Likely ever since humans have been walking upright on this planet, people have been asking the question of why we’re here, and whether or not there’s a meaning to our existence. Over the eons — and particularly in the last few centuries — we’ve accreted vast amounts of knowledge about who we are and where we are in the universe, but we’re still asking many of the same basic questions: What are we humans, really? Why does the universe, with all of its incomprehensible forces, seem to be balanced just so to allow life to exist? Professor Stephen Hawking draws on his more than 40 years of research, observation and theoretical breakthroughs to provide answers to some of life’s most compelling questions in a new Discovery Channel two-part special series, Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design, premiering Saturday, June 9 at 8pm and 9pm ET/PT.
Based on Hawking’s acclaimed book written with Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design, this special has Hawking arguing that the scientific obsession with a single, unifying theory may be errant thinking — and that through a synthesis of existing theories, we may actually discover the key to the deepest mysteries in our universe.
In the first episode, “The Meaning of Life,” Hawking combs through everything from the writings of René Decartes to the most current advances in quantum physics to get to the marrow of existence. Do we have free will or are we just complex beings working within the laws of nature? Who are we, and why are we here? Hawking approaches these questions with characteristic intelligence and intrepid zeal, questioning the nature of the reality in which we all live.
Following immediately afterward, the episode “The Theory of Everything” explores the biggest of theoretical questions: Why does the universe exist, and why does it follow rules and laws? Why is it so perfectly tuned as to allow life to develop and continue? Examining Newton’s groundbreaking discovery of gravity, hidden extra dimensions and the multiverse theory that our universe may be just one of billions of others in which anything may be possible, this part of Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design takes viewers through the wormhole and beyond.