I have been a crappy blogger, and I blame real life for getting in the way. (No, that’s not the meaning of life.) I keep meaning to say something more substantial about the BICEP2 controversy — in the meantime check out Raphael Flauger’s talk, Matias Zaldarriaga’s talk (slides), this paper by Mortonson and Seljak, or this blog post by Richard Easther.
At least I have been a productive scientist! One paper on the expected amount of inflation with Grant Remmen, and one on the evolution of complexity in closed systems with Scott Aaronson and Lauren Ouellette (no relation to Jennifer). Promise to blog about them soon.
But not too soon, as I’m about to hop on airplanes again: first for the World Science Festival, then for the Cheltenham Science Festival. (Cheltenham is actually part of the world, but the two festivals are quite different.) Note that at the WSF, our session on Quantum Physics and Reality (with Brian Greene, David Albert, Sheldon Goldstein, and Ruediger Schack, Thursday at 8pm Eastern) will be live-streamed. Maybe the Science and Story event (with Steven Pinker, Jo Marchant, Joyce Carol Oates, and E.L. Doctorow, Thursday at 5:30 Eastern) will be also, I don’t know.
So, in lieu of original content, here is seven minutes of me pronouncing sonorously on the meaning of life. This is from a debate I participated in with Michael Shermer, Dinesh D’Souza, and Ian Hutchinson (not the Greer-Heard Forum debate with William Lane Craig, as I originally thought). I talked about how naturalists find meaning in our finite lives, without any guidance from the outside world.
I had nothing to do with the making of the video, and I have no idea where the visuals are from. It’s associated with The Inspiration Journey group on Facebook.
When I extend an kind of olive branch to believers, I do so in all sincerity. I unambiguously disagree with religious people on matters of fundamental ontology; but I recognize that we’re all just tiny little persons in a very big universe, trying our best to figure things out. And I’m firm in my conviction that we’re making progress.