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Growing Up in the Universe

“Growing Up in the Universe” is a five-part documentary series that was first broadcast in 1991. Each 1-hour episode contained various facts about the the evolution of life and universe shared through the lectures of Richard Dawkins. The series was produced as a part of the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures and was first released by BBC in the United Kingdom.

In the first episode, Dawkins discussed the different capabilities and skills of the human body. He then presented some facts that showed how limited computers and other great inventions of man are as compared to the human body. Dawkins also presented a small totem pole to represent the value of learning about our ancestors and understanding the past to live our life to the fullest.

The second episode is a lecture that is focused on the true definition of design. He used simple objects such as rocks and crystals to show the viewers that these things were created through the laws of physics and are therefore not designed. He then showed samples of designed objects such as a pocket watch and a microscope and explained that these things could not have been made by sheer luck.

For the third part, Dawkins used a stick insect and a leaf insect to show how some creatures are perfect for nature. The ability of these insects to mimic sticks or dead leaves allows them to blend into the environment and avoid their enemies. He explains that it takes a lot for these creatures to imitate the surrounding environment so they can hide.

The fourth lecture of Dawkins is focused on the purpose of everything in the universe. In this episode, he begins by asking a little girl what flowers were for. When the little girl answered that the flowers were created for our benefit, Dawkins explained that most people believe that nature was made for the benefit of man and this belief is backed by numerous scriptures from the Bible and other literature.


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