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Life and Death

Andrew Marr discovers how Darwin's ideas are helping mankind to save life on earth from extinction. He explains Darwin's theory and shows our own destructive powers.

In the final episode of this groundbreaking series about Charles Darwin's legacy, Andrew Marr discovers how Darwin's ideas are helping us to save ourselves and all life on earth from extinction. Marr argues that Charles Darwin is the father of ecology. The modern environmental movement was built upon his insight that all life on earth is linked by a delicate web of connections. He also discovers that Darwin's dangerous idea is inspiring scientists to create a 'flotilla of Darwinian Noah's Arks' to help save life on earth from disaster.

Exploring the impact of industrialisation, intensive farming and our growing hunger for meat, Marr tells the story of our slow awakening to the full implications of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection and our own destructive powers as a species. After showing how Darwin developed his ideas by digging up fossils, exploring coral reefs and studying the habits of the humble earthworm, Marr explains how Darwin's dangerous idea was launched into the space age. He discovers the mysterious movements of the 'mouse society', snorkels over a coral reef and visits a 'boiling cauldron of evolution' - the tropical rainforest - which is now threatened by the shadow of mass extinction.

Over the last 150 years, the combination of Darwin's ideas with politics has often had disastrous social consequences. In this programme, Andrew Marr argues that our failure to combine politics with Darwin's insights into the delicate connections between all life on earth could be accelerating the countdown to our own extinction.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 5 Oct 2018 03:00

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Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:40

    Berk and The Virtual Band



Role Contributor
Presenter Andrew Marr


  • Thu 19 Mar 2009 21:00
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  • Thu 4 Oct 2018 20:00
  • Fri 5 Oct 2018 03:00