“Journey of the Universe” is an hour-long documentary, previously aired on PBS, tracing, as the title implies, the history of the Universe. It begins at the “big bang” and tells the story of evolution of the universe, our planet, life, and human development. Throughout the documentary, host Brian Thomas Swimme, an “evolutionary philosopher,” (see bio here) projects a sense of awe and enthusiasm in relating the story. You can get a taste in a three-minute trailer here. This is an interesting documentary that gives an overview of this amazing journey. Unfortunately, near its end, the mood is shattered when Swimme devolves into doom-and-gloom environmental propaganda. This DVD serves as an introduction to the next.
“Journey of the Universe Conversations” is a four-DVD set containing 10 hours of interviews hosted by Mary Evelyn Tucker, an historian of religions (see bio here). There are 20 interviews. Interviews on the first two DVDs are those of scientists who relate, in more detail, the “Journey” of the documentary. DVDs three and four are populated mainly by non-scientist activists who are heavily into sustainable development and utopian environmental schemes. Most of the ideas expressed by these people have long been explored over the last 60 years or so in dystopian science fiction stories and found wanting. One interesting exception I found among this latter group, was Dr. David Begay, a physicist at Northern Arizona University, who related the way Navajos thought of the universe and related their “sense of place.”