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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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Mars Moves In

Mars Moves In

Tonight's guest Richard C. Hoagland has had a long standing fascination with Mars, believing the planet contains evidence of previous civilizations. While this is a hotly debated topic, one thing is for sure. Mars is getting ready for its close-up. By late August of this year, it will be the closest it's been to Earth in 73,000 years! As the Red Planet moves in, it will be growing steadily brighter and larger in the sky. And by the time August 27th rolls around, it will be literally millions of miles closer to us than it is now. Mars will appear six times larger and 85 times brighter, and be outshone in the night sky by only Venus and the moon.

According to Space.com, Mars comes into "opposition" every 26 months, when the Sun, Earth and Mars form a straight line. But this time around, because Mars is as close to the Sun as it ever gets on its orbit, it will be extraordinarily close to us. Just think the last time, Mars appeared like this in the sky, Neanderthals may have looked up and wondered about it.--L.L.

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