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Brian Keating — How it All Began: Cosmic Inflation, the Multiverse, and the Nature of Scientific Proof

Brian Keating is a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego; a Fellow of the American Physical Society; a commercially rated pilot; and the director of the Simons Observatory. He received the 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for his work on BICEP. He is the author of Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor, and the host of Into the Impossible, a podcast about how we imagine, and how what we imagine shapes what we do. Each conversation brings together visionaries from the worlds of arts, sciences, humanities, and technology discussing the nature of imagination and how we collaborate to create the future.

In this episode, Shermer and Keating discuss:

  • cosmology and Intelligent Design,
  • the fine-tuning of the universe,
  • the multiverse and theism: many worlds or one God?
  • How does the Intelligent Designer or God as a disembodied mind interact with the physical universe?
  • If the origin of the universe and its fine-tuned nature points to an intelligence or mind behind it, why don’t most cosmologists, physicists, and astronomers accept that conclusion?
  • What are laws of nature?
  • Can you explain the origin of the universe by laws and rules of things in the universe?
  • What came before the Big Bang?
  • What caused the bang that gave rise to our universe?
  • Why there is something rather than nothing?
  • inflationary cosmology,
  • What is gravity? What is quantum gravity?
  • How did the Big Bang theory win out over the Steady State theory?
  • the difference between Popperian falsification, Kuhnian paradigm, and consensus science,
  • Is string theory physics, metaphysics, or mathematics?
  • What shape is the universe? Open, closed, or flat?
  • What is dark energy and dark matter?
  • What is time?
  • What is infinity?
  • cyclic universes and the multiverse.

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This episode was released on April 24, 2021.

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