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Sean Carroll on Physics and Death

Published by marco on

This is a video by the always-interesting and funny Sean Carroll on physics (naturally) and on things that we know about life, death, entropy and the afterlife. It’s a really interesting talk that is very technically deep while still being more accessible than other, similar talks.

Emperor Has No Clothes Award Acceptance Speech by Sean Carroll (YouTube)

Near the beginning, he addresses heaven and the afterlife and the explanations that non-scientists have embraced.

What to make of the evidence for an afterlife?

Some ill-defined metaphysical substance, not subject to the known laws of physics, interacts with the atoms of our brains in ways that have thus far eluded every controlled experiment ever performed in the history of science,

–or–

People hallucinate when they are nearly dead.

He goes on to present entropic concepts, the heat-death of the universe and other deep-time themes that you may know from such hard-science authors as Greg Bear (The City at the End of Time), Gregory Benford (Deep Time) and Greg Egan (Diaspora).