This week on The Gralien Report, marine biologists have reported a unique discovery off the coast of Hawaii: a hybrid variety of whale-dolphin unseen before in nature. Elsewhere, in a story the likes of something from a Michael Crichton novel, 32,000-year-old worms were recently revived from Siberian permafrost in a laboratory, making them the oldest living organisms on Earth. What else could be revived from our ancient past, and could there be dangers associated with such advances of science?
We also spend some time looking at the history of the U.S. Space Program, and how the possible threat of “Earth’s Second Moon” launched the Cold War space race. Speaking of space, we also examine the latest claims that astronaut Buzz Aldrin has “admitted” not going to the moon; it’s just one more reason celebrity scientists have to be careful with how they word things.
Then turning our attention inward, we spend a lengthy segment on the subject of psychedelics, the expansion of consciousness, and whether there is room for spirituality in the world of science. Leading thinkers that include evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein help us understand why many plants create medicines beneficial to humans (and why some also create psychedelic substances), while advocates of “secular spirituality” like Sam Harris describe the profound influence his own experimentation with psychedelics had on his life. Also, can skeptical scientists still operate in a “faith-based” way of thinking, and is such faith-oriented thought actually something that is integral to how humans have evolved? If so, what role do altered states of consciousness and mystical experiences play in all of this, and are they worthy of scientific study?