Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe

Stephen Schnetzer (Physics and Astronomy)

This seminar will be on the nature of reality as described by modern physics and its relation to the concept of reality that we use in our everyday lives. The primary text will be The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself by Sean Carroll. We will also discuss writings by Lenny Susskind, Roger Penrose, Steven Weinberg, David Deutsch and others. The seminar will be wide ranging, touching on fundamental physics, cosmology, the origin and evolution of life, quantum information and consciousness. The focus will be on what we know and how we know it. The discussions will be serious but a math background is not required.