In the first half, documentary filmmaker Dan Levitt discussed how the building blocks of life traveled billions of miles and years to make us who we are. Every particle in every living thing that has ever existed in the universe came from the Big Bang that occurred about 13 billion years ago; more precisely, Levitt elaborated, the stars that were born out of the Big Bang created the chemical elements that make up all the atoms in the universe, including the ones we're made of.
Because it's so difficult to answer questions about events that took place billions of years ago, any scientific attempts to do so will inevitably be controversial. Some of the most important scientific discoveries ever made, in fact, were initially met with "scorn and skepticism," Levitt noted. But this tension is actually the way science works, he explained, because without controversy over new ideas, there can be no progress toward finding out objectively whether or not they're valid.
Levitt's research led him to focus on the journey from the Big Bang until life began on Earth. In the stage after the initial cataclysmic explosion, huge clouds of hydrogen coalesced into the earliest stars. These stars, in turn, exploded into supernovas containing other elements up to iron on the periodic table. Eventually, clouds of organic molecules were able to travel through space, which made life on planets possible. As for life on Earth as we know it, said Levitt, it ultimately came from the depths of the oceans here— although there's evidence that those lifeforms may have actually had their origins on Mars.
In the second half, Dr. Lisa Reburn told the story of a six-year-old's near-death experience during a tragedy that claimed the lives of several family members. In 2011, Ari Hallmark's home in Alabama was struck by a tornado that killed her parents, two of her grandparents, and her baby cousin. In her accounts published in Reburn's book The Girl Who Saw Heaven, Hallmark claimed to have had premonitions of the tornado, including a recurring dream in which Jesus told her that both of her parents would soon die at the same time. On that fateful day, Reburn continued, the girl realized that the horrific event was imminent.
Young Hallmark also said that immediately after the deadly tornado hit, killing her family, she witnessed them entering a great staircase leading to heaven. But these scenes from the afterlife were not further traumatizing to Hallmark; knowing that her family was in a place of majestic beauty and divine bliss was a comfort to her, added Reburn. Indeed, Hallmark, who's now eighteen, continues to thrive, preparing for her high school graduation and recently becoming engaged.