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laws of nature

On the Origin of Time — Thomas Hertog on Stephen Hawking’s Final Theory

Shermer and Hertog discuss: what it was like working with Stephen Hawking • Darwinian model of cosmology • time • What banged the Big Bang? • cosmic inflation and multiple universes • how to reconcile Einstein’s relativity theory of gravity and quantum theory • Hawking’s no-boundary theory • why the universe appears designed • Feynman’s sum over histories approach to quantum physics • Is there purpose in the cosmos? • Why is there something rather than nothing?

There is Only Entropy: Unifying the Narrative of Science

Entropy keeps the arrow of time moving; today is less ordered than yesterday, and this is certain. If we extrapolate this concept backwards, through our scientific narrative to the origins of the universe, then we must postdict a universe that was once ordered only through its lack of movement, which means it was frozen. But even then, as Galileo once said of the Earth, eppur si muove, but it does move. And if it moves, it creates heat, and understanding…

Sabine Hossenfelder — Existential Physics: A Scientist’s Guide to Life’s Biggest Questions

What is time? Does the past still exist? How did the universe begin and how will it end? Do particles think? Was the universe made for us? Why doesn’t anyone ever get younger? Has physics ruled out free will? Will we ever have a theory of everything? To examine these ideas, Shermer speaks with Sabine Hossenfelder, a research fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, Germany. She has published more than eighty research articles about the foundations of physics,…

Bobby Azarian — Life, the Universe, and Cosmic Complexity

Shermer and Azarian discuss: laws of thermodynamics and directionality • how complexity formed after the Big Bang • laws of nature: discovered or created or both? • Stephen Jay Gould and contingency vs. necessitating laws of nature • convergent evolution and directionality in evolution • the left wall of simplicity • leading theories for the origin of life • complexity theory and emergence • consciousness, the self, and other minds • free will, determinism, compatibilism, panpsychism • Is there purpose…

eSkeptic for April 24, 2021

In episode 175 of The Michael Shermer Show, Michael speaks with Brian Keating about How it All Began: Cosmic Inflation, the Multiverse, and the Nature of Scientific Proof. Plus, we present a review of Julia Galef’s book The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t.

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

Shermer and Keating discuss: cosmology • Intelligent Design • “fine-tuned” universe • multiverse • God • Intelligent Design • laws of nature • origin of the universe • Big Bang • something rather than nothing • inflationary cosmology • quantum gravity • Steady State theory • Popperian falsification • consensus science • string theory • shape is the universe? Open, closed, or flat? • dark energy • dark matter • time and infinity.

Brian Greene — Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe

Until the End of Time is Brian Greene’s breathtaking new exploration of the cosmos and our quest to find meaning in the face of this vast expanse. Greene takes us on a journey from the big bang to the end of time, exploring how lasting structures formed, how life and mind emerged, and how we grapple with our existence through narrative, myth, religion, creative expression, science, the quest for truth, and a deep longing for the eternal.

eSkeptic for March 17, 2020

In Science Salon # 108 Michael Shermer speaks with Brian Greene about his book Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe. PLUS, during the Coronavirus outbreak, while many schools are closed, Shermer shares one of his Chapman University lectures, taught remotely, free for everyone to view.

From Particles to People:The Laws of Nature and the Meaning of Life

HUMAN BEINGS DO NOT STAND OUTSIDE NATURE; we are a part of it. Ultimately we are made of particles, evolving and interacting according to the laws of physics. And we know what those laws are — the progress of modern science has reached a point where the laws underlying everyday life are completely understood. This is a lecture you won’ want to miss!

The Grand Design

WHEN AND HOW DID THE UNIVERSE BEGIN? Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the nature of reality? Why are the laws of nature so finely tuned as to allow for the existence of beings like ourselves? And, finally, is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion — or does science offer another explanation? Don’t miss this lecture by Leonard Mlodinow.

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