Tonight’s episode is the second part of a two-part special exploring alternative theories from outside the scientific mainstream and their evolving relationship with nature-centered spiritualities, as we seek a balance between modern science and a meaningful religious life. We turn our attention away from the Earth and look at the strange sea it swims in. Outer space appears empty but is actually filled with swirling clouds of plasma. What effect does it have? Most astronomers dismiss it as largely inconsequential, but plasma cosmologists think otherwise. Plasma is ionized gas, a powerful conductor of electricity; and electromagnetism is far more powerful than gravity. What if we’re living in an electric universe?
We celebrate biodiversity and its essential role in maintaining the health, vitality and interconnection of the natural world, as well as our place within it. We look at some new evidence for the Gaia hypothesis, and explore how art and science can work together to inspire both hearts and minds to care more deeply about the planet and its creatures. We talk a bit about language and ask the all-important question: if biological and cultural diversity is so important, why is it so hard? In our Pro extension, we talk more about the ethical and philosophical underpinnings of the environmental movement, as we wonder: should we save the earth for ourselves, or for its own sake?
In Episode 105 – Animal Kin, we discover that animals are people, too, and some of them share a lot more in common with humans than you might think! We take a look at how biologists are reexamining the question of animal intelligence in “bird-brained” corvids, and how someday soon you might be able to use a new iPhone app to talk to apes at the zoo. Plus, we learn how man’s best friend may have helped wipe out the Neanderthals, all the while grooming us to become obedient personal servants. After covering the fascinating discoveries of conventional science, in our Pro extension we take a walk on the wilder side as we look at research into psychic animals and animal psychics.