Jim Holt: Why does the universe exist?
Jim Holt - Writer and philosopher
Why is there something rather than nothing? In his book "Why Does the World Exist?" Jim Holt dares to ask. Full bio
the contingency of their existence,
name-dropping in this talk,
something rather than nothing,
at about the same time,
there something rather than nothing,
materials to fashion a world out of.
I'm going to mime my visuals,
and you don't believe in God,
it's not a good argument.
is just a whole lot of nothing.
consistent sets of laws.
called "The Elegant Universe."
we see around us, I think. (Laughter)
seem to be amazingly improbable,
of genetically possible humans,
number of alleles and so forth,
humans that have existed
most elegant possible reality?
in the fullest possible reality?
puzzle, the mystery of existence,
About the speaker:Jim Holt - Writer and philosopher
Why is there something rather than nothing? In his book "Why Does the World Exist?" Jim Holt dares to ask.
Why you should listen
In his 2012 book Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story, Jim Holt creates a narrative out of one of the biggest questions we can ask -- and how modern scientists and philosophers are asking it. Can answers be found in many-worlds theory, in quantum mechanics, in a theology? Traveling around North America and Europe, he talks to physicists, including David Deutsch; philosophers, including Richard Swinburne; and the novelist John Updike. Why? Because as he tells Vanity Fair, "To me it’s the most sublime and awesome question in all of philosophy and all of human inquiry."
A longtime contributor to the New York Times, Slate and the New Yorker, Holt has written on string theory, time, infinity, numbers, humor, logic, truth and bullshit, among other topics. Holt studied mathematics at the University of Virginia, and was a faculty fellow in the philosophy department at Columbia. He is now at work on a book about free will, weakness of will, self-knowledge and happiness.
Jim Holt | Speaker | TED.com