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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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Name That Exoplanet!

Name That Exoplanet!

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has announced a process to name the growing number of exoplanets or worlds beyond our solar system, with a public vote planned in 2015. The project called NameExoWorlds will start off with 305 planets discovered before 2009, with astronomy groups and clubs submitting possible names. More at Space.com.

Pictured (click to enlarge): Artist's impression from October 2006 released by the European Space Agency shows a unique type of exoplanet discovered with the Hubble Space Telescope. This image presents a speculative view of what a 'hot Jupiter' (large planet orbiting close to its star) might look like.

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