual acceptance of the paranormal. Following the presentation, which was accompanied by slides, Mr. Shermer answered questions from members of the audience. The talk was part of a speakers series at Caltech sponsored by the Skeptics Society. WATCH

Sandra Herbert, author of Charles Darwin, Geologist (Cornell University Press; 2005), spoke about her book and presented slides on the life and impact of Charles Darwin in celebration of the 200th anniversary of his birth (Darwin was born on the same day as Abraham Lincoln). She responded to questions from audience members. Sandra Herbert is a Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland – Baltimore County. During 2006 and 2007 she was a distinguished visiting scholar at Christ’s College in Cambridge, where she assisted the university with its plans to celebrate Darwin’s bicentennial. Professor Herbert’s books include The Red Notebook of Charles Darwin and Charles Darwin’s Notebooks, 1836-1844. WATCH

From the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City, Richard Milner presented his one-man show on the history of evolution.  During the program Mr. Milner talked and sang songs about the people who have contributed to our understanding of how evolution works. WATCH

Constance Carter, head of the Science Reference Section, talked about and showed volumes from the correspondence collection of Charles Darwin held by the Library of Congress. WATCH

Librarian Bruce Bradley displayed and discussed five rare books that have been important in the history of science, including by Nicolaus Copernicus,De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (Nuremberg, 1543); Galileo Galilei,Sidereus Nuncius (Venice, 1610); Isaac Newton, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (London, 1687); Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species (London, 1859). He was interviewed in the rare book room of the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, and Technology during the authors’ reception for the Kansas City Literary Festival. Mr. Bradley, the curator of the History of Science Collection, is also the library’s special operations officer. This interview was recorded by the crew of the C-SPAN BookTV Bus at the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, Missouri. ~Heading says “On the Road in Kansas.” Graphics say “The Linda Hall Science Library is in Kansas City, Kansas.” They were in Kansas City, Missouri. ~ Date not verified. ~See program 206318/281745 WATCH

Matthew Chapman talked about his book, 40 Days and 40 Nights: Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, OxyContin®, and Other Oddities on Trial in Pennsylvania, published by Collins. Mr.Chapman, Charles Darwin’s great-great grandson and a successful Hollywood screenwriter, read from his book which described the 2005 intelligent design trial, Kitzmiller v. Dover Board of Education, in Dover, Pennsylvania. After his presentation the author responded to audience members’ questions. WATCH

Lee Alan Dugatkin talked about his book Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose: Natural History in Early America (University Of Chicago Press; November 15, 2009). In this book about the origin and evolution of an international dispute about natural history in America he reveals that America was viewed by many Europeans as a degenerate backwater, populated by weak and feeble subspecies of flora and fauna (humans included) inferior to European specimens. Thomas Jefferson worked for years to systematically refute the claims of world-renowned French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon without quelling the arrogance of the French court. Mr. Dugatkin tells the story of Mr. Jefferson’s attempt to win the argument by shipping a seven-foot moose from New Hampshire to Paris. Professor Dugatkin used slides as he presented this history. He responded to questions from members of the audience. This was a Special Evening Lecture at Faunces Tavern Museum, held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, December 3, 2009, in the Nichols Dining Room. WATCH

Richard Dawkins talked about his book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution (Free Press; September 22, 2009). In his book he lays out the evidence that supports the theory of evolution. He argues evolution is an indisputable fact, despite nearly half of Americans believing the opposite, and that denying evolution today is comparable to denying the Holocaust. He responded to questions from members of the audience. Richard Dawkins is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is the author of many books, including The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion. WATCH

Edward Humes talked about his book Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America’s Soul, published by Ecco. He described the 2005 court case Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District, in which teachers and parents sued the Dover, Pennsylvania, school district and school board for mandating the teaching of intelligent design, the theory that the existence of life on earth can only be explained as the handiwork of a designer. They argued that intelligent design is thinly-disguised creationism and that teaching it violates the constitutional separation of church and state. The school board argued that intelligent design is a scientific theory and should be taught alongside evolution. On December 20, 2005, Judge John Jones ruled the school board had violated the constitution and also that “intelligent design was a religious proposition, and not science.” After his presentation Mr. Humes responded to audience members’ questions. This event occurred on the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. WATCH

David Quammen talked about his book, The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution, published by W.W. Norton. Mr. Quammen explained that Darwin was reluctant to release his theory to the public because it was so radical. He was interviewed on the BookTV Bus. WATCH

Professor Larson talks about his book Evolution’s Workshop: God and Science on the Galapagos Islands, published by Basic Books. The book is about the history and scientific significance of the Galapagos Islands. Mr. Larson talks about scientist Charles Darwin’s visit in 1835, which resulted in his theory on natural selection and evolution. Mr. Larson discusses the continuing scientific expeditions and explorers that followed from the late 1800s through the early 1900s, and their study of numerous animal specimens. He discusses specifically the lengthy study of finches by the explorers who eventually ruled out the theory of natural selection in their findings. Mr. Larson concludes with the current state of the islands and its popularity for tourists and scientific studies. He takes questions at the end of the program. WATCH

Professor Wilson talked about the compilation he edited, From So Simple a Beginning: The Four Great Books of Charles Darwin, published by W.W. Norton. It is a collection of the four major works of the late Charles Darwin. The books Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle, The Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, and The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animalshave been compiled along with new introductions and an essay by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward O. Wilson. During his lecture on the book, Professor Wilson showed slides chronicling Darwin’s journeys, scientific recordings, and observations. Following his presentation, Professor Wilson responded to questions and comments from members of the audience. WATCH

Participating by video feed from New York City, Mr. Chapman, a great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, spoke about the teaching of intelligent design and evolution. He does not support the theory of intelligent design and was in Dover, Pennsylvania to cover a trial for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Mr. Chapman responded to questions and comments from viewers. Mr. Chapman is the author of Trials of the Monkey: An Accidental Memoir, published by Picador. The book shed new light on the Darwinian point of view through Mr. Chapman’s journey to Dayton, Tennessee, the site of the Scopes “monkey” trial on evolution. WATCH (another video with Chapman)

Mr. and Mrs. Preston talked about the book they co-wrote, A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: Explorer, Naturalist, and Buccaneer: The Life of William Dampier, published by Walker and Company. In this biography, the authors examined the life of the first explorer to circumnavigate the globe three separate times. William Dampier (1651-1715) was also a pioneer in the fields of descriptive botany and zoology, and an influence on Charles Darwin. On his journeys, Dampier collected many samples of flora and fauna. In addition, he wrote about his adventures, and his books introduced a number of new words into the English language, including barbecue, chopsticks, cashew, and kumquat. After their presentation the authors answered audience members’ questions. WATCH

Mr. Sis talked about his book, The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin, published by Farrar Straus and Giroux. Mr. Sis both wrote and illustrated the book, which depicts the life and career of naturalist Charles Darwin. Beginning with Darwin’s childhood, the narrative follows him on the voyage of the HMS Beagle and ends with his return to a life dedicated to science and family. During his presentation, Mr. Sis showed slides, discussed several of his earlier works, and responded to questions from the fourth and fifth grade students in the audience. WATCH

Michael Shermer talked about his book Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design, published by Times Books. He was joined in discussion by Mr. Wells. Mr. Shermer, a former evangelical Christian and creationist, argued that “intelligent design” theory appeals to a human predisposition to look for a designer behind life’s complexity. He argued that attacks by proponents of intelligent design are scientifically unsupportable but in fact the theory of natural selection is supported by the scientific evidence and is the foundation on which modern biology rests. He argued that conservatives and Christians should accept evolution because it explains family values, social harmony, human nature, and the origins of morality. Jonathan Wells, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, disagreed with Mr. Shermer. He criticized Darwin’s theory by pointing out examples which, he said, demonstrate that the theory of evolution is not as sound as people are lead to believe. After their discussion they responded to audience members’ questions. WATCH

Professor Dawkins talked about his book The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution, published by Houghton Mifflin. He and his wife, Lalla Ward, read selections from the book which, modeled after Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, chronicles the process of evolution through a journey backwards in time. Beginning with humans, different species of life (described by the book’s narrator through “tales”) join the journey as their reverse evolutionary paths converge with that of the travelers. Following the reading, Professor Dawkins answered questions from members of the audience. WATCH

Rev. Barry Lynn and Edward Sission talked about the 1968 Supreme Court case of Epperson v. Arkansas. The 9-0 decision overturned an Arkansas law, which prohibited teachers in public schools from teaching or using textbooks that teach human evolution. They responded to telephone calls and electronic mail. This program was part of a week-long series examining major events from 1968 and how they have impacted today’s society. WATCH

The panel talked about the controversies surrounding intelligent design and evolution when taught in schools. Dr. Princehouse argued against intelligent design and Dr. Behe argued in favor of it. Students talked about themselves and asked questions to the panelists. Sonya Gavankar moderated. WATCH

Mr. Larson talked about his book, Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory, published by Modern Library. In the book, the author explores the history of the theory of evolution. Beginning with pre-Darwinian debates on the origin of life and including the Scopes Monkey Trial and the discovery of the DNA double helix, he attempts to explain the role of evolution in today’s political climate. Mr. Larson also describes the various scientists, explorers, and others who played roles in the history of the theory of evolution. Following prepared remarks, he responded to questions from the audience. WATCH

The panel discussion “Adventuring Beyond the Map: Humanity in the Geographic Unknown” was moderated by Mr. McNeil. One focus of the discussion was the differences between the first and second ages of exploration exemplified by these books and the similarities of these expeditions as sea voyages. The authors contrasted the explorers in such areas as their relations with the native peoples they met and the religious beliefs that ended both of their lives. After the discussion, the panelists answered questions from members of the audience. Peter Nichols is the author of Evolution’s Captain: The Dark Fate of the Man Who Sailed Charles Darwin Around the World, published by HarperCollins. The book focuses on Captain Robert FitzSimmons and his pivotal role in the development of the theories of Charles Darwin. Laurence Bergreen is the author of Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe, published by William Morrow. This is the first major biography of Magellan in over 100 years. WATCH

The panelists talked about pure science, science policy, the intersection between science and politics, and the role of scientific activism in local and national politics. Scientists and science journalists talked about hurricanes, global climate change, and whether creationism should be taught in the classroom. After their presentations they responded to audience members’ questions. Chris Mooney is the author of The Republican War on Scienceand Storm World. Ed Brayton is a science blogger and co-founder of Michigan Citizens for Science. Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist. “Science, Politics and Activism” was a session of the second annual YearlyKos Convention, held in the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. WATCH

At a day-long conference on science, religion and intelligent design, panelists talked about teaching the theory of intelligent design in classrooms. Among the topics they addressed were the adequacy of existing science curricula, social agendas of both the science and religious communities, and the scientific value of the theories of evolution and creationism. Following their remarks they answered questions from the audience. WATCH

There are many other videos about intelligent design.

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