Historian William R. Forstchen, PhD, specializes in subjects ranging from history and cultural issues, to space technology development, and the security implications of these combined topics. In the first half, he updated the ongoing campaign to bolster energy and communications infrastructure against an EMP attack, and what the effects of such a calamity would be. An EMP or electromagnetic pulse attack could involve the detonation of several nuclear devices above the atmosphere of various parts of America, likely knocking out large portions of the power grid, he warned. And because the US is unprepared for such an attack, it could take years to restore the power.
He cited grim statistics that most of the population would be dead within a year of such an attack, because a lot of the utilities we take for granted such as fresh water are pumped out via electricity in many locations. "Electricity is the fundamental building block of our entire world today...It would be like being thrown back to the 19th century...We don't know how to live without electricity," he remarked. Forstchen also shared some basic survival tips such as having a four-week food supply on hand, and purchasing a water purifier that could convert pond water into drinking water.
In the latter half, author and philosopher Matthew Alper argued that belief in such things as ghosts, the paranormal, spirituality, and even God are wired into our brains neurologically, though there is no scientific proof that any of these are real in the physical world. "Humans are genetically predisposed to a belief system. There are parts of our brain that generate what we call spiritual and religious experiences, which compel us to believe that there is some form of a transcendental reality," he said. Alper considers this as an evolutionary adaptation of the species to cope with our unique awareness of death.
There is no spiritual reality-- I call this "nature's white lie," he continued. Our self-conscious awareness makes us the most powerful species on Earth, but the drawback is that we're aware of our own mortality, and the anxiety surrounding this led to the development in the brain of the comforting feeling of spirituality, and life after death, he explained. Alper contended that there's no scientific evidence for such phenomena as ghosts-- it's all "claims." In the case of NDEs, in which people describe otherworldly accounts and reuniting with deceased loved ones, he related this to brain issues from reduced oxygen flow, and the triggering of the temporal lobe which is associated with religious experiences.