transformations like how birds can evolve from dinosaurs; why a fish wasonce your ancestor; and above all, what makes us human.Right now on NOVA, you'll find out, What Darwin Never Knew.The tree of life on Earth, is one of stunning diversity: 9,000 species of birds,350,000 kinds of beetles, 28,000 types of fish; 2,000,000 living species andcounting. And we are just one of them.But why is there such an amazing variety of animals? Why are there somany types of fish, so many different species of beetle? How did thisextraordinary profusion of life on Earth come about?Today we celebrate the man who would ultimately answer that question:Charles Darwin.He was born 200 years ago, and it is 150 years since he published the work that has become the bedrock of our understanding of life on Earth.
(Harvard Medical School): What Darwin wanted tounderstand was how you get this extraordinary diversity of life on Earth. Hewas spot on. He really nailed it.
Darwin's theory of evolution, his account of why species adaptand change, has been called the best idea anyone ever had.But even Darwin admitted that his work was incomplete. Vast questionswere still unanswered. And the biggest question was, "How?" How didevolution take place?
(University of Wisconsin±Madison/Howard HughesMedical Institute): He didn't know any of the mechanics of that process. Hedidn't understand the physical forces that would actually change the wayspecies appeared.
But today we can answer the questions that Darwin could not.We can look under the hood of evolution, and see exactly how thismysterious process gives rise to such astounding diversity.
What's incredible about this timing, from a scientific perspective, is we're going to be able to understand that diversity. And that