The Day the Universe Changed (the 10-part series) is one of the best teaching tools available today for making students aware of the great ebb and flow of ideas that have gone into the development of Western thought. Host James Burke gives a stunning overview of this evolution of thought since the days of the Greeks in this ten-part series co-produced by BBC-TV and RKO Pictures.
Episode 1 - The Way We Are
Written and presented by James Burke, this 10-part series traces the development of Western thought through its major transformations since the days of ancient Greece. Program one is an overview of the series, showing how a cultureΓ??s view of the world around it determines how it sees itself, and is reflected even in the smallest details of its customs and habits.
Episode 2 - In the Light of the Above
Relates that in the course of overrunning Moorish Spain, Christian Europe discovered libraries, universities, optics, mechanics, and natural philosophy. This rediscovery of classical knowledge led to the founding of universities and the replacement of Augustinian philosophies by Aristotelian theories.
Episode 3 - Point of View
Shows that Western EuropeΓ??s rediscovery of perspective through the study of Arab optics led to revolutions in art and architecture. The WestΓ??s new-found ability to control things at a distance resulted in new methods of warfare and the confidence to make long voyages of exploration.
Episode 4 - A Matter of Fact
Observes that the invention of printing and the advent of cheap paper forever transformed the nature of knowledge from the local and traditional to the systematic and testable. Nationalism, public relations, and propaganda are among the results.
Episode 5 - Infinitely Reasonable
Notes that investigators such as Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton evolved better explanations of natural phenomena than those of Aristotle. Highlights the theories that led to a new conception of how the universe works and of manΓ??s place in it.
Episode 6 - Credit Where It's Due
Locates the origins of contemporary consumerism in the English industrial Revolution, powered by religious dissenters barred from all activities except trade. The invention of the steam engine, new forms of credit, surplus wealth, and opening markets laid the foundation for industrial society.
Episode 7 - What the Doctor Ordered
Traces modern societyΓ??s recognition of the value of statistics to medical advances stemming from responses to the French Revolution and an English cholera epidemic. Identifies the origins of medicine as a science with the discovery of anesthesia, antiseptics, and bacteriology.
Episode 8 - Fit to Rule
Tracks the expectation of change, fundamental to contemporary society, through the developing sciences of botany, geology, and biology to DarwinΓ??s theory of evolution. DarwinΓ??s theory, in turn, has been used as a justification for Nazism, communism, and cut-throat capitalism.
Episode 9 - Making Waves
Points out that studies of the properties of magnetism, electricity, and light have led scientists to the realization that Newtonian physics is inadequate to explain all that they observe. The public, meanwhile, has continued to concentrate on the technological by-products of science.
Episode 10 - Worlds Without End
Observes that over the centuries Western civilization has regularly shifted its conception of the nature of truth. Citing the example of Nepalese Buddhism, a system as complete and satisfactory of Nepal as science is for the West, the series ends with a plea for tolerance.
Video Codec: XviD
Video Bitrate: ~1900 kbps (TVcap)
Video Resolution: 640x480 (1.33:1)
Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Audio Codec: mp3 (MPEG-1 Layer 3)
Audio BitRate: 192 kbps @ 48000 Hz
Audio Channels: 96/ch, stereo
RunTime Per Part: ~45 mins
Number Of Parts: 10
Part Size: ~680 MB