Professor of Psychology at Harvard University Steven Pinker is one of the world's leading authorities on language and the mind. In the first half, he shared his assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, showing that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide thanks to reason and science. Looking at the news, we often think things are getting worse and worse, but this is because the media typically focuses on violent and disturbing events above all else, he pointed out, and this tends to distort or slant our view of the world. The rate of extreme poverty has gone down dramatically over the last 30 years, he cited, from around 50% to 9.6%, and death from wars is now 1.2 per 100,000 versus during the Viet Nam war era when it was 9 per 100,000.
Despite some pushbacks, the world's 192 countries are increasingly democratic, he stated, adding that overall there is a positive trend for ideas and values that uplift human civilization. With the Internet and media coverage, humanity's circle of empathy has expanded so that people care more about what is going on in the world, said Pinker, though he noted that some individuals express a kind of "progressophobia," a distrust of the idea that overall conditions are improving because there are still so many problems.
Appearing in the third hour, paranormal researcher specializing in Catholic mysticism, Kevin Cook discussed his latest work delving into miracles and apparitions, as well as his own series of enigmatic coincidences and synchronicities. At any time, he said there can be some 14-15 Marian (Virgin Mary) apparitions that the Church actively investigates. He detailed strange miraculous occurrences surrounding the Italian nun, Saint Clelia Barbieri, who died in 1870. Since her death, at branches of the order she started, her "high-pitched heavenly and harmonious voice" has been suddenly and clearly heard in various choirs. A Marian apparition is associated with Our Lady of Akita, a wooden statue in Japan. Samples from the crying sculpture of the Virgin Mary at this location were submitted for testing and found to be composed of actual human tears, Cook reported.
The last hour of the show featured Miracle Open Lines, with callers sharing their accounts of powerful and healing events.