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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