Hosted by Morgan Freeman, Through the Wormhole explores the deepest mysteries of existence - the questions that have puzzled mankind for eternity. What are we made of? What was there before the beginning? Are we really alone? Is there a creator? These questions have been pondered by the most exquisite minds of the human race. Now, science has evolved to the point where hard facts and evidence may be able to provide us with answers instead of philosophical theories. Through the Wormhole brings together the brightest minds and best ideas from the very edges of science - Astrophysics, Astrobiology, Quantum Mechanics, String Theory, and more - to reveal the extraordinary truth of our Universe.
The brains of pathological liars may provide insights on whether the human brain is wired for lying; technology can either make it easier for us to be dishonest, or could it someday instantly reveal someone is lying.
If you had less than one second to make a life-or-death decision to shoot a man who might be armed with a lethal weapon, what would you do? Would the ethnicity of the man affect your decision? Are you sure? The outcome – whatever your race – will surprise you. Brain imaging studies are showing that negative cultural stereotypes hijack everyone’s subconscious decision-making. But some science says we can overcome bigotry through exposure, self-awareness and flexible social networks… and, most controversially of all, ultra-violent video games!
The ticking clock could just be a trick of the mind; looking at the possibilities that science can make the clock move backwards.
The show takes a look at a new theory that says instead of passing on genes, humans have another purpose.
Scientists, in various of fields, are taking seriously the possibility that this world maybe a virtual reality.
Odds are pretty good that extraterrestrial life exists; new research shows we should look closer to home, possibly inside our bodies.
New research is beginning to reveal a hidden force in the universe - one that penetrates space with trillions of invisible connections, instantly linking every place in our world and joining our future with our past. Is the Force with us?
Scientists are peering inside the mechanisms of aging, tampering with the cellular makeup of our DNA, and imagining a world where death is cured like a disease. Are we entering a new age of immortality? Or is dying necessary for our race's survival?
Unless we can turn the planet's problems into solutions, humanity may be coming to an end. Scientists are unlocking the secrets of nature to tame the elements, harness energy, and even control life. Can we hack the planet to save humanity?
Every 17 minutes, someone is killed with a gun. It's a wave of violence that political debate can't seem to stop. Is this an epidemic that scientists can help cure? Could gun crime be a virus?
A dissection of the causes of terrorism.
Examining a life without privacy in order to solve crimes and prevent terrorism.
Science reveals the line between male and female is blurred, and the battle of the sexes happens deep within our cells.
Genius lies somewhere in the human mind, bringing mathematical insight, sparking artistic inspiration and enabling some to see what most cannot. Might we augment our biology with technology to unlock the genius inside us all?
Do you make your own luck, or does luck make you? Some scientists believe luck is strictly a matter of statistics and probabilities…but others believe unseen forces are at work, and randomness is built into every particle of the universe. We’ll find luck, good and bad, in casinos, basketball courts, genetics labs and the subatomic world. How much does the genetic lottery rule your fate? Are lucky streaks and unfortunate accidents merely our own minds fooling us? It’s a scientific journey that will radically revise your understanding of the laws of nature and the workings of the human brain.
Are the wealthy just born in the right place at the right time? Are the poor victims of a system designed to keep them down? Or do physics and biology determine who is rich and who is poor? Throughout history, distribution of wealth is governed by hidden forces: DNA, environmental stress, patterns of human migration and even the laws of thermodynamics! Nature seems to demand winners and losers in life. But does this mean greed is king, and the rich can take what they want? Or is cooperation – between microorganisms, monkeys, and humans – more essential to survival of a species?
With a little imagination, could a few terrorists sabotage a mighty nation? Perhaps even tear down modern civilization? The stability of the US, Europe, China, or any global power depends on high-speed digital communication. Our increasing dependence on digital devices and global interactivity may be placing us in grave danger. Scientists around the world are dealing with new threats such as body hacking, Trojan horse viruses, and brain-damaging Internet addiction. But what if the ultimate threat isn’t an attack on technology, but the technology? Could the final superpower be the disembodied mind of the Internet itself?
There could be an undiscovered species on Earth unlike anything we’ve ever known. Not in the ocean, but the ocean itself! Its body spans thousands of miles; its heart beats with a one-thousand-year pulse. It could even have an immune system capable of annihilating all other life on earth. Just as our bodies function through the interaction of water with individual cells, including bacteria and other microorganisms, the ocean’s residents might collectively form a super-organism. A recent discovery suggests the ocean is a living being capable of thought. If so, what is the ocean thinking about us?
It is a nightmare that has stalked us for centuries: hordes of human beings transformed into mindless, cannibalistic monsters. Could this civilization-ending nightmare become reality? Scientists have discovered pathogens that turn insects into the walking dead. New strains of viruses are attacking humans every day. Mathematicians have calculated the likelihood of surviving a zombie virus outbreak: they’re not hopeful. Now neuroscientists are discovering how easy it is for us to lose conscious control of our bodies. Are we at risk of becoming puppets? If we were in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, would we even know it?
We feel it every moment of our lives but for physicists, gravity is the longest running unsolved mystery of the universe. Why do all objects that have mass pull on one another? Cutting-edge theories are proposing unexpected answers: Gravity could be another force in disguise, a thermodynamic mirage, or even, a shadow of a hidden holographic universe. If so, the force that holds us to the surface of the earth, and holds the earth in orbit around the sun, may be a trick of the mind. We feel it, but it may not be real. Is Gravity an Illusion?
Humanity’s potential seems limitless. But could we become as powerful as God? Scientific breakthroughs grant our species seemingly divine abilities. Biologists tinkering with DNA are figuring out ways to grow new life forms, while neuroscientists try to create artificial consciousness. Statisticians around the world are using big data to predict the future and computer scientists have discovered a "God algorithm" that could solve any global problem in an instant. But to truly become God, we not only have to be all knowing, but all being. Quantum physicists are figuring out how to teleport matter at the speed of light!
When we look up into the sky it appears we live in a universe that is filled with light. But scientists are now certain there is far more matter in the dark portions of our universe that we can’t see or touch. There’s something hiding in the shadows. Cosmologists agree that "dark matter" has helped shape our Universe, but now they need to figure out what dark matter is. What’s going on in this hidden world? Could it have formed its own dark stars, planets, and even life forms? Could this Shadow Universe threaten our world of light?
We float along the river of time. But does that river have a source? Where did time come from? Some believe time and space are one thing, and the Big Bang started the cosmic clock. Others believe the universe existed for almost half a million "years" before light could move and time began. Still others say time is older than our universe. But what if time itself is an illusion? Incredible new experiments may hold the answer. One groundbreaking experiment gives us the power to punch holes in time…and another may create a machine that operates outside time’s boundaries!
Mankind longs for proof that we are not alone in the universe, but the moment of first contact will certainly mean the end of the world as we know it. Whether that is a bad thing for humanity or the start of a great future is uncertain.
As scientists peer across the galaxy, a new revelation emerges: The universe is shockingly organic. Are the secrets to the life and death of the universe hidden not in physics, but biology? Could it be that the universe is alive?
Is empty space really empty? Scientists regard understanding the true nature of empty space may explain where the universe came from, whether it is fated to expand into oblivion or whether it will undergo another dramatic transformation that could destroy everything we know.
With cloning and genetic engineering, we can bring back extinct animals. But could we also bring back dead humans? Is it possible to keep our brains alive after our bodies have died? Could we rise from the dead in some strange new form? Can we - should we - resurrect the dead?
What drives some to torture and kill without remorse? Why do seemingly normal people commit acts of cruelty and violence. Researchers are exploring our inner demons, looking for ways to isolate and neutralize the source of evil in the brain. Is it really possible to change human nature?
Does your subconscious know more than you ever will, and is your conscious mind holding you back? Do thoughts control actions, or vice versa? Research shows that opening the subconscious may make people healthier and more creative. There are also dangers lurking in the dark recesses of the mind.
Many religious traditions have predicted that our world will come to an apocalyptic end. Scientists agree that Earth can't last forever, but disagree on whether the universe and time itself can ever disappear. Some may hope for eternity, but the possibility of never-ending time has mind-bending implications for the present.
Our belief in a God above explains all we can't understand. Where do religious beliefs come from? Some experts believe God may exist only in our brain, that we are wired to worship the supernatural and that faith in a higher power gives us an evolutionary advantage. Is it possible that God is really just a neurological accident? And does that make Him any less real? Did God invent humanity, or did humanity invent God?