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The Artificial Albatross

An albatross and a giant Airbus A380 are both superb flying machines. So why do many scientists claim only one of them had a designer and the other is the result of accumulated accidents? We compare their engineering features, and try to fly advanced model planes in tough weather that an albatross handles with ease.

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What is Big Questions?

Big Questions is a 13-part documentary series that explores arguments for and against the existence of God. Grenville Kent turns the atheist microscope onto his Christian faith to see if it’s blind or based on evidence.

Grenville and crew film in the Atacama Desert
Grenville in the Australian outback

Grenville, a Christian academic, investigates cosmology, genetics, consciousness, free will, morality, and apparent design in nature, considering both scientific and faith-based perspectives, and finding the ironies and funny moments in one of the most vexed debates of our time.

Speaking with 70 scientists, philosophers, and other academics from across the intellectual landscape about why they believe or don’t believe, Grenville will dissect the tenets of his faith, seeking rationality and genuine dialogue on a very delicate and explosive subject.

Travelling to robotics factories, space observatories, blue Antarctic ice, biblical cities, regions ravaged by genocide and natural disaster, Grenville’s curiosity and open enquiry will leave no physical or philosophical stone unturned in asking life’s Big Questions.

The Big Questions team filming in Red Square, Moscow
Filming at altitude in Chile
Father and son digging deep into the Big Questions

Do your friends sometimes ask big questions?

What are people saying about Big Questions?

“The Big Questions films aren’t merely good, they are excellent! Not only are they super informative, they are fun and engaging to watch. Grenville’s intelligent articulation and whimsical personality combine to create a truly enjoyable educational adventure”

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Who is Grenville Kent?

Grenville Kent is an award-winning film maker and academic who has worked in 60+ countries. Based in Sydney, Australia, he taught for a decade in theology and culture at Wesley Institute, and is fascinated by the New Atheism. He has two doctorates and can usually find his car keys. His hobbies include playing sports with his children.

Episode Guide

Discover a little more about each episode of this exciting 13-part series.

Space is deadly, so why is Earth so right for human life in so many ways? Does this suggest a Mind that is, well, astronomical? And while we’re at it, why is there anything at all?

Plain old H20 helps regulate global temperatures, sustains a whole ecosystem beneath ice… oh, and is the basis for almost all known life. So did this multi-functioning molecule arise by chance or does it show forethought? Should we be raising a glass to toast a divine mind?

An albatross and a giant Airbus A380 are both superb flying machines. So why do many scientists claim only one of them had a designer and the other is the result of accumulated accidents? We compare their engineering features, and test-fly advanced model planes in albatross conditions.

We visit Bangkok, where you can buy an eight-year-old child for the night for 120 dollars, and where child protection charities are trying their best. We ask: Is morality just a matter of personal opinion, or are there moral truths, big moral facts that anyone can discover? If so, what can we build them on if not God? We look at morality in nature –sharks and orang-utans.

A powerful, caring God would stop humans suffering. Yet we suffer. So God cannot exist – or is it not that simple? We talk to a child in Kibera, Kenya’s worst slum. We also talk to a mother caring for a son with autism, intellectual disability and epilepsy.

You, a robot – what’s the difference? We look at brilliant designs and ask if they’re thinking or just following complicated orders and algorithms. Leading (human) brains tell us that true AI is still just Hollywood fiction. So how would a real thinking machine – a human being – arise if the universe is just random matter with no intelligence behind it? And why do some philosophers think human consciousness – thoughts, emotion, free choice – is evidence for God?

Could monkey typing really produce Shakespeare? It’s beyond the probability bound, say mathematicians. Yet Hamlet has 130,000 letters while your DNA has 3.5 B-for-billion chemical letters. And smelling mistakes – I mean spelling mistakes – are usually fatal. So who wrote it? Why did the head of the Human Genome Project call DNA ‘the language of God’? And how did we get a cell with the ability to read this code and make us?

Jerusalem is a holy place for billions of people and three major religions, but is there any evidence God has spoken there? We take a critical look at one biblical prophecy from 500BC and see if its predictions about Jerusalem and its Messiah has come true in history, and what it might say about the world’s future.

What do historians know about Jesus? How does he appear in records from Jewish sources of his time, and the annals of the Roman Empire? Are the gospels historical sources or legends? And could they have been changed?

Four biographies of Jesus claim that he rose from the dead. Is this a private statement of blind faith? We follow the journey of one disciple, Thomas, to India, and ask what evidence made ‘doubting’ Thomas believe, and travel all that to tell the story at risk to his own life.

Are you willing to find out: does God exist?