** ichannel Premiere **
MOMENT OF DEATH - Friday Jan. 14 at 9 pm ET/PT
Death: it’s the last thing you’ll ever do – and you’ll never get to tell anyone else what it’s like. As medical research reveals more and more about the process of dying, physicians face new and difficult questions regarding the boundary between life and death. What is the precise moment of death? Is it your last breath, or your last thought? Is it when your heart stops beating, or when you stop being you? This intriguing National Geographic documentary looks at how the scientific understanding of death has evolved, and shows some of the ways in which modern medicine can manipulate the moment of death to prolong life. Drawing on insights from doctors, bioethicists and authors such as Mary Roach (Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers), the hour-long film probes the medical, ethical and philosophical questions associated with our definition of brain death, compares and contrasts various ways of dying, from electrocution to the guillotine (“instantaneous and painless”), and considers an unusual but persuasive explanation for the strange phenomenon of near-death experiences.
** ichannel Premiere **
SCIENCE OF EVIL - Saturday Jan. 15 at 9 pm ET/PT
What is evil? Is it the product of damaged and abnormal minds? Or does the latent capacity for evil exist within each of us? Can science help to illuminate the nature of evil, or is it a phenomenon only philosophers and religious thinkers can comprehend? This National Geographic documentary takes a probing look at evil through the eyes of men and women who are struggling to understand where it comes from and how – or whether – it can be overcome. Among them: psychologist Philip Zimbardo, whose notorious Stanford prison experiment in 1971 revealed how situational forces can make ordinary people capable of extraordinary cruelty – a finding that took on new relevance more than 30 years later when the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib came to light; Christian minister Roy Ratcliff, who scandalized many of his Wisconsin congregation when he befriended and eventually baptized imprisoned serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer; Ivy League neuroscientists Jonathan Cohen and Joshua Greene, who are studying the human brain in an effort to determine where our sense of right and wrong comes from; and United Nations aid worker Aya Schneerson, whose experiences in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have shown her just how easily our potential for evil can be unleashed in the face of poverty and war.