Closer to Truth – Series 2

2017 Episode Listings

Is There Life After Death?
The idea of surviving our own physical demise has long obsessed us. But is there any way that our personal awareness could actually transcend physical decay? In part one we ask: Is There Life After Death? Given that there are so many theories on how the afterlife might be possible, can we know if it is real? In part two we ask: What Would Eternal Life Be Like?

Contributors:

Steven Braude, Professor of Philosophy, University of Maryland

J.P. Moreland, Professor of Philosophy, Biola University

Nancey Murphy, Philosopher of Religion, Fuller Theological Seminary

Seyyed Hussein Nasr, Professor of Islamic Studies, George Washington University

V.V. Raman, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Rochester Institute of Technology

David Shatz, Professor of Philosophy, Yeshiva University

Huston Smith, Legendary Scholar of World Religions

Richard Swinburne, Emeritus Professor of Christian Philosophy, Oxford University

Michael Tooley, Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado

Master Hsing Yun, Renowned Chinese Buddhist Monk

 

 

Will the Universe Ever End?

It’s hard to imagine that everything we see and know – the entire, vast, incomprehensibly large universe – might one day cease to exist. In part one, we ask: Will the Universe Ever End? A new theory claims to prove our universe will end, in its own special way. In part two we ask: What is The Doomsday Argument?

 

Contributors:

Nick Bostrom, Philosopher, University of Oxford

  1. Richard Gott, Professor of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University

Alan Guth, Professor of Physics, MIT

Michio Kaku, Physicist, City College of New York

John Leslie, Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph

Ken Olum, Associate Professor, Institute of Cosmology, Tufts University

Saul Perlmutter, Nobel Laureate in Physics

Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, Cosmologist, Cambridge University

Max Tegmark, Physicist and Cosmologist, MIT

 

How Many Universes Exist?

Could it be that our Universe is not the only one? In fact, many scientists believe it is not. In part one, we ask: How Many Universes Exist? If we assume that there are multiple universes that really exist, it could change how we see science, humanity, even God. In part two, we ask: What Would Multiple Universes Mean?

 

Contributors:

Anthony Aguirre, Associate Professor of Physics, UC-Santa Cruz

Paul Davies, Physicist, Arizona State University

Alan Guth, Professor of Physics, MIT

Andre Linde, Professor of Physics, Stanford Univ.

Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, Cosmologist, Cambridge University

Leonard Susskind, Professor of Theoretical Physics, Stanford Univ.

Max Tegmark, Physicist and Cosmologist, MIT

Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in Physics

 

 

What Would an Infinite Cosmos Mean?

We know that our Universe is unfathomably large, but could it be literally infinite in size? In part one, we ask: What Would an Infinite Cosmos Mean? It seems more and more likely that our Universe is not the only one – and that perhaps there are an unlimited number of other Universes. In part two, we ask: Must Mulitple Universes Exist?

 

Contributors:

Anthony Aguirre, Associate Professor of Physics, UC-Santa Cruz

Raphael Bousso, Professor of Physics, UC-Berkeley

Sean Carroll, Research Professor in Physics, California Institute of Technology

Paul Davies, Physicist, Arizona State University

Alan Guth, Professor of Physics, MIT

Joshua Knobe, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Yale Univ.

Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, Cosmologist, Cambridge Univ.

Max Tegmark, Physicist and Cosmologist, MIT

Alexander Vilenkin, Director of the Institute of Cosmology, Tufts University

 


 

Is Free Will an Illusion?

We all feel like free agents on the inside: in control of our behavior, our decisions, our lives. But does that feeling reflect reality? In part one, we ask: Is Free Will an Illusion?  Whether humans have free will is a question that has perplexed scientists and philosophers for ages. Why? In part two of today’s program, we ask: Why Obsess about Free Will?

 

Contributors:

Daniel Dennett, Co-director, Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University

Alison Gopnik, Professor of Psychology, UC-Berkeley

Patrick Haggard, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College, London

Al Mele, Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University

Timothy O’Connor, Chair, Department of Philosophy, Indiana University

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Professor of Philosophy, Duke University

Peter Tse, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College

Peter van Inwagen, Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame.

Thalia Wheatley, Associate Professor of Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College

 

 

How are Brains Structured?

The Brain is an unfathomably complex organ, and science continually reveals more fascinating information about it. In part one, we ask: How Are Brains Structured? Then we want to know how does the brain function?  In part two, we ask: How Do Human Brains Think and Feel?

 

Contributors:

Carmine Clemente, former Director of the Brain Research Institute, UCLA

Christof Koch, President and Chief Scientific Officer, Allen Institute of Brain Science

Joseph LeDoux, Professor of Neuroscience, NYU

Rodolfo Llinas, Chair, Department of Physiology & Neuroscience, NYU

John Mazziota, Chair, Department of Neurology, UCLA

Mike Merzenich, Professor of Neuroscience, UC-San Francisco

Arnold Scheibel, Professor of Neurobiology and Psychiatry, UCLA

John Schlag, Professor of Neurobiology, Brain Research Institute, UCLA

Eran Zaidel, Professor Emeritus of Behavioral Neuroscience, UCLA

 

 

 

Can Mind Heal the Body?

It’s common to think of Brain and Mind as two separate things that can influence each other. But is that right? And how far can such influence go? In part one, we ask: Can Mind Heal the Body? One way to learn about the relationship between Brain and Mind is to examine cases of injury, trauma, and addiction. In part two, we ask: What Happens When Brains Go Bad?

 

Contributors:

Deepak Chopra, Doctor, Author, Holistic Health Expert

Murali Doraiswamy, Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine, Duke University
Elissa Epel, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UC-San Francisco

Christopher Evans, Director, Brain Research Institute, UCLA

Susan Greenfield, British Neuroscientist and Writer

Donald Hoffman, Professor of Cognitive Science, University of California-Irvine

Barry Smith, Director, Institute of Philosophy, University of London

Rudy Tanzi, Professor of Neurology, Harvard University
Gino Yu, Head of Multimedia Innovation Center, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

 

 

Can ESP Reveal a New Reality?

Extra-sensory perception seems like the stuff of fantasy, but should the possibility be taken seriously? In part one we ask, Can ESP Reveal a New Reality?  To claim that ESP exists, one must explain at least possible mechanisms behind it. In part two, we ask: How Could ESP Work?

 

Contributors:

Brian Josephson, Nobel Laureate in Physics

Lawrence Krauss, Professor of Physics, Arizona State Univ.

Alan Leshner, CEO, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Dean Radin, Former President, Parapsychological Association

Marilyn Schlitz, President, Institute of Noetic Sciences

Michael Shermer, Founder and Publisher, Skeptic Magazine

Charles Tart, Professor, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology

Michael Tooley, Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado

Fred Wolf, Theoretical Physicist, former Physics Professor, San Diego State University

 


 

How Did the Universe Begin?

How did the Universe start? And where is it going? The answers may help us assess whether the Cosmos has meaning and purpose. In part one, we ask: How Did the Universe Begin? As science continues to progress, how far will it go in answering foundational questions? And where will it take us? In part two, we explore Science and the Future of Humanity.

 

Contributors:

Anthony Aguirre, Associate Professor of Physics, UC-Santa Cruz

Andreas Albrecht, Physicist, UC-Davis

Paul Davies, Physicist, Arizona State University

Alan Guth, Professor of Physics, MIT

James Hartle, Professor of Physics, UC-Santa Barbara

Seth Lloyd, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT

Laura Mersini-Houghton, Associate Professor of Physics, Univ. of N. Carolina

Don Page, Theoretical Physicist, Univ. of Alberta, Canada

Max Tegmark, Physicist and Cosmologist, MIT

 

 

What Exists?

Quantum Mechanics seems to be at the bedrock of reality, but it’s tricky to study – because observing things in the quantum world affects them. In part one, we ask: Why is Observation in Quantum Mechanics Such a Mystery? But there are even deeper questions about the nature of reality, what our world really is. In part two , we ask: What Exists?

 

Contributors:

Anthony Aguirre, Associate Professor of Physics, UC-Santa Cruz

Bernard Carr, Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy, University of London

Sean Carroll, Research Professor in Physics, California Institute of Technology

David Chalmers, Professor of Philosophy, NYU

Paul Davies, Physicist, Arizona State University

Alan Guth, Professor of Physics, MIT

Seth Lloyd, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT

Don Page, Theoretical Physicist, University of Alberta, Canada

Max Tegmark, Physicist and Cosmologist, MIT

David Wallace, Philosopher of Physics, USC