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Michael Shermer with Brian Greene: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe


Until the End of Time is Brian Greene’s breathtaking new exploration of the cosmos and our quest to find meaning in the face of this vast expanse. Greene takes us on a journey from the big bang to the end of time, exploring how lasting structures formed, how life and mind emerged, and how we grapple with our existence through narrative, myth, religion, creative expression, science, the quest for truth, and a deep longing for the eternal. From particles to planets, consciousness to creativity, matter to meaning—Brian Greene allows us all to grasp and appreciate our fleeting but utterly exquisite moment in the cosmos.

Dr. Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics and director of Columbia University’s Center for Theoretical Physics and is renowned for his groundbreaking discoveries in superstring theory. He is the author of The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos, and The Hidden Reality, and he has hosted two Peabody and Emmy Award-winning NOVA miniseries based on his books. With producer Tracy Day, Greene co-founded the World Science Festival. He lives in New York. Greene and Shermer also discuss:

• God and religion

• why there is something rather than nothing

• What was there before the Big Bang, and what caused it to bang?

• Are mathematics and the laws of nature human constructs or in nature? • how the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is the First Law of Life

• How does consciousness arise from physical particles?

• panpsychism

• the Fermi Paradox (where is everybody?)

• the evolutionary origins of storytelling and myth-making

• free will and determinism

• finding meaning in a meaningless universe

• Greene’s encounter with J.Z. Knight and her 35,000-year-old spirit warrior Ramtha

• Terror Management Theory and the fear of death

• Are moral values human constructs and thus relative, or is there a secular/scientific basis for right and wrong?

This dialogue was recorded on March 9, 2020, as part of the Science Salon Podcast series hosted by Michael Shermer and presented by The Skeptics Society, in California.

[YouTube channel source, text and viewing credit: Skeptic]