I sent this out to the Neuroscience and the Humanities Workgroup earlier today, so I thought that I would share it here, too.
Today, the Science Channel is running a marathon of Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole pop science series. There is one episode that I wanted to share with you if you can spare 45 minutes to watch it on Youtube (it is divided into three parts):
The episode, “Is There Life After Death?” could have been alternatively named “What is consciousness, and what happens to it when we die?” There are good (albeit short) interviews with Stuart Hameroff (the anesthesiologist who collaborated with Roger Penrose on a quantum theory of consciousness), Douglas Hofstadter (Godel Escher Bach), and Steve Potter of Georgia Tech (he has built computer chips that interface with rat brain cells that control robots | http://www.neuro.gatech.edu/wp/labs/potter/).
The discussions of anesthesia and consciousness might be the most enlightening ones for our recent conversation about consciousness.
Also, it is a good show. Freeman is a long advocate of science and education, and I believe that his series (he is executive producer) now in its second season demonstrates his commitment to these things.
I have written about Freeman’s Through the Wormhole series before here.