Science and Critical Thinking

2009, Science  -  60 min Leave a Comment
Rating from 1 user
Report Documentary


2 min read

Produced by the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, this compilation titled Science and Critical Thinking presents a series of convincing vignettes designed to celebrate the power of science from unique perspectives. Each enlightening segment features insights from a panel of philosophers, professors, scientists and professional skeptics. At the center of it all is Dawkins himself, a renowned figure who started his foundation as a means of spreading the gospel of evolution, and preventing its extinction from classrooms and other forums throughout the world.

These evolutionary principles are illustrated in several of the segments hosted by Dawkins, including one titled Saddles and Domes: Evolution of the Giant Tortoises. In this vignette, Dawkins explores the capacity of these fascinating creatures to adapt to new environments, particularly through the reformation of their protective shells. In another segment titled Why Are There Still Chimpanzees?, Dawkins explains our evolutionary relationship with the planet's hierarchy of primates. Psychology professor Robert Seyfarth continues the exploration of the primate by examining the calls of the vervet monkey, which may serve as an indication of our earliest forms of language.

The material contained in Science and Critical Thinking serves an important function, especially in the midst of a society which too often trades the value of scientific reasoning for conspiracies, shallow speculations and ill-considered teachings. "You equip yourself with information about the world to be literate across the whole range, and especially to be scientifically literate," says A.C. Grayling, a revered philosopher and one of the film's distinguished hosts. "To be an informed participant in the great conversation of mankind is to have an alert awareness and understanding of what's happening in the world.'

In Grayling's view, skepticism and critical thinking are paramount to leading a worthwhile existence and realizing the potential of your humanity; a sentiment echoed throughout the instructions of each illuminating segment of the film.

Fast-paced, engrossing and informative, Science and Critical Thinking explores our relationship to and continued understanding of the evolutionary process, the evidence of which we witness across nearly every aspect of our daily environment and in the farthest reaches of the globe.