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Darwin's Dangerous Idea,
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This review is from: Darwin's Dangerous Idea [DVD] (DVD)
When speaking from a 20/21'st Century viewpoint it is easy to ridicule the Bible based world of our Victorian forefathers; but we should remember that Biblical morality had underpinned their well ordered and highly successful World Order for centuries, and was far deeper rooted and more firmly believed by the bulk of Victoria's people than are the egalitarian liberal/socialist ideals of today's world. Thus it was fear of the longer term consequences which 'Natural Selection' would unleash rather than superstitous bigotry; which caused large numbers of those decent God fearing folk to loath both Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. These were radical ideas which ironically, our modernday Establishment now regards as incontestable orthodox truth.
Made in three parts which I have listed below, this highly informative 172 minute series is written/presented by Andrew Marr and co-produced by the Open University. It illustrates when, where, why and how Charles Darwin developed his theory as he did; the world changing effects that theory had, from it's publication down to our own day; and also how different political ideologies have interpreted Darwin's words very differently.
Episode 1: Body and Soul.
Largely an introductory prelude, this episode covers Charles Darwin's life and times, his famous voyage, the theory itself and much more.
Episode 2: Born Equal?
Andrew Marr is a TV 'insider' whose egalitarian liberal/socialist credentials are impeccable; but in this episode he challenges modernday orthodoxy just as Charles Darwin himself did two centuries earlier. Beginning with a 15/20min denounciation of Nazi eugenics; the programme moves on to introduce a Nazi concentration camp survivor, Rabbi Joseph Eckstein who, having fled Europe for America later established Dor Yeshorim, a "charity dedicated to the erradication of genetic diseases within the Jewish community". In less than thirty years, this sensitively run but highly efficent organisation has all but erradicated Tay Sachs, a ghastly genetic disease which had previously been the curse of Brooklin's Jewish community for generations.
Following this splendid example of genetic medicine at it's best, Andrew Marr then introduces Dr Bruce Lahn; a young genetics student who fled his Chinese homeland for America following the Tiananman Square massacre. On Friday 9'th September 2005 Dr Lahn of Chicago University shocked the world when he announced the discovery of gene varient's ASPM & MCPH 1, which bless their bearers with 'bigger and smarter brains'. A horrified commentator said of this momemtous discovery that it's:- "the moment the anti-racists and egalitarians have been dreading!" Why? Because the MCPH 1 gene originated amongst Europeans 'only' 225 generations (approx 6,000yrs) ago, and although widespread amongst those of European descent, is far rarer in non-Europeans, being almost totally absent from the sub-Saharan African gene pool. Thus modern scientific research now incontrovertibly links intelligence levels to racial inheritance. You can obviously verify the scientific detail on numerous websites such as Wikipedia, which contains a long article by Bruce Lahn himself. In the face of such indisputable genetic facts however, Andrew Marr is asking society a simple question. Do we follow the examples given by the Spanish Inquisition, the Victorian Establishment, the Nazi Gestapo and/or the Bolshevik KGB, and ignore/suppress such politically volatile knowledge, or follow the guidance of Rabbi Eckstein; accept the truth of racial difference but use it to aid those afflicted/disadvantaged?
I should also like to point out an incredible 'coincidence' in the timing of this genetic development. The traditional Biblical date of Adam's 'creation' is 6,000yrs ago; Bruce Lahn says this gene first appeared within European humanity 6,000yrs ago; while the original Sumerian legends on which the Bible was based say the God's created thinking Man (Homo Sapiens) at that time, by implanting 'free-will/reason' within a more primitive but related species. Is Dr Lahn's discovery strengthening the new 'Intelligent Design' theory?
Episode 3: Life and Death.
Centred around Global Warming, James Lovelock's Gia theories and the harm mankind is doing the planet, I felt this programme had been undermined by the recent revelations on falsified research etc.....
To conclude this review, I consider Episode 2: Born Equal? to be a classic example of once in a generation television journalism and recommend it unconditionally; the subject it covers is of crucial importance to us all.