This episode examines the plausibility of life on other worlds, how it might evolve, and what it might look like. Hawking takes the audience on a 13.8-billion-year journey examining our own origins, describing the conditions necessary for life to evolve, and then hypothesizes the likelihood of it happening elsewhere in the universe.
Origins: Where Are the Aliens? (2004) is a NOVA documentary, hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, that examines the science behind the search for extraterrestrial life, what it might look like, and techniques used to find extra solar planets. Neil DeGrasse Tyson explains that life might not look like we see in the movies and that, based on scientific finding, life could theoretically arise in the most extreme of environments. He also discusses the Drake equation, modifying some of the variables to get a better understanding of just how often life might arise in the galaxy and if that life could lead to civilizations with the ability to communicate between the stars.
This documentary would be an excellent showing for the following classes: biology, astronomy, astrophysics, and physical science. Of the 39 questions on this documentary video guide, the overwhelming majority are higher-order in nature, with only a scattering of lower-level types.
The concepts discussed include: biodiversity, evolution, the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, SETI, the Frank Drake equation, indirect viewing techniques, star wobble, red and blue shifted light, liquid water and life, Europa, intelligent life and evolution, asteroid impacts, and mass extinctions.