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Title Darwin's dangerous idea with Daniel Dennet. [Kanopy electronic resource]

Publication Info. [San Francisco, California, USA] : Kanopy Streaming, 2014.
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Description 1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 55 min.) : digital, .flv file, sound
video file MPEG-4 Flash
Note Title from title frames.
Event Originally produced by Into the Classroom Media in 2008.
Summary A single great idea: the theory of natural selection. With it, Charles Darwin shattered existing notions of the natural world by demonstrating how complexity could arise as a result of a blind and mechanistic sorting process, without an "intelligent designer". Now, join Daniel Dennett as he illuminates the radical nature of Darwin's dangerous idea. Setting his stage, Dennett illustrates why skeptics insist that beyond "gradual change" evolution must require something supernatural to do the "heavy lifting" of design--miraculous "lifters" which Dennett calls "skyhooks". Instead, Dennett demonstrates that we don't need miracles or "skyhooks" because evolution gives us "cranes": from sexual reproduction, to multi-cellularity, to language, he illustrates how cranes are new designs which themselves have evolutionary explanations and which, once they exist, become the tools to create previously impossible designs -from birds and humans, to ideas and culture. Next, Dennett turns to the "memetic revolution", and proposes how memes (the cultural analog of genes) can explain the extraordinary phenomenon of human culture. In surprising fashion, he cites Toxoplasma Gondi and brain fluke parasites (which cause suicidal behaviour in their hosts) to suggest why we don't need "skyhooks" to account for uniquely human attributes. He demonstrates how morality, ethics, the appreciation of beauty, or the willingness to die for an ideology are ideas (memes) which have, like parasites hijacking the human brain, superceded the strict imperative of reproductive success. Daniel Dennett's provocative, and highly entertaining presentation will inspire your students think about the natural world and the nature of human beings in surprising new ways. Dennett stands as the sharpest, cleverest, most stylish prober of issues of human consciousness (and) evolutionary theory. Carlin Romano, The Philadelphia Enquirer.
System Details Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882.
Natural selection.
Genre Documentary films.
Added Author Dennet, Daniel, host.
Kanopy (Firm)
Music No. 1062821 Kanopy
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