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/
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Viable, it's easy! It's flexible, it's convenient and it's available. Twenty four slash: seven, unlike the post office. Ladies and gentlemen, click print mail and you're done, never go to the post office again: go to stamps dot, com click on the microphone top of the home, page and type in J r E, that stamps dot com and enter J r e and get your four week trial, plus postage and a digital scale without long term commitments, stamps, dot, com, click on the microphone type in J R E. My guess today is a real treat. It's a man that I've been a fan of for a long time. He is a theory Google physicists and Cosmologia Sts and he's just brilliant. We had a fantastic conversa, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed talking to him, give it up for Lawrence Krauss
check it out Rogan experience podcast by night crowds? How are you, Sir Great great to be here? I am 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 thirty or forty times, try to figure out what that mean. And how that works and what it'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 central to the way we think about the world. Nowadays I thought I gotta try and find it, and I was, I spent ice, broke my own brain trying to think of ways to explain it and I figured people wouldn't as much time as you did to doing it is so it's so subtle that it's that many, that even physicists have a hard time in some ways, grass being the implications of, but it's so central the way we think about the universal out. If I don't include it,
the enquiring mind like you than it was then I feel bad, but is so baffling it, but you know what it's one of the things that when I write books I write. I do most things from his self in a way and every book I write, I usually learn something and always renew explaining stuff. You would suddenly most teachers say the first time they enter. Then 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 science and she kept understanding it, and then I came up with this explanation of all these chess boards, which is still subtle, but I realized It was kind of neat because, when I developed this explanation, in for great summer. I did not only understood in a new way, but I realized Gee. I now understood physically, if I'd been had this explanation before I could have connected this Higgs mechanism and all the things I only see mathematically all come out of the of the picture I give so I love that I would it's a new way for me to think about the world that I did well most of what you guys do is
It's like another language, yeah to someone like myself, and what what this seems to be this gauge symmetry seems to be is like a very complicated word in an alien language, yeah everything it is, but it nevertheless- it is so central is. If you can picture the fact that it's fundamental to nature and if we really want to understand nature at some Well, you got to grapple with it. You know it's we're stuck with the world the way it is It would be great if it wasn't. It was a lot easier, but would 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 so far 'cause, it's bizarre and the fact that it's bizarre and we come this far. Is it raising yeah. I mean it's just amazing. We could have come this far in a few one hundred years and it's kind of sad that people don't realize because they got stuck at all this myth and superstition. In 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 I can see you, you realize it is kind of magic it well. It seems like magic, but the fact that that we get it at some. People is remarkable 'cause it with the other thing I find that makes it magic is when you realize that the world we experience is such an illusion yeah, that's a real world, is so different and- and I love telling the story of how got there because you see scientists are biased and prejudiced and have you know they. They know where they're going when it's even when wrong and but science can overcome those biases and prejudices and I guess, kicking and screaming in the right direction, and that's why stories need, but it's also lately I've been thinking in terms of politics. Why it's also need because we need that through the crap that we're hearing about in Washington the saying the same scientific methods that you of skeptical inquiry of
alliance, an empirical evidence of testing of looking at many sources. All those things are so essential. For the working order, ocracy but they're the same tools that have led us to from just beginning to under and how balls fall when you let them go to understanding the inner, kings of atoms and nuclei and how the universe came to be, and why we're here I just find 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 two thousand years ago never changes 'cause. It was just as boring, then, as it is now, and this one keeps changing and we're surprised every day. Well, I think one of the, it's important, he said, is that scientists sometimes have ego problems and they have an idea where it's going, even if the evidence disproves them, but that science brexit. So I think that, like using that explanation are 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. But for me it was interesting 'cause I really had to learn. I thought I knew the history, but of course, when you write something down here, you suddenly as you don't and I I had to learn it more, and you want to take some of these people shake him and say: look the solutions right here. You've got it. Why do you waiting twenty minutes twenty years? looking in the wrong direction. The example I was just thinking The other day when 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 you are supposed to I'm going to ruin it for you and all your listeners if they haven't probably seen where you're supposed to count the basketballs and see many people are and there's a guy walking. In the ape suit and a girl And you never see him 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 it. 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 once the good thing about scientists, the good side Is there a 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 just yeah there's these things we are central to our being. But ultimately realize were wrong and willing to change our minds. That's the difference between science and religion. Really. Is that yeah we have biases yeah 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 neat now people are listening. This is probably going. What is gauge symmetry dude you just passed over that, and you said it was crazy. Is there a way that you could possibly just
well, I rise. Might yes, and I'm sure I'll give I'll we'll try we'll see how we do okay, so so it turns out that that that there's a fundamental principle in nature which we which really was discovered by this wonderful woman. Mathematician I mean Arthur, who was who wasn't even allowed to get a job is she because she was a woman in at the turn of the century, but she discovered so these things. We say and we tell kids. Unfortunately, schools She is conserved and momentum is conserved. It sounds like the ten commandments like we come up with them, because we like them Now we understand them differently. We understand that everything that is that doesn't change in the world is due to a fundamental mystery of nature, so energy, conserved, because I understand the laws of physics, don't change overtime. So as long as you can test that the laws
physics sorta same tomorrow as they are today, then we know energies concerned. It's not something we take on faith. It's a mathematical consequences of that momentum. Conservation is a consequence of the fact that the laws of physics don't change in place. The place that the same in this studio here as they would be if we're having this conversation in New York. That seems reason, and she showed mathematically it's the case. So there's a there's, a famous Everyone's experience is, who know, learned any physics conservation of charge. You know the electric charge, Jenny system doesn't change magically overtime, that's a fundamental property of electricity and magnetism. You got certain going to charge of 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 negative negatively charged, but you mean anything 'cause, I could've called them positively charged. It's just an arbitrary definition. If I changed
every negative charge in the world to positive charge and every positive charged to negative charge. Everything would work the same way. A symmetry of nature represents something doesn't change about nature when you make a change in definition so making every calling, electrons positively charged protons negatively charged would not make the world differences and arbitrary name martians could call electrons positively charged and protons negatively charged is nothing fundamentally important about the word positive charge. It doesn't mean any different than a negative, so I could change every right now. I can make all I could change the charge on every electron, the universe and flip it it's. Electron is negative Lee now, but now I'm God and I make every electron positively charged every proton negatively charged. Nothing about the laws of physics will change, I don't know
Why would why would it change me does? Is their function of them being positive or negative? We don't know it's just a name. That's why it's like it's like a calling that I can call on me to down and down up, and it would make it as long as it's a noise you make with your mouth yeah, exactly it's it's sort, so the name I give it is irrelevant. Okay, so it's not like you would change the actual function. Electron? No, no, exactly! I call it it it. 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, right, electrically, negative charged particles repel right, but look if I made the book to posit charged particles. It also repel so so the so. The physical consequences would not change at all. Depending on how I named them, I see. Ok, now, the example I used in the book to try and sort of describe, that is a chess board. You got white squares and black squares and you can you play with the white judgment of the web. If I changed all the white squares into black squares and I
Okay to the board by ninety degrees, it would look identical and if I change the the black players to white players, away plays a black beard plays a game of chess would be identical. Nothing would change about it. So what's white, what's black is kind of arbitrary right? It doesn't matter which is good, because if it kind of wasn't, then chess 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 it's a symmetry of the chess Board and that's like that's like electric charge, white being negative or positive, and black being so, let's say: I'm a white is negative and black is positive If I 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 the rules, wouldn't change
the dynamics. Everything would remain the same about the universe so that you could sort of see. Even that is now So as I can tell from looking at your face, it's already not so easy, but but you couldn't sort of accept that, yes, okay, okay, that's the easy part! Okay, so here's what gauge symmetry says man. This is really weird. I can actually do better than that. I can arbitrarily change each white Square in a chess board. Black square. I can choose randomly which white scares to change the black squares, and I can still the game of chess the same. If I just have a rule book and the rebel tells me or if you're on that square, you can do what you could have done if it was a white square, So I have the rule book. Then it doesn't matter what colors squares are. If I know I was in the square that to be white, but I called black and I look at it say: ok, my night can do
this and that square, but it couldn't do that. So I have a rule book, then what then I'm arbitrarily free to change the color of each square on a chess board. As long as a rule book tells me what I've done right. That's that's electromagnetism because it turn without electromagnetism as a symmetry. That says, you know what I could change the definition of the charge on electron here, but in the next room differently. So I could call this electron positive and when negative and it wouldn't change anything as long as they a rule book. That told me but I made that change and how and how the electromagnetic interaction would be the same as long as I I'm free to change the definition of what I call positive and negative charge locally, not globally. That means I can do it here in there as long as ever rule book. That says, you know what that electron used to be negative. So it'll still well this electron here, even though I call positive, and I call that negative I've changed locally. The definition
also change the rules. I understand that ok now and the need for the rulebook. 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 call that a function 'cause of function is a number or a rule at each point in space, a function at space is exactly that. Well, it turns out the function that does. That is the electromagnetic field. If you ask what would be the mathematical critics of a quantity that would make sure the rules made the same, no matter what I called an electron place to place, and you ask how could write it down mathematically, who would have exactly the mathematical form of the electromagnetic field, the thing that we call the electric field or magnetic field the mathematics of it is precisely fixed by being able to allow
just 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 drive by the mathematics of the rulebook is prescribed and the mathematics that rule turns magically almost to be exactly the mathematics of Maxwell's away, which are the equations of electromagnetism, here's it gets squirrelly for me. Ok, why would you do that? Why would you do change the definitions, why would you need that rulebook? Well, because it I mean what
says: is it nature somehow, as the symmetry it doesn't depend? What we you don't want to, but it's his 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, Feinstein told us. You know that length and timer kind of relative to bait. They depend upon the observer and, and is there a general to be actually said, I can define locally what my coordinate system is. What my length is, what my time as I can to find that arbitrarily locally and and it did may differ from place to place my rulers. Differ from place to place, but the war, but the universe doesn't care, because is this thing called the gravitational field that takes into account of that and nature? Has that symmetry? So it doesn't matter if I change the rule book. If I change the what I define as space and time locally, the what the universe behaves in
exactly the same. So when you say my symmetry, do you mean essentially there's a balance that there's always going to be an equal numbers of negatives and positives and the change? That's the functions of each one. Well, it balances itself out as well. That's sort of a consequence. It says that the universe can't be charged and ultimately but It really says that that's that's. A quality of nature that nature doesn't care about, namely that's you that's a label nature has a symmetry in physics. Symmetries are things when you make changes, then the object. Doesn't change, take a sphere. Okay, a sphere. You can rotate. It.
It looks like this weird, no matter what rotation you make, that's a symmetry of the sphere. That's why it's so beautiful in in mathematically nature's the same way. I can take another quantity, I'll call electric charge at this point, and I can change it if you want to say, make a rotation and some internal space, ECHO Madge, an internal space of positive and negative charges was part of some continue. My make rotation and nature doesn't care about it. It's a symmetry of the equations that govern nature, but it turns out the this is important. Let me step back again: 'cause your face tells it all I wish people could
they can yeah, yeah and and, and so what we've discovered is that the playing field determines the rules, the characteristics of the playing field to terminal, if baseball, if you played baseball- and they were five bases instead of four- the rules to be different, if the distance between home played first base was a mile, the rules would be different. If you had twenty five out of fielders in out in out field, it would be different, okay, so the playing field determined The rules right you baseball, would be very different game if it were played on a field. That's different. What we've discovered in nature as we used to think the forces were kind of mental! You know Newton told us have goes MA and all that we discovered is the thing that really
trains. What can happen 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 that playing field? In fact, in baseball, the fact that looks like a diamond is diamond is a symmetry right. I can in the playing field, looks the same. I could call 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, sort of determines the rules of the game. Ok, 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 like electric charges, we've discovered is an arbitrary
locally as well as globally, and that determines the whole nature of the forces that can happen once you say, the lecture charge is an arbitrary thing in nature. Doesn't care or what you call positive and negative. Hero Mars that determines the nature of the force of what we call the electromagnetic force is completely prescribed and it turns out that's true. For all the forces of nature, the nature of gravity is determined, as Einstein showed by the fact that you can change what I define as one meter here and on Mars called one meter. Something else and nature doesn't care what I label as a meter. It turns out gravity takes 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. It's a weird thing, but it's a property of space and time that Einstein discovered for general tv. We discovered it for electromagnetism. It turns out all the forces nature. That same kind of the same kind of mathematical symmetry that there's some quantity, but 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 disk is prescribed. The math math. So form of the equations is prescribed 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 wanted space and the equations don't care that prescribe the form of the equations. They have a very particular form, a unique form, and that unique happens to be the form that that it has. So 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 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 kind of forces the nature that the world blouse when you see that the the that it's fundamental, the symmetry is fundamental? Do you see this image? Do you study like ecosystems to study like I know a but I mean, but do you ever contemplate them when you thinking about theoretical physics, when you
do you ever look at like how these animals sort of stay in balance in these ecosystem master minding their own touch to well, I mean the mathematics of I mean that's the great thing about physics about science in general. It's it's kind of like call, what if it works, you copy it and, and so we often find the same mathematical formalism, white, applied of vastly different systems. So there's a very famous set of equations of predator and prey for ecosystem and and- and you can look at those equations and they're the same kind of equations that apply in many different systems in in in the or in oatmeal boiling, and also it's amazing how the same mathematics appears in very different, systems, and we can therefore use what we learn in one case, to apply to another: that's what we copy it because it works. So broadly. It's amazing that very few equations turn out to be so broadly described, 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 nice thing with plants as well. I mean I mean, like the full system yeah once and it becomes more complicated when you include more variables, but physics, of course, is generally much easier than many ecosystems. That's why do physics is so much easier? It's because it's really the low hanging fruit nature, at least for you. Well, I know, but but for most people? Listen to this is probably a hundred people have driven into trees by now yeah like what in the is this guy talking about his. So I'm glad it's people like you out there that are the only ones. I can feel good that the laws of physics are independent, whether they've run into the trees. Yes, that makes a big I'm sure that gives them greater comfort, yeah. Actually, it's just this study of this is so is 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
I think about it. When the usually thing is that doesn't apply in other areas of actors, so people can be, they don't think they have to be our Clapton's enjoy guitar, music, okay or public or Picasso enjoyed where paintings or or Shakespeare, to enjoy place. But somehow and all of that's taxing in its own way. Okay and the more you, let's, let's take Bach the more you understand, Muse, I'm sure the more you appreciate box Bach and taught as all the different voices, but I can enjoy just listening to it right end and the people say in every other activities. Fine. What comes a science? It's eight! Now it's not easy for me. I can't even touch at all and when I try and do in my books and and if they say look you don't have to master it, but and so you may not not master gates in which the most subtle and comp They did thing in all of modern physics, but you can still, even if you skip that section of the book, there are still things
you can appreciate about how we understand the world that we could appreciate before and have that orgasmic haha experience that hey the world is different than I thought, and that's that's wonderful you can appreciate science without mastering it sure it gates. And things like it are basically mathematical concepts. So talk about them in language without math is always sort of verbose. I think what's important about your book and chapter eleven, I think I think what's what's really important about it is not do you 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 and someone I think, Richard DOT. A few people sit with nicely said about the book that as I and they say they claim design so much that I'm trying to make it simple, but not simpler than
can be yes and I think the right way said well, but I think it's important to do that right, I mean as if it respects the reader, because it doesn't you know it. It's a lucky. You want understand it. Okay, here's! Here's here's what you need to know and understand it, and here's how I can I explain it without math and you can puzzle through it and think about it and eventually maybe get to that a hall stage but- or I could just say you know poof, it all happened. You know and that's 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 it's important to, to be aware that this is going on, because I think for the ask majority of the seven billion people on the planet. This is just unknown.
And yet it's being it's being discovered, it's being contemplated, it's being studied kind. It's a man, it's 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 science is like art, music and literature. It's they all serve. Same purpose. Science also produces technology and somehow people think that's all. Science is good for sure it produces Knowledge is making allowing you- and I have this conversation. People listen as long unite, 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 ourselves, yeah and, and that's what's so wonderful and I I once said that science is kind of what the purpose is ISIS may people uncomfortable, and I thought I felt regretted that for awhile, but it really isn't. If you're never outside your comfort zone, then you're never never grow. I completely agree- and I love that quote in the book. I think that, for for a lot of people, that discomfort is just people are tired
You know they work their jobs, they've got families, they got a lot of stuff to do and something like this comes along. That just like throws a monkey wrench into the gears of the mind yeah. It does, but sometime we want your mind, blown and sometimes you know you can skim over. I try with each time boxes say: ok, so that part didn't get, but you you it's. Like. Suddenly, you won't understand the rest of the book and the stuff is so neat the idea that there's this invisible field everywhere in the universe that changes the way you haven't got there the book yet, but but that changes our picture of the universe. Is amazing and people should not have the opportunity to know, though our picture is shown that we are a cosmic accident that were like an icicle on a window that whose direction, if you lived on that icicle seem very special to you, but is an accident and it turns out the forces of nature are what they are by the same kind of accident, 'cause some field froze in the earlier in some direction. If it had frozen,
the other direction you and I would be having this conversation, that we would be be a different thing. Well, in fact, in most cases you wouldn't even have you and me, because there wouldn't be part they 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 wasn't an accident at some point. What time it was when I created what I mean by accident right, no more of an accident or less of an accident, then I, to go on a window. Now, if you look at icicles on a window with a view, little patterns are in all different directions. Now, there's a local reason. Ultimately, why one icicle forms in a in a given direction, but there's no significance to that. It may have been a dust particle that because that part that you know so this is what I think it's magic, right. There was ultimately some micro, physical reason why that happened, and why oatmeal and oatmeal boils a bubble up occurs in one place and another, 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
designed designed right. Anything is possible in that icicle, okay, and so what? What I'm saying is our universe is the way it is because field frozen a certain direction? Now sure there are laws of physics say the field can freeze in that direction, but it's also laws of physics field could have frozen, maybe in another direction, and if it did, everything would be different. Now what by field how are you defining whether he'll? Well, a field is a? Are you had a you know, take a hit yeah, no, no! No. I was worried about what what with the field is. Well, it's like the electric field. Okay, some quantity, that's defined in each point space and it and the neat thing in particle physics- is every field like in like field. Every field is associate with an elementary particle, so the electric field, it is produced by a coherent state of photons, the part, the ultimate quanta of Elektra mentors in the the the individual particle that are being that are going into your high 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 that are selecting off my eyes, so you can see them. Okay and it turns out, in quantum mechanics every field, which is a point which is a function of points in space track field in this room. There are there's a magnetic field in this room, because, when they're in the in the earth has a magnetic field right, if I put a compass here, will feel the magnetic field. That's because back actually there's this coherent state of photo. Ones 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, which is everywhere in space and happens, to have a very particular configuration and then, when the particles that make your body in 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 be massless, it's
swimming in molasses, if you're swimming in water. You feel pretty light, but if I filled 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 feel like you're way, thousands of pounds we're swimming through molasses. We just don't see it, it's a using 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 we do if that field as a source of particles. If I, as I ff like to say it's cosmic sadomasochism, if I spank the vacuum, if I dump enough energy an empty space at a single point, I should kick out real particles of that field as their. If the Higgs field is there, if I dump enough energy an 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 common. Machine humans have ever built called the large hadron collider the dumps enough energy into a point in space that can we kick out Higgs particles if there really there and you know what they're there on July. Fourth, two thousand and twelve, we announced the discovery of fifty particles that looked and sounded and walked and quack like Higgs and we now have tested the much more produced, many more and their Higgs park. It's gives us evidence that that field exists. It wasn't rageous and audacious claim that the properties of the universe we see are an accident. Due to this background field, that's there and if that background field wasn't there, the world would look, different, it's an amazing claim, but is it a consequence field or accident? Well the properties of the universe weeks There are consequences that field, but that field being there is as much an axe,
it is 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 Termin in one way or another, the field here. Let me give an example that I I'd trying use if I could just got a version of it. Just got went, went online. I used to be a bottle, as 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 I have, and you forgot put the beer in the fridge, so I've done put it in the freezer. Ok, so and then what happens? If we get that it's in the freezer and then and then the next morning discovering the freezer explodes explodes. You got it whi, because really the beer would rather be frozen, but in when it's under pressure and that the bottle with liquid okay. But, for example, if you open the tops of the pressure, is released and suddenly freezes. Okay, the beer is change from one state to another. It's gone from lick.
To solve. When it's gone to solid, it's suddenly releases a lot of energy. Ok, if you wish, you could think of the of the properties of that beer as field, it can either be liquid or solid. Ok and it changes depending on the temperature and the pressure and all the rest turns, the state of the universe, changes as the universe cools, and you can think of that. Higgs, like the as like sort of a cosmic fluid, that's everywhere and, as you know, cool down. Suddenly it found it would rather be in a certain configuration. It would rather be frozen in liquid, ok and it's something numbers that tell you whether it's acting like it's frozen or liquid. Just like I could describe the beer I could define some numbers that would tell me whether there was frozen or liquid and so as the universe cooled that kosmic fluid which is everywhere all these elementary particles. If you wish that are permitting space
suddenly found themselves, preferring as the universe cooled down to be in a certain configuration rather than another configuration ok, then it really is no different than the arbitrary state of an icicle. No exactly it's just essentially as arbitrary. It's not magic, and it's not as if you know, if we in some sense the accidents of. What's 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 every day, if you had a new cold day, the icicle pattern would look different. Okay, it's not as if the day. You have the same eye, skull 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 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 'cause you- and I can have this conversation. So it's a wonderful thing. That is the way it is, and let's celebrate that were that we've evolved and I can still say that word in this country, we've evolved a consciousness so that we can appreciate create all of the wonders of the universe. Let's celebrate that, so it doesn't mean we're meaningless. Just 'cause. The universe has no purpose. We make our purpose in our own life. It means to me in some sense that life is more purposeful. There isn't someone pulling the strings were pulling the strings, and so it's ok 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. The physicist Richard Feynman used to used to go up to people and he used to say you won't believe what happened to me today.
You won't believe, and people say what you say- absolutely nothing, ok, because when things happen, you suddenly their significant you know you have a million crazy dreams and then one night. You dream that your friend is going to breakthrough in the next day. They break their legal. Oh, my god, I'm clairvoyant, you know or you'll say this you'll say you know I just saw a license plate, you wouldn't be If I just saw a license plate, it was J, two four, four thousand seven hundred and ninety six. Can you believe it because you know that's a significant as single this plate. That says one one, one one one one one or or a license plate. That says I am God: ok, they're, all just as significant, but the things that appear to mean something to us, suddenly take on some significance, 'cause we're hardwired to want to believe just like the x files said we want to we all want to believe we hard, but here's the reason. We want to ascribe scribe, meaning to everything, and I think, there's an evolution
The reason for that, for example, if you're an early modern human on the survey in a in Africa. The leaves can be rustling in the trees. Next to you, you can say no reason or you could say, maybe there's a line in there and what happened was so there's a line causing, maybe there's a cause for that happening now that those of our potential ancestors, that said, there's no reason they got eaten the the ones that didn't other ones are reproduced right, right, so in some sense we're kind of hard wired by evolution to want to find purpose. Meaning and everything, but isn't that just recognizing danger or potential danger. Of course it is in that case, but but but but I'm side effect of anti Dissipating danger is to ascribe significance to things that may not you're much luckier. If you
not luckier but you're, much more likely to survive. If you ascribe significance to everything, perhaps in the early days, then, if you ascribe significance nothing but when you say when you're talking about significance, essentially you're talking about divine significance, will talk about some sort of a can be divined significance, but it can just be. You can think more more to it than than we meets the eye right when you talk about clairvoyance or when you're talking about some sort of a divine intervention by a deity yeah, your talking about something powerful. This is the one that is meant to be the leader of this tribe, because these leaders right yeah, but it works at all levels. It works at all levels from the fact that the leaves are rustling. It means a client, but once we have that hard wired thing. Then we want, then our desired Steve continues and and '
chel beings may be found that you know if, if they imposed some meeting on the universe on a universe which otherwise is hostile and dangerous, that may be, it might help find them in tribes that maybe would help might make them happier about being alive early on because they might be so scared of the universe that wants to kill them all the time that it would be bold in them? So there's a obviously in evolutionary purpose to what is religion. 'cause otherwise and religions wouldn't be everywhere right, I mean pretty well all human actions have religious, each one is in distant with every other one, but which is the reason we know that they're probably all wrong, but but it works. The fact that it's universal must me I mean there's some evolutionary utility to believing, but then certain things eventually, even though they work and were useful early on as our human condition changes. They may not be so useful. Well, that seems
could 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 a few human cooperation so I will evolution is now is now counterproductive, but the great thing is we have we have consciousness we have an intellect. So we can actually overcome that evolutionary election by realizing. We have that election as Feynman said, the easiest person to fool is yourself. So if your a scientist, what you have to do is ask yourself: it might believing that 'cause. I want to believe her because there's evidence. So if we constantly are sceptical of ourselves, we no to overcome that ingrained impulse, you have to want to believe that's one of the utilities of science, so I may listen to you and like you, and I may
listen to another radio person, not like them, and I may be there for naturally willing to assume that they are wrong in your right, but I we also say to myself: is it leave the case, or is it just because I like Joe Rogan, I don't like you know when you pick your favorite man right wing, not the right and and and so we should be asking ourselves. Okay, maybe I should go beyond my predilections beyond my biases to ask? why I am sympathetic to what I'm hearing and, if did that in everyday life. I think we cut through the crap more carefully, so science says: look we hardwired to want to have these weird beliefs and it's fine. Maybe some of them are right The only way to know is to test them if we're not willing to test our beliefs and subject them to that. The test of nature, then then we're gonna be diluted and that's the problem with that, the that, with a lot of what's in our government. People think you know what I really want to believe in this absurd story and therefore I refuse to accept.
Evolution if you have, if your MIKE Pence, the vice president country, you say I don't want, 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 into teaching intelligence line and and why because he he did it, it offends his personal faith. Perhaps in might also be a political ploy. It might be uh casinos, a large percentage of the country find comfort in a leader that subscribe it's the same sort of superstitions and they didn't yeah, I I I that could be he did this before he was an international seems a congressman. I suspect he did it. It sounds he believed it, but you're right. He might who knows right, but but the point, is that we should realize that the only that shouldn't. Listen to that kind of nonsense. Right, because we may not want 'cause. There are a lot of people in this country who do think that evolution directly confronts their belief in God, 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 Do your children to withhold evidence about the world really works, because you know you don't have to believe in the big but it really happened. You don't have to believe evolution, but it happened. It's like Philip K, Dick's said the the science fiction. Writer reality is that which continues to exist whether or not you believe in it yeah, ok, and so you may not want to believe in it, but it happened, and and for you to withhold that kind of knowledge from your kids. Because you're worried it's going to affect their faith is, in my opinion, child abuse, because you're entering their capabilities as a adult in a society which highly technological to function effectively. They're doing it because they believe it as well. We believe it's right, I'm not believing they think they're helping their kids, but most of it if you're a parent. I am we've all screwed up our kids right. We all do things for our kids 'cause. We think it's good for them and and sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't. I'm not saying these people are doing it 'cause they want to hurt their children, they
I think somehow that not believing in God makes you a bad person right, but there's no evidence of that, in fact, in fact, it Steve and burger I was a Nobel Prize Winning physicist said. I love it. He he said so. They're good people in the world, they're bad people, good people, the 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 man with no science trying to figure out the world and trying to have some sort of rules like almost like a scaffolding, and to to move to the next. If you see that it exists in so many different cultures, yet it might, have been something along the horse that way with 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 be guided by the worldview of of illiterate peasants in the iron age, peasants, who
I didn't know the earth orbited the sun and wrote down scriptures based on their beliefs. At the time there argued that should guide our life today when we discovered one hundred billion, galaxies in the universe and discovered all this stuff is ludicrous, so you're, absolutely the birth of science. And religion are the same and in fact modern science. Grew out of religion. People point that out, and they send me how dare you talk about religion? You know as being updated science grew out of religion and I say to them: well, that's fine, but children outgrow their parents right so great. No, without religious ideas and all early signs were religious 'cause, it was the only game in town you couldn't be educated, except the church hold 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 was the only game in town so that that caught helped create the birth of modern science. But signs grew it and that's: okay, kids outgrow their parents. Thank goodness! Well, I think. Maybe that might help kids outgrow their parents Why, in the the getting the religion forced down your throat is one of the best ways for kids to for some jets in as they get older, some for some kids, like you and me, but I get lots of letters. You know we made movie called the unbelievers and about which followed Richard Richard Dawkins, I around the world. As we talked about this stuff was nice and maybe- and I and I hope, well made film. I like the film makers who made it, but I found people come up to me I had no idea of this. It's one of the negative aspects of religion that I never appreciated. I have people come up the almost today, I write me and saying you know what I saw a movie and I realized I'm not a bad person for asking and I'm not alone, you know these people from small towns in Georgia. They have no one to talk to they.
So the only ones who is asked the question is God real? Is it ok to not believe in God and there told by everyone else not only will 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 forced down the source. It's really hard when you're a kid you know, and that's, why do think any kind of religion for kids is kind of child abuse, not no matter what, because these con observe a day at and the possible existence of a purpose. The universe are very deep and subtle concept and expect a three year old kid to to to that ran that down a curial kids wrote is unfair because the kid candid so that it ends up being internalized in ways and a lot of people. You know here a lot of people who had deep religious. Educations to say you know it's hard to outgrow that, 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 introduce the fundamental notion that that you know you're, ultimately sinful. I know what you do is sinful is something a lot of people have hard times with, and that claim of sin is just so. You know I've debated people who you know who argue that homosexuality is sinful, you know, and it's unnatural natural God intended it to be otherwise, and then I point out. Well, you know what take all mammals, ten percent in every species. Almost ten percent have homosexual relationships. Sheep have long. Ten percent of sheep have long term homosexual relationships. Are they sinful okay, it's not unnatural at all. It's a natural consequence of what now why it's a case. It's interesting evolutionary question, but It's certainly not a natural. It seems uniform that if it's ten percent so well, plus or minus a little bit certainly seems to be biology. There's some purpose. There's some. There's some biological purpose to it and
decorating argue that it's both unnatural and wrong is to I understand biology, but people grow up being told it's Eve because the Bible said it and then they don't want to give people homosexual the same rights as other people, because they tell them they say I didn't want them to have the most. So the problem is, people are, told these things that are ultimately wrong, because you know, maybe because, for whatever reason, the tribe that wrote down that that scripture wanted to sure that they they were homosexual relationships in the group. Will this really baffling when you talk to people? about the Bible in the old testament version of the new testament and they don't even understand where the new testament was created by Constantine and a bunch of bishops who threw bunch and leave out and by the way they think its claims are gentler. Sure the old testament is one of the most. You know look at the current people. The Koran is violent and vicious. Read the old testament you're supposed on your kids. If they disobey you yeah and the reason kill people that were two different kinds of clause exactly and the reason that now,
Today's sort of the 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 and that's part of the sort of fundamentalism very Few very few people take the Bible as literally as it, namely hey we're going to stone kids in the 12th century. They may have but now we've outgrown it, and there is some six hundred years younger, and so it's it's just the old. The test was just as violent as the current, but no one takes it seriously. The people most people call themselves religious, they pick and choose the things they like from the Bible or the new testament of the old testament. They pick and choose the nice kindler gentler things. You know Richard foundation in England, did an interesting survey. So the british Gov,
does a census, you know and and they and they ask people's religions as part of it and in the last census. Remarkably, only fifty five percent of people said they were Christian Church Church of England, which was one of the lowest ever but fine. They went to those fifty five per and people, they did a survey of those and they said. Ok. Why do you call yourself Christian? Do you believe in the virgin birth, you believe in transubstantiation do believe in you went down the list and people say no, no, no, no, no and then they'd ask. Why do you call your Christian and the answer? Was we like to think of ourselves as good people? ' so, religions usurp morality. And somehow people through out all of the evil, and it's not just the old testament. No one talked about hell more than Jesus Christ, cage guys supposed to love everyone. Talked about hell, this eternal damnation for people who disobey as as as Christopher Hitchens used to say, God is like cosmic Saddam Hussein, but worse 'cause Saddam Hussein used just torture, his enemies,
mother alive? God is worse. He takes the people that, like it or Chism, from all eternity who wants to let you God, What an awful disgusting idea my but this sort of thing you know what a sauna thing it's like a sauna suit. We is zip it up and you hit these buttons and heats you up and heat your body temperature out meat and it comes from China and it has this hilarious instruction manual because it's translated from Chinese to English by people that are not fluent language. Every time I read one of those manuals. I love it. It's unbelievable. It's like make waste of body go away. Cells too fat disappears like very, very strange stuff and she was laughing and she's reading. She handed to me and I go well. This is the problem with the Bible, one of the big the Bible was translated from ancient Hebrew and Aramaic in some cases, not even him dead, sea, scrolls yeah, but ancient Hebrew, the letters doubled as numbers yeah, so there was no number. So when the letter a is the number one and
words also had numerical value, and you when you think about I mean- and this is if you have ever looked at this with amazing- so people say the Bible, you know a just the word of God, but they don't realize that this, came by. In fact, the king James version was decided by a bunch of people who I want to throw out there were parts of the Bible they didn't like they threw out. They determine what is now the old testament in the king James version. What was a bunch of people got together and I did to throw things out and how to translate things, and what to do it was people just the word of God is a bunch of its own have you ever heard of John Marco Allegro well. I know a lot of people in Allegro, but John Marco Allegro is one of the scholars that was. He was one of the people that was deciphering the dead sea, scrolls, ok, wrote the book in the 1970s called the,
mushroom in the cross, so I've heard of the book is his determination. After fourteen years of deciphering, the dead sea scrolls of the entire christian religion was a massive misunderstanding that was really all about consumption of psychedelic mushrooms. At that Chile, Cults yeah, I've heard that I'm skeptical of that. I should have been schedule of everything. It's fast. It's fascinating, but they're a lot of people who've written really into books on the early history of of the christian religion and Judaism, and I you know I know a number of those scholars that it's really fascinating fact. There's really great evidence that Jesus was even divine in the early christian right? I mean his divinity came about three hundred liters later it's some really. Interesting work and, and so The 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, there's really good evidence that you holy Jesus never called himself God. His followers never did either and the and
it's resurrection thing was put in later, when people wanted to make him divine wow, and so that's fascinating again could be skeptical about it. We should be skeptical of everything, but, what's really amazing this is what bothers me. I wrote a piece for the New York once it said. All scientist should be militant atheists really criticize for that. Well, I will buy some buy some people yeah and the first raised 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 and the editor chose the title, which is fine, but I was but what I said was when I simply asked the question: could it be that Jesus was I said: could it be that Jesus wasn't always considered divine in the christian religion? 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
of questioning nothing should in our society. Nothing should be sacred. Everything should be open to question, so, if simply questioning makes me a militant atheist, then all scientist should be melted, atheist, 'cause. We should adore questioning, and so I arguing. You know we should be out hanging out. Let's say I said we should be asking questions. The discussion when I just had would be viewed by some people and be viewed by some people as sinful sacrilege, sacrilege should not be on the air should not be allowed to have that discussion, because how We question the divinity of Jesus Christ because, after all, he was God and to question his divinity is to is to do the work, and that's so sad because you know We 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 I mean how many people are believer in the dead sea, scrolls mean how many people have,
over the work from Chrome RON with a fine tooth comb Anthony Zach Lee, but about the way I don't like the word believer. I should say that I do. I use it on Amazon. I think, if you're, so, I guess you know use the word belief ok, something likely or unlikely, but belief, is not a part of if you really want to think of rational inquiry. Of course you can have. We all are cloaking. Colloquial have beliefs, which means we have preconceptions 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 learn something doesn't make it more or less likely. So I respect that. I use I use. I use the word belief all time, but I try not to okay, it's one of those things like the word like a train use like in sentences, because people like use it like went to much all all my yeah. It's got to be all aids if you have a high school now, but it's it is strange to me that people do draw arbitrary lines and when they decide that doctrine is real or they'll tell you. You know. If you start talking about the old testament and they're trying to be a christian apologist, they will listen, you're talking about the old testament
don't go by that. We go by that thing. That emperor Rome created with a bunch of bishops, and he wasn't even christian himself until he was on his deathbed. You know exactly and people, but let people like to define themselves and I don't You know it sounds patronizing as if I'm were better believe crazy things you, and I also do we all crave, leaves you believe. Ten and well here's a here's. What we all believe ten impossible things before we get up for breakfast as out Lewis Carroll, you say you believe that you like to do is Carol like a big proponent of acid. Probably I again when he wrote a May Milev morning around one of them, maybe there's a lot of the, but it doesn't matter. The idea is interesting. We all humans are not just trash little beings in order to make it through the day we convince ourselves of tenant possible, things might be there. I love your wife. It might be that you like your job, it might be what, if you do love you live, would what would you do? Love your wife? What if you do, love your trust and it that's not a possible, but there are other things that you may find. You may find you know ten. Well, you are you, you could pick it. You know I mean you know you might find that you that that, but I I don't but do you,
believe anything weird, I'm sure I do, but you ever explore it. Of course, I try I some of I probably I'm a human being so so I make it through the day. I may convince myself: interesting. They were interesting. Well, that's nice, but but but you know, I thought you were interesting before I met you and now you've confirmed it. Oh good, I was going to say now I know but but but you know I let me put this way it's myself, I'm handsome and I'm sexy and whatever it is that we all convince are, of work. Only if you in a room for one hundred year old, dudes, you'd, be handsome and sexy, but exactly, but if I'm in a room full of maybe one hundred year old dudes, I might not be have issues but no but you're male models, but we don't have issues. We say: oh yeah, those male models, but they look like they did not mean man, but that's great right. If you have your eyes wide open, if you're, if you're comfortable enough in your own skin, hopefully part of growing up part of becoming an adult is learning that a lot of the ridiculous
notions we had are just that and getting comfortable with that. That's part of maturing. I think so, when we were now more comfortable from skin, were able to accept ourselves. But I bet when you were a teenager, you would have had a harder time saying You know those other guys are better looking and more interesting than me, oh yeah, for sure, ok, and so so that's part of growing up and that's what science helps civilization do is grow up. It's good point, yeah yeah Do you think that any of those bizarre beliefs are in at all to people today or do you think? How do you 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 how they operate in this line? Who do good things? There are people who are more generous and give to charity because of religion and help their neighbors, and- and go to you know at Christmas time.
Soup kitchens and there's no doubt that that happen. They generally do genuinely do experience positive results from Salute Lee absolutely so it's not as if religion breeds badness in everyone right, but what people should realize it's, not as if the lack of religion breeds bad. This is the question is: is it necessary right all timers, when kindness can exist on their own? Exactly so when? So, if you can do So all of that- and 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 are you can have a debate, but on average I would say the net effect of relief. His negative- and I know colleagues of mine what some of whom would Agree with me 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, is negative and I would argue you could probably get many of the same if we dispense with religion right now would be a problem, because right now for many people, religion gives them community a sense
community, a sense of belonging and maybe for any sense of of of comfort, it it and and death and all sorts of things, so we could just sort of it. It provides useful things, as I said before it, for feels evolutionary purposes. If it wasn't, it would be so ubiquitous, but I can imagine at least a world where we could fill fulfill those things. In other ways, for example, instead of bringing people together for church every Sunday, we could bring them together for a rock concert every Sunday, ok and they get the same sense commute or maybe for Quantum mechanics class every Sunday. Maybe they might find it fun if it was remade quantum, but they find it sets, or maybe they find a sense of community and everyone rolling their eyes. Just like you did now 'cause. I suspect that happens in church a lot too for sure in 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 and answer. Maybe now, but could we imagine building a sense of community because we
about our each other in and we have a commonality in other ways. That's another thing, a big sign, so wonderful right. I've called the large hadron collider, the gothic cathedral, the twenty first 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 like different cultures, different religion- maybe not so many different religions back then, but they work together. The large hadron collider is built by ten thousand scientists from over a hundred different countries with different languages, different they are working together. They have a commonality, so It's really much more effectively than religion, I would argue, binds people globally religions are still in us versus them. Think I'm christian, your Joe I'm christian you know whatever is on 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 how the universe works. It we're not we're not interested in per
in pushing our own picture or joining together. To believe anything, that's the other thing people think of it. So you know I just push evolution because we all get together and at night an with special rings and talk to each other that 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. Everyday is trying prove our colleagues wrong. 'cause, 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. 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 this cover, so perhaps old, biases and and overcome them, and so scientists are bound together by not to push their own, I mean, of course we all have theories, but we're all one to out if him, if, if the theories are proven wrong and we're all willing to celebrate being wrong and that's a wonderful thing and uh.
As I always say, if you're a theoretical physicist at two two, overstates states are either wrong or confused, because that's great 'cause, then 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, is terrifying. Because if you're, if you're deeply believe you know the answers, if you believe really believe, there's a god you can. You can put aside that uncertainty and for many people uncertainty 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. And then you really want to always given the answer, whether you know it or not right, but it would be much so you know what I don't know, let's figure out. If anyone knows this because then they protest, paid 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 question and then how to search for the answers? How to distinguish the wheat from the chaff out? How distinguish the nonsense from the especially in our society. Right now we used to we used to teach school as if it's just a composite tori of information. Now we know I've been my phone, I have more information than in school, but I also have more misinformation. How do I tell the difference if the process and that's it that's what we need to teach in school? The process of skeptical inquirer, relying on evidence checking many resources testing your ideas constantly. Then we teach those are the tools. Kids need to to deal effectively in the modern world with a with an internet- that's full of me and and with new sources, which are equally full of misinformation as well as information. One of the biggest issues. I think that people are having with religion, 21St century. Is these areas where you're not allowed to question and explore that 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 code word, for I don't want to think about it right,
it's too confusing it's too complicated, terrifying, terrifying and that and or people say this amazes me. People get people which people say you will never understand the origin. Users you'll never understand what love is. Science will never ever explain, love science. Never ever explain x or when will and then I said. Well, that's incredibly pompous statement, 'cause If you say that science will never explain. This, you must understand because how do you know that will never explain it? We never So what we won't be able to explain until we try and maybe there, things about our universe. That will never understand, but we don't know so we try. You can never say upfront that science will explain this or that, because you haven't tried and In my experience as a scientist I've been, you know there could be have been brick walls, but I've watched progressively those walls crumble as we move around the more 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. You but we never understand- remember one of the forces nature a very prominent physicists in nineteen, 60s certain early nineteen action, six, nine hundred and sixty nine said it will be one 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. Bias is an the anticipation of individual scientists. That's the greatest story ever told so far what's ridiculous about saying no one will ever figure. Anything out is that we figured out over the last two hundred years is monumental and then human life which is only been around for forty thousand. Absolutely live another two thousand years, a hundred thousand years. As long as we don't as long as we open inquiry. You could imagine moving, I mean look. We went through a few,
years of the middle ages, where the incredible inquiry based civil culture of the Greeks was just forgotten. I mean you know that to determine the circumference of the earth not only that it was round, but what is circumference was by simple measurements that were then not accepted because of dogma, so we have to if we, to progress, we have to beware of dogma. How did they figure out the circumference of the earth? It's really neat. I think it was Aristarchus. I feel, which is that with the Greek now did it it's amazing. What what he said was look. So in a certain time of day a certain time of the year. The is directly overhead at twelve noon. Okay, and in my it so soul You can tell that by looking down a deep, well- and I see the reflection of the sun exactly in that deep. Well, ok, so the rays of the sun which are coming down in the same direction towards the earth everywhere it comes down to the pool one hundred miles away the well, because the surface is curved. The well is pointing in a little bit different direction:
so the Suns 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 of the sun relative to the well, and if you that tells you that the earth is curved and if you do the job a tree can work out. If a hundred miles of the earth's surface causes the sun's rays. To suddenly be that angle, how curve the earth is and what the circumference dear. This is plain geometry that in principle any high school student could do. But when you say a hundred miles away, first of all, how the communicating with this guy that it miles away not in immediately but the guy right to down then okay, a horse and they come and compare notes, lay in the use, a sundial to determine the time the sun dial to determine the time and and the but a hundred miles in a way that would there be a dv in all the time, a minute or two well that yep, but so to some accuracy. You write your you got it wrong to some accuracy right, but they did pretty damn well, they came up with the circumference. Yours 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 going 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. As you I've told today, you were dealing with some people we're still force for that dogma is very strange. How do you feel about that in order to thousand seventeen? It's amazing, but you know nothing surprised. Not only that gravity is not real. Dinosaurs are real and you're the people who say gravity are real. I have a great solution, but it's uh, so, building walk out the window at 13th floor and test your ideas, and the great thing is: do it before you report But it's a magnetism thing. They believe it's electro magnetism or something like that. That's our label down to the yeah, that's what I think and think so fascinating carry magnet and look at it. As what happens is you're falling to the holds even more hilarious is that they well? We talked about this before the park yesterday. The japanese Weather Satellite, that takes an image of full image
the earth. What is the name of that satellite again Jamie? It takes a full image of the earth from twenty two thousand miles ago, away people keep saying in this flat earth theory thing that there's no images of the earth in full but they're all composites. That's not true! That's not true! There are images of the earth that are taken every ten minutes by this one, satellite and their high resolution. You can you can access them, anytime. You want, but people see those and they want to think they're fake. But yet they believe an ice wall around Antarctica that the crossover and you fall to the abyss. Where photo of the ice water when they never well? How does someone fly They don't believe that people can fly around the world. I've done it. I've done and they're all lying. Here's another one, if they were thought of time zones. Why the time zones of the earth is flat.
Other times owns the only reason, our time they should go from New York to LA and see you know what the time is different. I think it's they fit well, no, but they probably think it's a human invention yeah. But you know the sun is still shining. La when it's gone down in New York and they can call their friends and check and if the earth is flat, that would be the case. It's only the case. 'cause the earth is curved, I mean so. Those simple things should should convince people, but people are willing to throw out evidence if they have a belief. That's really fearman what I'd said before, as we have to realize the easiest purpose. And it's full of 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 cherishes. 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 it makes him feel better about themselves. They may hate gays because it makes him feel better
but not being gay or Maybe they yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. You know I mean you always worry about that yeah, and so I I think we all that's what I mean by being for believing it ten a possible things were record I don't want to make fun of people, because we all do think of things to make feel better about ourselves, it's part of being human, the site 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 is question them. Yeah We can all do that and I don't I don't understand why people are believe certain things. It's not and you can be. You know what again Richard Dawkin tells me about an astrophysicist. He knows who, during the day, studies objects in the sky and looks at galaxies or stars and measures that that they're twelve years, old or whatever, and then he goes home tonight and then and is convinced that the earth is six thousand years old,
so somehow we can really do both yeah. He knows a guy like that. 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, we're built and so this guy measure the each of these planets. Somehow it doesn't affect his fundamental beliefs and it's amazing. It's true because we can all things that are wrong, and so it doesn't mean they're stupid. It doesn't mean. This guy's apparently a fairly accomplished at your business. It's a psychological benefits we, but we all have trapped. Sorry so many people here when I talk about the I don't want to seem pompous in the sense of saying. Oh I'm better or scientists are better. Science is better because it helps us overcome those pitfalls. Why do those pitfalls exist, though? 'cause 'cause? Obviously I would argue that they have eleven evolutionary purpose that somehow they, if they didn't, have an evolutionary purpose, then they would have been selected for right right. There does seem to be some weird,
clinician, ordered some desire to expose secrets, yeah, fine, sand, crits and didn't know them yeah, it's nice well, but on the other end, that's great. Let's exploit that right. Discovering secrets is about is: is this guy bring mysteries, discovering mysteries is what motivates to do this to do science. So, let's put it in positive light, we all want to solve puzzles. We I want to understand something, and maybe the first one understand it. We all want to access information maybe in make us feel special for doing it. Well, that's the reason I do. Science right. It's not right, save the world. It's 'cause! I really want 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 driven by ego and, let's not pretend otherwise but I think, you're talking about measurable things and elements and things that you could sort of expose 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 flattered Kim trail yeah. They like to believe there's a conspiracy, yeah, Aug and yes, conspiracies, 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 such the fact the world it doesn't treat me fairly, doesn't treat you fairly. It doesn't give a damn about my well being or ok, so, hey, I'm being treated unfairly. Isn't it better for me to think that someone is actively being Fair to me, then just assume it's just the way it is 'cause. Then I can blame it, and so I tend to think conspiracy. Theorists tend to say you know: things? I don't like there's a real reason for it that not an accident. It's not just haphazard, it's not thing, and it and it you know it's. It's me. I've lost my job because it there's gonna be a read it's got to be a villain
would be someone making it happen just like the reason we burn, which is right, there were storms. Are there? Wasn't it wasn't crops, you're in a lot of people say it's an interesting historical theory, which I think is seems quite plausible to me that were Newton, discovered the laws grab the universal law of gravity it attributed to the ending of the burning of which is white. I thought that was a myth, the burning of which is. I thought they drowned the mostly well. They hung a lot of them too, and they drown them. What do I don't care, whether it's burning they killed him understand? Ok, they blamed crops, they blamed bad things and then we knew discovered that even the planets are. Acted by the same laws that an apple is there's a universal laws. It meant that physical affects had physical causes and when Bad things happen, there's a physical reason. There's not someone You can blame, which is or whatever, and so there's a lot of arguments that suggest that that kind of development in physics led to the
end of blaming people for those for bad crops or more for bad things happening, but I think that 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. Anybody interested in this is a really fascinating subject, but the whole Salem Witch trial thing yeah there there's a lot of really convincing evidence. That seems to point towards got poisoning that there was some a late freeze and that this particular type of fungus grew and some of their wheat. That makes got, which is a very has every lsd like properties, and I think these people thought they were being bewitched because they're being contaminated? It's for it's a great idea. You know I was in, I don't know the evidence for, but it's instagram it. Let us know, but let's but understand. We always, I think be behind that is, is I know, we've all 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
when I lose my keys. Sometimes I see where do you put the my wife? Where did you put the keys and then I learned very quickly that I should have said that, and- and so I think it's it's just didn't, it's a characteristic of being human and accepting it as a characteristic of being human doesn't diminish us it in and what's really great is we understand that and try and work and try and figure out. Ways to avoid those pitfalls. So a lot of these feet the ways of thinking these patterns of thinking these are sort of hold off from the ancient days the things that helped us to survive. Those pathway are now our doctor and we've I ran a meeting at my origins, project issue about the origins of Xena Phobia and it would- and we you know us versus them and it turns out- is really useful, zine hit evolutionary purposes for us. First, SAM tribal purposes and try not that actually goes back to biochemistry
Musa stems? Is us versus them right, just being a group were able to recognise foreign bodies and sell, so it goes back to single cell organisms. But then the question is, is it now got a a is, is? Is it now it run its course to become on, of course, up to the counter productive, exactly and 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 ask 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 we can't possibly overcome Are you I'm a big change gears? A little brochure. Are you concerned at all about a I yeah? We just we? Yes, we just had a workshop again at my origins, project in the few which you can watch an online the public event anywhere. Can someone set W w dot origins, DOT, a s you dot edu? We run these amazing events and with need to me by the way, is we get three thousand people attending the painter, ten people
We want to hear science if it's done right and interesting Lee. That's awesome, I'm so pleased and privilege that we that people find things that interesting and come over and over again, 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 is going to. The future is not going to be like the past. What it means to be human is not going to be like with 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 aged Greeks thought the introduction of writing would be horrible, because oral storytelling would be destroyed, the writing was, bad thing. It actually made the world kind, maybe more interesting place. You know, maybe maybe a I will take over certain functions, that humans have teaching or doctor or whatever? And maybe we'll be so bad, okay,
Maybe it seems terrifying for us, but maybe it won't be so bad, on you, can imagine awful com MRS ones that are are really bad. So we we will look at these disruptive possible consequences, and the point is, if you have both. What's really important is, unless you think about it, pastor said fortune favors the prepared mind. Ultimately, so yes, a! I is both terrifying and exciting. The future is terrifying and exciting. For example, I'm really excited by the possibility that a I might become better physicists enough and I'd like to know I'd like to know how intelligent computers, especially tells quantum computers, understand quantum mechanics. They may understand it better than we do and I might learn from them, so maybe they'll be,
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. Maybe it seems like it be bad, but what's wrong with that, it's really rose colored glasses, though, but that may be, but but on the other hand it could be that that they is do that that into and it is a I decides- that there's no need, for you know, for example, here something that that one of the it was our workshop in Jaan, Tallinn, who who founded Skype, was one of the corners or workshop, and he says: well, you know oxygen is really bad for for, but as oxidation of of of of of electronic systems. Okay, So, if a I could control, you know technology they might want to medically reduce the oxygen content of the atmosphere right? That would be so good for humanity. Okay, so you can imagine the other extreme where basically intelligent AI systems,
Well most of the technology world and maneuver things. So humans become extinct, so you can imagine one or the other, but unless you think about the ways that you can try and and ensure that the future is is good, can be you've got at least confront those possibilities Eat don't put your head the sand, then you don't call my god. The world is ending. You say look this is going to there if changes are gonna happen, for example, a I will displace millions of people from their work. You know that that there's, no doubt if not billions, if billions, let's say billions, now? What's that going to do while they're two they're two possibilities, or one of them was imagine by John Maynard Keynes, we thought about what industrialization would do. He said you know the effective it is it yep
machines are going to do a lot of the work that people are going to do, but the great thing is that will free people from the work they'll be able to go? Have coffee in coffee shops go see, read books. Do you know c plays the quality of their life will improve. But, of course that didn't happen because you know the increased, Is that where the crease decreased money- and I and and and all of that that was generated by news desk, realization wasn't was uniformly distributed at some point, when we are 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? This is 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 to the choice, to move in a direction of incredible socio economic problems and Tom Alton and and and that's going to create huge, huge societal,
and I'm worried that in our society, for example, that doesn't even want to provide healthcare to everyone where some people say why 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 to a point where we say you know what these she's a generate incredible wealth, let's allow. People have been displaced to benefit from that wealth. I back. That won't happen, and I I I I'm I'm pessimistic about the future, although, as my friend Cormack Mccarthy says at because he's a really chipper fellow, but he writes very dark books when I first met him, I said: how can you be so cheerfully 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 it's it's a human invention,
each small most certainly is, but it's also a life form. Right about is that it decides will eventually, if you extrapolate yeah, but ok so big deal well, that it decides to make a better of in of itself. Then it will do that and we're going to be completely obsolete within a short amount of time. Great really! Well I mean no look, so that's could be good about. So this is Eric. This no. But this is your illusion. Your significant well, no, not it's not it's just not like, maybe alive long enough to highlight age old, but may be eaten by robots, other lots of things that are that don't have any real purpose, but what what? What? What the robots? You know if you want more robots, would it be in s why would they feel it's necessary to destroy because we're polluting the environment? We not wasn't we made to world well now, when we're 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 is or you know, in various places they want the lights to happen because the turtles- don't don't. You know, mate if the lights,
The beach and we don't do such a good job. We don't but they'll, be better than us right right, but we, we might be an evil hyena like species. If we are, then why should we be around that's a good but I mean when the water is about that. Well, no, but maybe it won't give us a chance to get better, but maybe you could view them as your offspring and then you, then you to mystic, say look at my offering and in fact actually I do think it. Ultimately. If, if, if, if machines can can program themselves and ultimately come better, then it will be difficult for biology to keep up and our futures humans will be, could ease we be what you would call the Borg in STAR Trek right say the only sensible, ways to merge and- and you know, what's really interesting so then the dominant life form be realistic. So we tend to think of White Wire Kerr, turn based individuals, but Domon Life form in the universe with it could be if we're looking into it at in the universalist. Dom life form this silicon based not silicon, based the and and and really be
in this case it would be intelligent design. You can imagine bunch of intelligent computers having a podcast in the far future sing. You know I think we were designed by these these monkeys, yeah yeah I'll, and they would be right. Yeah, that's what's really fascinating is the idea that we are some sort of not not the creator, but that we are the. Assessors of some greater species- and it was I who knows right- does with me, but but to be afraid of the future, it was inevitable right yeah. Ultimately, what can happen will happen happen. We just have to accept that and we have to trying and and prepare for it as best as possible to might try to make sure it works out as well as possible. I begin this book, the the a story told so far with the of a quote from from Virgil. From then add saying the I think these are the tears of things in there. I should you know when a vehicle
the book rather than on his own yeah. We I was gonna, be my name, but I'm sure you'd have to if you are a way at a plant on the stuff of our mortality costs us to the heart. That's in the end. It's the latin phrase. It a but people, remember that's famous, but the next phrase in the nine eight, which I talk about the very last page or two of the book is a set phrase, release your fear and I think that's the important thing, the stuff a rumor tally does because it's still hard but release your fear use it to make our brief moment in the sun more precious It's fascinating to me that we are so connected to this particular form that we find ourselves in now and that we were so attached to it and that, even though we know that we are a finite life form as individuals, some people don't go on, I'm saying renowned, rationally yeah, 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, yeah his and we would like to get away, but you know, but of course we're just temporary we've given as humans, even the Samanids home
a piece of only been around for a speck of time, one hundred thousand years and who would expect our future to be the same but yeah. Of course it can't be and what? If? What? If I mean what, if the. Things that are wonderful about our culture are preserved by our descendants. Our are 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 I mean course course we all do because we want some immortality. Okay, so the robots are, looks like you, I mean I don't care, you know they all have JO will be broken faces on them from the member. But but did you see X, Mackenna, yeah, yeah and I I know well yeah. I I've talked
it's going to the station there there's a little, not no! Well, I mean yeah when I when I, of course, whenever I see science fiction, I I all I try to suspend disbelief. Okay, I think the idea, in fact I showed a clip from x Magna in our vent, because because I think there are many possible negative consequences of of of artificial intelligence. One of them is malevolence, but the other is unintended negative consequences and I thought makes marking it was. It was a wonderful example of on it. Tended negative consequences of artificial intelligence. I don't think that that blood, the lovely young woman was designed to be evil, but it was not intended once when she saw an opportunity for herself, I mean I'm the other one. I showed forces from two thousand and one a space odyssey, the great how warehouses sorry Dave and and and and I think I think, it's wonderful and thought,
and it was thought provoking and eye and, as I say, I've come to know, Alex Garland, who wrote and directed it since then, and and he's a very thoughtful interesting 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 afterwards, and sometimes, as a scientist, I I I I I try not to get the way of liking science fiction, because of course they all involve suspending your disbelief and writings and and the difference being good science fiction. Bad science fiction is not how scientifically accurate is it's, how good a story? It is because if it's a good store, you can suspend disbelief easily at someone's asked The other day on a on a on a science fiction, podcast with it, you know, what's the worst example of this and a and and at the example comes to mind, is I I remember New York Times reporter who kicked after the Physics STAR Trek came out said. Can I go with you to a science fiction, movie and and and watch you can and talk to you about, and so we went to see a starship trooper
This is the stupidest movie of all time. It's a great movie. It well because they're, you know, because, because you know these, these enhance right, poop out things at supersonic speeds about cross again let's see I mean you know it's amazing, but it's stupid. Very campy movie right yeah. I know, but the problem is because he was asking me to the reality of our couldn't even suspend disbelief. If I wanted too, but that, but it's things like that, for example, when something happens, it suddenly takes you out of the story. You silly, ocean ocean like here's another one, another movie, I hate called ghost, maybe like that with family, more Demi, Moore and what's his face, Swayze yeah right and here's the idea, this guys, a ghost right and he he wants to show his long lost, love, Liza Round, 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 hugger, but his hands go right to her, but you know each time he stands on the floor sits on the couch. He stands on the floor and sits on the couch, so his butt or his feet have some incredible ability to be stopped by matter, but
nothing else does so. When I saw it, I mean I saw that the rest of the movie went so good point. I didn't even think about it right now. I didn't want to ruin it for you, but I just hit well. I saw it when I was like ten years old and it's an older movie. When is that movie? I probably wasn't tennis, probably twenty or something yeah? Well, it'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 plus the Heaven and Hell Bit which also around stupid, so sometimes sometimes sometimes something like that when you? any it doesn't have to be science. You can be should Rahman, you say white, the hell did they do that I mean it's just out of character, but yeah yeah yeah and then, and then it's hard for you to enjoy the rest of the movie yeah. I find that all the time I have a real issue with that yeah when you think about artificial intelligence. Do you consider like one of the things that freaks me out, is that what we consider life when we we think
instincts and needs and desires. Those won't necessarily be programmed at all into any artificial life. Well one questions that arises, and this is a huge point of discussion among AI researchers. 'cause I've been a bunch of meetings in preparation for meeting is whether and I find the Statement- almost vacuous, but I'm amazed that they use it all the time program machines with human values right Let me be programming retrieves it and my problem is human value and they said well one of the 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 are no, I'm not sure there are universal human values, and so so, how do we program them in but Neverless? The question is, Do we want to align their programming in what we in terms of what we think will be beneficial to us right, 'cause after aware programming, okay, we do in port saint, like values. Who knows I mean I
had a very interesting question and a very difficult one resolve my own feeling is it. If you're 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 have kids do We want them to believe everything we believe. No, we want to give him. We want them to become the most. People 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 want to make the most capable intelligent, resourceful machine I ever could 'cause. Then I at least All the evidence suggests to me that that machine will make the best decisions. It is. The machine doesn't have an ability to breed sexually and if it doesn't have eagle and if it doesn't necessarily have creativity because it doesn't need to be praised for its ego, I don't think we either what it. I don't think creativity comes from needing to be prayed for you. I think creative, but I mean as one of the great intrinsic aspects of human beings that makes being
being worth being human being well. I think I I I I agree with you, but I think if you're going to connect that sort of mindset to a computer to artificial intelligence, don't you think it would have some need to create like what? What is create is like we like to express ourselves to other people. If you are alone on an island, you think you would create yeah sure here's my yourself forever. You think you would paint on my I'd like to think. I would because I I because I I kind of because that's what I find gratifying, but I think one of the people find gratifying is that other people are enjoying it sounds like you know, I don't do science 'cause other people enjoy. Do science 'cause I enjoy and and so you think you would do science. If you were the last person on earth, you would be alone with well, I do what I do. The work I do is I mean I don't want to make any pretense. I do it 'cause. I had fun for me right. I think most people do it. They may claim. I actually I shouldn't say there are people probably better than me who do what they do, because they are 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
my science to try and counter thing I think a wrong with the world, because I have a because, because of my background and also 'cause, I have a soapbox, I'm lucky enough to people, listen to me for one reason or another, so I try to take that response. Really seriously, 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 only good added, if we're good at it, because we enjoy it right and look at look evil. Here's an example. So the best match one of the best machine learning machines in their existence just beat the best goal player in the world right right. How to do it? It learned costly learned, taught itself. He better go! Okay! Now, creativity, if you what is trying to be better at playing the game? Where did it just calculate? Every single note learned on the only learned how to play no it with no it can't. It can't do that. What I can do is try to try to teach some strategies that work. And just creativity and look at it does teach itself crowded, she's at work new strategies by looking at all.
I did use it didn't work mmhm, that's creativity, yeah. That way. Who knows how to define creativity in all senses? Yeah, you can imagine it's officially. Intelligent computer would be creative because in order to do physics in its sign, she'd be creativity. No, in fact I was just I just didn't event with Alan Alda in New York City, and I don't know from MASH yeah yeah who's, a great guy, intelligent man and very interested in science and science communication. We've done a few together one with my origins, project we can see on line. So he was interview, we had a dialogue, but he was interviewed, was about the new book and and and and in the context of that and science communication, and he said something wonderful, both there in earlier, he said 'cause, it's so counter intuitive to the modern cultures reception. He said. Art requires rigor. Science requires creativity and I thought wow, because that's the opposite of what most people think, but in fact
points requires rigor. You got to just get just the right, colors and and and work really hard to get the right patterns, whether that are is music or by art very broadly. Where is to do two sites makes progress because we're creative, which also rigorous not people, somehow have this RT forty notion at all: artists, they're, 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, just like our an art is rigorous and the try to say all these artists. These musicians they're not they're, not as good as we are equally bad, because the art, it doing. Anything well requires rigor, discipline, effort and rigor, and I think that that beautiful dichotomy that that that juxtaposition of art, rigor and science and creativity is something wonderful that Allen said in and we should realize it's a characteristic science is does involve creativity and
but so does all the areas of human activity that make the the story of human someone. Wonderful, that's why it's the greatest story sold so far where many many aspects of human life require creativity. Many endeavour and writer and rigor whether you're a better kick boxer. I mean there's a lot of creativity in fighting bigger yeah, unlearn rules or discipline over and over again at any sports person, and maybe even maybe, there's and creativity in football, but you know: there's Grigor an creativity in anything that humans push to Yeah. No, absolutely great! The question would be: what would the motivation of artificial intelligence? if it's not if it doesn't have any, we we're essentially riding on the motivations of our ancient genetics. Alright sure we wanna have sex for yes, exactly and, and that would be interesting to see rows. We're gonna be interesting to find out
right what? What would your line of vision to be creative because that, because we've it we've developed in them problem solving capabilities, and because they're self aware, and they might ask questions because their self aware they may improve their understanding the world partly for technology? They may want to make the world better for themselves all sorts of reasons, but we'll see, of some extent will import it in programming but, to some extent will see and to some people that stare find 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 we're doing each step, so we don't produce massive negative results. Could have been avoided. But I'm not as concerned that the future will be different than the past. I hope it is. When you see some of the emerging technologies like crisper some of these genetic engineering technologies, where they're starting to
nonviable human fetuses and run some them you concerned at all about that. You, you concerned about or need to use a certain term concern because, obviously you're, obviously out of that mindset. No, no! No! No! I'm concerned. Let things happen. No! No! It's not just let things happen. Let's think! Watch what's going to uh and try and anticipate the results understand Them in detail, anticipate with the results are in avoid negative ones to the extent you can but life is all about. Things are going to change, but to accept the fact that we're going to change, and if that's not that's, that's, Are we happy that the world is different than it was during medieval times? I mean, except for you know my parents and other people The rest of us are happy, or you know they could pick a lot of radio commentators, but most of us are that happy that the world has gotten, open more interesting, 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 ok,
but we should all work as much as we can to try and make sure, to the extent that we can, that the correction, a heads is a good one, is beneficial, more interesting, more exciting, more possibilities, more fun for every and maybe even more sustainable 'cause. It seems reason but it should be sustainable. If we think we care about not just art but our grandchildren and their grandchildren, and so that it's self interest in some sense it took to be interested in. Conservation and sustainability instead of immediate profit. If you really You might say if I mass enough wealth in my children be fine forever and who gives it damn about the rest of the people's children you know we can decide that. Maybe it's in the best interests of everyone of human society is sustainable, because they'll be less hood for extreme war, extreme violence, blah blah, but you can. I would argue that we behave well in large part because of reason and my point
It is I've had this, so we had a session in my origins, project a whole meeting on the origins of morality and I've had this debate with a number of call. I should point out. I think it was Huma said you can't get ought from is ok, you can't get off from its just by rationality. You can't decide how to behave. Maybe maybe but here's the point without is you could never get taught without knowing the consequences. Your actions, which is what science is all about. You aside with good and bad, and so science and reason is an essential part of any progress, because we can't possibly decide what economic policies to an actor. What or what social policies are, what it technological policies. If we don't know the consequences of actions, that's why, for example, issues example whistles stupid for the Republicans to design this health care policy and promote it before anyone in analyze, say the economic impact of it.
They could have still decided to do it. It's not as if, but at least that data would have been useful for making a final decision. It's that simple but when 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? Did you change anything about yourself? Would you become Thor Mean really gets to that point. We start we can worry about a lot of things, but I'm not with many here is word about that, as I'm hacking right right, 'cause, if you know we can have computers and if you can hack dna as a lot of kids want to do in fact, I'm I was told years ago, I'm chairman of the Board of something called the bold neotoma scientists, that of the word sponsors that sets the doomsday clock every year, and so we have to think about existential. Mankind, I'm about seven or eight years ago we had a pressure, mighty who said his computer science, students were most
hacking dna much more interested than hacking, because it's just it's just a cold, and so if you could manipulate arbitrary, only in a very precise way. Dna. Then, of course there are many things that can come and maybe you can make yourself stronger, bigger butt ever you want. Maybe we're not you your children, whatever, and maybe you can come genetic diseases which of course, would be great, but you can also with great power, comes great responsibility, and with that you can also imagine working right and creating new viruses or whatever you want and so yeah. It's any new technology is terrifying. Does that mean we shouldn't create new technologies? I mean cars are terrifying cars kill, look how many people cars get kill. Now, maybe we'll have self driving cars, maybe fewer people die. Some people are afraid of self driving cars because they do present moral problems and as Carranza, if the car is design trying to minimize the number of people that kills and it can do that by killing you. If you're faced with running into
school children 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. But tech g could so technology can be used in many ways and it's terrifying, but uh. It's tried to use this old expression, but I do think of it at times, which is that little thing I gave my stepdaughter once it said. Ships are safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are meant to do hum I mean if you you can you can bury your head in the sand? You can never go outside the house for fear of being run by car or being embarrassed or whatever or you can choose to live a life as your choice but to main living. The life is a more interesting that's it in in the in the in the book. I I point now 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
leafs conform with 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 be to have a life, surprise in a life that doesn't have any no, it's a wonderful philosophy, mom. What I'm thinking is I'm wondering about these technological advancements when it comes to the ability to make manipulate the human body and when they get to the point where we we we don't have the same issues that we have today with diseases and when injuries or even with biological inferiority is with with the everyone looks like Lebron James yeah, yeah. Okay, that you could imagine that's the case, but I I I I suspect people want different things sure at the end, but okay that'll be a very different world, but look at this way your pre buff guy. Okay, you manipulate your body right, yes, okay,
what's wrong with that know nothing, but I'm still five foot, eight, ok, Lebron James, is seven feet tall and manipulated his body is very different deal. Someone gives me a seven foot tall pill. I might take it yeah, but you manipulate your body. Given the technology of the time. We did. We technology changes in everyone can be seven feet tall. It was at worse because you can, because you know enough physio, G now or whatever excess physiology. The you can manipulate your body more efficiently. Now, then, you could before that. Then people can run faster miles or jump higher up because we've been the sport was for it forever and that's okay. You know, that's it I'm just I wondered what your thoughts are on the future. Well, I went there are items physiological imbalance. I try to anticipate the possibilities and, to the extent I can discuss what they are, so that we as a society could address them more cogently. I do not, however, generally make predictions about anything less than two trillion years in the future. That's a great quote:
what's going to happen to trillion years from now, this universe, expanding to the point of cooling off and everything dies. There's two reasons for that for statement. One is it's pretty simple: when you start thinking about the long term, is the universe is probably going to stand for all the galaxy and if it does in the sun's burning out anyway, point is, if it doesn't do that no one's gonna know what was wrong. That's a good point. That's a very good point yeah. So so you to that yeah! So that's. Why do you know that's my job? I've, better quote once about supermassive black holes, that has messed with my brain. Ever since I read it, and the quote was that inside every galaxy is a supermassive black hole, that's one slash two of one percent of the mass of the galaxy and that it's very possible that inside that supermassive black hole is a whole nuther universe. Well, the up to that. What is that mean up to that point? Everything is how to find the sound, but ok. It is true that it's amazing that most galaxies that we can measure have large black holes in center, which Lee
student question. We don't have the answer to one of the reasons we're building the James Webb Space Telescope, the James Watt, James Webb Space Telescope, the one that's going to replace the is that going to be in space, yeah yeah? It's going to be much further orbit, it's going to be launched next year and it's the the successor to James who's, gonna, be one hundred times. The collection area is going to look at different wavelengths of light is 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 when stars first turned on the first stars that formed in the universe is going to be fascinating, but there's a chicken egg question: if most galaxies have 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 and then the black holes built up hierarchically by swallowing things and getting bigger and bigger bigger question. We don't know the answer to when we will build that thing we might have the It it'll be interesting question that we resolve it. Is amazing that, as far as we can tell these supermassive black holes exist, even though we don't.
Are 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 what I mean is there we can tell their mass contribution. Attractions that are immense. A billion solar masses in a region so all that our theories tell us, they should be a black hole, but we don't know if, if, if, if the consequences of generality tell us that they are black holes, but with the simplest assumption is that they are that nothing escape from them that they they, They formed classically like black holes and they're, fascinating and we'll learn about we're learning about blah calls by the way or putative black holes in ways. We never thought we could because we now have a new window in the universe, gravitational waves. These this lie go to tech. There just attracted graves from gravitational waves from colliding black holes, a call us and just discover that the predictions of general relativity are validated. It's a whole were 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 and it will be the 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 the black. But what happens inside black holes is a question. That's much different and the answer is we don't know. We don't know, we know classically if general, to tells us what's happening. We know that this things will collapse to an infinitely dense singularity. But you know, most of US physicist think infinite is a pretty bad word, and then in physical reality, things don't get in Philly. Does that the laws of quantum mechanics, you're, gonna change things and law and when they, get sufficiently dense so that quantum mechanics has to be applied to gravity and only times that really happens operate Are you there
beginning of our universe when our entire observable universe was in in potentially in info. We then 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, breakdown, so we don't know what happens in the ultimate state of black holes. We don't you know one possible. Is indeed they do our portal to another universe, because, what's really interesting is what you see 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 tivity tells you that Europe that your perceptions of what space is doing around you in some sense depends upon your the gravitational configuration in which you let you live.
In general, if you can be moving in standing still at the same time, we're doing it right now, I'm not moving much with respect to you add a little bit of coffee, so I'm shaking a little bit, but but but relative to uh radio conversations it's happening in a studio at the other end of the visible universe, we're moving away at the speed of light those individuals having that conversation or 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 spaces expanding mmhm, so general to be says you that what you consider it to be happening to space around you depends on 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 up because space and time are tied together. So if you quit so so what you perceive
inside of a black hole to be happening to to to the time evolution of the system. You're in would be very different than what seen from outside to be happening at the service of the black hole. I mean it. What goals are fascinating and their laboratories of the boat that allow us to focus on the physics we can't yet fully understand how long we know about them. Well, the idea have 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 gravitation collapse was these things called that we now call black holes
there was a big debate about Oppenheimer in Snyder nineteen forties and fifties the person who first name black holes was John Wheeler. Let him use his me. He came up with the term black hole in nineteen sixty five or something like that describe the ultimate state of collapse. Amid people felt, it was impossible to beat that physically forces would stop things from collapsing to the kind of density, the black holes would format, but based on the work of Chandrasekhar and others, it was discovered that if you have a massive object, that's massive enough nuclear 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 clip that was hugely debated in the 30s forties 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 made in Russia about about frozen stars. You see a lot of movies about black holes is a great name yeah, and you know why the weights, why it's a frozen start. Let me blow your mind a little bit. Ok, when objects are falling into So what of the things you need to know is the rate at which our talk, clocks, tick, depends upon the gravitational field wherein so, if I'm way above the earth surface, my clock is actually ticking at a different rate than your clock. This it sounds so crazy, but we need every day because you know, what did you use GPS at all today? Ok, wouldn't it worked. It was with that, because the clocks in the set GPS satellites are ticking at a different rate than the clocks on earth. Because of general relativity 'cause they're in a different, higher up with respect to the earth, so they had to calculate. We have to know use that affect to correct if it wasn't, for that case, your
would go out of alignment in less than one minute. We use it every single day. So explain that please the gps. So the gps satellites will be assisting satellites that are in orbit. They take into account the fact that they are higher above the earth set. Their clocks are ticking more slowly than ours. How do we know that? Because, How do they know where we are bye bye? triangulation they basically look at the time it takes. They have atomic clocks very 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.
But if the clock there is taking a different rate, then you get a wrong answer for the time it takes for it to go on there. The that number you get from that satellite when it reports to your watch, is a slower hoster well due to their two effects due to its motion due to its motion yeah, it's it well. Well, how can I say this? It's basically slower, but do its motion it's taking at a slower rate. Okay, due to its height in the gravitational field, it turns out that it's faster, so the two affects county for the general to be in class and special jet in this case, generosity wins. I think it's something like the rate that they're they're taking more slowly it. I I calculated once I run a sudden, the New York Times piece on this, and I forget the number, but it's something like of the order of thirty eight microseconds per day, they're clicking
picking at a slower rate, millet to vote thirty, eight millions of a second every day, every day different, and that may not sound important to you. But if you calculate how far light travels. In thirty eight millions of a second it's pretty far, and so the If you, if you, if you keep getting wrong by that number, your definition of your position is going to keep getting wrong by that by that number and I worked out I and then this should allow me to work backwards. If had a pad and paper. I see a pad by I'm not going to do it right now. 'cause, I don't care, but I remembered you'd be out by like a kilometer in two minutes, wow amazing. It is so we use these abstract esoteric principles. The governor lives so general activity. She isn't matters for our technology, but it tells us, but it'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 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, 'cause, 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 black hole. If we're watching from the outside. That's why the Russians called in frozen stars is not weird crazy yeah. This is but it's true the where the concept come from, that inside every black hole is perhaps hundreds of billions galaxies each with a black hole in front of it. Well, I don't I don't. I never heard that concept when I have heard is that is that at the single already the singularity, maybe a portal to another universe right and, moreover, that that that inside the black hole you could, you could imagine it that that you we are observing a space that appears to be expanding instead of contracting, and is it bolded, those inside that black hole, that universe would not have the same laws of physics that we
Well, I want to 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 the black hole? You know why why because gravity, allows us to measure what the total mass of the black hole is. A black it? Well, if it's Well, that's a different universe right! That's why I'm saying! But after that's when it's no longer inside the black hole, but it's wonderful that in that sense, black holes are just like any other stars. You know you can orbit around them. You know not. Everything falls into a black hole because you turn away way. You could just do Norbit right, like a planet around the sun. The sun is attracting us, but the doesn't fall into it. Not a normal amount of time. Do you anticipate that? That's something that we might try to do in the future is sent a satellite into the black hole. First, we have to find a black
Well, the one in the center of our Galaxy Brown's! Well that if you know how long it takes to get to the phone in our galaxy is forty, this ever got she's forty thousand light years away. So it's of you got it. It's a long experiment yeah! Yes, I'm sorry, I'm not clear to me the National Science Foundation under for anyone else, is going to go, find that about how we would be interested if you could send a lot of Congress to explore what the what it's like in the center of the black hole solution. Yeah, maybe up really go where no man or woman is gone before. What about black holes that are not attached to galaxies? Well, we don't see them. We don't right now we have this. I don't believe anyone's because here's how you? How do you see a black hole? You have to
star, Sir Clear that Klay right it's only. We can see that so those just theoretical the stars that aren't the black holes rather that aren't attached. Well, I mean the end that not only the theoretical, I think very few people argue there are many such things mmhm, because we tend to think that star. Mars conglomerate around around regions where there's dominant mass right, they collapse, and so while it's true that the galaxies are just the tip of a dominant of cosmic iceberg, most of the massive galaxies isn't stars or black holes. It's this stuff called dark matter What is that the stuff? You need to dress Tyson, try to explain it to me and I don't get in there either. Well, it's look. It's really quite simple. When we weigh galaxies, which we can do by see how fast it stars move around them. We find but they weigh a lot more than can be accounted by counting all the stars. So the domino cast doesn't shine. We call that dark matter not too surprising, and what we have discovered- and this is the
using part. Is we can estimate how much normal matter? There is an by normal matter. I mean this stuff made of protons and neutrons the same as you and me, and when we how much dark matter we see in the universe, there's a heck of a, more of that than can be accounted for by the total number protons and neutrons in the universe, and that means what we think the dark matter is made of some new type of elementary particle, something it was created in the early history of the universe, that's different than normal matter. That's not too surprising either 'cause the early universe was lots of energy around and if their new elements, articles that are stable. It's not too surprising that there are lots of them around and if they don't interact right. We wouldn't see them, 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 calculations and show that if it, if it were, if there the dark matter, weren't made of stuff that's different than protons, and runs there would not have been enough time in the history of the universe for galaxies to form there.
That's really strong evidence that that stuff must be. There must not be made of protons and neutrons 'cause, we're proof you and I the galaxies formed It's so fascinating that there's this element, that's a huge part of universe itself we're, not really exactly sure what it is yeah. Is that great? It's amazing. It's amazing there are mysteries. What, unfortunately, I get told is it makes it seem like you know, so It was done and it's all done. It was done by dead white men two hundred years ago. That's not the mystery continue. That's why it's the greatest story ever told so far. That's why young kids should be interested in science because, like it's full of mysteries and we've learned so much about the universe, but it gets more mysterious. And more exciting every time we open a new window on the universe were surprised. That's why we gotta keep looking out and not looking in, tell me about Hypernovas Hypernovas Hypernova watched Science documentary freaked me out about how, when they first started measure
gamma ray burst out into the you know. They thought there was wars going on between alien races. Well, the point is that you know how you know these things call, gamma ray bursts and what they are gamma rays are extremely energetic forms of light. If you don't think about it, ok, among other things, are emitted in nuclear weapons, explosions, okay and and They were discovered. It's really neat, it's one of the few examples of defense. Money well spent in my opinion, but maybe a few, but now that we will get lots of emails over like that anyway So there were these satellites that were designed to go up that were earth monitoring to look for gamma rays. Why 'cause we're looking for nuclear weapons explode? to see if the Soviets or some other country, where we're having you nuclear Well, we do monitor, but there was this one all this was. These satellites were put up in the 60s 70s, so this is around the time they did that operation, starfish, prime, where they detonated 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 that were used by the as monitoring systems to look for nuclear weapons explosions, and then these. Looking downward discover these get these first, the gamma rays, which would be a potential signature of nuclear weapons explosions. They discovered they weren't coming from earth, and then they discovered coming from everywhere in the cosmos and that's how they were discovered, devices were monitoring the earth looking for new weapons explosions and then saw them. In space how many of them were well there every There are millions of them and they happened. One second, two seconds one minute long burst that are incredibly energetic, emitting more energy than the sun made in his lifetime in its lifetime and happening all the time, they are happening all the time. You know why 'cause the great thing about the universe is it's big and it's old and therefore rare events happen all the time. Let me give you an example: stars explode and it's good for us that stars explode
but in this book, because it 'cause every atom in your body, and every ad in my body was made inside stars that eventually explode. How do we know that 'cause the big bang. The only elements that were created were hydrogen helium little bit of lithium, but the importance was for some people, it seems important, but the rest of Us Christmas, carbon, nitrogen oxygen iron. All the stuff that makes us human was only created in the fiery furnace is in the cores of stars and how could it get it here in my body 'cause. They were stars that were kind enough to explode So, as I once said in some people put on t shirts now so forget Jesus the stars died, so we could be born. Ok, but but here's the deal stars, explode about once every one hundred years per galaxy. So in our galaxy once every one hundred years stars explodes there been about two hundred million stars explode in the fourteen billion years or twelve billion years since our galaxy's been around and that's produced the Rama, girls at four and a half billion years ago. Coalesced
our son in the planets, and you and I so all the times in your body blonde through stars and been through the most intense explode is that we know of a nature, a supernova, an every your body's experience. It may be more than once 'cause to get to the amount of carb. Nitrogen oxygen! That's in our bodies! It had to be recycle, many times, so the atoms in your left hand, may have been inside of different star than your right and your real stardust we're all stardust where we're really connected cosmos in really interesting and important ways we live, the work created by stars- that's a great thing, but but but that's not the point I want to make. The point I wanted to make was it stars explode once per years for Galaxy. We use supernovae as a way to probe the universe. How can we do that if one if we were looking at galaxies and one star explodes every one hundred years in the galaxy, how can we use them as probes they say: there's one way is to graduate student each galaxy? it can be one hundred years and if they die, students are cheap. So you get a new one or
are we using this fact that the universe is big and old? If you take your head is up tonight and weren't in LOS Angelus, where you could see the stars and it held dime sized made a dime size hole and looked up at a dime sized dark region of the universe, We didn't see any stars if you had a telescope that is a biggest telescope say we haven't. Chile you'd see a hundred thousand galaxies one hundred galaxies in that small region, then, if one star explodes every hundred years, the galaxy, if you workout, how many stars will I see explode tonight you find out you'll, see two or three stars explode. Just that dime size, yeah yeah, because the universe is big and old and rare events have all the time, and that makes universe so exciting, because now we can use supernova to study the universe, 'cause AAR strummers right. Puzzles and say tonight I mean use the Hubble space telescope. To look at this. You're not going to see three stars explode. Isn't that amazing? That is amazing! Yeah, it's just isn't it a shame that more
people, don't realize that 'cause, that's as amazing, as you know, is 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 there all together, science is fun and neat an interesting and you don't have to be a sign, just 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, where light pollution prevents people from seeing how amazing the stars, in fact, there's a lot of astronomers who are doing in fact active work to try and reduce light pollution's and cities near Tellus, and there's other I mean the people. Radio telescope is, if you never been down to Puerto Rico, is it's beautiful was actually would have seen it in two James Bond movies 'cause. They made it into like the layer of you, know, is evident in the layer of some crazy evil scientist and it I've been there a few times and it's amazing 'cause. It's. One thousand meter wide net of of of of
errors in a natural volcanic volcanic cabinets, really beautiful and there's jungle growing underneath it the I've, walked underneath it here see. This cop is amazing, because it it because it's so big it allows to measure lots of things in the universe? In fact, you could measure a light about PLUTO? If there was a light bulb and we're looking at the picture of it now it's amazing. It's amazing and you can't even get the sense of the size of it necessarily from that. It's all wires how wires it's not all its wires, because only measuring radio waves and the wavelength is large compared to the spacing between the wires. You don't need a solid brand 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 Metsa has a characteristic
Frequency of a mission of radio waves do do do do what's called a hyperfine splitting and hydrogen and it it it, and so people said you know what that would be. A wonderful frequency for for aliens to commute if they really wanted to show if they're, smart, enough to know that how the universe works. That's a universal frequency, that's everywhere, 'cause hydrogen is a domino. No matter and all of it always emits radiation at that frequency. Okay, it's it's! A thousand. Forty megahertz, I think, is the frequency. Okay, a yellow! You know again, I could be wrong, but it's something like that end, but they're worried because there was nearby he aggressive. Oh 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 it, a frequency that would mean that Eric
You see broken 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, 'cause everything he said was polluting, but but and that they've managed to be able to fix that, but I've 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 yeah. That's very ironic, isn't it isn't? It's very ironic? It's I think it's very symbolic of many things. Wow. That is fascinating moment of silence, because it's so amazing yeah. Well, it's confusing well yeah, but that's ok! Being confused is that I told you being longer which is the best part? No, I I can get it. I got it now, when you talk about the vastness of space, and you talk about space being four teen billion or whatever it is your circle, eight billion years old, plus or minus a little bit. What's the going theory
what was going on before that? Well, I wrote a book about it. First of all, but but called universal, nothing! The point, is we don't the 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 have to understand. Gravity is a quantum forced 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 possibility in the possibility that looks most plausible, that I talked about, is our universe, Cheney is the came into being from nothing by quantum fluctuations. I 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 So what does that house? That is because gravity allows things to have positive energy as well as negative energy.
Yet it all up- and our universe looks like it is total Nrg zero, but I know you: shaking her head, but that's the neat thing is I'm trying to rattle if you were going to create a universe from nothing, what would you the tool MG university once you realize total energy thing? Why would you once you as a total energy universe can be zero. Then the stability that comes from nothing becomes plausible If it doesn't, you may need a dd to create everything, but it turns you can create a hundred galaxies, each containing one hundred billion stars with for violating energy conservation, ok, and that isn't it's the ultimate free lunches, Allen, goose would say- and it's amazing that 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 question. What would the universe look like today? That was created that that that arose spontaneously from nothing. Thirteen point eight billion years ago, just by known laws of physics or at least plausible
cause of physics. What would it look like today? If that, if that was the requirement- and the answer is, it would look just like the universe in which we live in? That is that prove that that's what happened no, but it makes it plaza, and it makes a plausible without supernatural, shenanigans and any time you can get rid of God, it's a good thing, but isn't something out of nothing supernatural channel, no 'cause, it happens all the time right, hi. I this example: I've been talking to a few times today to people the lights in the studio, okay, the the the the the lights above us our head. So what happened so electrons change, energy levels and atoms and they emit photons. Where were the photo, before they were admitted they weren't in the Adams. Where were they? They didn't exist? They were spontaneously graded, so it turned on by the light switch when you touch with God, no they're spontaneously created 'cause, there's no cause for any of them. Each atom, Sponte, basically decays into a different level, because Quantum Mechanics says that these things can happen spontaneously and when it does, a photon is created from
nothing. So, here's what I was getting at yeah. What is the difference between this infinitely, again small point that the universe came out and the center of a black hole the event horizon of a black hole. Well, and uh the event horizon. Isn't the center it's the outside of the cycle through the answer is there is no different, no difference! No they're singularity is where the laws of physics, as we know them breakdown. 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 right now. I think it's. I think it's more likely to quantum mechanics, just burped us out where it Kosmic burp much like no, I mean, I think it's great. I I I don't know if you know so on my my jacket, which I don't know where to put it, but it will here somewhere, probably outside? I had this flying spaghetti sir? Because I love the songs and once again because he boiled so that we could be alive today, but it's it is it's
so? This infinitely dense point Three thirteen point, eight billion years ago, this war of whatever was this this something out of nothing point: what are your thoughts about before that? Well, here's the thing: you're gonna hate, okay, one possibility which is quite possibly play plausible. If our space suddenly popped out of nothing mine, so it tells us that space and time are to get. We live in a four dimensional, so space began at that instance at a time, so there was no before the question is a good question time didn't exist, till the universe came into existence so to ask the question: what was before is not a good question, so time didn't just before thirteen point, eight 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 'cause time didn't exist.
It sounds like a cop out and it kinda is, but it may to be true so and if no before then all of our notions of causality go out the window 'cause, we all depend upon foreign. After decide causes and effects, but if there was no before and we have to change our notions of a cause and effect and that's awful but hey that's what we call learning what? But the idea is that the universe is in a constant state of contraction. No, it isn't mansion and well I mean some people think that no it's not been abandoned, This is still argue that there's a cycle 'cause, it looks nice and they are yeah I think, most most people I mean there are some people who argue for that kind of picture. Something neat well, I think they're trying to type their ignorance and something that isn't anymore plausible in the picture that expands forever and as far as we can tell the most likely- possibilities that our universe will expand forever. But to make you a little bit happier, it's quite possible. The best pictures that we have of the early universe is that we actually our universe, is 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 multiverse might be 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. Ok, here's one minute, but first of all the simplest possibility is that they are outside. Region, we can see right. For example, edges of our visible universe. Space is expanding faster away from us than light, because you know we talk Even school. Nothing can travel faster than light. You may remember that from scratch we lied well now you have to is it more carefully like a lawyer? Nothing could travel through space faster than light, but space and do whatever the hell it wants. So local as I told you that radio host is is at rest
they're not moving and the other end of the galaxy at the other end of the visible universe and we're rest. But the space between us is expanding that Galaxy, like a surfer, is being carried away from us faster than light into the water. The surfer isn't moving right, but call to the shore. The surfer is right, right, ok, 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 in an undertow, they can swim really fast in the water, but if the water is moving away from the shore, they let me get back to shore right and so that Galaxy light from that Galaxy is traveling through space at the speed of light. But it's the space in between US the galaxies moving faster than light. Then the poor light can ever take it to us we call that a horizon wow, so the space is traveling too far
our for the light to reach us so our best to trip basis too fast. So this, like can't catch up with the expansion of space, and it never gets to us and not that Galaxy disappears. From our causal horizon, we call it will to be able to see it will never be interact with. It will never be ok and it could be that that there are different regions so far away from us, where space is expand faster than light which, which have a very different history than our own, so there could be space could be infinite. Just are simple You know, space that we know of and love could be infinite in extent and different, of that space had if mysteries and some of those regions and we can see, we know emerged single point. Ok, we can tell that we can tell that by measuring big. An expansion of everything we see and working backwards and the universe that are visible universe was one small, smaller and smaller to go back in time. We can actually follow the laws of physics back.
The earliest moments of the big bang until those laws breakdown Make predictions about the universe would look like all those predictions agree exactly with the observations we make, which tell us that that picture 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't see? Here's how we've changed, and this is semantics but nontrivial semantics, namely when I was a kid universe meant everything everything right, but we say that's pretty stupid A better definition is not operational. One universe means that region of space with which one time we could have communicated one time in the future, even if the features infinite, we might communicate with 'cause that describes the region of space, where cause and effect work, some measurable distance, yes, and so that We think of a universe is that region which could throughout which everything could affect everything else.
Ultimately in an infinitely long time and in that picture we universes, can be restricted in size and in other regions which could never have affected us and which will never affect us in the future. We call other universes Oh and now they're many different versions of a multiverse, but that's the simplest version and picture. We call inflation, which uh you know I talk. I just did two clips associate with the new book of one force for publisher and one was for big, think one is a the universe in under two minutes, so you can look up online. Look for Lawrence Krauss explains university in two minutes. When I talk about this cosmic expansion and how it might mean, there's a Multiverse But the other is explain the universe, terms of of this beer bottle of that that I talked about your earlier. So you can that's a video you can watch that, but it is there even inflation, which actually says our universe, 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 of a billionth of a billionth. Of a billionth of a second old it had a huge expansion suddenly and increased in size. Eyes by thirty 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 ok and then, then and then it would produce the universe that looks more or less like. We look like you, look like an and and it's right now the only explanation of of how that would cause the universe to look like what it looks like, but the nice thing about inflation is its eternal. So inflation that puffing up and it in our universe and then boom. A hot big bang followed it. So the region, universe, universe, puffed up huge amount, then all of that Nrg, which was stored in empty space, got release 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, in their space, is still expanding exponentially and faster and faster and faster and only maybe somewhere else today, boom, like ice crystal forming boom that that region Space is suddenly left inflation and maybe a the gazillion years in the future will be another region of space. That's expand away from a 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. 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 and that's how we tend to think it's. Quite likely that there are many many separate regions of space and in fact it's eternal so such regions are forming eternally for all time and and there are not big things happening in many regions and the property, each of those regions, whether they're conducive to forming galaxies and stars and planets, and people may be different
We could say logically in that picture, that the reason the universe looks like the way it does. Because we're here to measure it all my god. We should leave it at that. Okay, we should close with that. That is the mind. Blower go and blow it could. Okay, while I'm glad I wore you out not the other way. That was amazing. Thank you! So much fun, I'm fascinated again. Those two and a half hours mention okay, bye, good thanks, wow! Thank you for you and me, and my phone by I don't know how the let's listen man I was a mind. Blower. Okay, thank greatest story ever told. So far it's available. Now you can get an audio books on you can get on Itunes in audiobook form as well. Thank you very much. I really really appreciate it's been great to finally get to talk to. You start you to really appreciate this. Thank you. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for into the podcast and thank you to our sponsors. Thank you to Caveman coffee for caffeinating through this wonderful journey of the mind, my brain is going to be blown for quite a few days. Now we have to think of
I'm going to listen to that one and listen on several times 'cause. There was a bunch of things and he said that I was like wait. What the fuck did you just say? No, thanks to K. Can coffee go to Caveman Coffee, co, dot com use. The code word Rogan to save ten percent. Thanks go to square space for a free trial and ten percent off your first purchase go to square space dot com forward. Slash Joe, thank you to my time, favorite underwear go to meundies dot com, Slash Rogan, and you will get twenty percent off your first pair. That's me on dot, com forward, Slash Rogan! Thank you to blue print, delicious meals, that you can cook yourself, yummy ingredients and really interesting and creative dishes, and you could check this week's menu and get your first three meals for free with free shipping. By going to blue apron dot com forward, Slash Rogan, that's blue apron dot com forward, slash broken
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Transcript generated on 2019-10-31.