David Attenborough: Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life

David Attenborough’s new documentary, Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life, was broadcast earlier this evening on BBC1 in the UK, and will be available on iPlayer for a few days.  Watch it while you can, grab the DVD when it’s made available.

Meanwhile even if you’re outside the UK (and therefore unable to see this documentary immediately) you might like to pop over to wellcometreeoflife.org to see the animation that forms the central core of one of the segments of  Attenborough’s 60 minute documentary.

Attenborough takes an ecological theme, starting with a reading from Genesis, in leading to Gen 1:28 implying that man has dominion over living creatures and can use them for his purposes, and moving on through Darwin’s “long argument”, which leads to a very different message: we do not have dominion over the animals, we are animals, and we are controlled by the same forces that control them.

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Godbothering nurse suspended

The Daily Telegraph reports today that a part-time nurse working in Somerset has been suspended for ‘failing to demonstrate a “personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity”‘ after complaints were made to her employers about her religious approaches to patients.

Caroline Petrie was originally a member of the Church of England but converted to Baptist nine years ago, the Telegraph reports. In October she was reprimanded after an incident in which she offered a prayer card to an elderly patient, whose carer later complained. She was told at the time, ‘you must not use your professional status to promote causes that are not related to health’.

After a new incident, in which she offered to pray for a 70-year-old patient, she was asked by the Health Trust, on December 15, to explain her actions. The patient is understood to have complained. She was suspended without pay on December 17. Ms Petrie attended a disciplinary meeting last week and she expects to hear the outcome soon.