Our executive editor's weekly look into our most interesting worlds of curiosity and hope — including a bit of Papal/physicist humor, questions for the new year, praise for sacred inefficiencies, an introduction to the Muslim festival of Mawlid, and a meditation on the gifts of winter.
With the recent news about the universe's origins, why are we struck dumb with awe and the nature of magnificence? A guest commentary on our deepest impulses.
Our interview with physicist and author brought about this fun and wide-ranging set of time-shift tweets. He brings an infectious excitement to the conversation about the frontiers of modern physics and how vital science is to understanding the nature of life and reality.
When you believe strongly in an idea, how do you shepherd it into being? As senior editor Trent Gilliss explains, sometimes it takes years of perseverance and framing.
Our interview with Natalie Batalha resulted in a wonderful set of time-shift tweets. We compile them for your pleasure.
“Every single thing that religion provides, rationality, empiricism, and science can provide. And not only that — they can provide it better.” ~Dr. Lawrence Krauss
The physicist and atheist talks with Krista Tippett about what science may reveal about the origins of life and human consciousness.
Of all the ideas Janna Levin presents, the most provocative and disturbing, perhaps, is her doubt that there is free will in human existence at all. She cannot be sure that we are not utterly determined by brilliant principles of physics and biology. Yet she cleaves more fiercely in the face of this belief to the reality of her love of her children and her hopes and dreams for them.
Listen to these sounds of black holes merging and falling into one another and the "white noise" of the Big Bang. A TED Talk with Janna Levin that stirs the mind.
Physicists have long sought to describe the universe in terms of equations. Now, James Gates explains how research on a class of geometric symbols known as adinkras could lead to fresh insights into the theory of supersymmetry — and perhaps even the very nature of reality.
Writing script explaining string theory isn't so easy. Thankfully, Brian Greene's TED talk provided just the right language. A revelatory video that will excite your imagination.
Gates shares with us a scientist's rich, connected way of looking at the universe, and we've captured him in Twitter form.
Krista Tippett reflects on her conversation with John Polkinghorne on quarks, creation, and God.
A reflection on Einstein's "cosmic" religious sense and how it's deeply kindred with the religious and spiritual yearnings of our age.
For the past few interviews, we have been diligently tweeting away while Krista converses with our guests. We hope that this is a unique way for you to experience some of the highlights — and get the conversation started — before you experience the full edited (or unedited!) show.
After our interview with Mario Livio, we all sat down to discuss what constitutes a good tweet. So, this week, we ask you: seeing the entire tweeting transcript below, what tweets are helpful? Do links help? Is it too much to break information between tweets?
The reference of a reference that became this week's show title.
A visualization showing how three mathematical concepts translate into simple objects in nature.
“…there are some scientists who say ‘I don’t think electrons really exist.’ It’s useful to think of them as existing. It’s useful to build computers with that image in mind of an electron, but I don’t think they really exist… when other people think of God as a personal thing, that’s as close as you can get given the constraints on human cognition and maybe it’s not something you should apologize for…”
Transcribing Krista’s interview with Robert Wright for next week’s show, I came across this passage, which reminded me of a conversation I had with a Hindu Sanyasi when I was 16. In Hinduism, “God” has different definitions depending on what appeals to you. For example, in my family, I grew up understanding that all the different deities were forms of one personal being. But working in India, I met people who literally believed every deity existed as a separate identity — true polytheism. And this Sanyasi was my first exposure to the idea of God not as a personal being.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is a name that’s been bandied about the office in the last several weeks as a potential guest. While scanning RSS feeds, one keys in on keywords one may not have paid attention to previously.
In this interview with The Humanist, the popular astrophysicist has some intriguing things to say about beliefs, education, and communication. When asked if he’s a humanist:
I’ve never identified with any movement. I just am what I am and occasionally a movement claims me because there is resonance between my writings and speeches and what they do, and that’s fine; I don’t mind that. But no, I have never been politically or organizationally active in that way. Astrophysics—that’s what I identify with.
A rap from an employee who works with the particle accelerator that actually does a really good job of breaking down the science.
Visualizing responses to a Physics World survey on religion and science.