Thursday, November 19, 2009

PBS - Life Beyond Earth

The question of whether we are alone in the universe has intrigued humanity for centuries, and journalist Timothy Ferris presents an extensive look at the quandary in this fascinating and beautifully produced program from PBS. Ferris, as an engaging and inquisitive host, begins by discussing the development of life and the theory of evolution, as what we know about life on Earth could indicate whether it's possible for life to have developed elsewhere. Showing how scientists would expect life to exist elsewhere, Ferris then devotes his attention in a section entitled "Is Anybody Listening" to explain how radio telescopes are being used in hopes of making contact with intelligent beings beyond our own solar system. Throughout this documentary Ferris finds creative ways to make fairly complicated material easily understandable, and his offbeat approach to serious science is always entertaining and often fascinating. Experts such as scientist and bestselling author Stephen Jay Gould appear briefly in interviews to offer their insights, but for the most part the presentation is astoundingly visual. Ferris wisely opts to show something rather than merely talk about it, and the DVD is filled with startling and beautiful special effects as well as gorgeous footage shot both on Earth and in space. This is an excellent documentary that also happens to be a pleasure to watch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for all the shows, dude :) Keep up the good work

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