Why does an atheist bother to get up in the morning? That's the question Richard Dawkins seeks to answer as he continues his exploration of the big questions of life in a world shaking off religious faith. In a journey that takes him from the casinos of Las Vegas to Buddhist monasteries in the foothills of the Himalayas, Dawkins examines how both religious and non-religious people struggle to find meaning in their lives. He looks at how our existence is ruled by chance, meeting people whose fate was to be born into extreme poverty in India's slums and the survivors of a natural disaster in Joplin, Missouri, which was ripped apart in 2011 by a tornado on a random course.
2012 • People
Alice Roberts explores the latest discoveries in the study of human origins, revealing the transformation that has been brought about in this field by genetics. Traditional paleo-anthropology, based on fossils, is being transformed by advanced genome sequencing techniques. We now know that there were at least four other distinct species of human on the planet at the same time as us - some of them identified from astonishingly well-preserved DNA extracted from 50,000-year-old bones, others hinted at by archaic sections of DNA hidden in our modern genome. What's more, we now know that our ancestors met and interacted with these other humans, in ways that still have ramifications today. Alice uses these revelations to update our picture of the human family tree.
Can we find a way to distribute power so that everyone has their say? A U.S. president explains the challenges of making decisions that affect hundreds of millions of lives, and Freeman learns about an African woman who has created a society without men. He explores how the rise of the internet may fundamentally change how democracy works.
Can we bridge the divide between "us" and "them"? At a time when the whole world seems to be polarizing into irreconcilable camps, Morgan Freeman sets out on a journey in search of the forces that push us apart, from intolerance of differences to fear of outsiders, and the possibilities of coming together.