A multitude of evolutionary changes— anatomical and intellectual—gives rise to man's superiority among the animals. New computer techniques illustrate man's evolution, while x-ray and slow motion photography of an Olympic athlete in action show the complex interweaving of mind and body.
Man domesticates plant and animal life. With the Neolithic cultivators come the nomads and the roots of warfare. Cameras capture the unique life style of the Bakhtiari tribe of Central Iran and then recreate the war games of Genghis Khan.
Man splits a stone and reassembles the pieces to build a wall, a cathedral, a city. From the Greek temples of Paestum and the cathedrals of medieval France to modern Los Angeles, this film expresses man's faith and fancy as architect and builder.
The Shang bronze craftsmen of China and the Samurai swordsmith of Japan are the starting point for this journey which leads from the beginnings of chemistry to Dalton's atomic theory and our knowledge of the elements.
Traces the evolution of mathematics and explores the relationship of numbers to musical harmony, early astronomy and perspective in painting. It follows the spread of Greek ideas through the courts and bazaars of the Islamic empire to Moorish Spain and Renaissance Europe.
Here is the story of man's early attempts to map the forces which move the planet. Dr. Bronowski traces the origins of the scientific revolution through the conflict between fact and religious dogma, culminating in the trial of Galileo.
In the evolution of physics, the contributions of Newton and Einstein occupy center stage. This film explores the revolution that ensued when Einstein's theory of relativity upset Newton's elegant description of the universe.
Industrial and political revolutions altered man's concept of power during the 18th century. Dr. Bronowski shows why these developments were as significant as the Renaissance in man's progress.
Journeys from the valleys and waterfalls of Wales to the jungles of the Amazon to explore the controversy swirling around a startling new theory of evolution developed simultaneously by Alfred Wallace and Charles Darwin.
Commencing with a visit to an ancient Polish salt mine, Dr. Bronowski looks at the world inside the atom, tracing the history of the men and ideas that have made 20th century physics "the greatest achievement of the human imagination."
Dr. Bronowski offers his personal view of the moral dilemma that confronts today's scientists, contrasting humanist traditions with the inhumanities of the Nazis, the harnessing of nuclear energy with the development of the atomic bomb.
Examines the complex code of human inheritance—from the experiments of pioneer geneticist Gregor Mendel to the discoveries of today's sophisticated laboratories.
In this closing film, Dr. Bronowski draws together the many threads of the series as he takes stock of man's complex and sometimes precarious ascent.