When Does Life Begin?: June 5 at 10PM
We can all trace our lives back to a beginning. But what defines the beginning? Is it the moment when two cells unite? Or does something have to know it is alive before its life can begin? It is a debate scientists and religious leaders have been battling over for centuries, but with the birth of new technology, scientists have been able to probe the question deeper and deeper. There is groundbreaking evidence showing that inside all of us are traces of cells from our relatives, blurring the lines between the beginning of one life and the end of another. Some scientists believe life doesn't truly begin until we are conscious. But when does consciousness begin? One child psychologist's experiments suggest true consciousness may not begin until the age of five once children become aware of how the world perceives them. Does life begin after we are able to walk and talk? The argument extends beyond human life. Technology is giving birth to new life forms made of nonliving things. One computational neuroscientist is building brains for robots. Can a machine become alive if it can think, feel, and move on its own? Perhaps the only way to know when life begins is by going back to the beginning of life on earth 4 billion years ago. How did non-living chemicals first become alive? And could Earth still give birth to a new life-form: one comprised of all of humanity in a globally connected network.