This Week, PBS Will Begin Airing Neil Shubin’s Evolution Series, Documenting How We Are ‘Just a Jerry-Rigged Fish’

In 2006, paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Neil Shubin and his team discovered fossil remains of a genus they called Tiktaalik. While anti-evolutionists constantly declare there are no “transitional fossils,” Tiktaalik beautifully represented the shift from fish to amphibians, containing traits of both and countering those Creationist claims.

Tiktaalik (via Wikipedia)

Shubin later wrote about his discovery and how our own bodies give us clues to our evolutionary past in Your Inner Fish, and that book is now being turned into a three-part PBS documentary series that begins airing this week.

In “Your Inner Fish,” a three-part spinoff of his best-selling book that begins Wednesday night on PBS (check local listings), Mr. Shubin mashes 3.5 billion years of history into scientific experiments, animation and fun facts that explain how we evolved from fish with fins to people with arms and legs. He also recreates his journey to the Canadian Arctic for the most important discovery of his life: fossilized evidence of the intrepid missing link that dared to exit Earth’s primordial soup and explore land.

Mr. Shubin reveals what happens to the gill arches evident in human embryos, why some gonads travel and others do not, and how a gene called “sonic hedgehog” determines the shape of fingers and fins. After all, he says, “we are — every one of us — just a jerry-rigged fish.”

Between this and Cosmos, science proponents are doing pretty well on television right now.

We may be losing the movie battle, but at least we got the small screen covered!

(via Canadian Atheist)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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