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When Knowledge Conquered Fear

   2014    Science
The episode begins with Tyson describing how pattern recognition manifested in early civilization as using astronomy and astrology to predict the passing of the seasons, including how the passage of a comet was often taken as an omen. Tyson continues to explain that the origin of comets only became known in the 20th century due to the work of Jan Oort and his hypothesis of the Oort cloud. Tyson then continues to relate the collaboration between Edmond Halley and Isaac Newton in the last part of the 17th century in Cambridge. The collaboration would result in the publication of Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, the first major work to describe the laws of physics in mathematical terms, despite objections and claims of plagiarism from Robert Hooke and financial difficulties of the Royal Society of London. Tyson explains how this work challenged the prevailing notion that God had planned out the heavens, but would end up influencing many factors of modern life, including space flight. Tyson further describes Halley's contributions including determining Earth's distance to the sun, the motion of stars and predicting the orbit of then-unnamed Halley's Comet using Newton's laws. Tyson contrasts these scientific approaches to understanding the galaxy compared to what earlier civilizations had done, and considers this advancement as mankind's first steps into exploring the universe. The episode ends with an animation of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies' merging based on the principles of Newton's laws.
Series: Cosmos 2014

Who Speaks for Earth

   1980    Culture
Sagan reflects on the future of humanity and the question of 'who speaks for Earth?' when meeting extraterrestrials. He discusses the very different meetings of the Tlingit people and explorer Jean-François de La Perouse with the destruction of the Aztecs by Spanish conquistadors, the looming threat of nuclear warfare, and the threats shown by destruction of the Library of Alexandria and the murder of Hypatia. The episode ends with an overview of the beginning of the universe, the evolution of life, and the accomplishments of humanity and makes a plea to mankind to cherish life and continue its journey in the cosmos. The Cosmos Update notes the preliminary reconnaissance of planets with spacecraft, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of apartheid in South Africa, and measures towards the reduction of nuclear weapons.
Series: Cosmos

Why are We Here

   2014    Science
In episode two, Professor Brian Cox is off to India, where he assesses arguably the first evidence of rational thought in literature, the poetry of the Vedic monks. They pondered mankind's origins, realising there must have been a day with no yesterday - a day of creation - prompting the age-old question of where did the universe come from? Brian marvels that the universe seems to follow a set of rules, the laws of physics, allowing space to be considered on the grandest scale, travelling to the most distant, farthest reaches of the cosmos just by using our minds. Brian also visits Japan, and offers viewers the idea that man lives in just one of an infinite number of universes that are being made all the time.
Series: Human Universe
How the Universe Works Season 6
How the Universe Works Season 6

   2018    Science
The Virtual Revolution
The Virtual Revolution

   2010    Technology
The Sky at Night
The Sky at Night

   2018    Science
The Men Who Built America
The Men Who Built America

   2012    History
The Normans
The Normans

   2010    History
Absolute Zero
Absolute Zero

   2007    Technology