The second episode of “Cosmos,” hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, will air on Fox on Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT. While last week's premiere episode, "Standing Up in the Milky Way," focused on the solar system and our galaxy, this week’s episode, “Some of the Things that Molecules Do,” will examine the history of life on Earth.
Fox’s synopsis of the episode states that “Host Neil deGrasse Tyson is on a voyage to explore the relatedness of all livings things and the possible evolution of life in the cosmos. Go on a journey to discover how artificial selection turned the wolf into canine breeds and how natural selection sculpted the complex human eye.”
Fox released two clips from Sunday’s episode of “Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey.” The first preview, titled “Origins of Life,” examines what Earth was like four billion years ago and the mystery of how life started on the planet. The next clip, “Halls of Extinction,” explores five extinction events that have occurred over the last 500 million years.
As noted by the BBC, the five mass-extinction events that have occurred in Earth’s past are the Ordovician-Silurian event (450 to 440 million years ago); the Late Devonian event (375 to 360 million years ago); the Permian-Triassic event (251 million years ago); the Triassic-Jurassic event (200 million years ago); and the Cretaceous-Tertiary event (66 million years ago). The Permian mass extinction event is also known as “the Great Dying” as 96 percent of species was wiped out, while the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction is known for the end of dinosaurs.
If life managed to begin and survive on Earth it is possible that there is life out there in the universe. The premiere episode of “Cosmos” performed well despite tough competition, drawing 8.5 million viewers, notes the Hollywood Reporter. “Some Of the Things That Molecules Do” will air at 9 p.m. EDT on Fox on Sunday and 10 p.m. EDT on National Geographic on Monday. For fans looking to go in depth, NASA will live tweet through “Cosmos” on the NASA Goddard and NASA Goddard Images accounts. Cosmos also has an official app that users can download for Android and iOS devices.