Stephen Hawking's "Grand Design" series tackles some of humanity's most ancient and profound philosophical questions, exploring them from the perspective of modern science. As such, the series works as a modernization of classical ideas in both religion and philosophy.
In this episode, titled "The Meaning of Life", Hawking attempts to scientifically examine man's place in the universe, constructing a concrete answer to the age-old question, "What is the meaning of life?" While such inquiries were once reserved for religion and philosophy, Hawking believes that we have reached a point as a species where we can objectively examine the purpose and function of humanity through theories in physics, cosmology and biology. By exploring the history of metaphysical ideas through various Western religions and philosophers such as Rene Descartes, Hawking puts humanity's deepest ontological questions into perspective, ultimately concluding that modern science holds the key to an objective understanding of these ideas.