Hawking is the extraordinary story of the planet's most famous living scientist, told for the first time in his own words and by those closest to him. Made with unique access to Hawking's ... See full summary »
6-part documentary series from arguably the greatest scientific mind in the world, the wheelchair-bound Stephen Hawking, which describes all current thinking on the Big Bang, origins of the... See full summary »
In a studio setting, Stephen Hawking, Arthur C. Clarke and Carl Sagan (who joins them via satellite) discuss the Big Bang theory, God, our existence as well as the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
Arthur C. Clarke
Like another commenter here I am somewhat dismayed by our good friend Blackhole's seeming misinterpretation of Timothy Ferris' thought provoking CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE, a sort of COSMOS Lite for the 1980s that explains in very easy to understand terms how that which we know of as everything -- including us -- came to be. I can understand how someone might get suspicions of a spiritual agenda at work here, since after all and in the language of my lifelong hero Dr. Carl Sagan, we are all connected to the very fiber of the universe in the most profound ways, starstuff who have evolved a consciousness and understanding of how we came to be.
What can be more spiritual than knowing that you are essentially just as old as the planet Jupiter? Or that the same laws which govern reality in Alpha Centauri are also in effect here? That sort of awareness really is on the same plane of consideration as that which religion poses, but the religion at work in Mr. Ferris' special is one of mathematics, physics, and evolution on the grandest scale, namely the beginning and 15 billion year life of everything that we know. God would be impressed, and I believe not at all threatened by our need to understand how an area the size of a head of a pin expanded into the fabric of space & time, and eventually coalesced into everything that is.
The obvious comparison to make with the show is with Dr. Sagan's COSMOS, which in my opinion is the single most important television event of my life aside from watching the Bionic Man fight Bigfoot. Dr. Ferris' approach is somewhat more concentrated around the mechanics of how everything came to be and perhaps a bit lacking in the charm department, unlike Dr. Sagan's bong hit fueled "personal journey". But then again Ferris only has 90 minutes in which to sum up this 15 billion year evolution of matter. We forgive him for his brevity, especially since he managed to score the show with the music of Brian Eno.
And just like COSMOS one thing must be said about CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE, which that it is VERY very enjoyable to watch. This is science as popular culture, with Mr. Ferris never talking down to his audience even when describing how the fabric of space/time came to be, which is not easy. It's fun and sexy to be smart, so nobody can walk away from the experience of seeing this excellent documentary unchanged. He also fills the program with the words & thoughts of a host of luminaries in the fields of science, physics and astronomy, so unlike Dr. Sagan's approach the effect is a bit more egalitarian, which impresses upon the viewer how science is a communal effort made up of many different voices, approaches, attitudes and insights. Not any one of us has it all figured out but together if we use our brains we can amount to far more than the sum of our parts.
If that sounds like some "Star Trek" inspired Vulcanian religious view you are correct, but the show isn't concerned with making the case for one spiritual ideology over another, and to see such an agenda in the approach is to miss the totality of existence as we know it today. This show deserves to be seen by anybody who is curious about just how we came to be here and is brave enough to face concepts that dwarf mere human ambition or petty concerns of ideology. And that sweater with an anorak look is still quite in style.
10/10: deserves a re-release.
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