Richard Dawkins: Break The Science Barrier genre: Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation & Video-Philes

Richard Dawkins takes an in depth look at the degree to which science is a part of our daily life and our understandings of the world in which we live. He begins by visiting the portions of the American south where evolution isn't a generally accepted theory. He points to a provision in Alabama that requires all biology text books include a sticker challenging the theory of evolution.

Dawkins goes on to point out that many people fail to understand the basic premise of science and what one can reasonably conclude from the results of the scientific endeavor. He moves forward to discuss some of the recent findings in science that make it a field filled with amazing discoveries.

In part two, Dawkins looks into the growing interest in the paranormal...including psychic abilities and psychic surgery. These are not only scams; in the instance of psychic surgery, the patients are often exposed to even greater risks through unsanitary practices.

Dawkins then speaks with one of the founders of DNA fingerprinting. He explains the risks associated with taking science as certainty...and he offers the hysteria over mad cow disease and poor forensic criminology as examples. He interviews a man who was convicted of a crime based upon inadequate information and a lack of expert testimony. The man subsequently educated himself and discovered the information that would lead to his acquittal.

In part three, Dawkins returns to a discussion of man's origin and the curiosities that lead scientists to ask why. In order to understand the tedious nature of science, he looks at the research on fruit flies and how it may provide important clues into cancer treatment.

The documentary closes with a Dawkins demonstration conducted to explain the number of years man has occupied on the entire continuum of time. In the scheme of things, mankind has only occupied a minute point. Science has provided us with the tools to make that determination.

Break The Science Barrier - Part One (1 of 2)

Break The Science Barrier - Part One (2 of 2)

Break The Science Barrier - Part Two (1 of 2)

Break The Science Barrier - Part Two (2 of 2)

Break The Science Barrier - Part Three (1 of 2)

Break The Science Barrier - Part Three (2 of 2)

Tagged as: Astronomy, Cancer, Creationism, DNA, Evolution, Forensics, Fruit Flies, Mad Cow Disease, Richard Dawkins, Science

Daniel DiRito | March 15, 2008 | 9:40 AM
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