Appearing for the full four hours, astronomer and physicist Stephan Martin discussed his research into the mysteries of the universe such as how and why it was created as well as the possibility of multiverses, life after death and ETs. "The universe is so complex, so profound, so mysterious, that we need lots of different perspectives just to get a handle on it," he mused. With that in mind, Martin's investigation saw him speaking with an array of thinkers that included cutting edge scientists, religious leaders, and indigenous elders, in order to get their take on the nature of the universe.
One theme which Martin observed emerging from his conversations with these experts was that "we don't necessarily live in the universe because we actually are the universe, in human form." While this may seem like a matter of semantics, he noted that it is a radical shift in perspective where "we are the universe, occurring in every moment." He lamented that modern culture has distanced itself from this concept, as can be seen in the disconnect between man and nature. Of the many people he spoke with, Martin said he was most surprised by his interviews with indigenous elders who conveyed a strong belief in reciprocity as, in their view, "it's an interrelated universe where there are repercussions for our actions."
During the second hour, visionary author Duane Elgin weighed in on where the human race stands as far as understanding the universe. He was enthusiastic about a recent study which said that 60% of Americans believe they have had a "mystical experience," conveying a oneness with the universe. Elgin called this a cultural revolution where people are moving away from religion and entering into a state of knowing rather than believing. He also observed another shift at work where science is advancing so fast that "the tools of science are essentially undoing the traditional assumptions of science." Extrapolating on that idea, he pointed out that cutting edge research suggests that there appears to be sentience throughout all aspects of the universe, which is a concept previously dismissed by science.
In the final two hours, science writer James Gardner joined the conversation and shared his theory on the nature of the universe. He put forth the concept that intelligence was "programmed into the universal plan from the very first moments of the Big Bang." The reason, Gardner said, was so that this intelligence could eventually facilitate the creation of subsequent "baby universes," which repeat the process forever. According to his theory, the present state of human intelligence is but one part of a longer evolutionary chain and "true artificial intelligence" is the next stage of this evolution. While his theory may sound radical, he noted that it has received praise from a number of respected scientists such as Royal Martin Rees and Seth Shostak.
While most birthday party clowns are full of mirth, an actor in Switzerland has seen his business boom with the creation of his "evil" version of the character. The elaborate gag includes the sinister clown stalking the victim in the days before their birthday and warning of his impending arrival. Provided the recipient isn't too terrified, the act culminates with the dark harlequin blasting them with a pie in the face at their birthday party. More on the story here.
Bumper music from Wednesday April 14, 2010