Discovering Ardi

The Discovery Channel is having a documentary about Ardipithecus ramidus at 8pm Central time (in about half an hour). I’m planning to set my work aside for a while and fix a bowl of hot soup — it’s cold here, with a snow storm on the way — and see if they actually do it right.

First half hour wasn’t bad: nice overview of the practice of finding old bones, and a good illustration of the fragmentary nature of the fossil. At the same time, though, it’s also doing a good job of showing how they know the pieces of Ardi are from a single individual.

S l o w i n g   d o w n. So far this program is taking longer to watch than it took me to read the original papers. It’s got some nicely done bits, but it sure is taking it’s time, and it’s annoyingly repetitive. It’s also got commercials, and the frequency of commercial breaks is steadily increasing.

I thought we Americans were supposed to have short attention spans. How is this sort of drawn out programming supposed to appeal to the average person with a general interest in evolution?