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The Virus of Faith

   2006    Culture
Dawkins opines that the moral framework of religions is warped, and argues against the religious indoctrination of children. He discusses specifically the idea of religion seen as a virus in the sense of a meme. He begins by explaining how a child is genetically programmed to believe without questioning the word of authority figures, especially parents – the evolutionary imperative being that no child would survive by adopting a sceptical attitude towards everything their elders said. But this same imperative, he claims, leaves children open to infection by religion.
Series: The Root of All Evil

Jesus Camp

   2006    Culture
The youngest foot soldiers for the Lord are shown in their native environment in this documentary. Becky Fischer is a children's pastor who runs 'Kids on Fire,' a summer camp for evangelical Christian children in North Dakota. Fischer believes in the political and moral importance of a Christian presence in America, and uses her camp to reinforce the religious training most of her charges are already receiving at home (the majority of the campers are home-schooled by their parents).
Using video games, animated videos, and group activities to help put her message across, Fischer encourages the kids to pray for the President and his Supreme Court appointees while urging them to help 'take back America for Christ.' For the most part, the children seem reasonably ordinary beyond the fact they pray with uncommon fervour and sometimes speak in tongues.
Along with Fischer and her cohorts, Jesus Camp features interviews with Ted Haggard, an evangelist and advisor to George W. Bush, and Mike Papantonio, a Christian talk-show host who believes the right-wing slant of many Christian evangelists is taking the church into a dangerous direction.

Metal

   2005    Culture
An examination of the heavy metal music subculture that tries to explain why, despite the longevity and popularity of the genre, fans are marginalized and ridiculed for their passion.
Sam Dunn is a anthropologist and a lifelong metal fan. After years of studying diverse cultures, Sam turns his academic eye a little closer to home and embarks on an epic journey into the heart of heavy metal. His mission: to figure out why metal music is consistently stereotyped, dismissed and condemned, even while the tribe that loves it stubbornly holds its ground -- spreading the word, keeping the faith and adopting styles and attitudes that go way beyond the music.
Sam visits heavy metal landmarks as far flung as L.A.'s Sunset Strip, the dirty streets of Birmingham and the dark forests of Norway. Along the way, the two sides of Sam Dunn -- curious anthropologist and rabid fan -- collide, as Sam explores metal's obsession with sex, religion, violence and death, meets his heroes, and discovers some things about the culture that even he can't defend.

The Knowledge of Healing

   1998    Medicine
The documentary 'The Knowledge of Healing' is an illuminating examination of Tibetan medicine, a practice which has developed over two millennia into a modern day successful method of healing that rivals western medical practices. Unlike Western medicine, based on biochemistry, Tibetan medical thinking (which is strongly rooted in Buddhist principles) views the human body as governed by an elaborately organized system of energies flowing through a network of channels. In the 12th century, the Gyüshi (Knowledge of Healing) was created, a text codifying this intricate system. The medications used comprise herbs, roots, minerals, etc. After flourishing for centuries, most Tibetan medical schools were destroyed by the Chinese in the 1950's and 1960's, and many physicians were executed. Speaking from exile, the Dalai Lama argues for the value of Tibetan medicine, while his personal physician Dr. Tenzin Choedrak describes the principles behind it. We follow physicians in India and Siberia treating patients for a variety of ailments from paralysis to heart disease, and meet researchers in Israel and Switzerland to see how western clinical studies are testing the effectiveness of Tibetan medicine.

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
The Toys that Made Us
The Toys that Made Us

   2017    Technology
Life of a Universe
Life of a Universe

   2017    Science
Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist

   2007    Culture
Science and Islam
Science and Islam

   2017    History
The Gene Code
The Gene Code

   2011    Science
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle

   2018    History
The Art Mysteries
The Art Mysteries

   2020    Art
Motivation
Motivation

   2017    Culture