A Glorious Accident

During my first year at University of Georgia, I remember flipping through a catalog of scientific books and videos. I was always on the look out for something cool and exciting. I also discovered that most of these publishers dealt only with large institutions and universities. Because of this, these publishers offer free “teaching” copies to professors in the hopes that they will assign these materials to their students. Anyway, I would sign myself up as a professor and order tons of these educational materials.

Of all of the cool stuff I received, one was at the top of the list. It was a set of 8 videocassettes that was packed with 15 hours of seriously mind-bending stuff. It was called, A Glorious Accident: Understanding Our Place in the Cosmic Puzzle.

The series was made up of interviews with some of the brightest minds of our time: Oliver Sacks, Rupert Sheldrake, Daniel C. Dennett, Stephen Toulmin, Freeman Dyson, and Stephen Jay Gould. Each interview covers the major ideas, work, philosophy, and questions that confound each of these intellectuals. The series of six individual interviews concludes with a “clashing of minds” as all six scholars join in a three-hour discussion to ponder the fundamental scientific, philosophical, and ethical questions of our time.

My roommates and I must have watched the entire series at least 2 dozen times. I had never heard of Sheldrake before this show. Afterwards, I was hooked. I’ve moved so many times since college that I somehow lost my copies of these VHS tapes. Today, however, I found that they are available again in DVD format from the company that first published the series here in the United States, Films Media Group. I’m so psyched. I think I will give these out as Christmas presents this year. Okay, I’m a geek, I know.

A few days ago I recommended you watch the film, Elegant Universe. Now, I have to recommend you grab a set of these videos.

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