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Episode credited cast:
Martin Rees Martin Rees ... Himself - Host (as Professor Martin Rees)


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Release Date:

2004 (UK) See more »

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Are We Real?
8 September 2014 | by a_baronSee all my reviews

For a while, the title of this esoteric documentary appears to be a misnomer, but after contemplating mathematics, the emergence of pattern and order out of nothing...the question is finally posed, are we really only characters in some great computer game?

Life is the result of atoms, time and mathematics is one view; the other is that life and only life gives meaning to the Universe. How this latter is arrived at remains to be seen. True, there are some weird things going on, like the ultra-fine tuning of the cosmological constant, but do we need a programmer to explain this?

Let's put it another way, would 2 + 2 still equal 4 if the Universe were empty? Would pi still be both transcendental and the ratio of the diameter to the circumference, not to mention the sum of an infinite series?

Okay, so the god of the gaps got wider for a bit, but it will probably close if Man lives long enough. There is some interesting stuff here; the multiverse is of course an unverifiable hypothesis so need not concern us, but transhumanism, now that sounds promising. Unfortunately if it does eventually arrive it will be too late for most of the people reading this review. And far too late for the bloke who wrote it.

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