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gruts+correspondenceThese videos are very interesting. They are the Darwin Special edition of Newsnight Review on BBC 2. It discusses the cultural and philosophical legacy of the seminal work On the Origin of Species.

But they have gone wider than science to include the arts, film, theatre and literature. The panel inclusive  scientist Richard Dawkins, Man Booker prize-winning author Margaret Atwood, Reverend Richard Coles, and poet and descendant of Charles Darwin Ruth Padel.

Richard Dawkins explains his need to make the case for Darwinian theories in his new book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. Margaret Atwood talks about on her new novel  The Year of the Flood which meshes together evolutionary and religious ideas about the foundations of the natural world. And Ruth Padel describes some of the family stories of Charles Darwin and his wife.

There is a critique of the new biopic film Creation about Darwin and the play Inherit the Wind dramatising the famous Scopes Monkey trial. This involved school teacher John Scopes who in 1925 was accused of violating a Tennessee state law prohibiting teaching evolution. Two current exhibitions – After Darwin: Contemporary Expressions at the Natural History Museum in London and Endless Forms at the Fitzwilliam Museum, in Cambridge are described.

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