The Human Body

Sun Feb 16, 2003 7:18 am

I'm half-way through watching this DVD of the series of BBC programmes on the human body, presented by Professor Sir Robert Winston.

Amazing, amazing, amazing. It deserves its own thread. One of the most beautiful series of programmes I have ever watched. I really recommend you grab yourselves a copy.

I'm not sure if it's sold outside the UK under the same name, or in DVD format -but it really is worth looking out for.

Robert Winston has also recently finished presenting another series of programmes called "The Human instinct".....fascinating. Unfortunately, I do not think it is out in DVD or video yet.

Have you ever wondered, for example, whether humans *might* have invented God as part of some sort of survival insintct/coping apparatus? I'm not suggesting God does/does not exist, although I'm sure you'll agree it's an intriguing question.

A televised debate based on the theme of human instinct (33 minutes long) can be seen below.

Fascinating stuff.

But to try to watch "The Human Body".

Stretch 8
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RE: The Human Body

Mon Feb 17, 2003 5:12 am

My dear Captain:

As for your "have you ever wondered . . ." question, I may have as a younger man, but not at this point in my life.

Anything the BBC does is usually high qualtity (except for "AbFab"). I will watch for the show on BBC America. Do they explain how the mind of a woman works? Ah, the eternal mystery!
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!

RE: The Human Body

Mon Feb 17, 2003 6:39 am

I think the question of how a woman's mind works should be covered in the 'human instinct' series. The Human Body really just focuses on the functionality of our different organs, with particular emphasis on reproduction, pregnancy - included are some stunning shots of the baby inside the womb.

Puberty, not surprisingly, is also covered in quite a bit of detail.

I hope you are able to watch it in America, it's a real eye-opener.

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RE: The Human Body

Mon Feb 17, 2003 10:22 am

"Have you ever wondered, for example, whether humans *might* have invented God as part of some sort of survival insintct/coping apparatus? I'm not suggesting God does/does not exist, although I'm sure you'll agree it's an intriguing question"

You know, I once heard that it is virtually next to impossible for one to be objective about them and since too many God is extremely personal, it may be even more difficult. Plus factor in that this question also rides the very thin line of the ideology of evolution -- some people won't have it.

As of the question, I think we did except it is the 'how' that gets me. We humans fear the unknown; I am starting to think that is a trait of an intelligent species. Animals are for the most part not like us, but they do not fear what they do not know, they are curious and unless they sense danger, they'll keep doing it.

Like I said it's the how that gets me; not the why, we know that. Whatever happened likely took all of the nearly several million years of human life to develop -- this is how out instinct must have developed, or at least sustained.

Unfortunately it's late and I'm on the edge of being unsmart, so since this seems like really good thread, I'll come back later.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
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RE: The Human Body

Mon Feb 17, 2003 5:44 pm

Humans do have a fear of the unknown. Lower animals do not. I don't get the feeling dolphins fear the unknown but I also believe they are, in some ways, more evolved than humans.

I belive humans devloped the concept of diety partly out of fear of the unknown and partly to explain the concept of conscience. I know there are things that I have experienced that make me belive there is a higher power, whatever one chooses to name it.

Back on topic: Does the program go into much detail on how the brain functions? I find that the most fascinating organ.
You say Merry Christmas, I say All Holidays Matter

RE: The Human Body

Mon Feb 17, 2003 6:10 pm

Hi Seb

Yes, indeed, there is an entire programme devoted to the brain, namely "Brain Power". You will love it.

I was rather taken aback to disover Professor Robert Winston was not only religious, but a practising jew. Of course, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a belief in God (as long as you have freely come to that conclusion after having taken all evidence into consideration); and of course, there's nothing wrong with being a practising jew either.

I was genuinely surprised though, as he believes strongly in evolution and that a belief in God/spirituality may be tied in to some sort of primitive survival mechanism. Note how religion in developing countries has taken a somewhat firmer grip than in the developed regions of the world.

However, at the same time, he states "there will always be some questions, that science just cannot answer". That's not necessarily a vindictive statement to those who do hold a religious belief, but I think it is a an important statement to make in any case.

"The Human Instinct" series will be a real eye-opener, when it comes out.

For a televided intellectual debate on instinct, with Robert Winston, screened late last year to mark the last programme in the series of "The Human Instinct"
click here : ttp:// (a few adverts at the start, just ignore them)

Buying the Human Body DVD, I can assure you, will be money very well spent.

The BBC shop does sell the DVD series, but offers the DVD for half the recommended retail price. You won't regret it, it's a fascinating journey.

The most difficult part is the last in the series, where Herbie, a cancer patient, agreed to allow the BBC to film the last few weeks of his life, in the interests of science. Extremely depressing, and very saddening.

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