LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar winner Morgan Freeman turns 75-years-old on June 1, but he's not slowing down a bit. This summer he'll be seen in the blockbuster Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," and he is currently shooting sci-fi epic "Oblivion" with Tom Cruise.
But somewhere in his busy schedule, he finds time for his pet project, television show "Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman," which begins its third season on the SCIENCE channel June 6. Freeman is executive producer and host of the series.
With episodes entitled "What is Nothing?" and "Can We Resurrect the Dead?" filmmakers interview physicists, biologists, astronomers and other academics who explore cutting edge theories on many of life's big questions.
Freeman spoke with Reuters recently about the show.
Q: You tackle some provocative questions. Where do your ideas come from?
A: "They come through a whole bunch of us. Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night or are just lying there and something occurs to you, 'what if?' or 'Why can't we?' And you just pose the question at sessions and toss them around - sessions with writers, producers directors. We go to the scientists to get their input - all these people who've been thinking about these questions. You can always find someone who's thinking about some question you want to ask."
Q: What question do you want to deal with most on the show?
A: "I keep asking one. Is there a difference - I maintain that there is - between space and the universe? In other words, scientists at the Hubble (space telescope) say that the universe is expanding. And if the universe is expanding, there has to be something for it to expand into. It's going out into what?"
Q: One upcoming episode is entitled, "Did We Invent God?" You played God in the movie "Evan Almighty." So, did we?
A: "If you're going to say you create something from nothing, then where does God come from? I come down on the side of you, can't create something from nothing. I think the universe is not a living entity. I don't think there's an end to it. Even though Hubble says it's expanding, I think at some point the expansion of energy will run out, and it will begin to collapse because as it expands it creates nothingness somewhere and this your black hole."
Q: There is another episode on gene therapy and whether or not there is a superior race.
A: "It is a delicate dance but it's not really if you realize that it's almost an unanswerable question. We were talking about possibly genetically manipulating the human race for specific things, particularly the idea of space travel. If you do create a superior group, you won't have a race, you'll just have a group. We can genetically alter ourselves for specifics, but I don't think that will make us superior."
Q: The episode speaks specifically in terms of IQ.
A: "I think IQ tests don't mean anything. If you put me down in the Serengeti (region of Africa) with the Maasai (people) and tested me on what they know, I'd fail miserably."
Q: One show explores the notion of the universe as a bio-organism of which we're only a small part. What are your thoughts on that subject?
A: "You think of what exactly is the universe and how far does our imagination go in shaping the universe. When you think about what we're made of - atoms and smaller particles that make up atoms, etc. - who's to say that we're not just part of a larger life force?"
Q: Do you draw conclusions, or is it more important to keep asking questions?
A: "I think it's valuable. But the main thing is I'm enjoying the daylights out of it. It's one of those things that really sparks the imagination."
(Reporting By Bob Tourtellotte)