Growing Up in the Universe: Richard Dawkins Presents Captivating Science Course for Kids (1991)

Back in 1825, Michael Fara­day, the ven­er­at­ed Eng­lish sci­en­tist, estab­lished The Roy­al Insti­tu­tion Christ­mas Lec­tures for Chil­dren. Fara­day gave the inau­gur­al lec­ture him­self, hop­ing to get a younger gen­er­a­tion inter­est­ed in sci­ence, and the tra­di­tion has car­ried on ever since. Above, we’re skip­ping for­ward 166 years to 1991, when Richard Dawkins, one of the world’s best known evo­lu­tion­ary biol­o­gists, pre­sent­ed a five part lec­ture series called Grow­ing Up in the Uni­verse. It’s a rather bril­liant look at life, the uni­verse, and our place in it. And while it’s geared toward a younger crowd, adults will enjoy it too. Orig­i­nal­ly tele­vised by the BBC, the lec­tures now appear on YouTube, cour­tesy of The Richard Dawkins Foun­da­tion for Rea­son and Sci­ence.

All of the lec­tures, whose titles are list­ed below, can be viewed in the playlist above. More RI Christ­mas Lec­tures for Chil­dren can be viewed online here. This series will be added to our col­lec­tion. 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

Lec­ture 1: Wak­ing Up in the Uni­verse

Lec­ture 2:  Designed and Desig­noid Objects

Lec­ture 3:  Climb­ing Mount Improb­a­ble

Lec­ture 4: The Ultra­vi­o­let Gar­den

Lec­ture 5: The Gen­e­sis of Pur­pose

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Comments (15)
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  • The Roy­al Insti­tu­tion (Ri) are cur­rent­ly mak­ing all of the tele­vised Christ­mas Lec­tures from 1966 avail­able in full and for free on their video site — The Ri Chan­nel (

  • Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and test­ed to see if
    it can sur­vive a twen­ty five foot drop, just so she can
    be a youtube sen­sa­tion. My apple ipad is now bro­ken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is com­plete­ly off top­ic but I had to share it with some­one!

  • Elvin says:

    Thank you for some inter­est­ing good tips in your post Grow­ing Up in the Uni­verse: Richard Dawkins Presents Cap­ti­vat­ing Sci­ence Lec­tures for Kids (1991) | Open Cul­ture.


  • Resistor says:

    Thanks for final­ly talk­ing about > Grow­ing Up in the Uni­verse: Richard Dawkins Presents Cap­ti­vat­ing Sci­ence Lec­tures for Kids (1991) | Open
    Cul­ture < Loved it!

  • Neo says:

    It’s an amaz­ing uni­verse that just explod­ed into exis­tence from noth­ing, out of nowhere and for no rea­son.

  • Taurus Kei says:

    So says your belief sys­tem..

  • boss says:

    I can’t believe it but it is true!!!I did­n’t have a laptop.sitting in my room alone feel­ing bored I thought of a lap­top to amuse myself.from nowhere and from noth­ing there was a lap­top on ma table!yes my friend!It is true but you won’t believe me.But I know you will believe the whole crap that this uni­verse came from nowhere with­out a cre­ator!!!

  • Mike Stewart says:

    Who­ev­er that woman is who brought that f****** baby to the lec­ture should be dis­mem­bered.

  • gary heitman says:

    Hmmm well 6 years lat­er am won­der­ing if your cousin is still alive. lol

  • jeroboambramblejam says:

    “… and if I am dis­mem­bered
    dear god remem­ber me…

    Excerpt from poem by Robert L. Birch

  • Red Shift says:

    April 6 2019 My first read. This could be inter­est­ing.

    fyi, wtf yn

  • George S. Hoye says:

    Is it unusu­al that local library has no books on athe­ism, or a book by Richard Dawkins, Sam Har­ris or Daniel Den­nert?

  • George S. Hoye says:

    Library has no books by Christo­pher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Har­ris, Deniel Den­nert or any books on athe­ism, but lots of books on Chris­tian­i­ty. Is this com­mon?

  • GARY HARPER says:

    …and where did this “cre­ator” come from. Tur­tles all the way down.

  • Bill Owen says:

    Link please.

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