Journey of the Universe

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Journey of the Universe, a sweeping and expansive film created in collaboration with a team of talented scientists, scholars and filmmakers, re-imagines the universe story and translates the human connection to the cosmos. Decades in the making, Journey of the Universe airs Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 8:30 p.m. on Eight, Arizona PBS.

Journey of the Universe invites us to become fellow travelers on a journey no previous generation could fully have imagined. Through the astonishing achievements of science, we now know more than ever before about the history of the universe and the unfolding of life on Earth. We have a detailed account of how galaxies and stars, planets and living organisms, human beings and human consciousness came to be. But what role do humans play in this 14-billion year history of the universe? And how do we connect with the intricate web of life?

On-air host Brian Thomas Swimme guides us through Journey of the Universe, exploring these questions and providing an elegant, science-based narrative to tell this epic story, from the origins of life on Earth leading up to the challenges of the present. Filmed on the Greek island of Samos, the birthplace of Pythagoras, Journey of the Universe explores the origins of humans on Earth, how we developed a symbolic consciousness and how our ability to communicate using symbols makes humans a “planetary presence.” As the dominant species, humans have become increasingly adept at adapting to, and now commodifying, Earth. Suddenly, we are faced with a new dynamic — one in which the survival of the species and entire ecosystems depend primarily on human activity and the choices we make.

Weaving the findings of modern science with enduring wisdom found in the humanistic traditions of the West, China, Africa, India and indigenous peoples, the film explores cosmic evolution as a profoundly wondrous process based on creativity, connection and interdependence, offering unprecedented opportunity for the world’s people to address the daunting ecological and social challenges of our times. Drawing on the latest scientific knowledge, Journey of the Universe tells the story of the cosmos and Earth, unfolding in a way that makes it both relevant and moving. What emerges is a poetic story, evoking awe, excitement, fear, joy and belonging.

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