“Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman” returns to SCIENCE on Wednesday, June 6, seeking answers to the question: “Is There a Superior Race?”
Few would expect that since I studied literature in college and now write mostly about sports for a living, that I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to my TV viewing. I’m fascinated by astronomy and astrophysics shows. My DVR is loaded with stuff like History’s The Universe, National Geographic Channel’s Journey to the Edge of the Universe and Discovery Channel’s Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking (and yes, I’ll be watching Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design).
One of the most anticipated of my “geek shows” — and it’s probably the best of the lot — is Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman on SCIENCE. The show tackles some of our most mind-boggling questions about the universe and our place in it. Past episodes have explored things like Dark Matter and Dark Energy, the existence of extraterrestrial life, what preceded the Big Bang, travel at the speed of light, and the possibilities of a fourth dimension and a sixth sense. The series doesn’t dumb down the science, but gets leading-edge researchers to explain the principles and theories with terms and analogies that even a sportswriter can comprehend (though, yeah, I’ve had plenty of “Huh?” moments during the show). But it’s incredibly entertaining, and I’d probably watch Morgan Freeman if he were just reading a phone book out loud.
Through the Wormhole returns for Season 3 on Wednesday, June 3, at 10pm ET/PT, and this season seems to take more of an inward look at human nature with some tough and controversial subjects. Take the premiere episode: “Is There a Superior Race?” And the season finale, “Did We Invent God?” is sure to raise some eyebrows. Here’s a rundown of Season 3 episodes from SCIENCE:
Episode 1: IS THERE A SUPERIOR RACE?
Premieres Wednesday, June 6 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
Are the races different on the inside as well as the outside? Is there even such a thing as race at all? Could advances in technology soon create a superior race of post-humans? Given the incendiary history of the topic of racial superiority, this is a hard question to ask. The answer may tell us where humanity is headed, what our descendants will look like, and how they will think.
Episode 2: IS THE UNIVERSE ALIVE?
Premieres Wednesday, June 13 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
As scientists peer across the galaxy, a new revelation emerges: The Universe is shockingly organic. Are the secrets to the life and death of the Universe hidden not in physics, but biology? Could it be that the universe is alive?
Episode 3: WHAT MAKES US WHO WE ARE?
Premieres Wednesday, June 20 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
What is it that makes you, you? Is it the things we know, the people and places we’ve experienced? Or is there something deeper, less tangible that captures our essence? Scientists are searching for the core of who we are—some would call it the soul, others, our personal identity. To do so, they are probing the last great frontier of human understanding: the brain. How do we become who we are?
Episode 4: WHAT IS NOTHING?
Premieres Wednesday, June 27 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
Is empty space really empty? Or is it filled with hidden forces? Scientists now regard understanding the true nature of empty space the deepest and most baffling mystery they face: one that will explain where the universe came from, whether it is fated to expand into oblivion, or whether it will undergo another dramatic transformation that could destroy everything we know.
Episode 5: CAN WE RESURRECT THE DEAD?
Premieres Wednesday, July 11 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
The cycle of life carries us all from birth to death. What if we could change all of that? With cloning and genetic engineering, we can bring back extinct animals. But could we also bring back dead humans? Is it possible to keep our brains alive after our bodies have died? Could we rise from the dead in some strange new form? Can we – should we – resurrect the dead?
Episode 6: CAN WE ELIMINATE EVIL?
Premieres Wednesday, July 18 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
What drives some to torture and kill without remorse? Why do seemingly normal people commit acts of cruelty and violence? From where does evil come? Today, researchers are uncovering the hidden forces that inflame our inner demons…looking for ways to isolate and neutralize the source of evil in the brain. Is it really possible to change human nature?
Episode 7: MYSTERIES OF THE SUBCONSCIOUS
Premieres Wednesday, July 25 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
Are there secret powers locked away inside your mind, waiting to be unleashed? Is it possible that the subconscious mind knows more than you ever will, and that your conscious mind is holding you back? Do thoughts control actions, or the other way around? New research shows that breaking down the walls of the subconscious may make people healthier and more creative. There are also dangers lurking in the dark recesses of the mind.
Episode 8: WILL ETERNITY END?
Premieres Wednesday, August 1 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
Many religious traditions have predicted that our world will come to an apocalyptic end. Scientists agree that Earth can’t last forever, but disagree on whether the universe and time itself can ever disappear. Some may hope for eternity, but the possibility of never-ending time has mind-bending implications on the present.
Episode 9: DID WE INVENT GOD?
Premieres Wednesday, August 8 at 10PM (ET/PT)
Our belief in a God above explains all we can’t understand. Where do religious beliefs come from? Some experts believe God may exist only in our brain, that we are wired to worship the supernatural, and that faith in a higher power gives us an evolutionary advantage. Is it possible that God is really just a neurological accident? And does that make Him any less real? Did God invent humanity, or did humanity invent God?