In the Beginning

December 23, 2001

Everywhere you turn at this time of year there are babies: Babies wrapped in swaddling cloths, babies lying in mangers, baby-faced cherubs, and baby angels. All to be expected of a holiday that celebrates the birth of a child. But then, birth is a pretty miraculous thing. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, birth stories. From the history of Jesus to the science of pregnancy, to the creation of artificial life.

  1. Naomi Wolf on "Misconceptions"

    Feminist Naomi Wolf tells Anne Strainchamps that common obstetrical practices make things easier for the hospital, not the mother and baby, and she explains why many post-feminist women are shocked by the demands of early motherhood.

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  2. Steve Grand on Virtual Life

    Steve Grand tells Jim Fleming about Norns – virtual pets that live and breed in desktop computers. He says the Norns give us a way to explore questions about what it means to be alive and what rights and responsibilities "living" creatures have.

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  3. David Bainbridge on Pregnancy

    David Bainbridge tells Steve Paulson that as soon as a woman becomes pregnant, the baby begins to dominate her biology, causing significant changes in her immune system.

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  4. Jack Miles on the Life of God

    Jack Miles says maybe God became incarnate to repent for having thrown Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, and that Christ initiated the Eucharist as a way for his followers to regain their immortality.

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