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Interactive video lesson plan for: "Hey Bill Nye, Are We the Universe?" #tuesdayswithbill

Activity overview:

Bill takes us on a journey through a skeptic's brain to answer a question about spiritual existence.

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Transcript - Cory: Hi Bill. Cory here from Vermont, the beautiful state of Vermont. I'm a huge fan by the way. Thank you for everything that you do. So my one question to you is I've been reading a lot of things about spirituality and electric impulses, you know, really I guess stemming through our entire anatomy and kind of the concept of that. Our universe is us and we are our universe. A little out there I get it. I know. My question is to you, what do you think about that? Thank you.

Bill Nye: Cory, this is a great question. We, in the skeptical community, are very skeptical that there's any life force running through us other than chemical energy that makes us go. Now, I'll give you an example. Yoga. People do a lot of yoga and the big thing in yoga is to stay flexible, to stretch, to make sure your bones and muscles stay limber through your whole life and it's very effective and people get a lot out of it. But along that line there are claims that you have these sources of energy in your body that my understanding are called chakras but no one has been ever able to observe a chakra. I mean they're an idea and you might experience it in your mind but there's nobody who's been able to cut open a human or a mouse and x-ray a human, tap on a human, listen to a human with a stethoscope or take human blood samples and detect a chakra. It just hasn't happened.

With that said, people get a lot of comfort out of communities to know that other people are thinking the same way you're thinking. There's a team, essentially the humanity we'd all work together if push came to shove. But I am very skeptical that there's this life force that runs through us all. People have gone looking for it from a scientific standpoint for centuries. Now remember, there's a couple ideas in science that are very important and they're described nowadays in what's called critical thinking, your ability to think critically about everything. And you cannot prove a negative. In other words if someone says you can't show that the aren't chakras, you can't show that there isn't a life force, you can't prove that I am not part of the spirituality of the universe, the spirit of the universe, and that's true you can't prove that. That's just the nature of negative ideas, of nots.

So with that said, the other idea in critical thinking and skeptical thought is it's based on claims or assertions or hypotheses that you have to test. So if somebody makes a claim that there's a life force flowing through him or her or through all of us, how would you go about proving that? How would you show that it's true? How would you show before and after, before the life force after the life force, with the life force without the life force? And you can say after somebody's dead they have no life force. Okay. But after somebody's dead they would be dead whether there's a life force or not. So that aside, there is a lot in the universe and we don't know what it is. I'll give you that. Furthermore there's dark energy, dark matter, 96/95 percent of the universe nobody knows what it is but I don't think that's what you're talking about. You're talking about this in the skeptical community right now it's called woo or woo woo, the unknown that flows through us, the life energy. But it hasn't been provable so you can't prove a negative; you have to have a something you can test. A claim. These are very important ideas in critical thinking, in science. And I'm really glad you're thinking about them because maybe you will make a discovery that will change the world. Read Full Transcript Here: (http://goo.gl/7AyS4s).

Tagged under: Bill Nye,Bill Nye The Science Guy,spirituality,existence,skepticism,electric impulses,anatomy,universe,skeptical community,life force,chemical,energy,yoga,chakras,science,critical thinking,negative ideas,skeptical thought,hypotheses,test,dark energy,dark matter,consciousness,thinking,neuroscience,central nervous system,brain,psychiatry,psychology,experiment,emobodied cognition,Big Think,BigThink,BigThink.,Education,Educational,Lifelong Learning,EDU

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