#938 - Lawrence Krauss

Mar 27, 2017

Lawrence Krauss is a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, best-selling author, producer, actor, and science and public policy advocate. His latest book The Greatest Story Ever Told So-Far is available now -- http://krauss.faculty.asu.edu/

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Dallas Texas ladies and gentlemen coming at you May 12th I'm going to be at the Verizon Center the Verizon what is it Performing Arts Center where they call it the Verizon Wireless Center yeah that's it it's in Grand Prairie which is right outside of Dallas that's made 12 with Tony Hinchcliffe and Ian Edwards everything else I have right now sold out but I got some new shit that's coming up soon

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click on the microphone at the top of the homepage and type in JRE that stamps.com and enter JRE and get your four-week trial plus Postage and a digital scale without long-term commitments stamps.com click on the microphone type in JRE my guest today is a real treat it's a man that I've been a fan of for a long time he is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist and he's just brilliant we had a fantastic conversation I hope you enjoy

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as much as I enjoyed talking him give it up for Lawrence Krauss

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The Joe Rogan Experience trained by day Joe Rogan podcast by night all day Miss Kraus how are you sir great great to be here I have been enjoying your latest book but I do have to tell you I think you broke my brain with Gauge symmetry I had to go over that about 30 or 40 times try to figure out what that means and how that works and what's amazing you did it breaks our brains I put it in there in spite of the fact it's hard that part is hard but it is so Central to the way we think

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about the world nowadays I thought I got to try and explain it and I was I spent I broke my own brain trying to think of ways to explain it and I figured people wouldn't devote as much time as you did to doing is so it's so subtle that it's that many that even physicists have a hard time in some ways grasping the implications of but it is so Central the way we think about the universe allowed if I don't include it for the inquiring mind like you then it would then I feel bad but is so baffling it but you know what it's one of the things that

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when I write books I write I do most things for myself in a way and and in every book I write I usually learn something and and always when you're explaining stuff you'd suddenly most teachers say the first time they understand anything is when they teach it and gauge symmetry I'd never thought of really how to explain it and I tried to explain to my editor which was great because she didn't know any signs and she kept not understanding it and and then I came up with this explanation involve these chess boards which is still subtle but I realized afterwards it was kind of neat because

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when I developed this explanation for gauge symmetry I not only understood in a new way but I realized gee I now understood physically if I'd been if I'd had this explanation before I could have predicted this Higgs mechanism and all the things I only see mathematically all come out of the of the picture I gave so I love that I was it's a new way for me to think about the world that I didn't before well most of what you guys do is almost like another language you to someone like myself and what what this seems to be this gauge symmetry seems to be

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he's like a very complicated word in an alien language yeah everything it is but it nevertheless it's so Central and it's if you can picture the fact that it's fundamental to Nature and therefore if we really want to understand nature at some level you got to Grapple with it you know it's we're stuck with the world the way it is it'd be great if it wasn't it was a lot easier but what it because I think that's one of the more fascinating things about it is that it's so bizarre well yeah in fact that's why it's The Greatest Story Ever Told

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far because it's bizarre and the fact that it's bizarre and we've come this far is amazing yeah I mean it's just amazing we could have come this far and a few hundred years and it's kind of sad that people don't realize because they cannot stuck it all this myth and Superstition and the real world is so much more interesting it is unbelievably fascinating when you delve into the world of quantum mechanics and quantum physics and all these bizarre things that are happening far smaller than the eye can see you really realize it is kind of

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magic well it seems like magic but the fact that that we get it at some level is remarkable because it with the other thing I find what that makes it magic is when you realize that the world we experience is such an illusion yeah that the real world is so different and and I love telling a story of how we got there because you see scientists are biased and Prejudiced and have

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you know they know where they're going when it's even when it's wrong and but science can overcome those biases and prejudices and dragged us kicking and screaming in the right direction and and that's why the story is neat but it's also lately I've been thinking in terms of politics why it's also neat because we need that to cut through the crap that we're hearing about in Washington that same the same scientific methods that you have skeptical inquiry of Reliance on empirical evidence of testing of looking at many sources all those things are so essential for the working of our democracy but do the

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same tools that have led us to from just beginning to understand how balls fall when you let them go to understanding the inner workings of atoms and nuclei and how the universe came to be and why we're here I just find it's the story so wonderful that it's a shame more people don't appreciate it and the best part is the so far apart to me because every day the story gets better unlike that other Greatest Story which was written by illiterate peasants 2000 years ago and never changes because it was just as boring then as it is

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now and this one keeps changing and we're surprised every day well I think one of the things that's important you said is that scientists sometimes have ego problems and they have an idea where it's going even if the evidence disproves him but that science corrects it so I think that like using that explanation or using that definition it sort of defines what's important about it because human beings even the most brilliant ones are flawed because we do have egos and we are just people exactly and this story that I tell which is for me actually was for me was

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because I really had to learn I thought I knew the history but of course when you write something down you you suddenly realize you don't and I had to learn more and you want to you want to take some of these people and shake them and say look the solutions right here you've got it why are you waiting 20 minutes 20 years you're looking in the wrong direction the example I was just thinking about the other day and I was giving a talk with I don't know if you ever saw this video where you're supposed to look at these people bouncing basketballs and and your wallet and your supposed to I'm going to ruin it for you and all your listeners if they haven't I should probably see where your we supposed to

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to count the basket balls and see many people are and there's a guy walking between them in an ape suit and a gorilla suit and you never see him right you don't even see him because you're so focused on the wrong thing and that's the way physics often happens we're focused on we think the direction is One Direction we're so focused on we don't even realize the solution is there before our very eyes and I think it's important because you know people think that science you know is that scientists and science are the same thing and they're not scientists are ones the good thing about

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scientists that the good scientist is their least willing to recognize in the end that they're wrong so they they have these preconceptions and the great thing about science is a trains us yeah they're these things we are Central to our being but ultimately we realized were wrong and we're going to change our minds that's the difference between science and religion really is that yeah we have biases yeah we have Prejudice yeah we want to believe we really want to believe just like the X-Files but eventually when Nature tells us otherwise we throw out those beliefs like yesterday's newspaper that's why science is so

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neat now people that are listening is probably going what is gauge symmetry dude you just passed over that and you said it was crazy okay is there a way that you could possibly just well I'll try my best and I'm sure I'll give we'll try we'll see how we do okay so so it turns out that that there's a fundamental principle in nature which which really was discovered by this wonderful woman mathematician I mean your author who was who wasn't even allowed to get a job as she because she was a woman and at the turn of the century but she did

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covered so there's things we say and we tell kids unfortunately the school's energy is conserved and momentum is conserved it sounds like the Ten Commandments like we come up with them because we like them and now we understand them differently we understand that everything that is conserved it doesn't change in the world is due to a fundamental symmetry of nature so energy is conserved because we Now understand the laws of physics don't change over time so

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as long as you can test that the laws of physics are the same tomorrow as they are today then we know energy is conserved as not something we take on faith it's a mathematical consequence of that momentum conservation is a consequence of the fact that the laws of physics don't change in place to place that they're same in this studio here as they would be if we're having this conversation in New York that seems reasonable and she showed mathematically it's the case so there's a there's a famous everyone's experiences who know learned any physics

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separation of charge you know the electric charge in any system doesn't change magically over time that's a fundamental property of electricity and magnetism you got certain amount of charge you the beginning it's got to be the same at the end that's a consequence of the fact that it's arbitrary there's a symmetry of nature that says you know Benjamin Franklin called electrons you know- negatively charged but doesn't mean anything because I could have called them positively charged it's just an arbitrary definition if I changed every negative charge in the world to

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of charge and every positive charged a negative charge everything would work the same way a symmetry of nature represents something it doesn't change about nature when you make a change in a definition so making every calling electrons positively charged and protons negatively charged would not make the world difference is an arbitrary name martians could call electrons positively charged and protons negatively charged is nothing fundamentally important about the word positive charge it doesn't

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I mean any different than a negative charge so I could change every right now I could make all neck I could change the charge on every electron in the universe and flip it is sign so every electron is negative lead charge now but now suddenly I'm God and I make every electron positively charged and ever make every proton negatively charged nothing about the laws of physics will change I don't understand that why would why wouldn't he change mean does is there a function of them being positive or negatively Joe no it's just a name that's why it's like it's so annoying that I can call Bobby down and down up and

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it wouldn't make it as long as it's a noise you make with your mouth yeah exactly it's sort so the name I give it is irrelevant okay so it's not like you would change the actual function of the electron no know exactly I call it's it's electrically charged that's important okay and it repels other other electrons because they have the same electric charge that's important right to electrically negative charged particles repel right but look if I made the both to positive charged particles they also repel so so the so the physical consequences

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I would not change at all depending upon how I name them I see okay now so the example I used in the book to try and sort of describe that is a chessboard you got white squares and black squares and you and your you play with the white jasmine of the weapon if I changed all the white squares into black squares and I rotated the board by 90 degrees it would look identical and if I change the black players to White players and black players Blackbeard there's a game of chess would be identical nothing would change about it so what's White

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and what's black is kind of arbitrary right doesn't matter which is good because if it kind of wasn't then chest wouldn't be a fun game because if you always had black you might win if you always had white you might win but it's the same right right so so I could change all white squares to black squares and black squares to white squares and the game of chess would not change so that's a symmetry of the chessboard and that's like that's like electric charge white being negative or positive and black being you know so let's say I mix a white is negative and black is positive

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switched all black to white or negative positive nothing would change about the game of chess if I switch negative to positive in the universe nothing changes in the universe The Game of Life the game of physics would not change okay the rules wouldn't change the Dynamics everything would remain the same about the universe so that you could sort of even that is not so easy I can tell from looking at your face it's already not so easy okay but but you couldn't sort of accept that yes okay okay that's the easy part

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okay so here's what gauge symmetry says and this is really weird

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I can actually do better than that I can arbitrarily change each white square in a chess board to a black Square I can choose randomly which white scares to change the black squares and I can still make the game of chess the same if I just have a rule book and the rule book tells me oh if you're on that square you can do what you could have done if it was a white square so if I have the rule book then it doesn't matter what colors of squares are if I know I was in the Square that used to be white but I call Black and I look at

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okay my my night can do this in that square but I couldn't do that right so if I have a rule book then what then I arbitrarily free to change the color of each Square in a chessboard as long as a rule book tells me what I've done right that's that's electromagnetism because it turns out electromagnetism has a symmetry that says you know what I could change the definition of the charge on an electron here but in the Next Room differently so I could call this electron positive and that one negative

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give and it wouldn't change anything as long as that a rule book that told me that I made that change and how and how the electromagnetic interaction would be the same as long as I am free to change the definition of what I call positive and negative charge locally not globally that means I can do it differently here and there as long as every rule book that says you know what that electron used to be negative so it'll still repeal this electron here even though I call it positive and I call that negative I've changed locally the definition but I also changed the rules I understand that okay

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now on the need for the rule book now it turns out that the rule book really tells you it's a rule at each point in space right it's a rule tells you what you can and can't do at each point in space so we call that a function because the function is a number or a rule at each point in space a function at space is is exactly that well it turns out the function that does that is the electromagnetic field if you ask what would be the mathematical characteristics of a quantity that would make sure

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sure the rules remain the same no matter what I called an electron place to place and you asked how I could write it down mathematically it would have exactly the mathematical form of the electromagnetic field the thing that that we call the electric field or magnetic field the mathematics of it is precisely fixed

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by being able to allow us to change the definition of charge from place to place in a way that doesn't change the ultimate Dynamics doesn't change the way the world works it's prescribed by the mathematics of the rulebook is prescribed and the mathematics that rule book turns out magically almost to be exactly the mathematics of Maxwell's equations which are the equations of electromagnetism here's where it get squirrely from it okay why would you do that why would you define change the definitions why would you need that rule book

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out because I mean what it says is that nature somehow has the Symmetry it doesn't depend what you don't want to but it says Nature Nature has designed itself such that the definition of electric charge from place to place is arbitrary it really came if you want to step back Einstein told us

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you know that lengthen time or kind of relative to they depend upon the Observer and and his theory of general relativity actually said I can Define locally what my coordinate system is what my length is what my time is I can Define that arbitrarily locally and it may differ from place to place my rulers could differ from place to place but the war but the universe doesn't care because there's this thing called a gravitational field that takes into account of that and nature has that symmetry so it

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matter if I change the rule book if I change the what I Define as space and time locally the the universe behaves exactly the same so when you say by symmetry do you mean is essentially there's a balance that there's always going to be an equal numbers of negatives and positives and that's a change that's a collections of each one well it balances itself out so that's sort of a consequence it says that the Universe can't be charged and ultimately but no it really says that that's

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that's a quality of nature that nature

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doesn't care about namely you that's a you let that's a label but nature has a symmetry in physics symmetries are things when you make changes they don't then the object doesn't change take a sphere okay a sphere you can rotate it but it looks like the sphere no matter what rotation you make right that's a symmetry of the sphere that's why it's so beautiful and mathematically Nature's the same way I can take another quantity I'll call it electric charge at this point and I can change it if you want to say make a row

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patient in some internal space that can imagine internal space and positive and negative charges were part of some continue my make a rotation and nature doesn't care about it it's a symmetry of the equations that govern nature but it turns out the reason this is important let me step back again because your face tells it all I wish the people can see it they can yeah and and

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what we've discovered is that the playing field determines the rules the characteristics of the playing fields determine the rules if baseball if you played baseball and there were five bases instead of for the rules would be different if the distance between home plate and first base was a mile the rules would be different if you had 25 out of Fielder's and out in Outfield it would be different okay so the playing field determines the rules right you can't baseball be very different game if it were played on

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I feel that's different what we've discovered in Nature's we used to think the forces were kind of fundamental you know Newton told us that goes Ma and all that what we've discovered is the thing that really constrains what can happen in the world is the playing field and the characteristics of the playing field and for physicists what determines the characteristics of the playing field are the symmetries of that playing field in fact baseball the fact that looks like a diamond is a symmetry right I can in the playing field looks the same I could call

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first base home plate and Home Plate first base if I rotated the whole field right it determines in some sense that's that's a characteristic of baseball that sort of determines the rules of the game okay and what we've learned is what's really fundamental in nature is the characteristics of that playing field and what determines the characteristics that playing fields are the symmetries of nature the things that that demonstrate to us that what we think is fundamental is really just an arbitrary label

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like electric charge is an we've discovered is an arbitrary label locally as well as globally and that determines the whole nature of the forces that can happen once you say the electric charge is an arbitrary thing in nature doesn't care what you call positive and negative from here or Mars that determines the nature of the force of what we call the electromagnetic force it's completely prescribed and it turns out that's true for all the forces nature the nature of gravity is determined as

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as Einstein showed by the fact that you can change what I Define as one meter here and on Mars call one meter something else and nature doesn't care what I label as a meter it turns out gravity takes it that into account and says what we Define as length is irrelevant the fundamental gravitational field is due to a curvature of space that that is independent of what we Define as length or time locally

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it's a weird thing but it's a property of space and time that Einstein discovered for general relativity we've discovered it for electromagnetism it turns out all the forces nature respect that same kind of same kind of mathematical symmetry that there's some quantity that you can change in your equations I can change its definition in the equations but the physics Remains the Same and the nature of the equations this is prescribed the mathematical form of the prescribed equations is

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precisely by the requirement that I can change in the case of electric charge that electric charges arbitrary I can call an electron positive or negative anywhere I want in space and the equations don't care that prescribes the form of the equations they have to have a very particular form a unique form and that unique form happens to be the form that it has now so you can say look it's an accident that really there's something fundamental that the equations have this form and low and we've discovered

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this mathematical symmetry is an accident or you can say that the mathematical symmetry is fundamental it's a property of Nature and it prescribes the form of the kind of forces that nature that the world allows when you say that the the that it's fundamental that the Symmetry is fundamental do you see the symmetry do you study like ecosystems do you study like I know about them but I'm a but you ever contemplate them when you thinking about theoretical physics and when you do you ever look at like how these animals sort of stay in

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balance in these ecosystem mathematically there untouched well I mean the mathematics of I mean that's the great thing about physics about science in general it's kind of like Hollywood if it works you copy it and and so we often find the same mathematical formalism survive applied a vastly different systems so there's a very famous set of equations of predator and prey for ecosystems and and and you can look at those equations and they're the same kind of equations that applying many different systems and in in oatmeal boy

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boiling and also it's amazing how the same mathematics appears in very different systems and we can therefore use what we've learned in one case to apply to another that's why we copy it because it works so broadly it's amazing that very few equations turn out to so broadly describe so many vastly different systems and predator-prey relationships which is I think what you're talking about in ecosystems how you know there's a very even with plants as well I mean I mean like the full system yeah once you and it becomes more complicated when you include more

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else but physics of course is generally much easier than many ecosystems that's why I do physics it so much easier it's because it's really the low-hanging fruit nature a table for you well I know but but for most people listening this is probably a hundred people that have driven into trees by now yeah that's what and the fuck is this guy talking about it's I'm so I'm glad as people like you out there that they can feel good that the laws of physics are independent whether they've run into the trees yeah that makes me feel I'm sure that gives them great comfort yeah

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Ali it's just the study of this is so so taxing it is but you know that's okay I mean sure what what what sort of bothers me is that people when they think it might be what might be taxing they don't want to think about it but the interesting thing is that doesn't apply in other areas of actually so people can be they don't think they have to be our Clapton's enjoy guitar music okay or Pablo Picasso to enjoy where paintings or or Shakespeare to enjoy place

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but somehow and all of that Stacks sitting in its own way okay and the more you under let's let's take Bach the more you understand music I'm sure the more you appreciate box Bach cantatas all the different voices but I can enjoy just listening to it right and and the people say in every other activities fine but it comes to science they say now it's not easy for me I can't even touch it at all and what I try and do in my books and at least say look there's thing you don't have to master it but and so you may not know

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Aster gauge symmetry to the most subtle and complicated thing in all of modern physics but you can still even if you skip that section of the book there are still things in there you can appreciate about how we understand the world that we couldn't appreciate before and have that orgasmic aha experience that hey the world is different than I thought and that's that's what's wonderful so you can appreciate science without mastering it sure it gauge Symmetry and things like it are basically mathematical Concepts so

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talk about them in language without math is always yes or verbose well I think what's important about your book and chapter 10 or 11 I think I think what's really important about it is not that you're not speaking in layman's terms but you're also not speaking in theoretical physicist terms you're making a bridge well yeah and and someone I think Richard dr. few people sit nicely said about the book that as I know they say they claimed as Einstein once said I'm trying to make it

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it simple but not simpler than it can be yes and I think the right way saying well but I think it's important to do that right I mean as if you respects the reader because it doesn't you know it it says look you want to understand it okay here's here's here's what you need to know and understand it and here's how I can try to explain it without math and you can puzzle through it and think about it and eventually maybe get to that a halt stage but or I could just say you know poof it all happened you know and then that

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religion in a way but except the difference is this has content religion doesn't for people like me that have never studied it when I read what you're doing and I read what's been done and I read all of the people out there that are trying to decipher all this magical stuff out there in the universe it's it's important to just to be aware that this is going on because I think for the vast majority of the 7 billion people on the planet this is just unknown exactly but yet it's being it's being discovered it's being contemplated it

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it's being studied kind of semantics not just that it's being done but it's amazing it's changed our picture of our place in the universe and therefore I think science is like art music and literature it's they all serve the same purpose science also produces technology and somehow people think that's all signs is good for sure it produces the technology it's making allowing you and I to have this conversation and people to listen as long as you and I to live longer all of the rest but the really neat thing about science is it is just like those other things it changes our perspective of

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selves yes and and that's what's so wonderful that I once said that science is going to one of the purposes is to make people uncomfortable yeah and I thought I felt regretted that for a while but it really isn't if you're never outside your comfort zone then you're never you're never growing I completely agree and I love that quote in the book I think that for a lot of people that discomfort is just people are tired you know they work the shirt jobs they've got families they got a lot of stuff to do and something like this comes along that just like throw

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as a monkey wrench into the gears of the mind yeah it does but sometimes you want your mind blown and sometimes you know you can skim over I try with each other books to say okay so that part didn't get but but you know it's not like suddenly you won't understand the rest of the book and the stuff is so neat the idea that there's an invisible field everywhere in the universe that changes the way you haven't got there in the book yet but but that changes our picture of the universe is amazing and people should you know have the opportunity to know that our picture

► 00:35:49

shown that we are a cosmic accident that we're just like an icicle on a window that whose direction if you lived on that icicle might seem very special to you but as an accident and it turns out the forces of nature are what they are by the same kind of accident caused some field froze in the early Universe in some direction if it had Frozen another Direction You and I wouldn't be having this conversation that's how it's we would we be a different thing well in fact in most cases you wouldn't even have you and me

► 00:36:19

cuz there wouldn't be particles that have mass and you wouldn't have stars and galaxies and planets now what there would be I can't say but I can definitely say that everything we see in the universe would be gone but you're confident that it was an accident at some point in time when I created what I mean by accident no more of an accident or less of an accident than an icicle on a window now if you look at icicles on a window with their beautiful patterns they're in all different directions now there's a physical reason ultimately y1 icicle forms in a given Direction but there's no

► 00:36:49

tickets to that it may have been a dust particle that cause that part that you know so there's no we're not saying it's magic right there was ultimately some micro physical reason why that happened and why oatmeal want oatmeal boils a bubble up occurs in one place and another right but but there's nothing significant about that bubble popping up here or that icicle pointing in a given Direction it's not fate and not fate it's not designed right it anything is possible in that icicle okay and so what I'm saying is our universe is the way it is because a field Frozen a certain direction now it's

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are there laws of physics say the field can freeze in that direction but it's also laws of physics say the field could have Frozen maybe in another Direction and if it did everything would be different now what by field would how are you defining what are you well I feel dizzay you had a unit a cab yeah brace yourself no no no I would worry about that field is well it's like the electric field okay some quantity that's defined in each point in space and and the neat thing in particle physics is every field like an electric field

► 00:37:49

every field is associated with an elementary particle so the electric field is produced by a coherent state of photons the the ultimate quanta of electromagnetism the individual particles that are that are being that are going into your eye right now and are being absorbed by your eyes so you can see me the reason you can see light is it's a lot of little particles entering your eye that have been that are reflecting off my eyes so you can see them okay and it turns out in quantum mechanics every field

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which is a point which is a function of points in Space the electric field in this room there are there's a magnetic field in this room because we're in the early in the in the Earth has a magnetic field right you've had put a compass here will feel the magnetic field that's because back actually there's this coherent state of photons that are basically very regular in space that's really what a field is in quantum physics a very regular configuration of Elementary particles that are sort of hidden in space and it turns out there's this background field we call the Higgs field

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which is everywhere in space and happens to have a very particular configuration and then when the particles that make your body and my body up when we move through it they experience a resistance that causes them to behave as if they have mass if the field wasn't there the particles would be massless it's like swimming in molasses it's you know if you're swimming in water you feel pretty light but if I fill the pool up with molasses and you tried to do a hundred meters you'd be pretty damn tired at the end of it you'd feel like you're weighed thousands of pounds we're swimming

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through molasses we just don't see it it's amazing it's there I mean it sounds like as I was just saying to a group earlier today it sounds like religion right I think there's an invisible field everywhere that's responsible for our existence that sounds like religion except for the fact in physics we can say that's not good enough if it's there we got to find it and if it's there what do we do if that field is associate with particles if I as I like to say it's Cosmic sadomasochism if I spank the vacuum if I

► 00:39:49

dump enough energy in empty space at a single point I should kick out real particles if that field is there if the Higgs field is there if I dump enough energy in empty space I'll kick out real particles I'll call them Higgs particles and you know what let me build a big machine in Geneva the biggest and most complicated machine humans have ever built called the Large Hadron Collider the dumps enough energy into a point in space that can maybe kick out Higgs particles of the really there and you know what there there

► 00:40:17

on July 4 2012 we announced the discovery of 50 particles that looked and sounded and walked and Quack Like Higgs has and we now have tested them much more produced many more and they're Higgs particle they it's gives us evidence that that field exists it was an outrageous and audacious claim that the properties of the universe we see our an accident due to this background field that's there and if that background field wasn't there the world would look very different it's an amazing claim but is it a

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once of this field or yeah accident well the properties of the universe we experience our consequence of that field but that field being there is as much an accident as an icicle freezing on a window in a certain direction the field could have Frozen with a different value it could have Frozen with a different magnitude or if that's where I'm gone well not just it's very difficult for me to understand why you can determine in one way or another the field here let me give you an example that I try and use in fact it just got a version of a just got one

► 00:41:17

when online I used a beer bottle as an example you may have drunk beer once or twice in your life I have okay good I don't know if you've ever had a party and you forgot to put the beer in the fridge I have done put it in the freezer okay so and then what happens you forget that it's in the freezer and then and then the next morning you discover in the freezer explodes explodes you got it why because really the the beer would rather be frozen but it when it's under pressure in the bottle it's liquid okay but

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example if you open the tops of the pressure is released and it suddenly freezes okay the beer has changed from one state to another it's gone from liquid to solid when it's gone to solid it suddenly releases a lot of energy okay if you wish

► 00:42:02

you could think of the of the properties of that beer as a field it can either be liquid or solid okay and it changes depending on the temperature and the pressure and all the rest turns out the state of the universe changes as the universe cools and you can think of that Higgs is like the as like sort of a cosmic fluid that's everywhere and as the universe cooled down suddenly it found it would rather be in a certain configuration it would rather be frozen than liquid okay and it's some numbers that tell you whether it's

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acting like it's frozen or liquid just like I could describe the beer I could Define some numbers that would tell me whether the beer was frozen or liquid and so as the universe cooled that Cosmic fluid which is everywhere all these Elementary particles if you wish that are permeating space suddenly found themselves preferring as the universe cooled down to be in a certain configuration rather than another configuration okay it really is no different in the arbitrary state of an icicle know exactly it's just essentially hazard

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betray it's not magic and it's not as if you know if we in some sense the accidents of what the dust that's on your window and the wind that's blowing and everything else is going to determine what that what that pattern looks like but every day if you had a new cold day the icicle pattern would look different okay it's not as if every day you'd have the same icicle pattern on your window it would be different and that's what I mean by an accident it's not as if the laws of physics at some level couldn't have told you that if

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you knew all the configurations on that day why would look one way or another but it's not significant I guess what I mean there's no special significance to that pattern that meant God meant it to be and there's no special significance to the universe in which we live that meant God meant it to be it could have been quite different we should celebrate that it's not quite different because you and I can have this conversation so it's a wonderful thing that it is the way it is and let's celebrate that world that we've evolved and I can still say that word

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this country we've evolved a Consciousness so that we can appreciate all of the wonders of the universe let's celebrate that so it doesn't mean we're meaningless just because the universe has no purpose we make our own purpose in our own life it means to me in some sense that life is more purposeful there isn't someone pulling the strings we're pulling the strings and so it's okay to live in a purposeless universe it doesn't make life worse it makes it much better we just always ascribe significance to things that happen to us

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the physicist Richard Feynman used to used to go up to people and used to say you won't believe what happened to me today you won't believe and people say why do you say absolutely nothing okay because when things happen to you suddenly they're significant you know you have a million crazy dreams and then one night you dream that your friend is going to break their arm the next day they break their leg you go oh my God I'm Clairvoyant you know or he'll say this he'll say you know I just saw a license plate I you wouldn't believe I just saw license plate it was Jay

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2 4 7 9 6 can you believe it because you know that's a significant as seeing a license plate that says 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 or or a license plate says I am God okay they're all just a significant but with the things that appear to mean something to us suddenly take on some significance because we're hardwired to want to believe just like the X-Files said we want to believe we all want to believe we were hard but we'll be here's the reason we want to ascribe

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ascribe meaning to everything and I think there's an evolutionary reason for that for example if you're an early modern human on the Savannah and Africa the leaves can be rustling in the trees next to you you can say ah no reason or you can say maybe there's a lion there and what happened was so maybe there's a line causing maybe there's a cause for that happening now the those of our potential ancestors that said ah isn't a reason they got

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Deaton okay the the ones that didn't are the ones that we produced right and so in some sense were kind of hardwired by Evolution to want to find purpose and meaning in everything but isn't that just recognizing danger or potential danger of course it is and that case but but but but of side effect of anticipating danger is to ascribe significance to things that may not you're much luckier if you're much not luckier but you're much more likely

► 00:46:32

to survive if you ascribe significance to everything perhaps in the early days then if you ascribe significance to nothing but when you say it when you talking about significance essentially you're talking about Divine significance will talk that it was sort of a it can be divine significance but it can just be you can think that there's more more to it than meets the eye right but when you're talking about Clairvoyance or when you talking about some sort of a divine intervention by a deity yeah you're talking about something powerful this is the one that is meant to be

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the leader of this tribe that's but that's a consequence right yeah but it works at all levels it works at all levels from the fact that the leaves are rustling it means it's lying but once we have that hardwired thing then we want to then our desire to believe continues and and and social beings may be found that you know if they imposed some meaning on the Universe on a universe which otherwise is hostile and dangerous that maybe it might help find them in tribes that maybe it would help Mike make them happier about being alive

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on because they might be so scared of a universe that wants to kill them all the time that it would embolden them so there's obviously an evolutionary purpose to to what is religion because there wasn't religions wouldn't be everywhere right I mean pretty well all human cultures have religions each one is inconsistent with every other one right but which was the reason we know that they're probably all wrong but but it works the fact that it's Universal must mean there's some evolutionary utility to the believing but

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but then certain things eventually even though they worked and were useful early on as our Human Condition changes they may not be so useful well that seems to put be the place where we're at now as a civilization exactly I would argue that religion is turning out to be counterproductive now it may have been useful early on in human history but now what it's doing is it's getting in the way not only of progress but of human cooperation and so evolution is now is now counterproductive

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the great thing is we have we have a Consciousness we have an intellect so we can actually overcome that evolutionary predilection by realizing we have that predilection and as firemen said the the easiest person to fool is yourself so if you're a scientist what you have to do is ask yourself am I believing that because I want to believe her because there's evidence so if we constantly are are skeptical of ourselves we can know to overcome that ingrained impulse we have to want to believe

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Eve that's one of the utilities of science so I may listen to you and like you and I main listen to another radio person and not like them and I maybe therefore naturally willing to assume that they're wrong and you're right but I should also say to myself is it really the case or is it just because I like Joe Rogan and I don't like you know you pick your favorite right wing nut okay and and and so we should be asking ourselves okay maybe I should go beyond my predilections me on my biases to ask why

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I am sympathetic to what I'm hearing and if we did that in everyday life I think we'd cut through the crap more carefully so science says look we are hard-wired to want to have these weird beliefs and it's fine maybe some of them are right but the only way to know is to test them if we're not willing to test our beliefs and subject them to the the test of nature then then we're going to be diluted and that's the problem with a with a lot of what's happening our government people saying you know what I really want to believe

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in this absurd story and therefore I refuse to accept evolution if you're the right if you're Mike Pence the vice president country you say I don't believe Evolution because I don't it doesn't agree with my ridiculous fundamentalist ideas and he said that in Congress right he said we shouldn't be teaching evolution in schools we should be until teaching intelligent design and and why because he it it offends his personal faith perhaps it might also be a political Ploy it might be a think it's he knows a large percentage of the country finds comfort in the lead

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that subscribes to the same sort of superstitions they do yeah I that could be he did this before he was in a national office he was a congressman I suspect he did it sounds like he believed it but you're right who knows right but but the point is that we should realize that the only that that we shouldn't listen to that kind of nonsense right because we may not want because there a lot of people in this country who do think that Evolution directly confronts their belief in God or

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or the Big Bang directly confronts their belief in God and therefore they don't want their children to learn about that but what an awful thing to do to your children to withhold evidence about how the world really works because you know you don't have to believe in the Big Bang but a really happened you don't have to believe in evolution but it happened it's like Philip K dick said the the science fiction writer reality is that which continues to exist whether or not you believe in it yeah okay and so you may not want to believe in it but it happened and and for you too

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hold that kind of Knowledge from your kids because you're worried is going to affect their faith is in my opinion child abuse because you're hindering their capabilities as a adult in a society which is highly technological to function effectively they're doing it because they believe it as well I believe it's right I'm not believing they think they're helping their kids but most of it I don't know if you're a parent I am I am we've all screwed up our kids right we all do things for our kids because we think it's good for them and and sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't I'm not saying these

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people are doing it because they want to hurt their children they think somehow that not believing in God makes you a bad person right but there's no evidence of that in fact in fact a Steve Weinberg was a Nobel prize-winning physicist said and I love it he said so they're good people in the world they're bad people good people do good things bad people do bad things when good people do bad things it's religion do you think that religion in its earliest stages was in a sense primitive man with no science

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trying to figure out the world and trying to have some sort of rules like almost like a Scaffolding in order to to move to the next if you see that it exists in so many different cultures yeah it might have been something along the horse that way it was their effort it was their effort to understand the world around them based on what they knew it was Noble you know they tried to understand the world and so there's nothing wrong with it but claiming that we today should be guided by the worldview of illiterate peasants

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it's in the Iron Age peasants who didn't know the Earth orbited the Sun and wrote down scriptures based on their beliefs at the time they're argue that should guide our life today when we discovered a hundred billion galaxies in the universe and discovered all this stuff is ludicrous so your absolute the birth of Science and religion are the same and in fact modern science grew out of religion people point that out and they say to me how dare you talk about religion you know as being outdated science grew out of religion and I say to them well that's fine but children outgrow

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parents right is so great no doubt religious ideas and all early scientists were religious because it was the only game in town you couldn't be educated except the Church Controlled all the universities and so it was like the National Science Foundation of 16th century it's not surprising they were all religious because that's that was the only game in town so that that caught helped create the birth of modern science but science outgrew it and that's okay kids outgrow their parents thank goodness

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well I think maybe that might help kids outgrow their parents why the getting religion forced down your throat is one of the best ways for kids to protect it as they get older some for some kids like you and me but I get lots of letters you know we made this movie called The unbelievers and and about which followed by Richard Dawkins and I around the world as we talked about this up and it was nice and maybe and I hope and it's a well-made film I like the mobile makers are made it but I found people come up to me

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I had no idea of this it's one of the negative aspects of religion that I never appreciated

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I have people come up the almost every day I write me and saying you know what I saw that movie and I realized I'm not a bad person for asking questions and I'm not alone you know these people in small towns in Georgia they have no one to talk to they think that the only ones whose ask the question is God real is it okay to not believe in God and they're told by everyone else he will not only you'll go to hell but you're a bad person and suddenly they discover that's not true and so I think there are a lot of people who have that forced down their throats it's really hard when you're a kid

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you know and have these and that's why I do think any kind of religion for kids is kind of child abuse not a no matter what because these concepts of a day T and the possible existence of a purpose of the universe are very deep and subtle Concepts and expect a three year old kid to to Ram that down a creole kids throat is unfair because the kid can addressed it ends up being internalized in ways and a lot of people you know I hear a lot of people who had deep religious education who say you know it's hard to outgrow that

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because when you get when that's thrust into you as a child it's really hard to over ever overcome it the guilt feelings that many religions introduced the fundamental notion that that you know you're ultimately sinful and no matter what you do is sinful is something a lot of people have hard times with n and that claim of sin is just so you know I've debated people who you know who argue that homosexuality is sinful

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you know and then and it's unnatural God intended it to be otherwise and then I point out well you know what you take all mammals 10% in every species almost 10% have homosexual relationships sheep have long 10% of sheep have long-term homosexual relationships are they sinful okay it's not a natural at all it's a natural consequence of whatever but now why it's a case it's interesting evolutionary question but it's certainly not a natural and sums uniform that if it's 10% yeah it's a well you know plus or minus a little bit

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seems to be biology there's some purpose there's some there's some biological purpose to it and so agree to argue that it's both unnatural and wrong is to misunderstand biology but people grow up being told it's evil because the Bible said it right and then they don't want to give people a homosexual the same rights as other people because they tell the they say God didn't want them to have their own sir so the problem is people are told these things that are ultimately wrong because you know maybe

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there because for whatever reason the tribe the wrote down that that scripture wanted to make sure that there weren't homosexual relationships in the group will just really baffling when you talk to people about the Bible in the Old Testament verse in the New Testament and they don't even understand where the New Testament was created by Constantine and a bunch of Bishops they threw a bunch of stuff out and by the way they think it's Kinder gentler sure the Old Testament is one of the most you know look at the current people say the Quran is violent and vicious read the Old Testament you know you're supposed to Stone your kids if they disobey you yeah

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and the reason kill people who are two different kinds of cloth exactly and the reason that nowadays sort of the O abrahamic religions of Judaism and Christianity may seem a little less violent than Islam for some people is because you know people take the Koran literally in that's part of it sort of fundamentalism very few very few people take the Bible as literally as namely hey we're going to Stone kids in the 12th century they may have but now we've outgrown it and

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six hundred years younger and so it's just the Old Testament is just as violent as the Quran but no one takes it seriously but people most people who call themselves religious they pick and choose the things they like from the Bible or the mood Testament or the Old Testament they pick and choose a nice kind ler gentler things you know Richard Dawkins foundation in England did an interesting survey so the British government as a census you know and and they ask people's religions as part of it and in the last census remarkably only

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eighty-five percent of the people said they were Christian Church of England which was one of the lowest ever but fun they went to those 55% people they did a survey of those and they said okay why do you call yourself Christian do you believe in the Virgin birth do you believe in transubstantiation do believe in and went down the list and people say no no no no no and then they'd ask why do you call yourself Christian and the answer was we like to think of ourselves as good people hmm so religion is usurp morality and somehow people throughout all of the evil and it's not just the Old Testament

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no one talked about hell more than Jesus Christ okay jeez guys supposed to love everyone talked about hell this eternal damnation for people who disobey as Christopher Hitchens used to say God is like a cosmic Saddam Hussein but worse because Saddam was saying he's just torture his enemies while they're alive God is worse he takes the people that was like a torches them from all eternity who wants such a god what an awful disgusting idea my wife bought this sauna thing you know what a sauna thing it's like

► 00:59:32

like a sauna suit you zip it up and you hit these buttons and heats you up and heat your body temperature I'm neat and it comes from China okay and it has this hilarious instruction manual because it's translated from Chinese to English by people that are not fluent I'll almost every time I read one of those manuals I love it's unbelievable it's like make waste of body go away cells to Fat disappear like very very strange time and she was laughing at she's reading and she handed to me and I go well this is the problem with the Bible

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one of the big problems of the Bible is translating from ancient Hebrew and Aramaic in some cases even not even hearing Dead Sea Scrolls yeah but ancient Hebrew the letters doubled has numbers so there was no number so when the letter a is the number one and words also had numerical value and when you think about I mean and this is if you've actually ever looked at this it was amazing so people say the Bible you know it's just the word of God but then I realize that this came by in fact the the chimp King James version was decided by a bunch of people who decide what to throw away

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go out there were parts of the of their earlier Bible they didn't like they threw out they determined what is now the Old Testament in the King James version was a bunch of people who got together and decided to throw things out and how to translate things and what to do it was people yeah not the word of God it's a bunch of it's a bunch of people have you ever heard of gianmarco Allegro hmm well I know a lot of people at me alegro but yeah John Mark Allegro is one of the scholars that was he was one of the people that was deciphering the Dead Sea Scrolls okay

► 01:01:02

the book in the 1970s called The Sacred mushroom and the cross all I've heard of the book and his determination after 14 years of deciphering the Dead Sea Scrolls at the entire Christian religion was a massive misunderstanding that it was really all about consumption of psychedelic mushrooms activity Cults yeah I've heard that I'm skeptical of that I should say but I'm skeptical of everything it's fascinating and fastening but there are a lot of people who have written really interesting books on the early history of the Christian religion and Judaism and I you know I know a number of those Scholars that it's really fascinating

► 01:01:32

there's really great evidence that Jesus wasn't even Divine in the early Christian right I mean his divinity came about 300 leaders later it's some really interesting work and and so it religion is evolved and we now take it as if it was sort of was obvious apparently according to the books I've been reading lately it there's really good evidence that you know not only did Jesus never called himself God his followers never did either and this Resurrection thing was put in later when people want to

► 01:02:02

make him Divine wow and so that's fascinating again you could be skeptical about it we should be skeptical of everything but what's really amazing and this is what bothers me I wrote a piece for the New Yorker once it's at all scientist should be militant atheists hey you were really criticized for that well I buy some by some people yeah and the first praised by others yeah but the real the point is that people criticize me never read the piece which often happens for my work because there was a title I'm the editor chose the title which is fine but I

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wasn't but what I said was

► 01:02:35

when I simply asked the question could it be that Jesus was you know what I just said could it be that Jesus wasn't always considered Divine in the Christian religion you know I scholarly question when I asked that question in many cases I'm called a militant atheist how dare you question our Doctrine and I said if nothing should be should be above questioning nothing should in our society nothing should be sacred everything should be open to question so if simply questioning makes me emotional

► 01:03:05

today theist then all scientist should be melted atheist because we should adore questioning and so I wasn't arguing you know we should be you know out handing out pamphlets and I said we should be asking questions and so the discussion you and I just had would be viewed by some people and will be viewed by some people as sinful sacrilege is sacrilege should not be on the air should not be allowed to have that discussion because how dare we questioned the Divinity of Jesus Christ because after all he was God and to question his divinity

► 01:03:35

is to is to do the work of the devil and that's so sad because you know you should be questioning and it is fascinating where people draw that line to whether they draw the line at the New Testament or where they go back to the Old Testament or whether they even but I mean how many people are believers in the Dead Sea Scrolls I mean how many people have gone over the work from qumran with a fine-tooth comb and exactly but by the way I don't like the word believer I should say that I use it sometimes I think if you're a scientist

► 01:04:05

never use the word belief okay something's likely or unlikely but belief is not a part of the if you really want to think of rational inquiry of course you can have we all our colloquium we all have beliefs which means we have preconceptions but but really what we're saying is this is highly likely based on what I think or what I know before and and when I learned something does it make it more or less likely so I respect that yeah if you're a guy you guys I use the word belief all the time but I try not to okay it's kind of those things like the word like I try not to use like and senses

► 01:04:35

as people like use it like we're too much it's got to be Wade's if you get a high school now fucking kids yeah but it's it is strange to me that people do draw those arbitrary lines and when they decide the doctrine is real they'll tell you you know if you start talking about the Old Testament and they're trying to be a Christian apologist they'll say well we'll listen you're talking about the Old Testament and we don't go by that we go by that thing that emperor of Rome created with a bunch of Bishops and he wasn't even Christian himself until he was on his deathbed but you know exactly and people but lip people like

► 01:05:05

to find themselves and I don't want them you know it sounds patronizing as if oh I'm you know we're better we all believe crazy things you and I also do we all crazy leave you bloom Tenon well here's the here's what we all believe 10 impossible things before we get up for breakfast as a Lewis Carroll you say you believe that you like to draw a scowl like a big proponent of acid probably when he wrote it may have morning around Wonderland maybe there's lots of things but it doesn't matter the idea is interesting we all humans are not just rational beings in order to make it through the day we

► 01:05:35

convince ourself of ten impossible things might be that you love your wife it might be that you like your job it might be what if you do love you live we would have you do love your wife Lynn if you do love your job then at that's not impossible but there are other things that you may find you may think you know and well you could pick it you know I mean you know you might find that you that that I don't but do you believe anything weird I'm sure I do but you do you ever explore it of course I try I some of the things I probably am a human being so so I make it through the day I'm a convicted

► 01:06:05

myself I'm interesting why are interesting well that's nice but but but you know if I thought you were interesting before I met you and now we've confirmed it how good I was going to say now I know that but but but you know II let me put this way may commence myself I'm handsome and I'm sexy and whatever it is that we all convince ourselves with when we have you in a room for a hundred year old dudes you'd be handsome and sexy but exactly but if I'm in a room full of maybe not a hundred year old dudes I might not be you have issues yes I buy but no bunch of male models

► 01:06:35

also we don't have issues we say oh yeah those male models but they look like they're getting out of me man but that's great that's great if you have your eyes wide open if you're if you're comfortable enough in your own skin and hopefully part of growing up part of becoming an adult is learning that a lot of the ridiculous Notions we had our just that and getting comfortable with that that's part of maturing I think so when we were now more comfortable in our own skin we're able to accept ourselves but I bet when you were a teenager you would have had a harder time saying you know

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the guys are better looking and more interesting than me oh yeah for sure okay and so so that's part of growing up and that's the science helps civilization do is grow up it's good point yeah yeah boy do you think that any of those bizarre beliefs are important at all to people today or do you think how do you think society would function if we all abandoned religion and what about the people that have included it as a part of the sort of again the scaffolding wow they operate and they're flying who do good

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things through their people who are more generous and give it a charity because religion and help their neighbors and go to you know at Christmas time go to soup kitchens and all that there's no doubt that that happened and they generally do genuinely do experience positive results from that solutely absolutely so it's not as if religion breeds Badness and everyone right but what people should realize it's not as if the lack of religion breeds Badness is everyone the question is is it necessary right I'll tell is when kindness can exist on their own exactly so when so it you can do all of that

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I know people who go to soup kitchens at Christmas time who are atheists the point is it's not necessary so for some people it helps I would argue that on average and this is where you can have a debate but on average I would say the net effect of religion is negative and I know colleagues of mine with some of whom would disagree with me on that but I think if you look at the net effect of religion on society in the current world and maybe even over human history the net effect is is negative and I would argue you could probably get many of the

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same features if we dispense with the religion right now it'd be a problem because right now for many people religion gives them Community a sense of community a sense of belonging and maybe for any a sense of of comfort it and death and all sorts of things so we couldn't just sort of it provides useful things as I said before it fulfills evolutionary purposes if it wasn't it wouldn't be so ubiquitous but I can imagine at least a world where we could fulfill those things in other ways for example instead of

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picking bringing people together for church every Sunday we could bring them together for a rock concert every Sunday okay and they get the same sense from you or maybe for quantum mechanics class every Sunday but maybe they might find it fun if it was from a Kwame but it would find its or maybe they'd find a sense of community and everyone rolling their eyes just like you did yeah because I suspect that happens in church a lot to for sure yeah Sunset a sense of community is very important to bond people and bring them together religion does it yes but the point is what bothers me when people say well therefore we need religion

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and and the answers maybe now but could we imagine building a sense of community because we care about our each other and we have a commonality in other ways that's another thing that makes science so wonderful right I've called the Large Hadron Collider the gothic Cathedral of 21st century because the gothic Cathedrals were built in the 11th or 12th century by thousands of Artisans over centuries working together they had different languages that different cultures different religions maybe not so many different religions back then but they work together this the large

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recliner is built by 10,000 scientist from over a hundred different countries with different languages different religions they're working together they have a commonality science really much more effectively than religion I would argue binds people globally because religions are still an Us Versus Them thing I'm Christian your Geo I'm Christian or Islamic you know whatever it is I'm Buddhist it's always US versus them with science in principle it's anyone can do it and we're all working towards a common goal which is to understand

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and how the universe works it we're not we're not interested in Peru in pushing our own picture or joining together to believe anything and that's the other thing people think of is oh you know scientist push Evolution because we all get together and at night and with special rings and talk to each other day we don't want to we don't want to believe anything else they don't realize if you're a scientist the biggest way to become famous and what we all do when we go into work every day is try and prove our colleagues wrong

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because that's how you really make progress hey something we thought was right is really not what we thought it was those are the great discoveries of push people forward so it's not as if we all buy into the same thing we're all trying to push knowledge forward which means we're trying to discover perhaps old biases and and overcome them and so scientists are bound together not to push their own I mean of course we all have theories but we're all willing to throw him out if the if the theories are proven wrong

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and we're all willing to celebrate being wrong and and that's a wonderful thing and I as I always say if you're a theoretical physicist a to to favorite states to be enter either wrong or confused because that's great because and then you're going to learn something and if we are more comfortable with not knowing which is the other aspect I think that science for many people is terrifying because if you if you're deeply believe you know the answers if you believe we believe there's a God you can you can put aside that uncertainty and for many people on

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certainty is terrifying but be comfortable with not knowing is wonderful and moreover I would argue is better for teachers and for parents you know your kids ask you questions and you really want to always give me the answer whether you know it or not right but it'd be much better to say you know what I don't know let's figure out if anyone knows this because then they participate in the joy of Discovery they're not told something by some Authority and same with teachers I do think we should be teaching questions rather than answers we should be teaching kids how to

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and then how to search for the answers how to distinguish the wheat from the chaff how to distinguish the nonsense from the sense especially in our society right now we used to we used to teach school as if it's just a compositor of information now we know I have in my phone I have more information than in school but I also have more misinformation how do I tell the difference it's the process and that's that's what we need to teach in school the process of skeptical inquiry relying on evidence checking many sources testing your ideas constantly

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then we teach those are the tools kids need in to deal effectively in the modern world with a with an internet that's full of and with new sources which are equally full of misinformation as well as information and one of the biggest issues I think that people are having with religion in the 21st century is these areas where you're not allowed to question and explore the things hit these walls where this is God's Will and this is the way it is and in my mind what we say that is just cold work for I don't want to think about it right it's too confusing is too complicated too

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fine too terrifying and and that and or people say and this amazes me pi get people just people saying you will never understand the origin Universe you'll never understand what love is science will never ever explain love science will never ever explain X Well what we'll and then I say to them well that's incredibly pompous statement because if you say that science will never explain this you must understand it because how do you know that will never explain it we never know what we won't be able to explain until

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so we try and maybe there are things about our universe that will never understand but we don't know until we try you can never say up front that science will never explain this or that because you haven't tried and in my experience as a scientist I've been you know I there could be have been brick walls but I've watched progressively those brick walls crumble as we move around them or we break them and it is so exhilarating and that's why it's the greatest story ever told it's so exhilarating to see them knocked down and things

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you thought we'd never understand remember one of the forces of nature are very prominent physicists the 1960s early 1986 969 said it will be a hundred years before we discover understand this interaction next year the theory came out and it's so wonderful to see how the story surmounts The biases and the anticipation of individual scientists That's The Greatest Story Ever Told so far well what's ridiculous about saying no one will ever figure anything out is that

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at what we figured out over the last 200 years is Monumental and then human language is only been around for forty thousand absolutely live another 50 thousand years a hundred thousand years as long as we don't as long as we keep open inquiry you could imagine moving I mean look we went through a few hundred years of the Middle Ages where the incredible inquiry-based civil a culture of the Greeks was just forgotten I'm you know the Greeks had determined

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in the circumference of the earth not only that it was round but what its circumference was by simple measurements that were then not accepted because of Dogma so we have to if we want to progress we have to beware of Dogma how did they figure out the circumference of the earth what's really neat I think it was an aristocracy I forgot what your the with the Greek now and it's amazing well what he said was look so at a certain time of day a certain time of the year the sun is directly overhead at 12 noon okay and in my

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so I and I can tell that by looking down a deep well and I see the reflection of the sun exactly in that deep well okay so the Rays of the sun which are coming down in the same direction towards the Earth everywhere it comes down to the ball but a hundred miles away the well because the surface is curved the well is pointing in a little bit different direction so the sun's Rays come at a slightly different angle so at this on this day I will measure that the sun is directly overhead for me but I'll get my friend a hundred miles away to measure the angle of the sun relative to the well

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and if you that tells you that the Earth is curved and if you do the geometry you can work out if the hundred miles of the Earth's surface causes the sun's Rays to suddenly be that angle how curved the Earth is and what the circumference of the earth is its plane geometry that in principle any high school student could do but when you say a hundred miles away first of all how are they communicating with this guy did miles away and not immediately but the guy writes it down and then it takes a horse and they come and compare notes later and they use a sundial to determine the time the Sundial to determine the time and and the but a hundred miles in a way they were

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there be a deviation at all in the time a minute or two well that yet but so to some accuracy you right you get it wrong to some accuracy right but they did pretty damn well they came up with a circumference the Earth was darn close to the circumference of the earth and so it's amazing that they use these techniques so they were just so confused and so curious about it all they just tried to figure out what it is got to be a way to figure this out well and they didn't and they weren't they weren't forced with the Dogma that the Earth is flat right

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right as you I've told today you were dealing with some people who are still forced with that Dogma it's very strange how do you feel about that in August 2017 it's amazing but you know nothing surprised not only that gravity is not real and dinosaurs aren't real and you know the people who say gravity are real I have a great solution but it's also building walk out the window and 13th floor and test your ideas and the great thing is do it before you reproduce but it's a magnetism thing they believe it's electromagnetism or something like that that's something people down to the yeah that is what I think and think so Kurt

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incorrect magnet and look at it as what happens as you're falling to the Earth well it's even more hilarious is that they well we talked about this before the podcast started the Japanese weather satellite that takes an image of full image of the earth what is the name of that satellite again Jamie it takes a full image of the Earth from 22,000 miles ago away people keep saying in this Flat Earth theory thing that there's no images of the Earth in full they're all Composites it's not true it's not true there

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our images of the earth that are taken every 10 minutes by this one satellite and their high resolution you can you can access them online anytime you want but people see those and they want to think they're fake but yet they believe there's an ice wall around Antarctica that you cross over and you fall to the abyss where's this photo of the ice wall when we're where is it or have they never well how does someone fly from Japan maybe they don't believe the people can fly around the world I've done it I've done the and that they're all lying here's another one

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ever thought of time zones why the time zones of the Earth is flat where the time zones the only reason their time they should go from New York to LA and see you know what the time is different that protector think it's they will know but they probably think it's a human invention yeah but you know the sun is still shining in La when it's gone down in New York and they can call their friends and check out of the Earth was flat that won't be the case it's only the case because the Earth is curved I mean so those simple things should should convince people but people are willing to throw

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evidence if they have a belief that's really firm and what I said before is we have to realize the easiest purpose person to fool is yourself so if you're not willing to question your beliefs especially those that you hold particularly cherished beliefs in if you're not willing to question those you're not going to you're not going to ever grow yeah well that's a good way to put a particularly cherish because I think a lot of people do cherish these ideas things like the Earth being flat because it gives them some sort of information leg up on everybody I know something that people don't know what makes

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them feel better about themselves they may hate gays because it makes them feel better about not being gay or maybe they are gay okay and yeah you know I mean you always worry about that and so I think we all know that's what I mean by being believing 10 impossible things were records we I don't want to make fun of people because we all do think of things to make us feel better about ourselves it's part of Being Human the cytological pit yeah and so we should be aware of those and I have them and you have them and I don't pretend I don't what I do try and do

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is question them yeah but we can all do that and I don't I don't I understand why people are believe certain things it's not and you can be you know what again Richard Dawkins tells me about it astrophysicists he knows who during the day you know studies objects in the sky and and looks at galaxies or stars and measures that they're that they're 12 billion years old or whatever and then but yet he goes home at night and then is and and is convinced that the Earth is 6,000 years old so somehow he can

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you can do both yeah he knows a guy like oh yeah and people can and we're all capable of believing in two mutually contradictory things at the same time it's just the way were built and so how does this guy measure the because it which of these planets somehow it doesn't affect his fundamental beliefs and it's amazing it's true because we can all believe things that are wrong and so it doesn't mean they're stupid it doesn't mean because it's guys apparently a fairly accomplished astrophysicists it's a psychological bit sweet but we all have trap so many people

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you know when I talk about this I don't want to seem pompous in the sense of saying oh I'm better or scientists a better science is better because science helps us overcome those pitfalls why do those pitfalls exist though because because they obviously Evolution I would argue that they have 11 new evolutionary purpose that somehow they a lot if they didn't have an evolutionary purpose then they wouldn't have been selected for right right there does seem to be some weird inclination or some desire to expose

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Secrets finds secrets and did know them yeah it's nice well but on the other hand that's great let's exploit that right discovering Secrets is about is discovering Mysteries right discovering Mysteries is what motivates students to do science so let's put it in a positive light we all want to solve puzzles we all want understand something and maybe the first one to understand it we all want to access information maybe and make us feel special for doing it real that's the reason I do science right it's not right save the world is because I really

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to be no understanding and it's nice to be the first person to maybe understand stuff it's gratifying for your ego it's and we are driven you know by ego and and let's not pretend otherwise right but you're I think you're talking about measurable things and elements and things that you could sort of Expose and explain but what these people seem to be really obsessed with is people lying about stuff and covering up secrets about like the Earth being flat or chemtrail yeah they like to believe there's a conspiracy yeah and and can

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these are very very attractive yeah because it because and I you know I don't I'm not a psychologist so to what I say here is just a speculation but the world doesn't care what you believe and it doesn't treat you fairly right right and that's just a fact the world doesn't treat me fairly doesn't treat you fairly it doesn't give a damn about my their well-being or okay so hey I'm being treated unfairly isn't it better for me to think that someone is actively being unfair to me then

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just assume it's just the way it is because then I can blame it

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and so I tend to think conspiracy theorists tend to say you know the things I don't like there's a real reason for it there's not an accident it's not just haphazard it's not anything and in and it you know it's I've lost my job because there's got to be a reason there's got to be a villain there's got to be someone making it happen just like the reason we burned witches right because there were storms or there wasn't you know the wasn't crops that year and a lot of people say it's an interesting historical Theory which I think is

► 01:24:06

seems quite plausible to me that when Newton discovered the laws of gravity universal law of gravity it contributed to the ending of burning of witches why I thought that was a myth the burning of witches I thought they'd drown the mostly well we had they hung a lot of them too they drowned them what do I don't care what his burning they killed him I understand okay they blamed crops they blamed bad things and then when Newton discovered that even the planets are affected by the same laws that an apple is there's a universal laws it meant that physical effects had physical

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causes and when bad things happen there's a physical reason there's not someone you can blame hmm and and witches or whatever and so there's a lot of argument that suggests that that kind of development in physics led to the end of blaming people for those for bad crops or or for bad things happening but I think that's the kind of thing when we want to find someone to blame rather than just saying the universe doesn't give a shit about me and anybody interested in this is a really fascinating subject but the whole Salem witch trial

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there's a lot of really convincing evidence that seems to point towards ergot poisoning that there was some a late freeze and that this particular type of fungus grew on some of their wheat that makes ergot which is very has a very LSD like properties and I think these people thought they were being Bewitched because they're being contaminated it's a great idea you know again I don't know the evidence for it but it's interesting right now it is fascinating but let's but let's understand we always I think what behind that is is I know we've all had

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had mean I think what we're seeing are extremes of characteristics that we all have I think many of us assign blame when we shouldn't when I lose my keys sometimes I see them out where do you put the my wife where did you put the keys right and then I learned very quickly that I shouldn't have said that and so I think it's just it's a characteristic of Being Human and accepting it as a characteristic of Being Human doesn't diminish us

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and but what's really great is we can understand that and try and work and try and figure out ways to avoid those pitfalls so a lot of these the the ways of thinking these patterns of thinking these are sort of hold offs from the ancient days the answer things that helped us to survive those pathways are now in counterproductive there and and we've I ran a meeting at my Origins project ASU about the origins of xenophobia and it would and you know us versus them and it turns out there's really useful Zenith hit evolutionary purpose is for us

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versus them tribal purposes and try and not just that actually goes back to biochemistry you know immune systems is US versus them just being able to recognize foreign bodies and cells so it goes back to single cell organisms and but then the question is is it now got a is it is it now run its course and become out of course dr. be counterproductive exactly and then we have to look at those things and ask what there is and if we explore those things then then there's a better chance that we can deal with them and

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what's useful what isn't but if we refuse to acknowledge that those things exist and that they may be the purpose of our religion or beliefs or whatever then we're then we can't possibly overcome them are you I'm gonna change gears a little bit here are you concerned at all about AI yeah we do yes we just had a workshop again at my Origins project in the which you can watch it online the public event anyway where can someone say is that owww dot Origins asu.edu we run these

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a events and what's neat to me by the way as we get 3,000 people attending the painter 10 people really want to hear science if it's done right and interestingly that's awesome I'm so pleased and privileged that we that people find things that interesting and come over and over again but so we ran this this event called the future of AI who's in control because associated with we have a scientific workshop on what are the possible disruptive influences of AI now ai is going to change the world it's going to the future is

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I'm going to be like the past what it means to be human is not going to be like it was the past get over it now the question is some of those things which we think are horrible may not be so bad for example the ancient Greeks thought the introduction of writing would be horrible because oral storytelling would be destroyed but writing wasn't such a bad thing it actually made the world kind maybe more interesting place it you know maybe maybe a I will take over certain functions that humans have teaching or doctoring

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or whatever and maybe it won't be so bad okay maybe it maybe it seems terrifying for us but maybe it won't be so bad on the other hand though you can imagine awful consequences ones that are are really bad so we looked at these disruptive possible consequences and the point is it can have both what's really important is unless you think about it Pastor said fortune favors the prepared mind ultimately so yes AI is both terrifying and exciting

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the future is terrifying and exciting for example I'm really excited by the possibility that a I might become better physicists in us and I'd like to know I'd like to know how intelligent computers especially tells you quantum computers understand quantum mechanics they may understand it better than we do and I might learn from them so maybe they'll be the dominant physicists in the future the dominant academics and we can learn from them we can learn from intelligent artificial systems that would be so bad

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maybe it seems like it'd be bad but what's wrong with that that's really Rose Colored Glasses though what that that may be but but on the other hand it could be that that they just that that intelligent agents AI decides that there's no need you know for example here's something that that one of the people who was at our workshop and will yawn tollan who founded Skype was one of the coordinators of our workshop and he says well you know oxygen is really bad for for oxidation of of of

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electronic systems okay so if a I could control you know technology they might want to systematically reduce the oxygen content of the atmosphere right that wouldn't be so good for Humanity okay so you can imagine the Other Extreme where basically intelligent AI systems control most of the technology the world and maneuver things so humans become extinct so you can imagine one realm or the other but unless you think about the ways that you can try and

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and ensure that the future is as good as it can be you've got at least confront those possibilities you don't put your head in the sand and you don't go oh my God the world is ending you say look this is going to there are changes are going to happen for example a I will displace millions of people from their work you know there's no doubt if not billions if billions let's say billions now what's that going to do well there to there are two possibilities and one of them was imagined by John Maynard Keynes

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ins when he thought about what industrialization would do he said you know the effects of it is that yeah machines are going to a lot of the work that people are going to do but the great thing is that a free people from the work they'll be able to go have coffee and coffee shops go see read books do you know she plays the quality of their life will improve but of course that didn't happen because you know the increased resources that were the crease increased money and and all of that that was generated by industrialization wasn't wasn't uniformly distributed at some point when we're

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billions of people out of work we're gonna have to decide to say you know what those machines are produced a higher net quality potential quality of life for everyone maybe we have to spread the wealth may be some sort of universal basic and yeah and I think frankly we have a choice either we as machines begin to do just that we have a choice to move in that direction it seems to me or we have two choice to move in a direction of incredible socio-economic problems and Tom Alton and and that's going to create huge huge

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huge societal problems and I'm worried that in our society for example that doesn't even want to provide Health Care to everyone where some people say why should I pay for you when you're sick even though we live in a society that's wealthy enough to do just that that will never get to a point where we say you know what these machines have generated incredible wealth let's allow all the people who've been displaced to benefit from that wealth I suspect that won't happen and I

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I'm pessimistic about the future although as my friend Cormac McCarthy says because he's a really chipper fellow but he writes very dark books and when I first met him I said how can you be so cheerful and he said you know I'm a pessimist but that's no reason to be gloomy and that's become my Mantra ever since then that's a great statement yeah I love it now what I'm worried about with AI is that we're looking at it as if it's an invention it's a human invention which its most certainly is but it's also a lie

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if form what I'm worried about is that it decides well eventually if you extrapolate yeah but okay so big deal well then it decides to make a better version of itself than it will to do that and we're going to be completely obsolete within a short amount of time right really well I mean no look so that's could be good or bad so let's get this truck this know but this is your illusion that your significant well no I'm not it's not just know like maybe a live long enough to have ledge oh but may be eaten by robots are lots of things that are that don't have any real

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but what will the robots you know if you want to go robots would it be in why would they feel it's necessary to destroy us because we're polluting the environment we might well no we made the world well not when when we're not governing things we might not be right you know we might want to say they might want to save us like we do the turtles and Jim in or you know in various places than want the lights to happen because the turtles don't don't you know mate if the lights are on the beach and we don't do such a good job of we don't but they'll be better than us right

► 01:34:05

right but we might be an evil hyena like species if we are then why should we be around that's a good question but I mean well what about that well no but maybe won't give us a chance to get better but maybe you could view them as your Offspring and then you then you then you domestic well then you say look at my Offspring and in fact actually I do think It ultimately if machines can can program themselves and ultimately come better then it will be difficult for biology to keep up and our future is humans will be

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easily be what you would call the Borg and Star Trek Beasley say the only sensible way is to merge right and and and you know what's really interesting so then the dominant life form it'll be really interesting so we tend to think of why are carbon-based individuals the bed dominant life form in the universe what it could be if we're looking in the at out in the universe of looking at the dominant life form there's silicon-based not carbon-based be and and and and and it really be interesting because in this case it would be intelligent design you can imagine a bunch of intelligent computers having

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a podcast in the far future sing you know I think we were designed by these Yeah by these monkeys yeah and they would be right yeah that's what's really fascinating is the idea that we are some sort of not just a Creator but that we are the predecessors of some greater species and who knows rhinos what that means coming but but to be afraid of the future it's inevitable ultimately what can happen will happen

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happen we just have to accept that and we have to try and and and prepare for it as best as possible to might turn make sure it works out as well as possible I begin this book The Greatest driver told so far with the of a quote from from Virgil from the idea it's saying the I think these are the tears of things in there should you know why don't we have a copy of the book around on this is home for sure yeah I was going to be mine in by sure you'd have with you a favor anyway but on the stuff of our mortality costs us to the heart that's and it's the lat

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Latin phrase that if people remember that's famous but the next phrase in the 9A had which I talked about the very last page or two of the book it's a set phrase release your fear and I think that's the important thing the stuff over mortality does cause us to the heart but release your fear right use it to make our brief moment in the sun more precious but it's fascinating to me that we are so connected to this particular form that we find ourselves in now and that we we're so attached to it and that even though we know that we are a finite

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form as individual some people don't yeah go on what I'm saying you know irrationally but we know that we are finite life form we would like to think that we stay in this state for as long as you know history and we would like to know where but you know but of course we're just temporary we've written as humans even as hominids Homo sapiens have only been around for a speck of time a couple hundred thousand years and who would expect our future to be the same well yeah it can't be and what if what if I mean what if the

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things that are wonderful about our culture are preserved by our descendants but our descendants aren't carbon-based okay so what's wrong with that why do you why do you care if your great-great-great great-great-great-great great-great-great grandchildren look like you right I mean of course we all do because we want some immortality right okay so the robots are made to look like you I mean I don't care you know they all have Joe Rogan faces on them in front of them and what but but did you see ex machina yeah yeah yeah I know Alex yeah I've talked a

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Scarlet who's a hesitation there there was a little nod and well I mean yeah when I when I of course whenever I see science fiction I try to suspend disbelief okay I think the idea in fact I showed a clip from ex machina in our event because because I think there are many possible negative consequences of artificial intelligence one of them is malevolence but the other is unintended negative consequences and I thought my ex machina was a was a

► 01:38:05

for example of unintended negative consequences of artificial intelligence I don't think that lovely young woman was designed to be evil but it was not intended consequence when she saw an opportunity for herself I mean I'm the other one I showed of courses from 2001 A Space Odyssey the great Hal warehouses sorry Dave and and and and and I think I think it's wonderful and thoughtful and it was thought-provoking and as I say I've come to know Alex Garland who wrote and directed his incident and and he's a very thoughtful and

► 01:38:35

guy one of my favorite all-time movies I love that yeah it's a really interesting movie I agree I always I always try and analyze it afterwards and sometimes as a scientist I I try not to get in the way of liking science fiction because of course they all involve suspending our disbelief in certain things and and the difference between good science fiction and bad science fiction is not how a scientifically accurate it is it's how good a story it is right because if it's a good story you can suspend disbelief easily it's someone's asked me the other day

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day on a Science Fiction podcast where it said you know what's the worst example of this and at the example that comes to mind is I remember New York Times Reporter after the physics of Star Trek came out said can I go with you to a science fiction movie and and watch you and then talk to you about it and so we went to see Starship Troopers and this is the stupidest movie of all time it's because well because they're you know because because you know these ants right poop out things at supersonic speeds across the

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I mean you know it's amazing but it's stupid what's a very campy movie right yeah I know but when the problem is because he was asking me to look at the reality of our couldn't even suspend disbelief if I wanted to but that but it's things like that for example when something happens it suddenly takes you out of the story you something goes oh shit like here's another one another movie I hate called ghost maybe like the with you know the family more Demi Moore and what's his fantastic sweetie yeah you're right and here's the idea so this guy's a ghost right

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and he he wants to show his long-lost lovelyz around it's beautiful it's wonderful so he tries to lift a penny but of course it goes through his hands right he tries to hug her but his hands go right through her but you noticed each time he stands in the floor sits on the couch he stands on the floor and sits on the couch so is bought or his feet have some incredible ability to be stopped by matter but nothing else does when I saw I mean I saw that could rest the movie went that's a very good point I don't even think about it too right now I didn't want to ruin it for you but I just hit well I saw it when I was like 10 yeah but that some older that's an older movie house

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when is the movie I probably wasn't tannins probably 20 or something yeah well that's I'm older it's a stupid movie it is but for that what I'm saying is the minute I saw that it was hard for me to enjoy the rest of the movie I get it plus they have an inhale bit which also sounds stupid so sometimes sometimes sometimes something like that when you're any in it doesn't have to be science right you can be watching a drama and you say why the hell did they do that I mean it's just out of character yeah yeah moment yeah and then you and then it's hard for you to enjoy the rest

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of the movie yeah I find that all the time yeah ever really she would that yeah when you think about artificial intelligence do you consider like one of the things that that freaks me out is that what we consider life when we think about instincts and needs and desires those no won't necessarily be programmed at all into any artificial life well one of the questions that arises and this is a huge point of discussion among AI researchers because I've been a bunch of meetings

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preparation for our meeting is whether and and I find the statement almost vacuous but I'm amazed that they use it all the time to programme machines with human values right while we be programming our missions and my problem is what are human value right and they said well one of the as a very smart guy and I won't I won't say who said this meeting well they just have to watch us and I said what do you mean they watch Donald Trump and they know what human values are I mean come on you know there aren't I thought sure there are Universal human values and so so how do we program them in

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but nevertheless the question is do we want to line their programming in what we in terms of what we think will be beneficial to us right because after all we're programming them okay we do in part saint-like values who knows I mean I find that a very interesting question and a very difficult one to resolve I my own feeling is

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if it were up to me and I am not it's not an area of active research for me you produce a smartest machines you can just like you have kids I've kids do we want them to believe everything we believe no we want to give him we want them to become the most capable human beings they can be so that they can go out and do the best stuff right so why is it different for a computer I'd want to make the most capable intelligent resourceful machine I ever could because then I'd least all the evidence suggests to me that that machine will make the best decisions

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but if the machine doesn't have an ability to breed sexually and if it doesn't have ego and if it doesn't necessarily have creativity because it doesn't need to be praised for its ego I don't think we I think but I don't think creativity comes from needing to be praised for you I think creative but I mean as one of the great intrinsic aspects of human beings that makes being a human being worth being human being well I think I agree with you but I think if you're going to connect that sort of mindset to a computer or to artificial intelligence don't you think it would have some need to create

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like what is our need to create is like we like to express ourselves to other people if you were alone on an island you think you would create yeah sure here's me by yourself forever you think you would paint and make I'd like to think I would because I because I kind of because that's what I find gratifying but I think one of the things people find gratifying is that other people are enjoying it so sometimes you know I don't do science because other people enjoy it I do science because I enjoy it and I'm and so you think you would do science if you were the last person on Earth you would be alone with a well I do what I do the work I do is I mean

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you want to make any pretense I do it because I had fun for me right and I think most people do it they may claim actually I shouldn't say there are people probably better than me who do what they do because they're constantly trying to save Humanity in one way or another I like to think what I do has a net positive effect and I try to take time out of my science to try and counter things that I think are wrong with the world because I have a because because of my background and also because I have a soapbox I'm lucky enough to be people listen to me for one reason or another so I try to take that responsibility seriously

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yeah but on the whole I do what I do because I enjoy doing it I think most of us do and we only do it we're only good at it if we're good at it because we enjoy it right and look at look you here's an example so the best machine one of the best machine learning machines and existence just beat the best go player in the world right right how to do it it learned constantly learn taught itself to you better go okay that's creativity if you want it's trying to be better at playing the game rabbit is calculate every

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single note I learned on no it learn how to be no it with no it can't it can't do that what it can do is try to teach self strategies that work

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and she's creativity and look and it does teach itself strategies that work new strategies by looking at all strategies that didn't work mmm that's creativity yeah something I mean who knows how to define creativity in all senses yeah but you can imagine a sufficiently intelligent computer would be creative because in order to do physics you in science you need to be creative you know in fact I was just I just did an event with Alan Alda in New York City and I want all the from Mash yeah yeah who's a great guy an intelligent man and very instant science and science communication we've done a few events together one with my Origins project

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can see online so he was interviewing me or did we had a dialogue but he was interviewing me about the new book and and and and in the context of that and science communication and he said something wonderful both are in earlier he said because it's so counterintuitive to Modern cultures reception he said art requires rigor science requires creativity

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and I thought wow because that's the opposite of what most people think but in fact science art requires rigor you got to just get just the right colors and and and work really hard to get the right patterns whether that art is music or you know by Art I'm very broadly where's to do to science makes progress because we're creative which also rigorous but people somehow have this artsy fartsy notion that oh artists are creative and scientists are nerds you know they're just they're just rigorous science is just rigorous garbage it's not it's creative

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just like art and art is rigorous and the scientists who say all these artists these musicians they're not they're not as good as we are they're equally bad because the art doing anything well requires rigor discipline effort and rigor and I think that that beautiful dichotomy that that juxtaposition of Art and rigor and Science and creativity is something wonderful that Alan said and we should realize it's a characteristic science is does involve creativity and rigor but so does all the areas of

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an activity that make the the story of human so wonderful that's why it's The Greatest Story Ever Told so far well many many aspects of human life require creativity many Endeavors and recur and recur whether you're a better kickboxer there's a lot of creativity in fighting yeah van and rigor yes you have to learn rules you discipline your muscles over and over again any sports person and maybe there's you know even maybe there's even creativity and football but you know there's grigor and creativity and

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thing that humans push to the limits yeah no I absolutely agree the question would be what would the motivation of artificial intelligence be if it's not if it doesn't have me we're essentially riding on the motivations of our ancient genetics right sure we wanna have sex for yes exactly and and it'd be interesting to see who knows we're gonna be interesting to find out right what would the renovation to be creative because that because we've developed in them problem-solving capabilities

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Oddities and because their self aware and the amount to ask questions because they're self-aware they may want to improve their understanding the world partly for technology they may want to make the world better for themselves hmm all sorts of reasons but we'll see of to some extent will input it in programming but to some extent will see and to some people that's terrifying that we won't know the motivations of course I'm not as terrified about it I guess I'm concerned that we got to make sure we understand what we're doing at each step

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we don't produce massive negative results that could have been avoided but I'm not as concerned that the future will be different than the past I hope it is

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when you see some of the emerging Technologies like crisper some of these genetic engineering Technologies where they're starting to use non-viable human fetuses and run some tests on them are you concerned at all about that are you concerned about or I should need to use this two term concern because obviously you're obviously after that mindset no no no I'm concerned let things happen no no it's not just let things happen let them watch what's going to happen trying to anticipate the results

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understand them in detail anticipate what the results are and avoid negative ones to the extent you can but it's what life is all about the things are going to change but accept the fact that things are going to change and if and that's not such that's that's are we happy that the world is different than it was during Medieval Times sure I mean except for you know Mike Pence and other people we rest of us are happy or you know I can pick a lot of good radio commentators but most of us are happy that we that the world has gotten more open more

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testing and so that's part of the human drama is that it's going to go places and we don't know where it's going to go and that's okay but we should all work as much as we can to try and make sure to the extent that we can that the direction of heads is a good one is beneficial more interesting more exciting more possibilities more fun for everybody and and maybe even more sustainable because it seems reasonable that it should be sustainable if we think we care about not just our children but our grandchildren and their grandchildren

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and children and so that it's self interest in some sense to be interested in in conservation and sustainability instead of immediate profit if you really care of course you know I say if I'm ass enough wealth and my children be fine forever and who gives it damn about the rest of the people's children but you know we can decide that maybe it's in the best interests of everyone if Human Society is sustainable because they'll be less likelihood for extreme War extreme violence blah blah blah you can I would argue that we behave well

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in large part because of reason and and my point is I've had this know we had a session in my Origins project a whole meeting on the origins of morality and and I've had this debate with a number of colleagues who point out I think it was human who said you can't get ought from is okay you can't get off from his just by rationality you can't decide how to behave maybe maybe but here's the point without is you can never get too odd without knowing the consequences of your actions which is what science is all about you

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you can't decide what's good and bad hmm and so science and reason is an essential part of any progress because we can't possibly decide what economic policies to enact or what or what social policies are What technological policies if we don't know the consequences of actions that's why for example shouldn't example was so stupid for the Republicans to design this Healthcare policy and promote it before anyone and analyze say the economic impact of it I mean they could have still decided to do

► 01:51:41

it's not as if but but at least that data would have been useful for making a final decision it's that simple hmm But what I get getting back to that crisper thing if that becomes available and If it advances to the point where it's available to people that are alive today would you would you give it a shot would you change anything about yourself would you become Thor I mean if it really gets to that point we start we can worry about a lot of things but I'm not

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anywhere near as worried about that as I'm hacking right right because if you know we can hack computers and if you can hack DNA as a lot of kids want to do in fact I was told years ago I'm chairman of the board of something called the bulletin of atomic scientists that of the water sponsors that sets the Doomsday Clock every year and so we have to think about existential threat to mankind I remember about seven or eight years ago we had a professor from MIT who said his computer science students were most interested in hacking DNA much more interested than hacking again because it's just an edit it's just a code right and and so

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if you could manipulate arbitrarily in a very precise way DNA then of course there are many good things that can come and maybe you can make yourself stronger bigger about ever you want maybe we're not you maybe your children whatever and maybe you can overcome genetic diseases which of course would be great but you can also with you know with great power comes great responsibility and with that you can also Imagine hacking unite and creating new viruses or whatever you want and so yeah it's it's any new technology is terrifying does that mean

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we shouldn't create new technologies I mean cars are terrifying cars kill look how many people cars can kill now maybe we'll have self-driving cars may be fewer people die some people are afraid of self-driving cars because they do present moral problems and is gloves of if a car is designed to minimize the number of people who kills and it can do that by killing you if you're faced with running into five schoolchildren are the car turning and hitting a wall what do you want your car program to do right and it's these are fascinating questions we will have to address

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but technology could so technology can be used in many ways and it's terrifying but it's trite to use this old expression but I do think of it at times which is that the little thing I gave my stepdaughter once and said ships are safe in the harbor but that's not what ships are meant to do hmm I mean if you can you can bury your head in the sand you can never go outside the house for fear of being run over by a car or being embarrassed or whatever

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or or you can choose to live a life as your choice but to me living the life is is more interesting that's why in the book I point out you can choose how to look at the world you can choose to say you're the center of the universe and if that makes you feel better find in the universe was created for you or you can choose to let your beliefs conform to the evidence of reality and go and assume the universe exists and evolved independent of your existence and in that case you're bound to be surprised isn't it better to

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Bo have a life full of surprise and a life that has doesn't have any no it's a wonderful philosophy what I'm thinking is I'm wondering about these technological advancements when it comes to the ability to manipulate the human body and when they get to the point where we don't have the same issues that we have today with diseases and injuries or even with biological inferiorities with with everyone looks like LeBron James yeah okay that you could imagine that's the case I suspect people want different things sure

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and but okay that'll be a very different world but look at this way you're a pretty buff guy okay you manipulated your body right yes okay what's wrong with that no nothing but I'm still five foot eight okay LeBron James is 7 feet tall he manipulated his body is a very different deal so what gives me a seven-foot-tall pill I might take it yeah but you manipulate your body given the technology of the time right but it changes and everyone can find 7 feet tall but it was it worse because you can manipulate cuz you know enough physiology now and whatever exercise physiology

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that you can manipulate your body more efficiently now than you could before and people can run faster miles or jump higher because we've been Esports for forever and so that's okay you know that's it I'm just wondered what your thoughts are on the future well I wonder Artemis physiological and balance I try to anticipate the possibilities and to the extent I can discuss what they are so that we as a society can address them more cogently I do not however generally make predictions about anything less than

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into trillion years in the future that's a great quote what's going to happen to trillion years from now there's a universe expanding to the point cooling off and let everything dies there's two reasons for that frightening one is it's pretty simple when you start thinking about the long terms the universe probably gonna expand forever all the galaxies and if it doesn't Suns burning out anyway point is if it doesn't do that no one's going to know I was wrong that's a good point that's a very good point yeah so that's that yeah so that's why do you know that's my jam I read a quote once

► 01:56:41

about supermassive black holes that has messed with my brain ever since I read it okay and the quote was that inside every Galaxy is a supermassive black hole that's one half of one percent of the mass of the Galaxy hmm and that it's very possible that inside that supermassive black hole is a whole nother Universe well if up to that what does that mean up to that point everything is out of find everything sounded fine okay it is true that it's amazing that most galaxies that we can measure

► 01:57:11

measure have large black holes and Center which leads to an inch of question we don't have the answer to one of the reasons we're building the James Webb Space Telescope the James what James Webb Space Telescope the one that's going to replace the Hubble Space colors that is that going to be in space yeah yeah it's going to be much further orbit it's gonna be launched next year and it's the it's a successor the James Webb is gonna be a hundred times the collection area it's going to look at different wavelengths of light it's going to push what Hubble has been able to do to look back to the earliest galaxies that ever form first light as we call them and stars first turned on the

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stars that formed in the universe it's gonna be fascinating but there's a chicken and egg question mmm if most Galaxies have a supermassive black holes in them which came first right and did the black holes form and that was necessary for the galaxies to coalesce around them or did the galaxies exist in then the black hole's built up hierarchical e by swallowing things and getting bigger and bigger and bigger the question we don't know the answer to when we build that thing we might have the answer to it it'll be an interesting question that we resolved it is amazing that as far as we can tell these supermassive black holes exist

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and even though we don't know their black holes by the way we know they kind of look like black holes and Quack Like black holes and walk like wacko black holes but we what I mean is we there we can tell their Mass conservation concentrations that are immense a billion solar masses in a region so small that are theories tell us they should be a black hole but we don't know if the consequences of generality tell us that they are black holes but the simplest assumption is that they are that nothing escaped from them that they that they

► 01:58:41

the classically like black holes and they're fascinating and we'll learn about we're learning about black holes by the way or putative black holes in ways we never thought we could because we now have a new window on the universe gravitational waves these this ligo detector just detected Graves from gravitational waves from colliding black holes the coalesce and just discovered that the predictions of general relativity are validated it's a whole we're like Galileo when he first turned his telescope to the heavens and saw the moons of Jupiter we've just opened a new window on the universe

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Zeus and it'll be the new astronomy the 21st and 22nd centuries and we will learn things we had no knowledge about because that new window will reveal to us the Dynamics of black holes in ways we never thought possible so it's an amazing time to be alive and I attended think that's also a Time invariant statement but but anyway so everything so the black but what happens inside black holes is a question that's much different than the answer is we don't know

► 01:59:39

we don't know we know classically if general relativity tells us what's happening we know that this thing's will collapse to an infinitely dense Singularity but you know most of us physicists think infinite is a pretty bad word that in that in physical reality things don't get infinitely dense that the laws of quantum mechanics are going to change things and well and when things get sufficiently dense so that quantum mechanics has to be applied to gravity

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and the only time that really happens operationally or either the beginning of our universe when our entire observable universe was in potentially an infinitely dense Singularity or at the center of black holes that's the only places where that matters when quantum mechanics must be applied to gravity our current physical theories break down so we don't know what happens in the ultimate state of black holes we don't you know one possibility is indeed they do our portal to another Universe because what's really interesting is when what you

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from the inside of a black hole and the outside are very different if you're inside of a black hole the space can look like it's expanding whereas outside the black hole can look like the black holes Contracting why is that because general relativity tells you that your that your perceptions of what space is doing around you in some sense depends upon your the gravitational configuration in which you live in general relativity you can be moving and standing still at the same time

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I'm we're doing it right now I'm not moving much with respect to you I had a little bit of coffee so I'm shaking a little bit but but but relative to a radio conversations that happening in a studio at the other end of the visible Universe we're moving away at the speed of light and those individuals having that conversation are also at rest in their local surroundings but they're moving away from us at the speed of light how is that possible because locally spaces at rest but globally space is expanding mmm so General tivity says you

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that what you consider to be happening to space around you depends upon your local environment and what you define so you can locally be at rest but globally be part of an expanding Universe similarly inside of a black hole the direction of time reverses it turns out because space and time are tied together so if you so so what you perceive inside of a black hole to be happening to to the time evolution of the system you're in would be very different

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than what seen from outside to be happening at the surface of the black hole I mean whack calls are fascinating and their Laboratories of the that allow us to focus on the physics we can't yet fully understand how long we known about them well the idea of a black hole was first thought about people wondered whether what was the ultimate state of gravitational collapse and people that argued that maybe the ultimate state of gravitational collapse was these things called that we now call black holes there was a big debate about

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Oppenheimer and Snyder in the 1940s and 50s the person who first named black holes was John Wheeler it amuses me he came up with the term black hole in 1965 or something like that to describe the ultimate state of collapsing that people felt it was impossible there'd be that physically forces would stop things from collapsing to the kind of densities the black holes would format but based on the work of chandrasekhar and others it was discovered that if you have a more massive object that's massive enough nuclear

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forces and all other forces cannot fight against gravitational collapse and eventually things will collapse inside of what we call the Event Horizon it's the ultimate say clap it was hugely debated in the 30s 40s 50s by the 1960s it was accepted and interestingly enough wheeler was one who first thought it couldn't happen later on came up with the name black holes and I think that's one of the reasons that people are so fascinated by black holes turns out in Russian the term for black hole was frozen star and you don't see movies

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in Russia but what about Frozen Stars you see a lot of movies about black holes is a great name yeah and you know why the way it's why it's a frozen start let me blow your mind a little bit okay

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when objects are falling into so one of the things you need to know is the rate at which our talk clocks tick depends upon the gravitational field where in so if I'm way above the Earth surface my clock is actually taking at a different rate than your clock this sounds so crazy but we needed every day because you know what you do use GPS at all today okay wouldn't have worked if it was for that because the clocks and the set GPS satellites are ticking at a different rate than the clocks on Earth because of general relativity

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the because they're in a different they're higher up with respect to the Earth so they had to calculate we have to know use that effect to count to correct if it wasn't for that case your GPS would go out of alignment in less than one minute we use it every single day so explain that please it's so the GPS the GPS satellite global positioning satellites that are in orbit they take into account the fact that they're higher above the Earth that their clocks are ticking more slowly than ours how do we know that because how do they know where we are bye

► 02:04:43

by triangulation they basically look at the time it takes they have atomic clocks very accurate clocks the time it takes for a signal from your watch or your phone to get up to the satellite and back and that other satellite in back allows you to determine your position hmm But if the clock there is ticking at a different rate then you get a wrong answer for the time it takes for it to go on the the number you get from that satellite when it reports to your watch is it slower faster well do too

► 02:05:14

there are two effects due to its motion due to its motion it was well how can I say this it's basically slower but due to its motion it's ticking at a slower rate okay due to its height in the gravitational field it turns out that it's faster so the two effects counter each other general relativity in class and special relativity in this case general relativity wins I think it's something like the their ticking more slowly at I calculated once I wrote a something new year

► 02:05:43

times piece on this and I forget the number but it's something like

► 02:05:49

of the order of 38 microseconds per day they're clicking their ticking at a slower rate million for thirty eight millionths of a second every every day different and that may not sound important to you but if you calculate how far light travels in thirty eight millionths of a second it's pretty far and so therefore if you if you if you keep getting wrong by that number your your determination of your position is going to keep getting wrong by that by that number and I worked out I and then this should

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me to work backwards if I had a pad and paper I see a pad but I'm not going to do it right now because I don't care but I remembered you'd be out by something like a kilometer in two minutes wow isn't that amazing it is amazing so we use these abstract esoteric principles and they govern our lives so General activity really isn't matters for our technology but it tells us but what's really interesting so as objects fall into a black hole because they're getting stronger and stronger gravitational fields from the outside we see the moving more and more slowly

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and eventually we see them freeze at the surface we will never see from the outside it will look like it will take an infinite amount of time for an object to fall through the Event Horizon of a black hole even though in its own frame it falls through no problem for us it will watch it slowly slowly slowly because it's clock is literally ticking at a different rate and it will take an infinite amount of time for us for any object to fall through the Event Horizon of a black hole if we're watching from the outside that's why the Russians called them Frozen Stars isn't that weird

► 02:07:19

crazy yeah it is but it's true now where did the concept come from that inside every black hole is perhaps hundreds of billions of galaxies each with a black hole in front of it oh well I don't know I've never heard that concept what I have heard is that is that at the singularity The Singularity maybe a portal to another universe and moreover that that that inside the black hole you could you could imagine that that you're observing a space that appears to be expanding instead of Contracting and is it possible that those inside that black hole that Universe would not

► 02:07:49

the same laws of physics that we well once you go through the singularity who knows because the laws of physics break down but one thing I can tell you for sure is there aren't millions of billions of galaxies inside that black hole and you know why why because gravity allows us to measure what the total mass of the black hole is okay for it in that sense of black holes it well if it's a portal that's a different Universe right that's all I'm saying but after that's when then it's no longer inside the black hole it's like I see budgeting but it's wonderful that that in that sense black holes are just like any other stars

► 02:08:19

you know you can orbit around them you don't not everything falls into a black hole because you're far enough away you can just do an orbit right like a planet around the sun the sun is attracting us but the Earth doesn't fall into it at least not a normal amount of time do you anticipate that that's something that we might try to do in the future as send a satellite into the black hole first we have to find a black hole well the one in the center of our galaxy browse well that you know how long it takes to get to the synagogue our galaxy is 40 the center of our galaxy is 40,000 light-years away so it's so you got it's a long experiment

► 02:08:51

yeah yeah it's unfortunate and now we're need a National Science Foundation under Trump or anyone else that's gonna fuck up on that what about having we'd be interested if we could send a lot Congress to explore what the what it's like in the center of the black hole that would be a solution yeah maybe sue them all up yeah suitable up go boldly go where no man or woman has gone before what about black holes that are not attached to galaxies well we don't see them

► 02:09:17

we don't I mean right now we have the I don't believe anyone's because here's how you How do you see a black hole you have to see this star circling around exactly right it's the only way you can see that so those just theoretical the stars that aren't the black holes rather that aren't attached as well I mean and not only the theoretical I think very few people argue there are many such things mmm because we tend to think that stars conglomerate around around regions where there's dominant Mass right they collapse and so while it's true that the

► 02:09:47

these are just the tip of a dominant of a cosmic Iceberg most of the massive galaxies isn't stars or black holes it's his stuff called Dark Matter What is that it's tough you know degrees Tyson try to explain to me and I don't get in there either well it's look it's really quite simple when we Way galaxies which we can do by seeing how fast the stars move around them we find out that they weigh a lot more than can be counted by counting all the stars so the dominant Mass doesn't shine

► 02:10:13

we call that dark matter not too surprising and what we have discovered and this is the surprising part is we can estimate how much normal matter there is an by normal matter I mean the stuff made of protons and neutrons the same as you and me

► 02:10:28

and when we add up how much dark matter we see in the universe there's a heck of a lot more of that than can be accounted for by the total number of protons and neutrons in the universe and that means that we think the dark matter is made of some new type of elementary particle something that was created in the early history of the universe that's different the normal matter that's not too surprising either because the early Universe was lots of energy around and if their new Elementary particles that are stable it's not too surprising that there's lots of them around and if they don't interact with light we wouldn't see them

► 02:10:57

in fact not only is that reasonable but we cannot understand how galaxies would form if it weren't for dark matter we can do the calculations and show that if it were if they're the Dark Matter weren't made of stuff that's different than protons and neutrons there would not have been enough time in the history of the universe for Galaxies to form therefore that's really strong evidence that that stuff must be there in a must not be made of protons and neutrons because we're proof you and I the

► 02:11:27

galaxies formed it's so fascinating that there's this element that's a huge part of the universe itself the word not really exactly sure what it is yeah isn't that great it's amazing it's amazing there are Mysteries what what what unfortunately people get told is it makes it seem like you know science was done and it's all done it was done by dead white men 200 years ago that's not the Mysteries continue that's why it's The Greatest Story Ever Told so far that's why young kids should be interested in science because life is full of mysteries

► 02:11:57

and we've learned so much about the universe but it gets more mysterious and more exciting and every time we open a new window on the universe were surprised that's why we got to keep looking out and not looking in tell me about hyper Nova's hyper Nova's I watched a science documentary freak me out about how when they first started measuring gamma ray bursts into the unit they thought that was Wars going on between alien races well the point is that you know how you know there are these things called gamma ray bursts and what they

► 02:12:27

gamma rays are extremely energetic forms of light if you think about it okay and there among other things are emitted in nuclear weapons explosions okay and and you know how they were discovered it's really neat it's one of the few examples of your defense money well spent in my butt but maybe not the few but now that we're you'll get lots of 8 ml so like that anyway so there were these satellites that were designed to go up that were Earth monitoring to look for gamma rays why because we were looking for nuclear weapons

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opens explosions to see if the Soviets or some other country we're having nuclear weapons was one way to monitor what year was this run all this was these satellites were put up in the 60s and 70s so this is around the time they did that operation starfish Prime where they detonate a nuke into the into the atmosphere of the magnetosphere probably I don't know but I honestly don't know the answer that question but but the point is they were used by the as monitoring systems to look for nuclear weapons explosions and then these things are true looking downward

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discover these get these short bursts of gamma rays which would be a potential signature of nuclear weapons explosions but they discovered they weren't coming from Earth and then they discover they're coming from everywhere in the cosmos and that's how they were discovered these devices were monitoring the Earth looking for nuclear weapons explosions and then saw them out in space how many of them were well they're everywhere there's millions of them and they happened there one second two seconds one minute long burst that are incredibly energetic emitting more energy than the

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the son named it in his lifetime and it's Lifetime and they're happening all the time they're happening all the time you know why because the great thing about the universe is it's big and it's old and therefore a rare events happen all the time let me give you an example

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stars explode and it's good for us at stars exploded about this book because it's because every atom in your body and every atom in my body was made inside stars that eventually explode well how do we know that because in the Big Bang the only elements that were created were hydrogen helium and a little bit of lithium okay but the importance was for some people it seems important but the rest of us rest of us carbon nitrogen oxygen iron all the stuff that makes us human was only created in the fiery furnaces in the cores of stars

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how could it get into your my body because there were stars that were kind enough to explode so as I once said and some people put on T-shirts now so forget Jesus the stars died so we could be born okay but but here's the deal stars explode about once every hundred years per Galaxy so in our galaxy once every hundred years is Stars explodes there been about two hundred million stars explode in the 14 billion years or 12 billion years since our Galaxy's been around and that's produced the raw materials at four and a half billion years ago coalesced

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to form our sun and the planets and the uni so all the atoms in your body balm through stars and been through the most intense explosion that we know of a nature a supernova and every atom in your body is experienced it maybe more than once because to get to the amount of carbon nitrogen and oxygen and that's in our bodies it had to be recycled many times so the atoms in your left hand may have been inside a different star than your right hand you're really Stardust we're all Stardust we're really connected the cosmos and really interesting and important ways we literally were created by

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ours that's great thing but but that's not the point I wanted to make the point I wanted to make was stars explode once per hundred years per Galaxy we use Supernova as a way to probe the universe how can we do that if one if we're looking at galaxies and one star explodes every hundred years in the Galaxy how can we use them as probes well as I say there's one way is to sign a graduate student each Galaxy you know PHT period can be about a hundred years and if they die students are cheap so you can do one or

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or we use an immense this fact that the universe is big and old if you take your hands up tonight and and weren't in you know Los Angeles where you could see the stars and held a dime sized made a dime sized hole and looked up at a dime-size dark region of the universe you know where you didn't see any stars if you had a telescope that is a big as the telescope say we haven't chili you'd see a hundred thousand galaxies

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a hundred thousand galaxies in that small region then if one star explodes every hundred years per Galaxy if you work out how many stars will I see explode tonight you find out you'll see two or three stars explode just in that dime-sized yeah because the universe is big and old and rare events happen all the time and that's what makes the universe so exciting because now we can use Supernova to study the universe because our stromer's write proposals and say tonight I mean use the Hubble Space Telescope to look at this region and I'm going to see three stars explode

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wow isn't that amazing that is amazing yeah it's just the and isn't it a shame that more people don't realize that because that's as amazing as you know as anything I mean that's the kind of thing that makes like oh wow that's that's neat and as I say it's neat to see a great movie to but that they're all together science is fun and neat and interesting and you don't have to be a scientist to find it amazing yeah that is about as amazing as it gets I think we don't we have a real issue I think with cities

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where light pollution prevents people from seeing y'all amazing stars in fact there's a lot of astronomers who are doing in fact active work to try and reduce light pollution in cities near telescopes yeah and there's other I mean the Arecibo radio telescope is Anime if you've never been down to Puerto Rico for exam it's beautiful it was actually would have seen it into James Bond movies because they made it into the like the layer of you know pictures of it and the layer of some crazy evil scientist and it I've been there a few times and it's amazing because it's this

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thousand meter wide net of of wires in a natural sort of volcanic ash volcanic Campground is really beautiful and there's jungle growing underneath it the I've walked underneath it and here she betrayed us cup is amazing because it it because it's so big it allows us to measure lots of neat things in the universe fact you could measure a light bulb on Pluto if there was a light bulb we're looking at the picture of it now wow it's amazing it's amazing and you can't even get the sense of the size of it necessarily from

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that and it's all wires are wires it's not solid its wires because it's only measuring radio waves and the wavelength is large compared to the spacing between the wires you don't need something solid right okay so they were worried and this is a real example they're looking for among other things a frequency of radiation which is ubiquitous in the universe that is emitted by hydrogen it was the first sort of thing that people use to do radio radio astronomy hydrogen mitts a has a characteristic

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frequency of omission of radio waves due to due to What's called the hyperfine splitting in hydrogen and it and so people have said you know what that would be a wonderful frequency for for aliens to commute if they really want to show if they're smart enough to know that How the Universe works that's a universal frequency that's everywhere because hydrogen is the dominant kind of matter and it all it always emits radiation at that frequency okay it's thousand 40 megahertz I think is the frequency okay yellow

► 02:19:34

you know again I could be wrong but something like that and but they're worried because there was nearby dressy about there was an evangelist who had a huge radio station and wanted to broadcast to the continental United States his Evangelical message and he was going to basically broadcast at a frequency that would mean that Eric's people could work anymore speaking of light pollution we talk about light pollution that was radio pollution and in this case it was pollution in many ways because everything he said was polluting but but

► 02:20:04

and a family they've managed to be able to fix that but there would have been one of the most amazing windows on the universe that would have been blocked out by radio light just like from an evangelist yeah that's very ironic it isn't it isn't it it's very ironic it's I think it's very symbolic of many things wow

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that is fascinating moment of silence because it's so amazing yeah well it's confusing well yeah but that's okay being used is that I told you being wrong or confused as with the best part know that I and I can get it I get it now when you talk about the vastness of space and you talk about space being 14 billion or whatever it is you're 13.8 billion years old plus or minus a little bit what's the going theory about what was going on before that well I

► 02:20:54

book about it first of all but but called Universe from nothing the point is we don't simple answer is we don't know right because the at the instant of the Big Bang the whole universe was contained in a region where you'd have to understand gravity is a quantum mechanical force to really understand what was happening and we don't have a quantum theory of gravity so it's okay to say we don't know but we can say what plausibly was the case and one possibility in the possibility that looks most plausible that I talk about is our universe spontaneously came into being

► 02:21:24

from Nothing by Quantum fluctuations a space and time that did not exist so our space and our time didn't exist and there was no matter in the universe and it suddenly popped into existence and one of the neat things is if you add up the total energy of all the stuff on our universe it adds up to zero as far as we can tell what 0 what does that house that it because it because gravity allows things to have positive energy as well as negative energy you add it all up and our universe looks like it has total Energy Zero but I know you're shaking your head but that's the neat thing is I'm trying to

► 02:21:54

yeah I'm lose if you were going to create a universe from nothing what would you make the total energy of the universe easy once you realize total energy thing why would you once you realize the total energy the universe can be zero then the possibility that it comes from nothing becomes plausible because if it doesn't you may need a deity to create everything but it turns out you can create a hundred billion galaxies each containing a hundred billion stars without violating energy conservation okay and that isn't that it's the ultimate free lunch as Alan Guth would say and it's amazing

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if that's possible now can we prove that that happened no but everything we can point to makes it plausible in fact you can ask the following question what would the universe look like today that was created that that arose spontaneously from nothing 13.8 billion years ago

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just by known laws of physics or at least plausible laws of physics what would it look like today if that if that was the requirement and the answer is that we look just like the universe in which we live in now does that prove that that's what happened nobody makes it plausible and it makes a plausible without Supernatural Shenanigans and anytime you can get rid of God it's a good thing but isn't something out of nothing Supernatural shinano because it happens all the time right you know I this example I've been talking about to a few times today to people the lights in the studio

► 02:23:14

the the lights above us our head so what happened so electrons change energy levels in atoms and they emit photons where were the photons before they were minted they weren't in the atoms where were they they didn't they didn't exist they were spontaneously graded so it turned on by the lights we know when you trust God no they're spontaneously created because there's no cause for any of them to each atom spontaneously decays into a different level because quantum mechanics says that these things can happen spontaneously and when it does a photon is

► 02:23:43

added from nothing so here's what I was getting at yeah what is the difference between this infinitely dense small point that the Universe came out of and the center of a black hole The Event Horizon of a black hole well another event horizon is in the center it's the outside of the vehicle the will the the answer is there is no different no difference no their singularities were the laws of physics as we know them break down is it possible that inside of each one of those black holes is the birth of the universe maybe is that how we were no we came out I know

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I think it's I think it's more likely to Quantum Mechanics just burped us out / where Cosmic burp much like you know I mean I think it's great I don't know if you know saw in my in my jacket which I don't know where I put it but it was here somewhere probably outside I had this Flying Spaghetti Monster because I love this feeling strange monster guess because he boiled so that we could be alive today but it's it's it's it's you know it's just like pissing people off who me but this so

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This infinitely dense point of 13.8 billion years ago this whatever it was is this something out of nothing Point what are your thoughts about before that well here's the thing that you're going to hate okay one possibility which is quite possible Applause won't if our space suddenly popped out of nothing Einstein tells us that space and time are together we live in a four-dimensional universe so space began at that instant sort of time so there was no before the question

► 02:25:13

a good question time didn't exist to our universe came into existence so to ask the question what was before is not a good question so time didn't exist before 13.8 billion years it could be that if our universe is all there is and that we happen to think by the way is not likely but if it is then it doesn't make sense to ask the question what was before because time didn't exist it sounds like a cop-out and it kind of is but it may also be true so and if there's no before then all of our Notions of causality go out the window because we all depend

► 02:25:43

not before and after to decide causes and effects but if there was no before then we have to change our Notions of a cause and effect and that's awful but hey that's what we call learning what about the idea is that the universe is in a constant state of contraction no it isn't an Chan and well I mean some people think that no it's not been abandoned some physicists still argue that it's there's a cycle because it looks nice and they are but I think most of most people I mean there's some people who are arguing for that do you I don't find that picture something new well I think they're trying to tie up their ignorance and something that

► 02:26:14

any more plausible in the picture that expands forever and as far as we could tell the most likely possibilities that are universe will expand forever but to make you a little bit happier it's quite possible the best pictures that we have of our of the early universe is that we actually our universe isn't unique isn't alone that there are many universes we call it a Multiverse and that at any instant in time in kind of a cosmic super time there's always Universe being born so that that Multiverse might be

► 02:26:43

might be infinite and eternal where are they outside of our universe how's that even possible of course it's possible I understand I'm not questioning it okay no you're like to use but first of all the simplest possibility is that they're outside the region we can see right for for for example the edges of our visible universe space is expanding faster away from us than light because you know we taught you in school nothing can travel faster than light you may remember that from right we lied well no you have to

► 02:27:13

is it more carefully like a lawyer nothing can travel through space faster than light but space can do whatever the hell it wants so locally as I told you that radio host is is at rest they're not moving and the other end of the galaxy to the other than the visible universe and we're rest but the space between us is expanding so that galaxies like a surfer is being carried away from us faster than light relative to the water the surfer is moving

► 02:27:39

right but relative to the shore the surfer is right right okay so this this galaxy is not moving relative to its local surroundings but it's moving away from us faster than light and like a surfer and undertow they can swim really fast in the water but if the waters for moving away from the shore then let me make back to the shore right and so that Galaxy the light from that Galaxy is traveling through space at the speed of light but if the space in between us and the galaxies moving faster than light then the poor light can ever make it to us

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we call that a horizon

► 02:28:11

wow so the space is traveling too far for the light to reach us so our past the trip a pace is too fast so the light can't catch up with the expansion of space and it never gets dust and that that Galaxy disappears from our causal Horizon we call it will never be able to see it will never be able to interact with it will never be okay and it could be that that there are different regions so far away from us where space is expanding faster than light

► 02:28:42

which which have a very different history than our own so there could be space could be infinite just our simple unit space that we know of and love could be infinite in extent and different regions of that space had different histories and some of those regions everything we can see we know emerged from a single point okay we can tell that we can tell that by measuring the Big Bang expansion of everything we see and working backwards and the University of our visible Universe was once smaller and smaller

► 02:29:11

if we go back in time we can actually follow the laws of physics back to the earliest moments of the Big Bang until those laws break down and we can make predictions about the universe would look like all those predictions agree exactly with the observations we make which tell us that that picture works but another region if you wish could have come from a different Big Bang but is that another universe or is it a part of the universe that we can see here's how we've changed and this is semantics but non-trivial semantics namely when I was a kid Universe meant everything everything right but we say that's a pretty

► 02:29:41

stupid definition a better definition is an operational one Universe means that region of space with which at one time we could have communicated or one time in the future even if the future is infinite we might communicate with because that describes the region of space where cause and effect works some measurable distance yes and so that are we think of a universe as that region which could throw out which everything could affect everything else all timidly in an inn

► 02:30:11

a long time and in that picture universes can be restricted in size and then other regions which could never have affected us and which will never affect us in the future we call other universes and when and now there are many different versions of a Multiverse but that's a simplest version and this picture we call inflation which you know I talked I just did two little Clips associated with the new book one force for Papa

► 02:30:41

publisher and one was for big think one is a the universe in under 2 minutes so you can look up online look for Lawrence Krauss explains the universe in under 2 minutes where I talk about this Cosmic expansion and how it might mean there's a Multiverse but the other is explain the universe in terms of this beer bottle that I talked about you earlier so you can that's a video you can watch that but in this theory of inflation which actually says our universe could the quality the qualities that we see of our universe can best be explained if some early time in the history of the universe when it was a billionth

► 02:31:11

of a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a second old it had a huge expansion suddenly and increased in size by 30 orders of magnitude in size in a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a second which is by the way particle physics suggests is highly plausible even though okay and then and then and then it would produce a universe that looks more or less like we look like you look like and and and and it's right now the only explanation of what of how that would cause the universe to

► 02:31:41

look like what it looks like but the neat thing about inflation is it's Eternal so inflation that puffing up and in our universe and then boom a hot big bang followed it okay so the region Universe Universe puffed up by huge amount then all of that energy which was stored in empty space got released like the beer bottle and we got a hot big bang and the rest is history but that's locally but somewhere else between us and their space is still expanding exponentially

► 02:32:10

and faster and faster and faster and only maybe somewhere else today boom like an ice crystal forming boom that that region of space is suddenly left inflation and maybe a guilt the gazillion years in the future of the be another region of space that's expanding away from us so much faster than light so we'll never know about it we're suddenly that region leaves inflation and boom Another hot big bang happens and it turns out in each of those hot big bangs after the inflation ends depending upon How It Ends the laws of physics could be different in that universe

► 02:32:40

and that's what we tend to think it's quite likely that there are many many separate regions of space and and in fact it's Eternal so such regions are forming eternally for all time and and and there are hot big bangs happening in many regions and the properties of each of those regions whether they're conducive to forming galaxies and stars and planets and people may be different so we could say logically in that picture that the reason the universe looks like the way it does is because we're here to

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it oh my God we should leave it at that okay we should close with that that is the mind blower of God and blow right okay okay wow I'm glad I wore you out and not the other way around was amazing thank you so much that fun I'm fascinated against two and a half hours man just okay bye good thanks wow thank you for you and me and my flown by I don't know how the list Rafael fussing man that that was a mind-blower okay thanks Greatest Story Ever Told so far it's available now you can get it in audio books on you can get it on

► 02:33:39

on iTunes in an audiobook form as well thank you very much I really really appreciate it's been great to finally get to talk to each other and start to you to really appreciate that thank you thank you ladies and gentlemen for tuning in to the podcast and thank you to our sponsors thank you to caveman coffee for caffeinated us through this wonderful journey of the Mind whoo my brain is gonna be blown for quite a few days now we have to think about something I'm gonna well I'm gonna listen to that one I'm listening that one several times because there was a bunch of things that he said that I was like wait what the fuck did you just say whoa

► 02:34:09

thanks to caveman coffee go to caveman coffee co.com and use the code word Rogan to save 10% thanks also to Squarespace for a free trial and 10% off your first purchase go to squarespace.com /jo thank you to my all-time favorite underwear go to me undies.com forward slash Rogan and you will get 20% off your first pair that's me undies.com forward slash Rogan thank you to Blue Apron delicious meals that you can

► 02:34:39

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► 02:35:09

dudes a four-week trial plus Postage and a digital scale without long-term commitments come on kids that's stamps.com click on the microphone type in JRE that's it thank you so much appreciate the fuck Eddie people I hope you enjoyed that podcast as much as I did see you soon much love Papa