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For those lucky enough to have access to PBS’s series Nova, this week should be a real treat. On the 28th and 29th, Nova presents a 4-hour miniseries called “Origins“. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium, hosts the show and will take viewers on a “cosmic journey to the beginning of time and to the depths of space, in search of the first stirrings of life and its traces on other worlds.”

The four hours are separated into four particular topics:

  1. “Origins: Earth is Born” gives viewers a spectacular glimpse of the tumultuous first billion years of Earth — a time of continuous catastrophe.

  2. “Origins: How Life Began” zeroes in on the mystery of exactly how precious life happened.
  3. “Origins: Where are the Aliens?” explores whether ETs would resemble “us”, and if planets on which life can flourish rare or common in our universe?
  4. “Origins: Back to the Beginning” starts with a bang — the Big Bang, and takes viewers back to where everything began.

Sounds really good, it would be a crime to miss it.

  1. Other Life Forms?
    You earth people are SOOO anthropocentric and water oriented! Why does any other life form have to originate around 1g and 70 degrees? Think about it – what does “life” need to exist? A source of energy exchange, semi stable material to carry the blueprints (DNA), and an organizing force (Creator) to keep notching the bar upward.

    Think about it – what would prevent life from originating in a sun (probably NOT carbon/oxygen based, but lots of energy), a gas giant planet (likely very wispy, floating in the atmosphere, lots of carbon there!), or in the gas clouds around a star – low energy level, probably slow moving and long lived – might take eons to complete a thought – would you recognize it if it spoke to you?

    Why should all creation be limited to one pattern?

    1. One too many
      Hi Anon,

      I am going to have to differ with you on the need for a creator. The maths and physics agree – the dice do play God with the universe. Other than that, spot on! There have been several science fiction treatments of non-carbon lifeforms, some very believable. I think Asimov suggested silicon as a good alternative chemistry way back in the 50s. Like carbon, it can take a variety of chemically complex forms, is very stable in some of those forms, and can have both exothermic and endothermic variants.

      Regards, C.

      1. “its the DNA, stupid!”
        I will surely watch whatever the latest silly theory that attempts to explain how a SUBMICROSCOPIC SUPERCOMPUTER CHEMICAL code (nucleic acids) “created itself”…always good for a laugh

  2. NOVA
    I started watching the first hour and had eyes glazed over within ten minutes. This was one of the worst examples of establishment blather I have been subjected to in a long time 🙁

    I’ll try again tomorrow for hour three. Not holding breath…

    Wednesday: Watched the third hour. Fairly decent presentation, given the establishment tendencies. Explored the usual elements of the Drake equation, but gave all the new evidence that strengthens the coefficients, therefore arguing for high likelyhood of ETI. Who knew?

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