Evolution isn't over — it's happening right now, all around us. Even human beings are evolving, but into what? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, are we speeding up our own evolution? Also, scientists who play God in the lab, and the strange family life of the tree shrew.
Biologist Christopher Wills tells Jim Fleming that human evolution is still happening and at an ever-accelerating pace. His book is "Children of Prometheus: The Accelerating Pace of Human Evolution." Also, Evolutionary biologist Michael Travisano plays God over a test-tube world of bacteria. He tells Judith Strasser what sorts of changes he sees after 2,000 generations and what it's like to watch creatures evolve. Also, Jim Fleming reads an excerpt from Theodore Sturgeon's sci-fi classic "Microcosmic God."SEGMENT 2:
Evolutionary biologist Lin Chao studies virus sex at UC/San Diego. He tells Judith Strasser that his experiments show sexual reproduction is much better than asexual reproduction. Also, Natalie Angier tells Steve Paulson that human sexuality is as much a product of culture as evolution. She says there's no evidence, for example, that big breasts are better.SEGMENT 3:
Michael Ryan is a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin and studies tungara frogs. He tells Jim Fleming that tungara males have a problem: their courtship songs attract both females and predators.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 99-08-01-B.
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