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Myths & Superstitions

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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Myths & Superstitions

Show Archive
Date: Thursday - October 27, 2005
Host: George Noory
Guests: Kenneth C. Davis

America's favorite teacher, Kenneth C. Davis, elaborated on the origins of myths and superstitions, many of which arise from ancient ideations. For instance, throwing a coin into a fountain, relates back to when people made offerings to water, which was viewed as a sign of life. Breaking a mirror bringing bad luck, stems from the idea of a mirror representing the soul-- thus a broken mirror is like a broken soul. Interestingly, he noted that vampires are depicted as not being able to see their refection in mirrors.

Speaking of vampires, Davis speculated that the legend may have got its start by the fact that some corpses can still go through physiological changes, making it seems as though they're still alive. He also discussed the origin of our Halloween holiday which dates back over 2,000 years to the pagan Harvest/New Year celebration. A bonfire was lit to frighten away spirits, and people carried the embers home in a hollowed-out turnip.

Davis touched on the King Arthur legend, suggesting that Arthur was indeed a real person and that Merlin may have been a Druid priest. He also delved into stories from Greek mythology, such as the account of Tantalus, who was punished by the gods after trying to serve them his son as a meal. Tantalus was forced to eternally stand in a pool of water while fruit and other items were constantly sliding out of his reach. This is where the word tantalizing comes from.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Thursday October 27, 2005

  • #41
    Dave Matthews Band
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