This ID the Future wraps up a lively four-part series between religious skeptic Michael Shermer and Return of the God Hypothesis author and philosopher of science Stephen Meyer. Here Meyer underscores the fact that every worldview must posit something as the prime reality, and he argues that positing mind (rather than matter) as the prime reality solves far more problems in science, and not just in origins science. What about the idea of a multiverse to explain the fine tuning of the laws and constants of physics? Meyer concedes that this is a solution of sorts, but it comes at a tremendous cost, which he explains. That’s just a taste of where Meyer and Shermer go in this final segment. Also threading its way through this rich finale–Deepak Chopra’s eastern take on reality, the mind-bending idea of absolute nothingness, mind-body dualism, Michael Polanyi, John Searle, and even a cameo appearance from the Boltzmann brain. This podcast series is posted here by permission of Michael Shermer. The full video conversation is available here.
Today’s ID the Future continues (by permission) the long-form conversation between Stephen Meyer, author of the newly released USA Today bestseller Return of the God Hypothesis, and UC-San Diego physicist Brian Keating. Here in part two the conversation turns to quantum cosmology, multiverse hypotheses, Stephen Hawking, and Hawking’s now-you-see-it/now-you-don’t use of imaginary time to deny a cosmic beginning. Meyer argues that Hawking’s imaginary-time trick doesn’t wash, there remains powerful evidence for a cosmic beginning, and that this beginning is best explained as the creation act of an intelligent, immaterial being. Also, Keating and Meyer tackle the question: Did Isaac Newton really blunder by invoking a God of the gaps to periodically tweak the solar system to smooth out perturbations? That is, was Newton led astray by his theism to opt for a science-stopping invocation of God to explain away a problem in his theory? Meyer’s PhD in the history and philosophy of science happens to be from Newton’s university, Cambridge, and Meyer says that he researched the issue in particular and no, the oft-repeated claim is a myth. What is true, Meyer says, is that Newton, Kepler, and other founders of modern science were inspired to search out and find the rational order hidden in nature because they were theists, convinced that nature was the work of a rational Creator. Check out Keating’s website here, and get a copy of Meyer’s new book here.