Sabine Hossenfelder, Eric Weinstein, Brian Greene and Michael Shermer discuss whether it is possible to find a theory that explains it all. Philosophy has often been seen as a hunt for a theory of everything, a single grand narrative that explains it all. In recent times science has had its own supporters for a theory of everything. Yet no theory of everything in philosophy or science has been forthcoming. And is it even possible? It would after all, have to include itself. Can we conceive of a universe that also includes its causes and laws? Can a universe have no before and after, no ‘outside’? And isn’t a theory of everything itself bounded by its particular culture, language and mode of thinking?
Should we abandon the dream of a theory of everything and see it as an illusion born of hubris? Is the mistake not with the idea of a full explanation, but with the idea of ‘everything’, or as the Greeks would have said ‘the One’? Or is it just possible that as Stephen Hawking once believed a theory of everything is just round the corner? World-leading string theorist Brian Greene, famed historian of science Michael Shermer, ground breaking particle physicist Sabine Hossenfelder and radical mathematical physicist and podcast host Eric Weinstein lock horns over whether it’s possible to find a theory of everything. Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Catherine Heymans, hosts.
Sabine Hossenfelder is a research fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray and regular contributor to Forbes. She is known for her popular YouTube channel Science Without The Gobbledygook.
Eric Weinstein is an American podcast host, managing director of Thiel Capital, doctor of mathematical physics and member of the “intellectual dark web”.
Brian Greene is renowned for his groundbreaking discoveries in superstring theory and best-selling books. He has been chairman of the World Science Festival since co-founding it in 2008.
Michael Shermer is a famous science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor-in-chief of its magazine ‘Skeptic’.
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