Carl Sagan examines life on earth discussing genes, DNA, the brain, and human social development.




Episode cast overview:
Carl Sagan ...
Himself - Host


Carl Sagan examines life on earth discussing genes, DNA, the brain, and human social development.

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Release Date:

7 December 1980 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Himself - Host: But the brain does much more than just recollect. It inter-compares, it synthesizes, it analyzes, it generates abstractions.
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Canon in D
Music by Johann Pachelbel
Played during the introduction to DNA
Played occasionally at other times
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User Reviews

The Persistence of Memory
22 October 2015 | by (India) – See all my reviews

"The Persistence of Memory" is the 11th episode of the TV mini-series "Cosmos".

First time it was aired on December 7, 1980.

The idea of intelligence is explored in the concepts of computers (using bits as their basic units of information), whales (in their songs and their disruptions by human activities), DNA, the human brain (the evolution of the brain stem, frontal lobes, neurons, cerebral hemispheres, and corpus callosum under the Triune Brain Model), and man-made structures for collective intelligence (cities, libraries, books, computers, and satellites). The episode ends with speculation on alien intelligence and the information conveyed on the Voyager Golden Record.

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