September 03, 2009

Heaven’s Touch: From Killer Stars to the Seeds of Life, How We Are Connected to the Universe

Guest: James B. Kaler, Ph.D.

We may feel isolated from the universe on a planet so small. But, says astronomer James Kaler, we are more connected to our corner of existence than we think. Today on Focus, he joins us to talk about his new book Heaven's Touch, in which he explores the variety of ways that the universe affects events on our own planet, from the gravitational effects of Jupiter to solar flares to deep-space cosmic rays.

September 02, 2009

Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science

Guest: Carol Kaesuk Yoon, Ph.D.

Today on Focus, we'll explore the historical tension between evolutionary biology and taxonomy with biologist Carol Kaesuk Yoon. As taxonomy modernized and moved into the laboratory, it began to yield results that counteracted human instinct. In fact, argues Yoon, by giving taxonomists greater scientific authority, we've contributed to our own alienation from nature.

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