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To start off part one, Dawkins discusses the amazing capabilities of the human body and contrasts these with the limited capabilities of computers and other man-made machines. He uses a small totem pole (which is used in ancestor worship) to illustrate the importance of studying our ancestors to understand how we've evolved. To contrast ease of reproduction with the difficulty of becoming an ancestor, Dawkins uses the example of paper folding to explain exponential growth. Dawkins then tells the audience that exponential growth does not generally happen in the real world - natural factors come into play which control the population numbers, meaning that only an elite group of organisms will actually become distant ancestors. To be in this elite group, the organism must "have what it takes" to survive and pass on their genes to offspring.
Oxford professor Richard Dawkins presents a series of lectures on life, the universe, and our place in it. With brilliance and clarity, Dawkins unravels an educational gem that will mesmerize young and old alike. Illuminating demonstrations, wildlife, virtual reality, and special guests (including Douglas Adams) all combine to make this collection a timeless classic.The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children were founded by Michael Faraday in 1825, with himself as the inaugural lecturer. The 1991 lecturer was Richard Dawkins whose five one-hour lectures, originally televised by the BBC, are now available for the first time on DVD, courtesy of RDF.
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