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Sioux Falls Scientists endorse The Day the Universe Changed for
exploring the influences of discoveries and new knowledge on
our thinking, our culture, and our perception of the Universe.

The Day the Universe Changed
Presented by James Burke

The Day the Universe Changed (1985) - 550 minutes
The Day the Universe Changed at Amazon.com

Presented by veteran BBC historian and science reporter James Burke, The Day the Universe Changed explores influences of discoveries and shared knowledge on the perception of the Universe and man's place in it. James Burke looks at times when new knowledge or discoveries has altered that thinking and explores the cultural changes those discoveries effected.

  • Program 1: The Way We Are: It Started With the Greeks
    The first in a series of ten programs this episode illustrates the development of Western knowledge. The inquisitive and logical attitude of the classical Greeks is at the foundation of Western thought with its continuing exploration of new ideas.
  • Program 2: In the Light of the Above: Medieval Conflict: Faith and Reason
    The bitter conflict between reason and faith that followed the Crusaders' invasion of Spain in the 11th century is studied. The time when Christian Europe recaptured from the Arabs a treasure of Greek, Roman, and Arab scientific knowledge.
  • Program 3: Point of View: Scientific Imagination in the Renaissance
    The astonishing changes that developed our of new discoveries of perspective geometry, new architectural techniques, and the ability to map the world and cross oceans. Also explores how this knowledge led to a new individualism.
  • Program 4: A Matter of Fact: Printing Transforms Knowledge
    The medieval world which relied largely on memorized knowledge and the spoken work was transformed by Gutenberg's discovery of the printing press. This new knowledge is examined and connections are drawn to subsequent revolutions in Western thought.
  • Program 5: Infinitely Reasonable: Science Revises the Heavens
    This program explains how from 1550 and forward science began to undermine the Church-sanctioned Aristotelian doctrine of the universe, in which the Sun and all the planets revolved around the Earth. In its place, was established the model to which we adhere today of a clockwork universe, governed by discoverable laws of math and physics.
  • Program 6: Credit Where It's Due: The Factory & Marketplace Revolution
    This program examines the reasons for and the effects of the Industrial Revolution. Shows how growing wealth, coupled with innovations in business and credit, created a new industrial society.
  • Program 7: What the Doctor Ordered: Social Impacts of New Medical Knowledge
    This program looks at the rise of modern medicine and its surprising relationship with the invention of statistics, which doctors used to validate the efficacy of diagnoses and treatments. In particular it examines how bacteriology put the patient on a microscope slide and brought about a world in which even healthy human beings were reduced to statistics.
  • Program 8: Fit to Rule: Darwin's Revolution
    This program examines the mid-nineteenth century emergence of the theory of evolution and its affects. It reveals how Darwin's writings undermined the concept of an orderly, unchanging universe and the belief in the biblical theory of creation.
  • Program 9: Making Waves: The New Physics - Newton Revised
    Examines the evolution of physics through time. As scientists in 1800 investigated the new electric battery, their common sense Newtonian world began to fall apart. A new science slowly evolved from pioneers from Faraday to Einstein.
  • Program 10: World Without End: Changing Knowledge, Changing Reality
    The final program reviews the entire series, recalling the many systems of belief which have been discarded as the discovery of new knowledge rendered them apparently invalid. The series closes by posing a philosophical question: if each truth is valid in its time, then is knowledge itself only what we make it?

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The Day the Universe Changed
Presented by James Burke

Sioux Falls Scientists endorse The Day the Universe Changed for
exploring the influences of discoveries and new knowledge on
our thinking, our culture, and our perception of the Universe.