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Podcast Profile: Closer To Truth

podcast imageTwitter: @CloserToTruth@RobertLawrKuhn
100 episodes
2020 to present
Average episode: 40 minutes
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Categories: Interview-Style • Mind/Consciousness • Philosophy+/Philosophyish/Ideas/Etc.

Podcaster's summary: Closer To Truth presents the world’s greatest thinkers exploring humanity’s deepest questions in Cosmos, Consciousness, and Meaning.

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List Updated: 2024-Apr-20 06:06 UTC. Episodes: 100. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

2024-Apr-17 • 27 minutes
Eastern Traditions: What is World? What is Reality?
How do Buddhism, Chinese traditions, Hinduism and Shintoism addresscausality, consciousness, energies, God, ultimate reality? What is non-dualism? How is the world interconnected? How are metaphysics andmorality related? Featuring interviews with V...
2024-Apr-10 • 72 minutes
Nick Bostrom on Superintelligence and the Future of AI
Philosopher Nick Bostrom discusses his new book, Deep Utopia: Life and Meaning in a Solved World, where he asks: In the face of incredible technological advances, what is the point of human existence? Will AI make our life and labor obsolete? In a "s...
2024-Apr-03 • 72 minutes
Paul Thagard on AI, Animal Consciousness, and Human Intelligence
How do animals and smart machines measure up to human intelligence? Can fish feel pain and do dogs get jealous? Paul Thagard—a philosopher and cognitive scientist—explores hotly debated issues about animal and artificial intelligence to conclude that...
2024-Mar-27 • 58 minutes
Helen De Cruz on What Makes Life Worth Living
Philosopher Helen De Cruz discusses her new book, Wonderstruck: How Wonder and Awe Shape the Way We Think. De Cruz explores the transformative role of wonder and awe in an uncertain world and reveals how they are catalysts that can help us reclaim wh...
2024-Mar-20 • 28 minutes
Why Philosophy of Biology?
Get 20% off tickets to this year's HowtheLightGetsIn Hay Festival with code CTT24 at checkout. Philosophy of biology has two sides: the process of science and the content of biology. We address key questions. What is the nature of life? How does ev...
2024-Mar-13 • 74 minutes
Marcelo Gleiser on Why Science Cannot Ignore Human Experience
Theoretical physicist and astronomer Marcelo Glesier offers compelling argument for including the human perspective within science, and for how human experience makes science possible. He discusses his new book, The Blind Spot: Why Science Cannot Ign...
2024-Mar-06 • 27 minutes
Does Consciousness Require a Radical Explanation?
Does consciousness require a radical explanation? What causes consciousness? Our inner sense of awareness is at once most mundane and most bizarre. No explanation makes sense. Here are three novel candidates for explaining consciousness. Featuring ...
2024-Feb-28 • 27 minutes
What Does the “Unreasonable Effectiveness” of Mathematics Mean?
The astonishing effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences, especially in physics, borders on the mysterious—and there seems no rational explanation. Our bafflement stimulates novel thinking. How to assess the meaning of math’s “unreasonabl...
2024-Feb-21 • 77 minutes
Carlo Rovelli on White Holes
Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli discusses his book, White Holes, which traces the ongoing adventure of his own cutting-edge research and outlines some of the most astounding ideas in astrophysics and cosmology. Rovelli investigates whether all bl...
2024-Feb-14 • 47 minutes
Ilia Delio on Evolution, Quantum Physics, and Neuroscience in Theology
Innovative theologian and neuroscientist Ilia Delio discusses Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, technology and AI, the pursuit of extraterrestrial life, and the roles of evolution, quantum physics, and neuroscience in theology. Dr. Ilia Delio is a Franci...
2024-Feb-07 • 27 minutes
Can Mathematics Explain Biology?
If life is a vast space of possibilities, then mathematics can engage with biology. Statistics analyze biological data, and mathematical models improve biological theories and reveal hidden commonalties. But could the mathematics of biology touch fun...
2024-Jan-24 • 27 minutes
Roger Penrose: Mathematics & What Exists
Roger Penrose—mathematician, physicist, philosopher—was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics. We speak with Roger about our favorite, fundamental questions. What things exist? What is math and why does it work? What’s fundamental in the cosmos? ...
2024-Jan-16 • 27 minutes
Is Mathematics Invented or Discovered?
Mathematics describes the real world of atoms and acorns, stars and stairs, with remarkable precision. So is mathematics invented by humans-like chisels and hammers and pieces of music? Or is mathematics discovered-always out there, somewhere, like m...
2024-Jan-10 • 27 minutes
What is the Deep Meaning of Probability?
Consider three powers of probability: refining data, assessing theories, probing ultimate reality. Watch how these work in cosmology: confidence in precise measurements; assessing competing models; revealing how quantum fluctuations became galactic s...
2024-Jan-03 • 43 minutes
Martin Rees on Cosmology and Existential Risk
Robert Lawrence Kuhn speaks with Martin Rees—Astronomer Royal and co-founder of Centre for the Study of Existential Risk—about the James Webb Space Telescope, black holes, existential risk, and more. Martin Rees is an astrophysicist and cosmologist...
2023-Dec-27 • 27 minutes
When Brains Go Bad
What does brain damage do to people? By observing strange behaviors in brain-impaired patients, scientists discern how normal brains work. For example, what happens to “the self”? Featuring interviews with Barry Smith, Donald Hoffman, Susan Greenfi...
2023-Dec-20 • 27 minutes
Jesus as God: A Philosophical Inquiry
Why the astonishing claim that Jesus is God? Not like God. Not representing God. But literally God? One need not be a Christian, or even a theist, to appreciate the arguments. Featuring interviews with Sarah Coakley, N.T. Wright, Oliver Crisp, Eleo...
2023-Dec-13 • 27 minutes
Freeman Dyson: From Physics to the Far Future
Freeman Dyson, visionary extraordinaire, was one of the most inventive thinkers of our age: discovering new mathematics, challenging fundamental physics, colonizing space, searching for signatures of alien civilizations, imagining the far future of i...
2023-Dec-06 • 27 minutes
How Does the Subconscious Affect Us?
There is more to our mental lives than the current content of our awareness. Our subconscious affects what we sense, think, feel and do. How does the subconscious work its magic? For subscriber-only exclusives, register for free at www.closerto...
2023-Nov-29 • 27 minutes
What Are Breakthroughs in Mathematics?
Call mathematics the purest form of knowledge, universal messaging anyone, anywhere, can understand. For math to advance, there must be breakthroughs, which may seem like magic. What are mathematical breakthroughs? How do they happen? How do they wor...
2023-Nov-22 • 51 minutes
Terrence Deacon on the Noosphere
Neuroanthropologist and co-chair of the N2 Conference Terrence Deacon discusses the noosphere, biological evolution, and the upcoming N2 conference hosted by scientific multimedia non-profit organization Human Energy to commemorate the 100th Annivers...
2023-Nov-08 • 76 minutes
Philip Goff on the Purpose of the Universe
Why are we here? What's the point of existence? Philosopher and consciousness researcher Philip Goff tackles these questions and more in this discussion of his new book, Why? The Purpose of the Universe. Goff argues that it's time to move on from bot...
2023-Nov-01 • 27 minutes
Why is Mathematics True and Beautiful?
Does mathematics have two transcendent attributes: truth and beauty? What makes math true? What makes math beautiful? Are there different kinds of mathematical existence? How can math combine idealized perfection and explanatory simplicity? Featuri...
2023-Oct-25 • 27 minutes
Can We Survive Death?
Do I disappear at death? My body? Sure, it's gone. But my awareness? Does my consciousness end forever? What could be more frightening! Is there any hope here? Featuring interviews with Charles Tart, Richard Swinburne, Robert Park, James Tabor, and...
2023-Oct-18 • 27 minutes
Can Art Probe Creativity?
Creativity generates art. How to discern the creative process in order to inform the nature of art? Conversely, how to discern art in order to inform the nature of the creative process? Featuring interviews with Aaron Rosen, Antonius Roberts, Alfon...
2023-Oct-11 • 27 minutes
What Makes Brains Conscious?
Everything I know -- everything! -- comes from my brain. Consciousness, our private sense of inner awareness, is the one big question to which we might find answers. Featuring interviews with Arnold Scheibel, John Mazziotta, Christof Koch, Joseph L...
2023-Oct-04 • 82 minutes
Dan Dennett on the Mysteries of the Mind
Philosopher and cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett discusses his new memoir, I've Been Thinking, about the dominant themes of twentieth-century philosophy and cognitive science—including language, evolution, logic, religion, free will, consciousness,...
2023-Sep-27 • 69 minutes
Will Kinney on Cosmic Inflation and the Beginning of the Universe
Cosmologist and physics professor Will Kinney discusses his latest book, An Infinity of Worlds: Cosmic Inflation and the Beginning of the Universe. Kinney considers what happened before the primordial fire of the Big Bang. What is the origin of struc...
2023-Sep-20 • 27 minutes
The Marvels of Space-Time
Einstein showed that space and time are essentially the same thing-a single entity, space-time. But space and time seem so radically different. How could space and time be literally the same thing? Featuring interviews with Max Tegmark, J. Gott, Ju...
2023-Sep-13 • 63 minutes
Samuel Lebens on Jewish Philosophy
In honor of Rosh Hashanah, this week's podcast presents the arguments for, and against, the existence of God in Judaic history. From pogroms to the Holocaust, how to deal with the Problem of Evil — with respect to the existence of God and attributes ...
2023-Sep-06 • 27 minutes
What Exists?
What exists? Lots of things exist. But what’s truly fundamental? The challenge is to discern the minimum number of basic categories that explains the entirety of existence. Featuring interviews with Sean Carroll, David Wallace, David Chalmers, and ...
2023-Aug-30 • 27 minutes
What Are Dreams About?
Throughout history, dreams have fascinated and mystified. Messages from God? Images of the subconscious? Much about dreams is myth. What's real? Featuring interviews with Robert Stickgold, Deirdre Barrett, Christopher Isham, and Patrick McNamara. ...
2023-Aug-23 • 27 minutes
What is Time?
To appreciate Time is to touch the texture of reality. Does Time differ from our common perceptions of it? Is Time fixed or flexible? What is time, really? Featuring interviews with Huw Price, Julian Barbour, David Albert, Jeff Tollaksen, and John ...
2023-Aug-16 • 27 minutes
Do Angels and Demons Exist?
Many theologians take angels and demons seriously. Why? Do most human beings believe in angels and demons? Certainly, such nonphysical beings, in one form or another, populate most of the world's religions. Featuring interviews with J.P. Moreland, Th...
2023-Aug-09 • 66 minutes
Dr. Aomawa Shields on Life on Other Planets
Astrobiologist Dr. Aomawa Shields discusses her latest book, Life on Other Planets: A Memoir of Finding My Place in the Universe. The book charts her life as an astronomer, classically-trained actor, mother, and Black woman in STEM, searching for lif...
2023-Aug-02 • 27 minutes
How to Decipher Deception in Evolution?
Deception pervades all life, up and down the phylogenetic tree. Deceptions have a "purpose" - the well-being, often the survival, of the deceiver. But deceptions need not be done "on purpose". In the tool-kit of evolution, what is the workload of dec...
2023-Jul-26 • 78 minutes
Paul Davies on What’s Eating the Universe (Part 2)
Astrophysicist Paul Davies continues the conversation on his new book, What’s Eating the Universe? And Other Cosmic Questions. From Consciousness, the Cosmic Horizon, and the fate of our universe to if there's meaning to existence, the Doomsday Argum...
2023-Jul-26 • 30 minutes
Paul Davies on What’s Eating the Universe (Part 1)
Astrophysicist Paul Davies talks his new book, What’s Eating the Universe? And Other Cosmic Questions. In it, he covers teleology in the cosmos, the fine-tuning of our universe, multiple universes, how to understand reality, dark energy, dark matter,...
2023-Jul-19 • 27 minutes
How Do Humans Differ from Other Animals?
How are humans and animals different? Physically, humans and animals seem similar. Mentally, humans seem so superior. What's so special about human nature? Featuring interviews with Colin Blakemore, Barry Smith, Nicholas Humphrey, Jared Diamond, an...
2023-Jul-12 • 69 minutes
Frank Wilczek on the Future of Science (Part 2)
Theoretical physicist and mathematician Frank Wilczek discusses his way of thinking about fundamental science, his writing and philosophy, humanity's place and purpose, what is and what could be in science, and the laws of physics. Wilczek's latest...
2023-Jul-12 • 45 minutes
Frank Wilczek on the Future of Science (Part 1)
Theoretical physicist and mathematician Frank Wilczek discusses humankind's place and purpose, what is and what could be in science, and the laws of physics. Wilczek's latest book, Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality, is available for purchase now. ...
2023-Jul-05 • 27 minutes
Can Art Clarify The Mind-Body Problem?
What’s the relationship between the mental activity of our minds and the physical actions of our brain? It’s called The Mind-Body Problem. To many, it’s a perennial problem in philosophy of mind. Can art provide fresh insight? Featuring interviews ...
2023-Jun-28 • 70 minutes
Sara Manning Peskin on the Deepest Mysteries of our Brains
Neurologist Sara Manning Peskin discusses her book, A Molecule Away From Madness: Tales of the Hijacked Brain, about how the very molecules that allow us to exist can also sabotage our minds. Dr. Peskin recounts gripping tales of unruly molecules a...
2023-Jun-21 • 27 minutes
What are Scientific Breakthroughs in Physics?
Science explores how the world works. Breakthroughs drive science, challenging conventional wisdom, changing ways of thinking. Physics is foundational. What are Breakthroughs in physics? What characterizes Breakthroughs in physics? Featuring interv...
2023-Jun-14 • 27 minutes
Did the Universe Have a Beginning?
How did the universe begin? Some scientists claim that the universe did not have a beginning. Some theologians contend that the universe did not need a beginning. What do you believe? Featuring interviews with Andreas Albrecht, Anthony Aguirre, Rod...
2023-Jun-07 • 27 minutes
How Does Deception Affect Human Behavior?
What can we learn when people deceive? There are all kinds of deception: from lying, duplicity, and disguises, to propaganda, disinformation, and deep fakes. Self-deception, too, offers insight. Why would evolution select for deceiving ourselves? Is ...
2023-May-31 • 86 minutes
Tim Palmer on Doubt: From Quantum Physics to Climate Change
Tim Palmer discusses his new book, The Primacy of Doubt: From Quantum Physics to Climate Change, How the Science of Uncertainty Can Help Us Understand Our Chaotic World. In it, he challenges conventional wisdom on quantum mechanics, free will, and mo...
2023-May-24 • 27 minutes
Where Are They, All Those Aliens?
Most scientists assume that the universe must be populated with innumerable alien intelligences and civilizations—after all, we humans can't be so special. OK, so where are they, these "innumerable alien intelligences and civilizations"? How come the...
2023-May-18 • 78 minutes
Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam on How Thinking Emerged from Chaos
Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, neuroscientists and authors of Journey of the Mind: How Thinking Emerged from Chaos, discuss why consciousness exists, how consciousness works, and their unified theory of the mind. Ogas and Gaddam's book is available for pur...
2023-May-10 • 27 minutes
The Multiverse: What’s Real?
Is the multiverse real? What could be more startling than many universes – multiple universes, innumerable universes, perhaps an infinite number of universes? But does the multiverse really exist? Featuring interviews with Max Tegmark, Laura Mersini-...
2023-May-03 • 74 minutes
Michio Kaku on Quantum Supremacy
Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku discusses his new book, Quantum Supremacy: How the Quantum Computer Revolution Will Change Everything. He explores how quantum computing may eventually illuminate the deepest mysteries of science and solve some of hu...
2023-Apr-26 • 75 minutes
Hilary Lawson on Closure
English philosopher Hilary Lawson discusses his book, Closure: A Story of Everything, a text that develops a comprehensive system of non-realist metaphysics. Hilary Lawson is a philosopher and award-winning broadcaster who founded The Institute of Ar...
2023-Apr-19 • 26 minutes
Are There Extra Dimensions?
Extra dimensions beyond length, width, height seem the stuff of science fiction. What would extra dimensions be like? Is time the fourth dimension? Could deep reality be so strange? And, anyway, why would we care? This episode features interviews wit...
2023-Apr-12 • 62 minutes
Manil Suri on How to Build the Universe with Math
Mathematician Manil Suri talks about about his insightful new book, The Big Bang of Numbers: How to Build the Universe Using Only Math. He explores if math describes the universe or creates it, what "nothing" means to a mathematician, and if all math...
2023-Apr-05 • 27 minutes
Why is Consciousness Baffling?
How does consciousness weave its magical web of inner awareness-appreciating music, enjoying art, feeling love? Even when all mental functions may be explained, the great mystery—what it "feels like" inside—will likely remain. This episode features i...
2023-Mar-29 • 27 minutes
What is Philosophy of the Breakthrough Process?
Scientific Breakthroughs are discoveries or theories that are milestones and touchstones, signposts and short-cuts, surprises and revelations. How to get at the nature or essence of the Breakthrough process? Featuring interviews with Jim Holt, John H...
2023-Mar-22 • 76 minutes
Nicholas Humphrey on Sentience: The Invention of Consciousness
Neuropsychologist Nicholas Humphrey discusses his new book, Sentience: The Invention of Consciousness. He tackles the hard problem, Phenomenal Consciousness vs. Cognitive Consciousness, and Identity Theory, while providing insight into his theory of ...
2023-Mar-15 • 27 minutes
Is Time Travel Possible?
Some scientists take time travel seriously. Should you? What does time travel reveal about the nature of space and time and the laws of physics under extreme conditions? This episode features interviews with Michio Kaku, J. Gott, Kip Thorne, Fred Wol...
2023-Mar-08 • 38 minutes
Jill Tarter on Alien Intelligences, Extraterrestrial Technology, and SETI
Jill Tarter, former Director of the Center for SETI Research, talks to host Robert Lawrence Kuhn about the search for alien life, alien technology and technosignatures, the Fermi Paradox, risks from encountering alien civilizations, and the future of...
2023-Mar-01 • 27 minutes
What are Scientific Breakthroughs in Physics?
Science explores how the world works. Breakthroughs drive science, challenging conventional wisdom, changing ways of thinking. Physics is foundational. What are Breakthroughs in Physics? What characterizes Breakthroughs in Physics? Featuring intervie...
2023-Feb-22 • 73 minutes
Sean Carroll on the Biggest Ideas in the Universe
Sean Carroll talks about about his terrific new book, The Biggest Ideas in the Universe: Space, Time, and Motion. He also dives into the importance of equations in popular science writing, conservation, Noether’s Theorem, the mechanics of space, the ...
2023-Feb-15 • 27 minutes
Is Death Final?
Is there life after death? Death is the ultimate defeat. No matter our successes, we are all doomed to suffer the final failure. But some claim that death is not final. Can the defeat be defeated? In this episode, Robert Lawrence Kuhn speaks with Gre...
2023-Feb-08 • 56 minutes
Donald Hoffman on Reality, Consciousness, and Conscious Agents
Donald Hoffman discusses the nature of reality, what is real, his theory of consciousness, and how this theory affects everything from artificial intelligence to alien life and the Fermi Paradox. Donald D. Hoffman is Professor Emeritus of Cognitive S...
2023-Feb-01 • 26 minutes
What are Scientific Breakthroughs in Biology?
What is the world fundamentally, deeply made of? What is life? We are always searching for Scientific Breakthroughs: those leaps in knowledge and jumps in understanding that change how we see the world. Now, we focus on Biology. Featuring interviews ...
2023-Jan-25 • 65 minutes
Sabine Hossenfelder on Physics and the Big Questions
Sabine Hossenfelder talks about if the past exists, how the universe began and how it will end, information, math as reality, time, and consciousness. She also discusses her new book, Existential Physics: A Scientist’s Guide to Life’s Biggest Questio...
2023-Jan-18 • 26 minutes
How the Subconscious Affects Us
How does the subconscious affect us? There is more to our mental lives than the current content of our awareness. Our subconscious affects what we sense, think, feel and do. How does the subconscious work its magic? Featuring interviews with David Ea...
2023-Jan-11 • 68 minutes
Stephon Alexander on the Fear of a Black Universe
Stephon Alexander, cosmologist and professor of theoretical physics at Brown University, discusses his most recent book, Fear of a Black Universe: An Outsider's Guide to the Future of Physics, an important guide to both science and society. Alexander...
2023-Jan-04 • 27 minutes
What is Philosophy of Biology?
What is philosophy of biology? Biology has big questions: What is life, language, race, gender, morality, wisdom, religion, extraterrestrial intelligence? A new field of inquiry seeks underlying structure and coherence. Featuring interviews with Mich...
2022-Dec-21 • 69 minutes
Noam Chomsky on Closer To Truth’s Big Questions (Part 4)
Closer To Truth is proud to present this four-part miniseries with distinguished theoretical linguist, analytic philosopher, and cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky. In our final part, Chomsky offers his thoughts and opinions on Closer To Truth's "big q...
2022-Dec-21 • 39 minutes
Noam Chomsky on Linguistic Theories and the Evolution of Language (Part 3)
Closer To Truth is proud to present this four-part miniseries with distinguished theoretical linguist, analytic philosopher, and cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky. In Part 3, Chomsky discusses linguistic theories for human sentience and cognition (mos...
2022-Dec-14 • 43 minutes
Noam Chomsky on Theories of Linguistics (Part 2)
Closer To Truth is proud to present this four-part miniseries with distinguished theoretical linguist, analytic philosopher, and cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky. In Part 2, Chomsky discusses generative and transformational grammar, deep structure pa...
2022-Dec-14 • 28 minutes
Noam Chomsky on Intellectual History and Reflections (Part 1)
Closer To Truth is proud to present this four-part miniseries with distinguished theoretical linguist, analytic philosopher, cognitive scientist, political critic, and social activist Professor Noam Chomsky. In Part 1, we speak with Chomsky about his...
2022-Dec-07 • 35 minutes
Sir Roger Penrose on Consciousness and New Physics
Sir Roger Penrose joins Closer To Truth to discuss consciousness and new physics. Can the known laws of physics explain consciousness? Can the mind be duplicated by a computer? What is the argument against Strong A.I.? What is consciousness and how d...
2022-Dec-07 • 114 minutes
Sir Roger Penrose on Spacetime, Quantum Mechanics, and General Relativity
Sir Roger Penrose talks about the work that earned him a Nobel prize in physics, developing mathematics to analyze spacetime, his 1965 paper "Gravitational Collapse and Space-Time Singularities", Cosmic Censorship Hypothesis, Conformal Cyclic Cosmolo...
2022-Dec-07 • 32 minutes
Sir Roger Penrose on Mathematics and World Reflections
Sir Roger Penrose shares his thoughts on mathematics and world reflections. He discusses his “three worlds and three deep mysteries” theory, pure mathematics, the “Impossible Penrose Triangle”, M.C. Escher, Penrose tiling, astrophysics, and conscious...
2021-May-12 • 27 minutes
What's Beyond Physics?
COSMOS - Are there revolutionary discoveries yet to be made? Radical revelations and shocking secrets? Does physical reality go beyond what we know today? Far beyond?Featuring Lawrence Krauss, Michio Kaku, Rupert Sheldrake, Paul Davies, and David Cha...
2021-May-05 • 27 minutes
Can the Brain Explain Art?
CONSCIOUSNESS - What is happening in our brains when we perceive and appreciate the arts? What are the neural substrates of artistic sensations, feelings and emotions? How do diverse arts affect the brain?
2021-Apr-28 • 27 minutes
What is Philosophy of Art?
CONSCIOUSNESS - What is the nature of art? What makes something “art”, and why should we value it? What is aesthetics and art theory? Can philosophy of art enhance appreciation and practice of the arts?
2021-Apr-21 • 27 minutes
Can Metaphysics Discover Surprises?
COSMOS - How does metaphysics contribute to our understanding of the world? It asks the most profound questions: What kinds of things exist? How does causality work? Sound too abstract? How about: Does God exist? Are you a soul?Featuring Michio Kaku,...
2021-Apr-14 • 26 minutes
The Mystery of Existence
COSMOS - Call all-that-exists “something.” Why is there “something” rather than “nothing”? The question haunts me. Why is there anything at all?Featuring Colin McGinn, Peter van Inwagen, Philip Clayton, George Lakoff, and Dean Zimmerman.
2021-Apr-07 • 27 minutes
Can Art Clarify the Mind-Body Problem?
CONCIOUSNESS - Can art inform the classic mind-body problem? While the relationship between mental activity and physical brain continues to baffle (especially consciousness), can the existence and process of art provide insight?
2021-Mar-31 • 27 minutes
Does Information Create the Cosmos?
COSMOS - Of what is reality made? What are the most basic building blocks from which the cosmos is constructed? Particles? Mass-Energy? Forces? Fields? A new candidate is ‘Information’—‘IT from BIT’.Featuring Seth Lloyd, Sean Carroll, Raphael Bousso,...
2021-Mar-24 • 27 minutes
Big Questions in Free Will (Part 1)
CONSCIOUSNESS - What is free will? Do we have free will? The ‘Big Questions in Free Will’ project tackles these issues in a multi-year study. In Part I, scientists and philosophers research, test, and advance thinking on free will.Featuring Alfred Me...
2021-Mar-17 • 27 minutes
What Exists? (Part 2)
COSMOS - What’s the ultimate stuff of reality? What’s absolutely fundamental and non-reducible — the fewest number of categories within which every specific thing, of every general kind, can be classified?Featuring Barry Loewer, David Albert, Luke Ba...
2021-Mar-10 • 27 minutes
Can the Cosmos Have a Reason?
COSMOS - Perhaps we cannot know the reason for the universe, if there is any. But is it even possible for the universe to have a reason? If yes, how would natural regularities and rules compare with some kind of goal or God?Featuring Alexander Vilenk...
2021-Mar-03 • 27 minutes
Can Brain Explain Mind?
CONSCIOUSNESS - What is it about the brain that enables some scientists to claim they can explain mind? And what is it about scientific explanations that some philosophers reject?Featuring Christof Koch, Rodolfo Llinas, Raymond Kurzweil, John Searle,...
2021-Feb-24 • 27 minutes
Where are All Those Aliens?
COSMOS - Most scientists assume that the universe must be populated with innumerable alien intelligences and civilizations—after all, we humans can't be so special. OK, so where are they, these "innumerable alien intelligences and civilizations"? How...
2020-Dec-30 • 27 minutes
Big Questions in Free Will (Part 2)
CONSCIOUSNESS - What is free will? Do we have free will? The ‘Big Questions in Free Will’ project tackles these issues in a multi-year study. In Part I, scientists and philosophers research, test, and advance thinking on free will.Featuring Bertram M...
2020-Dec-11 • 27 minutes
What is the Mind-Body Problem?
CONSCIOUSNESS - How is it possible that mushy masses of brain cells, passing chemicals and shooting sparks literally are mental sensations and subjective feelings? They seem so radically different.Featuring John Searle, Ned Block, J.P. Moreland, Marv...
2020-Dec-09 • 27 minutes
Why a Fine-Tuned Universe?
COSMOS - How can so many numbers of nature, the constants and relationships of physics, be so spot-on perfect for humans to exist? Beware: there is more than one answer lurking here.Featuring John Leslie, Steven Weinberg, David Gross, John Polkinghor...
2020-Dec-02 • 27 minutes
Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?
COSMOS - Forget science. Forget God. This is the ultimate question: What if Everything had Forever been Nothing? Not just emptiness, not just blankness, but not even the existence of emptiness, not even the meaning of blankness, and no Forever. If yo...
2020-Nov-25 • 27 minutes
How Could God Interact with the World?
MEANING - If God exists, and if God ordains history and generates miracles, how does He do it? Fiddle with each and every atom? Command all of them en masse? What possibly could be God's technique?Featuring Robert Russell, John Polkinghorne, Paul Dav...
2020-Nov-18 • 27 minutes
Toward a Science of Consciousness
CONSCIOUSNESS - Why do we have inner awareness? Why does it ‘feel like something’ inside to see, hear, taste, think? It’s called ‘consciousness’ and it seems mysterious—but can science explain it? We talk to experts at the 20th biennial conference, “...
2020-Nov-11 • 26 minutes
Did Our Universe Have a Beginning?
COSMOS - Everything in the universe has a beginning, but how can the universe as a whole have a start date? Does a universal commencement make sense? What would it possibly mean?Featuring Martin Rees, Wendy Freedman, Alan Guth, George Smoot and Alexa...
2020-Nov-04 • 26 minutes
Arguing God from Design
MEANING - The world certainly appears to be designed. Are appearances deceiving? Discover new twists to this old argument.Featuring Richard Swinburne, Bede Rundle, Steven Weinberg, William Dembski, Francisco Ayala, Michael Shermer, and Freeman Dyson.
2020-Oct-28 • 27 minutes
What are Dreams About?
CONSCIOUSNESS - Throughout history, dreams have fascinated and mystified. Messages from God? Images of the subconscious? Much about dreams is myth. What‘s real?Featuring Robert Stickgold, Deirdre Barrett, Christopher Isham, and Patrick McNamara.
2020-Oct-21 • 27 minutes
Did God Create Time?
MEANING - God and Time are two huge mysteries; relating them probes the nature of God, and perhaps even the existence of a Creator. If God is in Time and experiences its passage, then how could God have created Time? Also Leibniz's famous question: "...
2020-Oct-14 • 27 minutes
Could Our Universe Be a Fake?
COSMOS - Perhaps our entire universe is like a gigantic computer game, the creation of super-smart hackers existing somewhere else? Before you smirk and laugh, watch and think!Featuring David Brin, Nick Bostrom, Raymond Kurzweil, Marvin Minsky, and M...
2020-Oct-07 • 27 minutes
Do Persons Have Souls?
CONSCIOUSNESS - Is the "Real You" a special substance that is both nonphysical and immortal? Most people think "Certainly." Most scientists think "Certainly Not." What some theologians think may trouble you.Featuring J.P. Moreland, Nancey Murphy, Dan...
2020-Sep-30 • 27 minutes
Why is There Anything at All? (Part 2)
COSMOS - It’s the ultimate puzzle. It’s the haunting question. Why is there “something” rather than “nothing”? It seems impenetrable, uncrackable, unfathomable. But are there ways?Featuring Tim Maudlin, Mario Livio, George Ellis, and David Bentley Ha...