Richard Dawkins takes a look at the purpose of human existence and asks the earthshaking question – Why are we here?
Pointing out that religious stories of human purpose fail miserably, Dawkins indicates that science may be able to offer a better explanation for human existence. Starting out with Darwin, he claims that Darwin’s theory of evolution may offer the only explanation for humanity’s raison d’état that we are likely to ever get.
Many religious believers may claim that answers for our existence offered by evolution theory mean that humans are nothing special, that we are just another species of animal. They are, of course, correct in saying that we are just another animal species but this does not necessarily mean that are not special.
Clearly humans are different from our animal brothers in that we have the ability to ask questions like why are we here. This also means, however, that with our ’specialness’ comes extraordinary responsibilities. This brilliant documentary helps clarify some of the arguments made by evolution and is in no way just more of the same from Dawkins.
The Big Question is a five-part science documentary television series broadcast in the United Kingdom on the Five channel, beginning January 2004 and continuing into 2005. In the North American market, it has been re-released on the Discovery Science network. Each half-hour episode is hosted by a renowned authority, and examines the following provocative questions:
* Part 1 - "How Did the Universe Begin?" by Stephen Hawking
* Part 2 - "How Did Life Begin?" by Harry Kroto
* Part 3 - "Why Are We Here?" by Richard Dawkins
* Part 4 - "Why Am I Me?" by Susan Greenfield
* Part 5 - "How Will It All End?" by Ian Stewart
The series has attracted controversy and criticism from creationists, as well as praise from other reviewers.