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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, including quantum gravity, physics beyond the standard model, dark matter, and quantum foundations.

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 in the cosmos?

Jim Al-Khalili on the Joy of Science

Michael Shermer speaks with quantum physicist, Jim Al-Khalili, who reveals how 8 lessons from the heart of science can help us all get the most out of our lives.

eSkeptic for April 9, 2022

Mark W. Moffett remind us that breakthroughs in science often come about by exploring points of similarity between things that are normally seen as very different. PLUS: Michael Shermer speaks with quantum physicist, Jim Al-Khalili, who reveals how 8 lessons from the heart of science can help us all get the most out of our lives. PLUS: In SRC Report PCIS-005, we take a look at Conspiracy Theory Endorsement by Generation.

Neil deGrasse Tyson — Cosmic Queries: StarTalk’s Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going

In episode 164 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with Neil deGrasse Tyson about his new book Cosmic Queries: StarTalk’s Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going. Enjoy this thought-provoking conversation on life, the universe, and everything, as Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles the world’s most important philosophical questions about the universe with wit, wisdom, and cutting-edge science.

eSkeptic for March 13, 2021

In episode 164 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with Neil deGrasse Tyson about his new book Cosmic Queries: StarTalk’s Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going. Enjoy this thought-provoking conversation on life, the universe, and everything, as Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles the world’s most important philosophical questions about the universe with wit, wisdom, and cutting-edge science.

eSkeptic for September 29, 2020

In Science Salon podcast # 135, Michael Shermer speaks with Paul Halpern about his new book Synchronicity: The Epic Quest to Understand the Quantum Nature of Cause and Effect.

Paul Halpern — Synchronicity: The Epic Quest to Understand the Quantum Nature of Cause and Effect

Does the universe have a speed limit? If not, some effects could happen at the same instant as the actions that caused them — and some effects, ludicrously, might even happen before their causes. Paul Halpern is a professor of physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and the author of sixteen popular science books.

Leonard Mlodinow — Stephen Hawking: A Memoir of Friendship and Physics

In Science Salon podcast # 132, Michael Shermer speaks with Leonard Mlodinow about his new book in which he recounts, in a unique and deeply personal portrayal, nearly two decades as Stephen Hawking’s collaborator and friend.

eSkeptic for June 25, 2019

In Science Salon # 72, Michael Shermer speaks with visionary astronautical engineer Robert Zubrin where he lays out the plans for how humans can become a space faring, multi-planetary civilization; PLUS social psychologist Carol Tavris reminds us just how imperative it is that justice requires us to assess the evidence when public opinion and emotion are weighted heavily in favor of one side.

Robert Zubrin — The Case for Space: How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up a Future of Limitless Possibility

In Science Salon # 72, Michael Shermer speaks with visionary astronautical engineer Robert Zubrin where he lays out the plans for how humans can become a space faring, multi-planetary civilization.

eSkeptic for June 12, 2019

In this issue: The latest issue of Skeptic magazine (24.2) launches today in print and digital editions; PLUS Science Salon # 70 with cosmologist and inventor of the BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) experiment Dr. Brian Keating.

Dr. Brian Keating — Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor

In Science Salon # 70, Dr. Michael Shermer speaks with cosmologist and inventor of the BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) experiment Dr. Brian Keating.

eSkeptic for December 26, 2018

In this wide-ranging dialogue Michael Shermer talks with Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees — a leading astrophysicist as well as a senior figure in UK science and a public intellectual in England and America.

Sir Martin Rees — On the Future: Prospects for Humanity

In this wide-ranging dialogue Michael Shermer talks with Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees — a leading astrophysicist as well as a senior figure in UK science and a public intellectual in England and America.

eSkeptic for December 19, 2018

There have been many arguments for the existence of God. In this cover story from our just-released issue Skeptic magazine 23.4 (2018), Michael Shermer delves into the question that underlies all the arguments: Why is there something rather than nothing?

Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?

There have been many arguments for the existence of God. In this cover story from our just-released issue Skeptic magazine 23.4 (2018), Michael Shermer delves into the question that underlies all the arguments: Why is there something rather than nothing?

eSkeptic for October 17, 2018

Science Salon Podcast # 42: The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything. A dialogue between Michael Shermer and psychologist Clay Routledge (Supernatural: Death, Meaning, and the Power of the Invisible World) on life’s deepest and most meaningful issues.

Dr. Clay Routledge — The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything

Shermer speaks with psychologist Clay Routledge about: the evolution of motivation and goals in animals and humans • what a “purpose driven life” really means • how atheists and nonbelievers can create meaningful and purposeful lives • the self, personal identity, and existential psychology • why people believe in God and fear death • why religious people live longer and healthier lives • why one-third of atheists believe in some type of life after death • free will as a useful fiction, and much more…

eSkeptic for October 11, 2017

Spirituality illustration by Anna Maltese

In this week’s eSkeptic, Dr. David Speed examines why the definitional ambiguity of the word “spirituality” is problematic for researchers who seek to explore the relationship between it and other constructs.

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