146: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe

Today it’s an honor to have Dr. Sean Carroll on the podcast. Dr. Carroll is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. Recently, Carroll has worked on the foundation of quantum mechanics, the arrow of time, and the emergence of complexity. He has been awarded prizes and fellowships by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, among others. Dr. Carroll has given a TED talk on the multiverse that has more than 1.5 million views, and he has participated in a number of well-attended public debates concerning material in his latest book, which is entitled “The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself.”   - The meaning of “post-existentialism”   - What is “poetic naturalism”?   - What is the fundamental nature of reality?   - Do “tables” and “chairs” really exist?   - The difference between rich ontology and sparse ontology   - The Bayesian probability of the existence of God   - How the universe evolved   - The analogy between psychological entropy and naturalistic entropy   - Can we think about the brain in useful terms entropically?   - In what sense do we have free will?   - How hard is the hard problem of consciousness?   - The importance of “existential gratitude”   - The link between quantum mechanics and consciousness   - Is there life (consciousness) after death?   - How can we create purpose, meaningfulness, mattering, morality, and ethics in a natural world?

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