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Civilization, Space & String Theory

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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Civilization, Space & String Theory

Show Archive
Date: Sunday - January 22, 2006
Host: Art Bell
Guests: Michio Kaku

Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku returned to chat with Art Bell about civilizations, string theory, space missions and cosmology. He expressed enthusiasm for the Kepler Mission, a space telescope launching in 2008, that will be capable of detecting Earth-like planets in other solar systems. During its mission, it may reveal as many as 600 planets similar to ours, he noted.

String theory, which posits a vibrating multiverse, has come under criticism in some quarters. While Kaku conceded that it doesn't currently offer much predictive power, he believes the theory needs more time to be considered and validated. For instance, tests by the Large Hadron Collider in 2007 may reveal new information, he said.

Kaku also forecast into the far distant future when our universe will be dying out. At such a time, a Type 3 or 4 civilization (capable of manipulating huge amounts of energy) might construct a massive machine that could make space and time unstable. With an atom smasher the size of a solar system, he hypothesized it might open up a bubble ten light years across, through which our civilization could escape into another universe.

Ramona's Death

During the first hour of the program, Art Bell shared information about the passing of his wife Ramona, who died on January 5th from complications related to asthma. "It absolutely kills people," he said of the disease, and suggested that if individuals were interested in making a donation in Ramona's name, they choose the Asthma Foundation. Art also spoke frankly about his grieving process.

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