Elon Musk thinks we definitely could be, and it seems he is not alone. The idea that we might simply be products of an advanced post-human civilisation, that are simply running a simulation of our universe and everything it contains, has taken hold over the last few years. Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined on stage by comedian Phill Jupitus, Philosopher Professor Nick Bostrom and Neuroscientist Professor Anil Seth to ask what the chances are that are living in some Matrix like, simulated world and more importantly, how would we ever know?
Tagged with “universe” (56)
The Institute of Arts and Ideas: A Goldilock’s World | Chiara Marletto, Bernard Carr, Massimo Pigliucci
Copernicus and Darwin taught us to be skeptical of feeling we were special. Yet from the size of the electron to the cosmological constant our universe is strangely fine-tuned for life. Is this a spectacularly fortuitous accident? Has the universe been tailored for us or do the theories just make it look that way?
New York philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, M-Theorist and author of Universe or Multiverse? Bernard Carr, and Oxford constructor theorist Chiara Marletto wonder why we are here.
Nobel physicist Frank Wilczek sees beauty as a compass for truth, discovery, and meaning. His book, A Beautiful Question, is a long meditation on the question: “Does the world embody beautiful ideas?” He’s the unusual scientist willing to analogize his discoveries about the deep structure of reality with deep meaning in the human everyday.
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark about the foundations of science, our current understanding of the universe, and the risks of future breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.
Big discovery last week. Very big, in the black hole business. Astronomers have detected an extremely massive black hole. Wildly huge. With a mass equivalent to 12 billion of our suns. All the big galaxies, our own, the Milky Way included, have black holes at their core. Ours is only 4 million times the mass of the sun, versus 12 billion in this new discovery. And this giant black hole dates back to the very early era of the universe. And this: this black hole is super-luminous. 40,000 times as bright as our galaxy. This hour On Point: Black hole mania. And we will remember Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock.
A conversation with Dr Jill Tarter on the past, present and future for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
In March astronomers in the BICEP2 collaboration announced they had found gravitational waves from the Big Bang. But now the evidence is being questioned. Dr Lucie Green reports.
With hundreds of Earth-like planets discovered over the past few years, it’s fair to say we’re on the verge of finding alien life. Two new programs at NASA hope to find and analyze thousands more of these exoplanets, as they’re called. Scientists working on the Transiting Exoplanet Surveying Satellite (TESS) and the James Webb Space Telescope say there’s a very real chance of finding extraterrestrial life within the next two decades. So, if we’re about to meet our extraterrestrial neighbors, let’s get to work on some opening lines. What if we’re really not alone?
- David Latham, Astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics,
- Dimitar Sasselov, Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University, director of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative,
- Jason Wright, Professor of Astronomy at Penn State, expert in the search for advanced extraterrestrial civilizations,
- Sarah Rugheimer, PhD student at Harvard University studying the atmospheres of exoplanets.
All kinds of excitement over potential life in space in the last week. Light years away – maybe, but beguilingly – on a planet that looks amazingly like earth. Squint and you can picture Earth-like oceans and land out there. And much closer to home, on a moon in the rings of Saturn. Icy and cold on the outside. But inside, evidence of an underground ocean in space. Sending geysers to the surface. Lighting up astro-biologists’ fondest dreams. Maybe teeming with life. This hour On Point: the buzz over life in space, maybe on an Earth-twin way out there, maybe on a moon close to home. And the push to learn more.
Carolyn Porco, leader of the imaging science team on the Cassini mission. Director of CICLOPS, the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations, at the Space Science Institute. (@CarolynPorco)
Chris McKay, senior scientist at the Space Science and Astrobiology Division at the NASA Ames Research Center.
Carl Murray, professor of mathematics and astronomy at the Queen Mary University of London.
In the beginning was the Bang. We’ve got visible proof of it now, thanks to blockbuster discoveries made at Harvard and predicted at MIT. But are our heads too cluttered with creation myths, and the matters of the day, to come to grips with the beginning of everything? We’re clearing our heads to listen to the wisdom of the physicists, in their words and images, to get to the bottom of some pretty basic questions.
• Prof. Alan Guth, the theoretical physicist at MIT who predicted cosmic inflation more than thirty years ago; • Prof. Max Tegmark, at MIT, the specialist on the cosmic microwave background; • Prof. Robert Kirshner, the observer-physicist at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Clowes Professor of Science.
Page 1 of 6Older