I hope you caught the first episode of The History Channel's "Evolve" last night. It was wonderful. An hour of smart, entertaining, engaging, and informative science programming. What a concept!
I've been becoming more and more frustrated with the History Channel lately. The increasing frequency of shows about nonsense (Bigfoot, Lochness Monster, UFO's, etc.) is especially annoying because the History Channel often presents these things as legitimate scientific debates. They are not. Doing so merely adds to the dumbing down of America.
But last night the first episode of "Evolve" aired. The episode focused on the evolution of Eyes. Creationists have long held that eyes are proof of a creator. Eyes are so complex, they could not have simply evolved, they say. After all, what good would half an eye be?
The creationists are completely and utterly wrong of course. There is a clear and steady progression from the most basic kind of eye - a few light sensitive cells on the service of the skin - to the advanced eyes that humans and other animals have today. "Evolve" set out to explain that progression.
Natural Selection has favored animals that can see. For different animals, different types of sight are the most beneficial. Hunters (birds, T-rex's, etc.) tended to evolve towards increased binocular vision; this allows them to have very good depth perception needed to accurately attack it's prey. Prey (rabbits were the specific example in the show) have evolved eyes that are more to each side of their heads, giving them near 360 degree fields of view; if an animal can see a threat coming from any direction, it has a selective advantage.
Those are just a couple examples. The best thing is that the show at no point shied away from evolution. It presented evolution as it should be presented: fact. The show is definitely worth watching; try to catch a rerun or TiVo it if you missed it. I'm looking forward to future episodes. Good work History Channel!
Update: In the comments, gypsy suggests that we contact the History Channel and tell them we appreciate this type of programming and encourage them to put more of it on the air. I couldn't agree more. Thanks gypsy.
Everyone who enjoyed the show
or appreciate the HC dealing with reality, please write them.
I've contacted them so many times about Ice Road Truckers and such, and junk science programming, that I'm sure they have my email address set to go directly to the trash folder.