Podcast: The Descent of Math

Our “BlueSciCon” podcast for April features a conversation with Dr. Sara Walker about her recent essay titled “The Descent of Math“. Scientists and philosophers have often remarked that it seems incredible that we are able to understand the universe at all. Our civilization’s ability to manipulate the physical environment has allowed us to create possibilities that were never before seen in history. In her essay for FQXi’s current contest, Dr. Walker discusses the possibility that evolutionary processes tend toward producing […]

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BlueSciCon Episode 37: The Descent of Math

Dr. Sara Walker Beverage: Seltzer Water Listen: [mp3 download] Questions to consider: Why does the universe seem comprehensible, and why should beings like us be here to comprehend it? How does our knowledge about the laws of physics permit us to access new physical states of the world? Do other creatures–such as birds or beavers–engage in knowledge manipulation of their environments? Are there early examples of the emergence of math, prior to the evolution of humans? Is the development of […]

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Podcast: Winter-Safe Deterrence

Our “BlueSciCon” podcast for March features a conversation with Dr. Seth Baum of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute and Kathryn McLaughlin of Biosecu.re about the concept of “Winter-Safe Deterrence“. The stockpiles of nuclear weapons held by nations today hold the power to destroy civilization several times over, and the risk of nuclear winter–a catastrophic reduction in global temperatures due to soot from nuclear war–gives us reason to question whether we should maintain such massive stockpiles at all. Yet deterrence provides […]

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BlueSciCon Episode 36: Winter-Safe Deterrence

Dr. Seth Baum & Kathryn McLaughlin Beverage: Yuengling (United States – Pennsylvania) Listen: [mp3 download] Questions to consider: What would be the consequences of a global nuclear winter? How significant is the threat of nuclear winter today? Is deterrence the primary motivation for states to acquire nuclear weapons? Can we achieve deterrence while eliminating the risk of nuclear winter? Are biological weapons a viable alternative, or do they carry too many unknown risks to serve as a winter-safe deterrent? [ca_audio […]

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