Doctor of cognition and neuroscience, Gerald Epling, discussed his work on phenomenal bio-communication which measures and records the energy responses to plants in various conditions as well as responses of one life form to another. "We don't know why it happens," Epling marveled, "but we do have evidence that it happens on a quantum level." He explained that, according to biophysiological research, plants have been shown to respond to a person's thoughts as well as positive and negative actions towards it. While Epling theorized that plants possess "some kind of an emotional system," whether or not they can feel pain remains a mystery.
Over the course of the evening, Epling also detailed his research into memory and the human brain. He noted that, since human sight is actually a delayed response, "what you're really working with, in your brain, is a memory rather than real time." Epling credited attentiveness, an exciting experience while being in a good mood, and the ability to understand an event and put it in proper context as key components to creating a strong memory. He also blamed nutritional deficits and distraction for why some people seem to lack the ability to remember well. Although this may sound detrimental, he observed that people with strong memory skills tend to have difficult friendships, since they remember "every problem and every slight."
Regarding the elimination of bad memories, he acknowledged that there are a handful of methods currently being used by therapists, but was skeptical that "you ever fully erase it." One process, he said, involves having a patient "review the memory and then change the memory as it's happening." That said, Epling expressed dissatisfaction with that specific treatment because it eschews the reality of the experience. Therefore, he suggested an alternative method where the patient and therapist jointly observe the memory from a psychological distance. By adopting this detached perspective, he mused, "eventually, the memory will lose its power over you."
In the first hour, space historian Robert Zimmerman talked about recent troubles facing the Kepler telescope as well as other space news. Despite NASA's suggestions that the telescope's mission could be salvaged, Zimmerman lamented that it is "really unlikely they'll be able to save this." Despite Kepler's primary mission potentially ending, Zimmerman pointed out that it has identified roughly 2,700 potential Earth-like planets, but the sheer volume of such candidates has resulted in only 132 being confirmed by other telescopes. Therefore, he declared that "there is potentially, in the archives of Kepler, a gigantic mother lode of discovery" which could be revealed over the next decade as the data is studied.