64 episodes

How fragile is our world? What physics led to the existence of life, and how likely --or unlikely-- were these conditions to come about? In this video series we assemble top researchers and approach this question for all angles, with a strong focus on the physics involved. Our talks accessibly discuss how the laws of physics, the initial conditions of the universe, and features of our local world work together to produce the sort of medium-scale world we live in, and assess how likely this world was to come about.

The Physics of Fine-Tuning Oxford University

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How fragile is our world? What physics led to the existence of life, and how likely --or unlikely-- were these conditions to come about? In this video series we assemble top researchers and approach this question for all angles, with a strong focus on the physics involved. Our talks accessibly discuss how the laws of physics, the initial conditions of the universe, and features of our local world work together to produce the sort of medium-scale world we live in, and assess how likely this world was to come about.

    • video
    Fine-Tuning Discussion

    Fine-Tuning Discussion

    Simon Friederich, Natalja Deng, and Erik Curiel participate in a roundtable discussion addressing questions around probability, fine-tuning, and arguments for a multiverse or deity. Simon Friederich, Natalja Deng, and Erik Curiel participate in a roundtable discussion addressing questions around probability, fine-tuning, and arguments for a multiverse or deity. This discussion was conducted at the Lindeman Lecture Theatre, Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford, on October 6, 2016.

    • 30 min
    • video
    Erik Curiel: Measure, Topology, and Probability in Cosmology.

    Erik Curiel: Measure, Topology, and Probability in Cosmology.

    Erik Curiel explains the challenges in making assessments of probability by making assumptions about the space of universes--or cosmological models--that our theories allow. Erik Curiel (Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy) explains the difficulty of making various concepts of and relating to probability precise, rigorous and physically significant when attempting to apply them in reasoning about objects (e.g., spacetimes) living in infinite-dimensional spaces, working through several examples from cosmology. He concludes that most standard forms of argument used in cosmology to estimate the likelihood of the occurrence of various properties or behaviors of spacetimes have serious mathematical, physical and conceptual problems. This lecture was conducted at the Lindeman Lecture Theatre, Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford, on October 6, 2016.

    • 41 min
    • video
    Natalja Deng: What Kind of Fine-Tuner?

    Natalja Deng: What Kind of Fine-Tuner?

    Natalja Deng discusses whether the apparent fine-tuning of the universe for life can be evidence for a divine creator. Natalja Deng (Yonsei University) comments on two responses to the fine-tuning argument for god, namely one based on dismissive priors , and one based on a ‘God-of-the-gaps’ style objection by theistic design theorists. She suggests that the latter response amounts to a practice-based constraint on theistic conceptions, and that often, theistic conceptions that meet this constraint are vulnerable to the former objection. This lecture was conducted at the Lindeman Lecture Theatre, Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford, on October 6, 2016.

    • 33 min
    • video
    Simon Friederich: Fine-Tuning for Life in the Universe, A Panoramic View

    Simon Friederich: Fine-Tuning for Life in the Universe, A Panoramic View

    Simon Friederich reviews the challenges that arise in using empirical evidence that the universe is tuned for life to evaluate multiverse hypothesis. Simon Friederich (University of Groningen) offers a panoramic view of intricacies and challenges that arise in the assessment of empirical evidence concerning multiverse theories and the relevance of fine-tuning for life. This lecture was conducted at the Lindeman Lecture Theatre, Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford, on October 6, 2016.

    • 40 min
    • video
    Evidence in the Multiverse

    Evidence in the Multiverse

    Erik Curiel and Simon Friederich hash out the problems we encounter when we look for evidence of a multiverse. How do we gain evidence for a multiverse? In the final part of their discussion, Erik Curiel and Simon Friederich hash out the problems we encounter when we try to use our observations as evidence for the multiverse. This discussion was conducted at the University of Oxford on October 6, 2017.

    • 25 min
    • video
    The Hard Fact of Life in Big Physics City

    The Hard Fact of Life in Big Physics City

    How similar is the fine-tuning of our universe to probabilistic reasoning we use and understand? Simon Friederich and Erik Curiel go through a series of examples. In the third part of their discussion, Simon Friederich and Erik Curiel go over the connection between a widely recognized fallacy--the Gambler’s Fallacy--and the fine-tuning argument. How similar is the fine-tuning argument for the multiverse to common ways of reasoning from observations to likelihoods? This discussion was conducted at the University of Oxford on October 6, 2017.

    • 14 min

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