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A remarkable discovery has emerged in astrophysics: key properties of the universe have just the right values to make life possible. Most scientists prefer to explain away this uniqueness, insisting that a number of unseen universes must therefore exist, each randomly different. Astrophysicist Bernard Haisch joined George Knapp in the first half of the show to propose the alternative—that the special properties of our universe reflect an underlying intelligent consciousness.

In the second half of the program, veteran journalist Chris Taylor talked about how the Star Wars franchise has conquered our culture with a sense of lightness and exuberance, while remaining serious enough to influence politics, and spread a spirituality that appeals to religious groups and atheists alike.

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Images: Antimatter & Laplace's Demon

Images: Antimatter & Laplace's Demon

In tandem with his 11/17/11 appearance, Dr. Cliff Pickover shares two images featured in his new work, The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection. He describes the photos:

(left image) The spaceships on Star Trek are powered by antimatter drives, but antimatter, a kind of mirror form of matter, is real -- and it’s even possible that worlds made entirely of antimatter exist in the universe. Antimatter-matter reactions have practical medical applications today in the form of positron emission tomography (PET), which employs positron-emitting atoms. In the 1960s, researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory used detectors, such as this, for studying brain tumors that absorbed injected radioactive material. Breakthroughs led to the more practical PET machines of today. (Courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory.)

(right Image): Artistic rendition of Laplace’s Demon observing particles (represented here as bright specks) at a particular instant in time. In 1814, French mathematician Pierre Laplace described an entity that was capable of calculating and determining all future events, provided that the demon was given the positions, masses, and velocities of every atom in the universe and the various known formulas of motion. In a universe with Laplace’s Demon, would free will be an illusion? (Image by Solvod.)

Click on photos to view larger.

Images: Antimatter & Laplace's Demon Images: Antimatter & Laplace's Demon
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