Light Fantastic
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Light Fantastic

2004, Science  -   58 Comments
7.92
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Ratings: 7.92/10 from 24 users.

Light FantasticGod is light. In all cultures, there's an intimate association between illumination and divinity, between life and creation. Light is color. Light is energy. It fuels life and it feeds the spirit. It inspires art, religion, and science. Light holds the secrets of the universe. For thousands of years, humanity has tried to unlock the mysteries of light in its' search for the nature of God himself. Light Fantastic explores the phenomenon that surrounds and affects nearly every aspect of our lives but one which we take for granted - light.

1. Let There Be Light. Greek and Arab scholars, and later Europeans such as Descartes and Newton all tried to understand light to gain a better understanding of God. Episode one shows how much of modern science's origins came from the desire to penetrate the divine nature of light.

2. The Light of Reason. The second programme explores the link between the development of practical tools that manipulate light and the emergence of new ideas. For example, Galileo's observation that the sun did not go around the earth, was made with a telescope that had been invented for Venetian soldiers and traders.

3. The Stuff of Light. Episode three charts the discovery of the true nature of light and its impact on the modern world. All of today's technologies - electricity, mobile communications and our ability to illuminate the world 24 hours a day - stem from unravelling the mystery of light.

4. Light, The Universe and Everything. In the final programme Simon Schaffer finds that as more people were able to manipulate light, the more puzzling and tricky it became. This led to investigations into the strange relationship between light, the eye and the mind, and the development of new technology such as photography and cinema.

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beepbeep
beepbeep
6 years ago

If god is light then god has been visible the wholeee time... doh!

Rampage
Rampage
10 years ago

An excellent documentary to do with the history of the science of light.

GreatMoel
GreatMoel
11 years ago

Very good documentary. Enjoyed all parts. Good editing, music, and the logical historical approach was very interesting.
Thank you for sharing it.

Todd Collins
Todd Collins
11 years ago

I find darkness to be comforting and peaceful. Darkness allows my innermost thoughts to come out more clearly.

Milan Grce
Milan Grce
11 years ago

in the third part (the stuff of light) its all about electricity and not a word about Nikola Tesla!? disgrace..

Justen Bontekoe
Justen Bontekoe
12 years ago

Not religious here, but am loving the doc!

wheelnut53
wheelnut53
12 years ago

I love this place so much better than HULU

azav
azav
12 years ago

God is light? Please. No religion in my science.

azav
azav
12 years ago

God is light? Please prove that statement.

Guest
Guest
12 years ago

Its funny how we choose to be intuitive and then turn it off selectively Clay. So if you have a coherent request i'd like to see it. And yes, cool isnt what im about. But whered u get thegeneralizing relationship to being cool thingy?

Guest
Guest
12 years ago

can you explain what you are talking about please? Since it seems like you think you are some kind of expert, I would like to understand where you are coming from. no harm in that?

Guest
Guest
12 years ago

wow and if you look at every convienience of the 20th century, wasn't it Nicola Tesla, who made most of the discoveries? Edison was a fraud and a thief. And Einstein was an idiot. How can the speed of light be constant if you say time is not? velocity=distanceXtime?

Guest
Guest
12 years ago

Science and religion hold hands and walk down the path together. Because they have to explain everything in terrestrial terms. So they both lie to save their jobs, prestege, etc.

david hanson
david hanson
12 years ago

light is a fascinating perspective as scientist point of view

Matt Kukowski
Matt Kukowski
12 years ago

I like the merger of science ( hardcore science... feynman/sagan/lovelock ...etc.. ) and religion like Christianity. Sometimes just summing it up as 'god' and not acting SO scientific ( which can be mind numbingly complex as a whole quantum/cosmos level shit and everything between ).

Sometimes retreating to religion just 'feels' comforting. Just as long as you keep science in mind to remind us to 'flesh out' our feelings. I ask those that are hardcore religious to be more scientific... and I do not ask scientists to adapt religion as that is their OWN choice. But science IS a must.

peace out doc waters...

Brian
Brian
13 years ago

lol...I used to think people grew up as the got older, reading posts like this just remind me that with age comes more influence over the persons mind. Of course our perspectives might be euro-centric, but guess what...its because the modern world most recently arrived out of England and is currently why we have a Global Capitalist World Economy. uggh, history and anthropology might be interesting topics for you guys if you can stand the reading and mind opening. Otherwise, stick to the bible for your science...uggh

Waldo
Waldo
13 years ago

@ Kazan

Did you watch this or just start insulting it? He clearly gave much credit to the muslims for their scientific contribution, giving their work credit for inspiring what we later called the enlightenment. People like you have this huge chip on their shoulder and only see or hear what they expect to see or hear, no matter what is actually presented.

@ Bob and Pamela

He also clearly gives the church the credit for funding and beginning what later turned out to be the thing we call science. Simply because he also factually reported the churches reactions when scientists they funded came up with findings they didn't like means only that he was being truthful. Trying to deny the churches pathetic role in the suppression of scientific fact is why science lovers say the religiouse are blinded by religion.

natasha rose
natasha rose
13 years ago

@ Kazan

I don't believe your argument has any substance seeing as though the only quoted English scientist was Issac Newton.

Who was undeniably one of the many great thinkers of our time.

There have been no ¨lies about the greatness¨ of England, im guessing you just have a chip on your shoulder.

natasha rose
natasha rose
13 years ago

@ Bob & Pamela

Not once does the presenter give a personal opinion on any religion, he simply takes the viewer on a journey, quoting different discovery's at different times throughout history.

The truth of the matter is the church has been hugely repressive to any discovery's that jeopardize their teachings and way of life, and by mentioning that he is adding crucial information in relation to how our knowledge has evolved through the centuries.

Bob
Bob
13 years ago

@Pamela > @Persta

I agree, the presenter has a great deal of knowledge on the subject and I love the passion he has while presenting but I can't get past the unnecessary skew he places on historical entities that have very little to do with the subject matter.

We get it you don't like the church, super, great, move on.

You got your extraneous religious bias in my documentary of the evolution of the science and understanding of light!

...not as good as the chocolate and peanut butter thing.

...and fix you damn teeth its 2010 for gods sake.

Ramus
Ramus
13 years ago

@Kazan
Why have nations like England, France, America, Germany been at the forefront of scientific discovery? Because they have had the economic backbone to make those discoveries. Its a sad fact but no money = no technology. England was able to advance science because of its (mainly) secular nature. Muslim countries are struggling to advance technology because of its religious dogma. Your comments are typical of someone that wants to blame other people for their own nations reluctance to accept scientific endeavour because of religious hokum.

Kazan
Kazan
13 years ago

When I look at this kind of documentary i can ask my self if science is made just of a 3 nations English, French and Americans....

Thats a lot of b@##$%&*. For example Michael Faraday was something like Bill Gates now. He really don't invent much but steal a lot and then make money of it and never say who really invent smt. I expected a little more objective documentary... rather than a bunch of lies about a greatness of English. And yes there could be even womens scientist.

pertsa
pertsa
13 years ago

@Pamela

You characteristicly are bashing science here unfairly.

And for sure we have only the ability to observe and make theory.
As did the people who made up god...

yourboycal
yourboycal
13 years ago

I love light <3 and the challenges it brings forth =) I tip my hat to all the great men and women of history who were all important in what we know today . Even the ones who didnt get famous but still count . I wish we could all get along and play nice but i guess im asking for something improbable =*(

Cokan
Cokan
13 years ago

The subject is great, but the way it is presented is simply - annoying. This guy should never be on tv.

DC2010
DC2010
13 years ago

Does anyone know where I can find this on DVD or BluRay? I think this is one of the coolest documentaries I've ever seen, but I can't find it anywhere to buy.

Zygor Guides
Zygor Guides
13 years ago

@ Pamela,

There definitely seems to be a bias, but you mustn't forget that it's only since the Post-Victorian era that women have been recognized wholesale for their contribution to science. It's difficult to come to terms with in our day and age but such was the state of things back then. I did a piece on Florence Nightingale once, and it was extraordinary how she was able to achieve what she did during that time. She and few others were not part of the mainstream, but we all should be glad she worked tirelessly against all the odds.

We are moving in the right direction now thankfully, so we can admire the contribution of both the sexes.

pamela
pamela
13 years ago

one last thing i note is that if this is written by shaffer he also has a bias towards male physicists in the area of light. Women have studied the problems of such things but have largely been ignored. It seems to be the case, because for example, there have been women who were nuclear physicists in the time of all of the latter studies of the atom, women did look at the genes, women did do chemistry...have you ever looked at how medicines came about?
Women were sometimes not allowed to enter such fields too. But those who did had to have been highly gifted.

pamela
pamela
13 years ago

I find that in the area of science there seems to be error in all theory. Schaffer characteristicly is bashing the Catholic Church here unfairly. While the Church made some errors, read more on the subject before you bash. Lets remember fairly that when our in vestigation tools changed, so did our understanding. However, science can still not define how light, gravity, a rainbow, let alone how the universe came about. For sure we have only the ability to observe and make theory.

Kumar Sanghvi
Kumar Sanghvi
14 years ago

Marvellous documentary.
Watched all the 4 parts..........never looked at light from this view point.
Extremely superb !!

Thanks Vlatko for sharing the extremely nice collection of documentaries.

kevin
kevin
14 years ago

Ive just finised episode 2 of this documentary, looking forward to watching the next 2.

As a photographer this documentary is very interesting and full of some information i didnt realise. It also brings up alot of confirmation about the theories around god and the sun that ive seen jump around.

5/5