We love science. We love Science Channel. And we love Morgan Freeman. So, what can be better than a whole new season of THROUGH THE WORMHOLE WITH MORGAN FREEMAN? To launch the fifth season, we explore the question, “Is Poverty Genetic?”
If you ask Professor of PhysicsVictor Yakovenko, he sees poverty and wealth, or issues of inequality, in terms of the new thinking that’s been buzzing around, Econophysics. He explains that there will always be inequality. The problem is when you have extreme inequality. In his view, there is no middle class. Like a boiling pot, most of us roll around in a “thermal” economy while the elite three percent are elevated into steam in a “superthermal” economy. It is simply inevitable.
Like any episode in this series, we follow our host, Morgan Freeman, as he takes us, step by step, through the various facets of our quest. We examine it from all aspects. In this case, we begin by considering the vast canvas of 25,000 genes that make up our DNA. If you ask Professor of Psychology Eric Turkheimer, he will describe genes as threads in a complex tapestry. You have to know how each thread works within the pattern. When the human genome was decoded in 2001, we wrongly thought we would decode personality. Turkheimer has found another way. Studies with twins provide some intriguing answers to the question of nature vs. nurture.
And so it goes. We move from the individual to global and back again and find ourselves on a most fascinating journey. As always, this series delights and inspires. Considering how much ground that is covered, this tightly-woven and fast-paced program is truly a must-see. Anchoring everything is our anchorman, Freeman, who inserts a few anecdotes about his own life into the narrative. With the sobering theme of poverty, Freeman guides us and reassures us. After all, as he states, he is living proof that you can grow up in poverty and yet rise above it.
Press release and a full season description follows:
(New York) – Science Channel’s Emmy®- nominated hit series THROUGH THE WORMHOLE WITH MORGAN FREEMAN returns for an all-new mind-bending fifth season on Wednesday, June 4 at 10PM ET/PT. The series that has broken ratings records for the network delivers eight all-new episodes that will provoke and inspire viewers to think beyond the boundaries of what they know. Covering such controversial topics as could poverty be genetic, how to crush a superpower and exploring the possibility of a zombie apocalypse, this season guarantees to break down the walls of conventional television to investigate the puzzles that captivate us all. The new season of THROUGH THE WORMHOLE WITH MORGAN FREEMAN world premieres on Wednesday, June 4 at 10PM ET/PT.
“Curiosity is a uniquely human characteristic,” said Morgan Freeman, executive producer and guide for the series. “Every season we dig deeper to ask those questions that have perplexed mankind for centuries. I hope with each episode we can continue to feed that curiosity and pursue those great unknowns that are still out there in the universe.”
“THROUGH THE WORMHOLE challenges our audience in a way that no other television program that is out there can,” said Rita Mullin, general manager of Science Channel. “With the hot-button topics that each episode explores, season five will leave viewers even more inspired than ever before. Morgan and Revelations Entertainment have delivered their best season yet.”
In season five of THROUGH THE WORMHOLE WITH MORGAN FREEMAN, Science Channel dares to take on the controversial issues of today. Each episode features leading experts, thinkers and scientists in their specific field presenting groundbreaking theories. Every week viewers will be challenged to consider new perspectives and confronted with ideas that push the envelope of conventional television.
Is Poverty Genetic?
World Premieres on Wednesday, June 4 at 10PM ET/PT
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?
How to Collapse a Superpower
World Premieres on Wednesday, June 11 at 10PM ET/PT
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 itself? Could the final superpower be the disembodied mind of the Internet?
Does the Ocean Think?
World Premieres on Wednesday, June 18 at 10PM ET/PT
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?
Is a Zombie Apocalypse Possible?
World Premieres on Wednesday, June 25 at 10PM ET/PT
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? And if we are already in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, would we know it?
Is Gravity An Illusion?
World Premieres on Wednesday, July 2 at 10PM ET/PT
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?
When Did Time Begin?
World Premieres on Wednesday, July 9 at 10PM ET/PT
We float along the river of time. But does that river have a source? Where did time come from? Some believe time and space is a single 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.
Is There A Shadow Universe?
World Premieres on Wednesday, July 16 at 10PM ET/PT
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?
Will We Become God?
World Premieres on Wednesday, July 23 at 10PM ET/PT
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!
THROUGH THE WORMHOLE WITH MORGAN FREEMAN is produced by Revelations Entertainment. James Younger, Morgan Freeman, and Lori McCreary are executive producers. Bernadette McDaid and Rocky Collins are executive producers, and Lindsey Foster Blumberg is co- coordinating producer for Science Channel. McDaid is vice president of production for Science Channel.
About Revelations Entertainment
Revelations Entertainment reveals truth. Academy award-winning actor Morgan Freeman and Emmy-nominated producer Lori McCreary lead a group of inspired professionals who are the go-to producers of thought-provoking entertainment that has universal appeal and soul. Recent successes have been two Emmy Award nominations for the Science Channel show Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, a Peabody Award for the ESPN 30 for 30 episode The 16th Man, and an Academy Award nomination for Morgan Freeman in the film Invictus.
About Science Channel
Science Channel, a division of Discovery Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), is home for the thought provocateur, the individual who is unafraid to ask the killer questions of “how” and “why not.” The network is a playground for those with audacious intellects and features programming willing to go beyond imagination to explore the unknown. Guided by curiosity, Science Channel looks for innovation in mysterious new worlds as well as in its own backyard. Science Channel and the Science Channel HD simulcast reach more than 80 million U.S. households. The network also features high-traffic online and social media destinations, including ScienceChannel.com, facebook.com/Science Channel and twitter.com/Science Channel.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s #1 pay-TV programmer reaching 2.5 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity, engaging and entertaining viewers with high-quality content on more than 200 worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery and Science, as well as U.S. joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and the Hub Network. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, and a digital leader with a diversified online portfolio, including Discovery Digital Networks. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.