NBC's "The Mysterious Origins of Man" sparked heated controversy within the academic community when originally broadcast February 25, 1996, and will be rebroadcast on Saturday, June 8 (8-9 p.m. ET). Professors of science and anthropology from some of the nation's most prestigious colleges and universities voiced strong opinions about some of the theories in the special, which challenged long-accepted beliefs about man's beginnings.
The program presented startling evidence suggesting man may have made the climb from Stone age to civilization more than once; that present-day man is just the latest in this cycle, and that Darwin's Theory of Evolution has serious flaws.
"Our goal was simply to present the public with evidence which suggests an alternative view to some of our most accepted theories," says producer Bill Cote. "We questioned fundamental issues that they (some scientists) felt should not be questioned. The bottom line is, the world is bigger than scientists can explain, and some of them want us to believe they can explain everything.
"We expected some controversy when we produced this show, "Cote continues, "but no one was prepared for the enormous cry of outrage from members of the scientific community."
Hundreds of messages jammed Cote's special online website (http://www.bcvideo.com/bcvideo) following the program, and activity continues on several sites dedicated to the program. "While many viewers, including some scientists, praised the production as 'a great accomplishment and contributing to public education," says Cote, "many scientists expressed outrage and criticism."
Michael H. Gerber (Emmy-winning special "The Mystery of the Sphinx") and Robert Watts ("Star Wars" trilogy, "Indiana Jones" trilogy, "The Mystery of the Sphinx" are the executive producers. John Cheshire, Bill Cote and Carol Cote ("The Mystery of the Sphinx") are the producers. Bill Cote directed from a script he wrote with Cheshire. Charlton Heston hosts the program from B.C. Video Inc.
Return to the "Mysterious Origins of Man" FAQ.