Science Night 12/21

Wednesday Science Night for December 21st presents:

Nature: Christmas in Yellowstone 7 pm
As snow falls and Christmas lights glow in Jackson Hole, a holiday season of a different sort settles in just beyond the town, in the great winter world of Yellowstone. Breathtaking landscapes frame intimate scenes of wolves and coyotes, elk and bison, bears and otters as they make their way through their most challenging season of the year. NATURE journeys in the footsteps of the men who first explored the park, and travels with their modern-day counterpart on his own journey of discovery. From the unique crystals of individual snowflakes to the grand sweep of Yellowstone’s Hayden Valley, this is a Christmas like no other.

NOVA: “What Darwin Never Knew” 8 pm
Earth teems with a staggering variety of animals, including 9,000 kinds of birds, 28,000 types of fish and more than 350,000 species of beetles. What explains this explosion of living creatures — 1.4 million different species discovered so far, with perhaps another 50 million to go? The source of life’s endless forms was a mystery until Charles Darwin’s revolutionary idea of natural selection, which he showed could help explain the gradual development of life on Earth. But Darwin’s radical insights raised as many questions as they answered. What actually drives evolution and turns one species into another? And how did we evolve? On the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species,” NOVA reveals answers to the riddles that Darwin couldn’t explain. Breakthroughs in a brand-new science –nicknamed “evo devo” — are linking the enigma of origins to another of nature’s great mysteries, the development of an embryo. NOVA takes viewers on a journey from the Galapagos Islands to the Arctic and from the Cambrian explosion of animal forms half a billion years ago to the research labs of today. Here scientists are finally beginning to crack nature’s biggest secrets at the genetic level. And, as NOVA shows, the results are confirming the brilliance of Darwin’s insights while exposing clues to life’s breathtaking diversity.