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500 Million Years of Evolution in Under 4 Minutes

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Although this video by Fatboy Slim isn’t particularly new, it’s a great depiction of the process of evolution and still deserves recognition. Starting with some of the earliest forms of life, and ending with an interesting twist on human evolution (is our species evolving in a positive direction?) the video brings you a seamless and entertaining view of evolutionary biology. A great science-music video to get your week started!

Carin Bondar About the Author: Carin Bondar is a biologist, writer and film-maker with a PhD in population ecology from the University of British Columbia. Find Dr. Bondar online at, on twitter @drbondar or on her facebook page: Dr. Carin Bondar – Biologist With a Twist. Follow on Twitter @drbondar.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. edwardr 1:41 pm 05/21/2013

    Best to watch with the volume muted.

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  2. 2. David_Bressan 2:16 pm 05/21/2013

    Stephen Jay Gould (who we remembered May 20) would sure like the video as perfect example of our (mis)conception of evolution ;) (and how creationists still today “understand” evolution)

    1) the famous “scala naturae”, implying a direction to evolution
    2) use of modern species as progenitors of today´s species
    3) focus on vertebrates – mammals – primates, less than 2% of earth´s biota

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  3. 3. jgrosay 3:23 pm 05/21/2013

    A teacher of anatomy, Smith-Agreda, proposed long ago that the process of improvement in the human skills will go along with a narrowing of the angle in the base of skull, from very open in apes, to approaching, or even being lesser than a 90º angle in the mankind of future (Others spoke about humans with no feet, but a disc in the end of legs for walking). This teacher proposed an image of how the faces of the men and women with this reduced skull base angle and larger and more powerful brains would look like, and he arrived to the conclusion that they’ll have faces close to those of the classical greek statues. What happened to these people, if their images were of real people and not an imaginative production of the sculptors? None of them, including their genetical pool, seems having survived until today.

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  4. 4. N a g n o s t i c 11:02 pm 05/21/2013

    This video is educationally worthless.

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  5. 5. Carin 4:52 pm 05/22/2013

    I completely disagree that this video is useless. There are many factors to consider when communicating about science. I agree that the linear concept can be dangerous; however, on a basic level it provides information about how forms may change based on environmental and ecological pressures. Keep in mind that there are many many different audiences to reach, and creating a complicated video that depicts things in phylogenetic format would be great for some of those audiences, but it would completely lose others.

    As science communicators, we strive to keep messages applicable, visual and relatively straightforward. I applaud this video for what it contributes – and yes, it’s not meant for people with higher education in evolution.

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