God, The Universe and Everything Else

1988 ,    »  -   71 Comments
Ratings: 8.54/10 from 52 users.

This is a very, very old film/conversation. It was made in 1988. Anyhow I thought it would be good to have it here.

In a studio setting, Stephen Hawking, Arthur C. Clarke and Carl Sagan (who joins them via satellite) discuss the Big Bang theory, God, our existence as well as the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

God, the Universe and Everything Else is an educational colloquium, attempting to uncover a grand unified theory of the laws that govern the universe.

This enlightening program delves deep into topics such as the Big Bang Theory, the expansion of the universe, black holes, extraterrestrial life and the origins of creativity.

Stephen Hawking is a British theoretical physicist who has dedicated much of his life to probing the laws of time and space described by Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

Carl Sagan was an American astronomer who played a major role in the development of the American space program, as well as his contributions to planetary science.

Arthur C. Clarke is a British author, most famous for the science fiction classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and his optimistic vision for mankind exploring the galaxy.

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71 Comments / User Reviews

  1. afly_on_the_wall

    V ur awesome

  2. HHV
  3. HHV

    Very cool to see them in the wayback. Hard to believe it was 20 years ago, for me.

  4. fact
  5. fact

    their math and physics...can't even explain the existence of man..let alone GOD.

    These Boys are way over rated...but i still celebrate them.

  6. insomniac
  7. insomniac

    "In a studio setting, Stephen Hawking, Arthur C. Clarke and Carl Sagan(...)"

    I stopped reading there, they could be talking about their favorite cake recipe and it would still be awesome.

    Thank you Vlatko!

  8. insomniac
  9. insomniac

    @fact(oh the irony..)

    You can't explain something that doesn't exist, so how about you start by proving that it does pretty please ;)

  10. Vitor Mendes
  11. Vitor Mendes

    Its amazing to see this again after all this years. Carl Sagan was the one who first show me how fascinating the Cosmos is.

  12. Waldo
  13. Waldo

    @ fact

    Physics doesn't aim to explain the existence of man or god, physics is the science of matter and energy and how they interact- physics is the study of cause and effect in the physical realm- physics is mathematics in motion. Is this your measuring stick for the validity of everything, whether it explains the existence of man and god? You must be awfully disappointed with the world if it is. Religion claims that god is unexplainable, beyond the grasp of the human mind, then procedes to do what it just said could never be done. But, I don't want to attack religion or start some fight about the existence of god, thats been done to death on this site. However I will say this, both physics and religion have their respective uses, and beliefe in one does not exclude beliefe in the other for many people. One attmepts to say how the heavens go and the other attempts to explain how to go to heaven, I think it was Newton that said that.

    My advise would be if you want to understand the spiritual side of something, turn to religion or spirituality. If you want to understand the physical side of something, turn to physics. Then you won't feel obligated to make useless inflamatory statements about the failures of either.

    P.S. Just to make things clear, I am an atheist and do not believe there is a spiritual component to life. But I realize that others need this beliefe, and do not feel I have the right to take it from them. As long as they keep it out of the school and politics I am fine with people believeing whatever they want.

  14. Waldo
  15. Waldo

    I didn't care for this exchange. Hawkings and Sagan are two of my heroes, but the guy that asked the questions just didn't get a good dialogue going in my opinion. Sagan was not in the room, participated by satelite. Maybe this is why no real spontaneous meanigful dialogue got going. Hawking tried to get some deabte going about extra terrestrial visitation with Clarke, but it never went anywhere. The moderator interacted in an akward way with Hawking's voice synth technology, that didn't help matters as well. I give this one maybe a six out of ten, no new info- no interestiong debate- several long akward pauses- boring. And it takes alot for me to say that about a program having Sagan and Hawkings in it, they are after all my heros, especially Sagan.

  16. John Holme
  17. John Holme

    there's no big punisher - right ? not counting the wife :-)

  18. Jimmetry
  19. Jimmetry

    ^ What Waldo said... though I've never really understood what all the fuss is about regarding Hawking. Sagan has far more to offer.

  20. ivan
  21. ivan

    by that time Sagan learned not to say 'billions', says 'thousands of millions'

  22. Nakor4200
  23. Nakor4200

    OMG C. Clark, Sagan AND Hawking?! EPIC P.S. God = Annunaki
    And they WILL return, (2012?)

  24. james
  25. james

    Great minds.Vlatko,the 1980s-ness of this doc reminds me that "The Power of Myth" with Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers is an oldie but wonderful doc series.Campbell is charming and erudite,almost sagelike,when he refers to myth, legend ,the ancient stories and heroes.More philosophy than science,it would be a terrific inclusion to this site!

  26. Connie
  27. Connie

    @ Vlatko are you the one who writes the foot notes for the films? If so you do a very good Job.I enjoy them.

    Can you believe I am still on line and with phone/internet up?
    They keep giving me later deadlines. LOL, But every email and movie could be my last ,,, torture........

    Thanks for all the great Docs.I haven't been commenting cause I am too busy watching every one I can, as though it was my last breath.

  28. Achems Razor
  29. Achems Razor

    Yes, it is an oldie but goodie doc.
    But only watched some, could not garner enough interest for me to keep re-hashing stuff I already know about.

  30. Connie
  31. Connie

    @ Achems strange that you would say that. You actually explained what I couldnt describe about this doc.
    I watched it yet it seemed mundane. But only because so many of the new Docs have said it all.
    Still it was a good Doc. But has been overidden by the newer Docs.It couldn't hold my attention either. My mind kept wondering away from it and was doing other things.

    Sorta like watching a movie in 7th grade and then watching it in 8th grade but need to know answers for a test.Its all pertinent yet mundane second time around.

  32. d.e.goodman
  33. d.e.goodman

    fact? "way over rated?" I suppose YOU have acquired your own "Nobel Prise" is physics? "Over rated?" Surly that was meant as a joke? Between these three people, there are more "properly functioning brain cells" than in any-other 100 minds combined. That is to say, "minds such as yours." These three were WAY ahead of their time, as well as "yours." Give respect, where respect IS DO! These three men were VISIONARIES and has higher IQ's then most "ordinary" human beings.The one thing that surprised me about this whole video was, the fact that Hawking seems to disbelieve even the possibility of extra terrestrials when most people believe otherwise. At least, if not "most," then MANY, at any rate.

  34. persarian
  35. persarian


  36. Jo aka polar jo
  37. Jo aka polar jo

    Thanks Vlatko. as others say, it is lovely to go back in time (:)) I hope the energy of a fine mind and spirit like Sagan's does 'go on' somehow, however, I know those feelings for the simple wish that they are.

  38. Joris83
  39. Joris83

    I think to really understand this one you need to watch a lot of other ones...try to understand what they are really saying!

  40. Phil
  41. Phil

    I've seen all three of these scientists in better circumstances and interviews.
    With respect to "UFO" s and aliens; I believe Dr. Hawking's point of view is that they might exist, but they have yet to visit us....and perhaps never will. Carl Sagan was of the opinion that "intelligent life" is out there and one day we will find each other. He also was very hopeful that we would find life somewhere in our solar system....perhaps on Mars or one of the Jovian moons, though it might consist only of microbes. Arthur C Clark, i think leaves the door open to alien visitation in the past present and future. One of his three "laws" states; "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". This means that alien races may be using technology that we haven't the ability to conceive of, and so finding and traveling to the Earth might not be difficult at all for them. We might find the prospect of interstellar travel daunting because we have yet to reach a particular level of technology.

  42. Wayne
  43. Wayne

    Oh if only we could have stepped in from the future and told these 3 people just how far their theories and inspiration had gone.
    Still, this give us all a perspective to judge on just how far our knowledge has come and how far it may go in the same amount of time.
    I laughed at how slow that computer took to draw a simple mandelbrot image when today's computers would find that task minor.

  44. connie
  45. connie

    Hugh @ Thanks guys ! your comments make me want to watch it again and pay more attention. obviously some serious great stuff flew right over my head, but your comments are showing me what to look for with much more appreciation.
    Thanks for the greater insights.

  46. Wino
  47. Wino

    no such thing as a big bang.. aliens put us on earth.

  48. Rod Rylander
  49. Rod Rylander

    My questions: What is the real definition of energy - not just what it produces. And what is God. My theory is that everything in the universe is made of energy - mass, heat, lights, thoughts, spirits, etc. Since it is everything, it must be all powerful and must be the creator of everything. People call it God and that is OK. Some people have the ability to tap onto this universal energy and do things that we call miracles. They can use meditation, prayer, etc. We only have to define energy to discover the beginning of the system if there was a beginning or if it goes back to infinity. Infinity could be the tranformation into some phase we have no knowledge of.

  50. Phil
  51. Phil

    To answer the question; "what is God?". God is a being made up by our ancestors to explain the things they were ignorant of and a means for those in power to control the masses.
    The concept of God can be a comfort to people who are troubled or ill.
    There is certainly no evidence of the reality of miracles or that any force of nature brings us to the conclusion that there is a god directing the physical world.

  52. Phil
  53. Phil

    Energy:Definition: Energy is the capacity of a physical system to perform work. Energy exists in several forms such as heat, kinetic or mechanical energy, light, potential energy, electrical, or other forms.
    According to the law of conservation of energy, the total energy of a system remains constant, though energy may transform into another form. (yes, i copied and pasted)
    If you were to ask "Where did all of the energy in the Universe come from?", i'd have to say "I don't know". I don't think anyone does(yet).

  54. Rod
  55. Rod

    I'll go along with you on God. The jury is still out as far as I am concerned on whether or not physical phenomenon that is not generally accepted occurs and is called a miracle. I would like a better definition of energy than "the capacity".

  56. Phil
  57. Phil

    As far as i know there are no documented miracles. Thermodynamics pretty much covers energy except at the sub-atomic level. For that you'll have to consult Dr.Hawking :)

  58. Rod Rylander
  59. Rod Rylander

    Thanks. I remember a documentary about miracles that one of the TV anchors did, I believe Walter Kronkite, made with scientists and photographers insuring accuracy. One was a woman in East Europe who could move objects, one putting an image of the clockworks of the Big Bend on film, one showing what he was doing from another motel. I wish I could find a copy of it. Rod

  60. Travis
  61. Travis

    Obama speaks exactly like Sagan, anyone?

  62. connie
  63. connie

    @ Travis

    I disagree. What is said speaks louder then how things are said and Sagan doesn't have a mouth full of Lies :-)

  64. Simon
  65. Simon

    Absolutely brilliant, so thrilling to see these giants together. I love Carl Sagan’s poetic descriptions, I could listen to him all day

  66. Phil
  67. Phil

    I think Carl Sagan would have liked President Obama.
    Would you like to share with us all what you believe those lies are?

  68. connie
  69. connie

    @ Phil

    I actually would like to share, However Freedom of speech is a thing of the past and Now adays you could be labeled as a terrorist if you don't go along.

    Also,We are not allowed to go off the subject of the Doc.
    So let me simply say. Everything that passes his lips!
    If its not a lie then it is used for the agenda of lies.

    Feel free to support him, Many do. And many are not so blind nor is everyone a sheeple.
    But please , Don't let me be the one to awaken you.

  70. Phil
  71. Phil

    TY...That was the answer that i expected :<)

  72. connie
  73. connie

    @ Phil of coarse it was. You know I cannot sit here on TDF and use it as my political platform, And others know that too!
    Only arragance would try to use that. IF you really wanted my opinions you would give your phone number or email addy to discuss further . But reality is,My time could be used more preciously then that. :-)

  74. Phil
  75. Phil

    ok :<)

  76. Travis
  77. Travis

    I meant the way he speaks lol not what he says :p

  78. Phil
  79. Phil


    True enough. I've never heard Obama discuss Cosmology, but i have heard Sagan discuss politics. In the latter i believe they share a lot of common ideals.

  80. CR1SIS
  81. CR1SIS

    Comments gone :( but i'll re-open my last thought:

    Obama speaks exactly like Sagan (not what hes saying, but HOW he says things)

  82. Jack1952
  83. Jack1952

    "Physics doesn't aim to explain the existence of god or man"
    Maybe someday scientific observations will indicate the existence of God. As we dig deeper into the sciences we may find there is no other explanation. It would be hoped that this conclusion would be arrived at using the scientific process. This could be why some religious people reject science. Just as science could prove the presence of God, it could also prove the opposite. That could be quite disheartening to the faithful.

  84. oddsrhuge
  85. oddsrhuge

    These are great minds in a very questionable video. And I am not marginalizing the attempt. Just, that if this science is to be understood by dumbasses like me, it need really needed be presented in a less confused presentation. Does that make any sense to other dumbasses? I am thinking that Hollywood has probably messed with my mind. I like the slick well presented videos, however, I recognize my prejudice....so I am in a healing process.

  86. La Voz Interna
  87. La Voz Interna

    Search the inner voice on facebook and read my essay, very enlightening

  88. Anthony Pirtle
  89. Anthony Pirtle

    I enjoy the free flowing discussion format. Not everything has to be overproduced with big effects and a musical score.

  90. memoiandi
  91. memoiandi

    Just for future reference: someone who promotes his own essay as "very enlightening" shows that it probably isn't.

  92. Thomas Felbo
  93. Thomas Felbo

    I love how Hawkins keeps crackin' jokes hahaha...

  94. Bryan Runke
  95. Bryan Runke

    No need to watch the whole thing. I'll sum it up for everyone....it's 42.

  96. Guest
  97. Guest

    In that case: SLATFATF.

  98. gsjikwblao
  99. gsjikwblao

    Perhaps from the collapse of the last cycle

  100. gsjikwblao
  101. gsjikwblao

    This "phase" could be the singularity that is formed upon the collapse of a cycling universe that forms the "big bang" that starts the next cycle. With no possibility of new information surviving passage from one cycle to the next, it may be that it is the exact same universe, from beginning to end in each cycle.

  102. gsjikwblao
  103. gsjikwblao

    lol. I thought I was the only one who noticed that.

  104. gsjikwblao
  105. gsjikwblao

    Proving the existence of God could also be disheartening to the "faithful" if what they had faith in was actually in opposition to the God that science discovers.

  106. gsjikwblao
  107. gsjikwblao

    Whatever created or "retroactively generated" physical existence must of necessity be non-physical. This means that it could not be engaged directly through any of our five physical senses since they evolved to gather information directly from our physical environment.With our mechanical reasoning we can process this information to manipulate our environment to facilitate the comfort of our physical bodies. As this comfort increases for some they may experience a guilty feeling in their sixth sense, their convicting conscience, when they encounter the suffering of another who lacks comfort. Since we cannot directly engage something that of a necessity must be non-physical, we may consider that maybe we have been engaging it all along in our sixth sense.

    A motivating force that we call love, which is a binding motivation, could not function as such without something to bind. Thus, we may consider that physical existence which our mechanical intellects engage directly through our five physical senses was a necessary by-product of the love which gives rise to our conviction of conscience.

    Inasmuch as love is a binding motivation we can also understand that it is also an illuminating one. People under the influence of love can see things that hateful people cannot. Thus, we can expect that physical existence, engaged directly by mechanical intellects from the division-justifying perspective of the separate physical bodies that they are anchored to is also deceptive. It is very, very significant to note that people with influential convictions of conscience will consider this and people with weak convictions of conscience will not. As a conviction of conscience grows weaker and weaker as love withdraws from people who do not want to be bothered by it they are losing the "inner voice" that is necessary to compel their mechanical reasoning to engage this understanding. This same love is compressed, in a stressful process, into the consciences of others who are compelled by their strong consciences to receive it. The resulting increased conviction of conscience drives the intellect to which it is yoked to transverse the thought process that spawns this discovery.

    The irony of this is that the rejection of it is evidence that it is true for those who do not reject it .

    The vast size, age and complexity of physical existence is nothing more then facilitation of a deceptive, division-justifying motivation in necessary, diametric opposition to the non-physical motivating force which retroactively generated it.

    Remember that whatever existed on the other side of the big bang cannot be engaged with the five physical senses. Perhaps it is engaged with our sixth sense, our conviction of conscience.

    Perhaps that is why we have one.

  108. tariqxl
  109. tariqxl

    Radio frequencies are one of the inevitable technologies for almost any race to discover and utilise. But no-one ever seems to realise that if there are any advanced civilisations we would receive their signals long before they receive ours by as much as their years of advancement.

  110. Gareth Hayes
  111. Gareth Hayes

    Thanks for uploading this, it's always amazing to see footage of Carl Sagan that I have not seen before!

  112. Lary9
  113. Lary9

    BLTN (*) comment:

    Sagan, Hawking and Clarke...wow...what a tribunal. I am not worthy.

    * (better late than never)

  114. Guest
  115. Guest

    Wow, a 33rd degree Freemason, a New Ager, and an athiest hang out together. They truly have a lot in common, because their beliefs are one in the same.

  116. awful_truth
  117. awful_truth

    An excellent interview that exposes the possibilities of what god is, the potentiality of alien life, and impact of science on human society in general. A good watch for most people. With that said, it should be avoided by littlebob, who would not like the confirmation of Einstein's pantheistic/deist beliefs; by Epicurus who would thnk Carl Sagan is an id**t because of his belief in aliens, and atheists in general who would retch at the complimentary idea that the humanity's future lies in science, and spirituality. (Arthur C. Clarke) For everyone else, check it out!

  118. AntiTheist666
  119. AntiTheist666

    That’s just awful! Please stop baiting other posters, which in this case was unprovoked. It devalues anything you have to say.

  120. Achems_Razor
  121. Achems_Razor

    Unless you have proof of your allegations, you are baiting/trolling the posters and atheists in general for an emotional response. DESIST!

    Please read the "comment policy"

  122. Epicurus
  123. Epicurus

    Carl Sagan is one of my idols and would NEVER assert that aliens MUST exist as intelligent beings.

    Perhaps you should read some of Carl Sagan's works.

  124. Epicurus
  125. Epicurus

    LOL which one is the Freemason?

  126. veverk
  127. veverk

    You're brainwashed. The bible is a silly book of fiction for children, and anyone who believes that nonsense is a true FOOL.

  128. awful_truth
  129. awful_truth

    veverk: Since I made no mention of the bible, your response would appear to be inappropriate. With that said, anyone who would dismiss the potentiality of the unknown out of hand, is a fool, due to the self imposed limitations of their own thinking!
    P.S: The bible is a historical work that is philosophical in nature, and should be taken as such. (complete with parables of wisdom that few can decipher, or understand - many religious leaders included)

  130. hasone
  131. hasone

    with the recent discoveries(spring of 2014) of goldilocks planets only 50 light years away, the probability that there are billions upon billions of habitable planets in the universe exist with life on them is highly probable.

  132. Naya
  133. Naya

    can you state respectively who you're referring to when you label them?

  134. Naya
  135. Naya

    Most significant, "to pay respect to one's unconscious" takes you back to what the initial link Sagan drew about children questioning aspects of everyday life. Formal educational institutions and "becoming an adult" have now completely destroyed our ability to do that one most simplest and basic thing - paying respect to our unconscious, we now unfortunately seem to have become the unconscious and the passive slaves of the obvious.

  136. Kim Diedrichsen
  137. Kim Diedrichsen

    Lol 1988 very very old!!

  138. DeadheadTrea
  139. DeadheadTrea

    LMAO. So it must be in black and white. Most likely a silent film.

  140. Pie
  141. Pie

    I met Arthur C Clark once when I was 11. I didn't knew then he lived in Sri Lanka. (im born there but i dont live there) I really liked science fiction already as a kid so I knew of him. I as in Hikkaduwa and I see Arthur C Clark diving school and I was like what like the same guy? so i walked in and he was busy with his diving equipment and i said Hi but i didnt know much else to say because I was just a kid and he only said hello back but I was standing behind him and he was busy with his diving gear so that was just it lol. But it was funny though that I actually seen him for real at least one time cause I liked his books and works in films.

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