CLOSER TO TRUTH: Smart people debating smart things smartly on PBS

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Brian Thibodeau, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Just heard about this new show on PBS in which people from all walks of science, skepticism and theology debate the world as we know it today.

    It looks like another talking-heads debate program, a not unfamiliar sight on PBS, but the topics are fascinating:

    Is Science Fiction Science?
    Can We Believe in Both Science and Religion?
    How Does The Autistic Brain Work?
    How Weird is the Cosmos?
    Microbes...Friend or Foe?
    How Does Order Arise In The Universe?
    Why Is Music So Significant?
    Will Computers Take a Quantum Leap?
    Does Psychiatry Have A Split Personality?
    How Does Science Defend America?
    Who Gets To Validate Alternative Medicine?
    Is Consciousness Definable?
    Is The Universe Full of Life?
    Can Religion Withstand Technology?
    Testing Drugs: Are People Guinea Pigs?

    The guest list is staggering (if you're familiar with any of them of course): Murray Gell-Mann, David Baltimore, Michael Crichton, Robert Epstein, Nancy Andreasen, Michael Shermer, Donald Millar, Alice S. Huang, Tito Mukhopadhyay, Nancey Murphy and on and on and on.

    I'm sure ultimately it's not the kind of thing that makes for box-set DVD collections, but weirder things have surfaced over the years.

    Has anyone actually seen any of these?

    Here's the PBS link, which has transcripts for many of the shows:
    http://www.pbs.org/kcet/closertotruth/
     
  2. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Cool. Too bad I just cancelled my cable TV subscription. Oh well, there is always the grey area known as the internet. [​IMG]

    Anybody from www.edge.org in it? Aside from Michael Shermer, that is...
     
  3. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    From the link in my first post, you can jump to a page listing all the episodes topics and the guests. I'm not sure if any besides Shermer (and Gell-Mann) have contributed to or been interviewed by Edge.org, but if the series continues to a second season, I can imagine several Edge folks who would make good guests. Personally, I think Richard Dawkins would be an interesting person to listen to in a debate.

    I'd also love to see James Randi have a spot someday.
     
  4. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Hmm, David Brin is listed as a participant...neat!

    James Randi would be great - I can imagine him performing some tricks on "true believers" in the show. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the heads up.
     
  5. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    How are all you Canadians getting PBS? Does it play in Canada, or are you just picking it up from the US? Or is this some sort of Canadian PBS?
     
  6. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    >The guest list is staggering

    When are they going to have Britney Spears, Kathy Griffin, Brooke Shields, supermodels, and former reality show cast members on? THAT would be entertainment.

    "So, Omarosa, what is the meaning of life?"

    "Well, Carrot Top, my philosophy, and I think Mr. T will agree with me, is that ... "

    (Hal Sparks interrupts.)
     
  7. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Max mentioned that it was too bad that he just cancelled his cable subscription, so they can get it through cable and probably satellite as well.
     
  8. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Yep, through cable and satellite!

    Chris: hehe.
     
  9. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    I live in a city that is geographically about 1 hour due north of Detroit, which has its own Public Television station (I'm in that part of Ontario that pokes down into the United states in a rather obscene way). I grew up watching hundreds of shows - especially the British comedies - on that channel via my parents' antenna. From what I understand, their signal was strong enough to be received in parts of southern Manitoba as well, and during their pledge drives, people from that province would send in donations.
     
  10. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Max, I have a sneaking suspicion you and I would approach this show from somewhat similar points of view. [​IMG]

    Randi would make a wonderful guest if they ever did an episode on faith healing, since he virtually destroyed it once before in his classic book The Faith Healers (and on the Tonight Show when he exposed Peter Popoff for the fraud that he was, and still is) , and its high time he did it again since good people are once again falling into these same old carny traps.
     

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