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Brian Greene



Mickey Kutzner



Dr. Fred Alan Wolf



Elisabet Sahtouris



Robert Kaita

   
Brian Greene

Here we are floating on planet Earth, revolving around a non-descript star in the corner of an apparently every-day galaxy, which is just one of hundreds of billions of galaxies, each of which has hundreds of billions of stars. How do you make sense of such a strange predicament?

Dwight Nelson

Hello, I'm Dwight Nelson. Welcome to The Evidence. What's the strangest, most mysterious aspect of this amazing universe we live in? Is it its size? Its beauty? Its order? Or how about the idea that this universe had to be exactly, and I mean exactly as it is in order for you and me to be here. Is there a reason why everything is the way it is? Could it be that the wonders we see in the night sky provide evidence that there is a God behind it all?

Peter Russell

Some strange results have come up in about the last 20-30 years, particularly in astronomy and also in quantum physics. Which suggests that the universe actually may have a purpose. And some physicists are now suggesting it now does have a purpose. And this has come out of some findings about the atomic...some of the fundamental numbers in atomic physics.

Brian Greene

These are numbers like the mass, the weight of an electron, the weight of a quark, the strength of gravity, the strength of the electromagnetic field, about twenty numbers that describe those and other parameter, features of our world, but nobody knows why it is that those numbers have the particular values that they do. Now, you could easily say, who really cares. You change the mass of the electron by a little bit more or a little bit less, does it really matter? And the answer is that it does. You see, it turns out that if you imagine that we had 20 dials right here and we could fill with those 20 numbers at will, even a small change to the values of the known values of those numbers would cause the world as we know it to disappear.

Alan Guth

For example, if we go back to say one second after the big bang, at that point the expansion rate and the mass destiny have to have been adjusted to each other just right so that the universe is just at this critical point. If the universe at that point were expanding just one part in the fifteenth decimal place faster, the universe would have flown apart without galaxies ever having a chance to form. On the other hand, if the expansion rate were just a little slower than what we think by one change...a change of one in the fifteenth decimal place, then the universe would have in fact expanded into a maximum size and collapsed and we never would reached the time in the universe in which we are living.

Dwight Nelson

Isn't that amazing? A change of one of the fifteenth decimal place faster or slower and the universe in which we are now living wouldn't exist. How can such careful calibration ever be the result of chance? Physicist Micky Kutzner doesn't think it is.

Mickey Kutzner

Suppose we had 25 or 30 walls that were standing in front of us. And each wall were a mile or so long. Supposed you were told that each wall had a hairline crack in it but that it was totally random where that hairline crack would occur. Wouldn't it surprise you if you looked, if you peered into one of those hairline cracks and you could see daylight through the other side of those 25 walls? That would tell you that all of those hairline cracks were lined up perfectly. That's the same thing that we have in the universe with all these fundamental constants adjusted just right for life to exist in the universe. The chances of any one of those are slim. The probability of all of them occurring at once is extraordinarily unlikely.

Brian Greene

A natural question that many people ask when confronted with this is who designed it so that they all fit together so perfectly to give rise to our world?  Is it merely an accident?  Is there some force of nature that is out there that requires the universe to be as it is?  Or is there some conscious being behind it all that has dialed things in a manner to allow the world as we know it to come into being?

Dwight Nelson

Good question.  The world as we know it does appear very finely tuned to the universal laws of physics.  But does this apparent fine tuning indicate a designer?  Some physicists say no.  Others disagree.

Peter Russell

Some physicists say well, all that means is the only universe that we could observe is one that worked.  If the universe had collapsed after four weeks we wouldn’t be here to observe it.  So we can only observe a universe where these numbers are exactly right.  Which means that the chances of the universe existing are one in a zillion.

Brian Greene

Now some would say maybe that’s evidence for a designer.  Maybe there is a divine being, a God?  God out there has set those numbers at just the right values so that we could exist.  We don’t know if that’s the right answer.  And we’re not ready to accept that yet.  We as scientists, at least many of us, feel that we will ultimately will come to an explanation from the laws of physics for why those numbers have the values that they do, but it is incredibly striking.  It’s remarkable, that somehow, we don’t understand it yet, somehow they have just the right values to give rise to the universe that we see around us.

Mickey Kutzner

We can’t use science to either prove or disprove the existence of God.  What we can do is look for evidence that suggests that we’re not here out of total random events.  And to me, the arrangement of the special balancing of the fundamental constants, the fundamental forces of nature, tells me that there is a being  there that has put this package together, constructed this universe.  Someone outside the universe that was thinking about us and put it together for our benefit.

Brian Greene

In a sense, if you will, religion, theology gives us our best explanation, at least for some people for the why questions.  Why is there a universe from the point of view of meaning?  Science can’t ever answer a why question like that I don’t think.  The best science can do is tell us how.  How does something work?  How did the universe come into being?  How did it evolve from way in the beginning to the form that we now see?  But not why.  You could imagine that there is no universe.  There are no people.  There is nobody to ask the question.  And from that perspective science will always come up short if you really want to understand why, why is it here at all?

Dwight Nelson

The fine tuning of the universe is one of the example of it’s many wonders.  Another example is so common we see it all around us all the time.  When we come back we’ll talk about the wonder of light.

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Watch, listen and interact with The Evidence by going to www.theevidence.org  View current and past episodes.  Read show transcripts, and access additional material not seen on the show.  Find out more about the guests on The Evidence by reading their bios and clicking on their website links.  Discover and purchase our featured author’s books at TheEvidence.org you may interact with other viewers in our open forum discussions by reading or replying to, or posting topics.  Tell your friends and family where they can view The Evidence by clicking on the viewer station guide.  Come back often and find more stories, more information and more insight.

 

Forgiving the Dead Man Walking, the riveting narrative or courage, faith, and forgiveness, an autobiography of Debbie Morris, the woman whose testimony sent killer, Robert Lee Willy to justice.  This is the untold other half of Dead Man Walking, the feature film starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon.  For more information or to purchase this book online, go to The Evidence website at www.theevidence.org  To order by phone call toll free, 1-866-509-1234. 

Dwight Nelson

Albert Einstein taught us that time and space are related by light.  Imagine that you and I hitch a ride on the Star ship Enterprise, traveling at the speed of light.  Now remember, at the speed of light time stops.  So if we look out the window while traveling at this speed, we would be aware of the past, the present and the future all at once.  This bizarre universe which seems absurd to us is the very  universe described by quantum physics.

Fred Wolf

Classical physics seems to want to get any kind of mind or consciousness or observer or anything spiritual out of the equation all together.  It’s really basically a materialistic point of view.  Quantum physics says that even the material itself is not materialistic.  That we can’t understand matter itself in a purely materialistic way.  Quantum physics is really pointing to, or indicating a direction for spirituality to take.  It’s pointing to where spirituality and science might find a common ground.

Dwight Nelson

The concept that there is something outside the material world becomes even more evidence when you consider light.  You see light has the ability to behave in a singularly conscious manner.  To actually transmit information across the entire universe instantly.  Consider this.  In 1997 a Geneva researcher created a pair of twin light photons and sent them flying in opposite directions along optical fibers.  When one photon hit a mirror it was forced to make a random choice to go one way or the other.  Which ever way it went it’s twin photon already seven miles away always instantaneously took the very same option.  Instantaneous is the key word here.  The reaction of the twin photon was not delayed by the amount of time it takes light to travel seven miles.  Other more recent experiments support this finding.  In fact, physicists now believe that an entangled twin particle will know what it’s partner is doing and instantaneously mimic it’s actions even if the pair live in separate galaxies billions of light years apart.  Since we’ve been told that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, how does one photon on one side of the universe know what the other photon on the other side of the universe is doing?  Instantly?

Elisabet Sahtouris

No locality is being discussed by a lot of physicists these days.  And what that means is that the information at any point in the universe is accessible to any other point without any kind of time delay.  So we have now a growing concept of what a non-time/space source is.  What this thing we call consciousness or God is.  That it exists without linear time and without space and yet contains the potential for everything that exists in our world.

Dwight Neslon

So it seems that any information at any point in the universe is accessible to any other point without any kind of time delay.  Isn’t that amazing?  And here’s something else that is amazing.  Many of us think that the atom is the smallest element of matter or the electron or the quark.  But there’s a whole new theory suggesting something much much smaller than a quark.  That theory is charmingly called string theory.

Brian Greene

This theory suggests strongly there’s a little filament of vibrating energy.  The filament kind of looks like a string, that’s why we call it string theory.  And the great idea is that just like the string on a violin or a cello can vibrate in different patterns which are…our ear senses different musical notes.  The little strings in string theory also can vibrate in different patterns.  Now we don’t hear them.  Rather we see them as different particles.  So the electron is the string vibrating in one pattern, one note.  A quark is a string vibrating in a different pattern.  And in that way all of matter arises in a sense from the notes that the little fundamental strings in string theory can play.

Peter Russell

It’s like in a synthesizer.  You reduce a sound to lots of different little sounds.  Each one is a wave form, a smooth wave form.  Everything in the universe could be reduced to one of these wave forms.

Brian Greene

Now an important question is, can you actually see these little strings.  No, not yet and perhaps maybe we never will because according to this theory strings are really really tiny.  Just to give you a sense of how tiny, if you were to take a single atom and magnify it to be as large as the entire known universe a little string in string theory would magnify under the same scale factor to be the size of a tree.  So a tree is to the entire universe as a little string is to an atom.

Dwight Neslon

I think it’s intriguing to picture a God who would create a universe filled with tiny musical notes, each vibrating in harmony as a symphony of creation.  But when I think of mind boggling thoughts like this, another question always boggles my mind.  Why am I aware of all this wonder in the first place?

Peter Russell

So one of the big questions at the moment that’s confronting scientists is how does consciousness arise from matter?  We all know we’re conscious.  Each and every one of us, we have experiences.  We have feelings.  We are aware of our bodies.  We dream at night.  But there’s absolutely nothing in physics or any other science, neurophysiology or anything which says that any one of us should every have a conscious experience.  And the question that every body is asking is how does consciousness, which is totally immaterial arise out of matter which is totally unconscious.

Elisabet Sahtouris

There is a non-physical component to all of life and that we are at the same time spirit electromagnetic energy and matter.  I like to look at those three elements of our composition, spirit, matter, and electromagnetic energy as kind of a keyboard.  Think of a piano keyboard where matter is in the low keys, electro magnetic energy is in the mid range and spirit or consciousness is up in the highest range. We’re playing the whole keyboard.  But as we play, spirit transmutes itself into electromagnetic energy which in turn transmutes into matter.  And this is going on simultaneously all the time.  So Einstein gave us the key to how matter and electromagnetic energy can transmute into each other with his famous E=MC2 equation.  We are looking now for the equation or the story or whatever it will take that can show us how spirit manifests as energy and matter.

Peter Russell

I think that as we begin to understand consciousness better, I think then we begin to understand what all the great spiritual teachings have been saying.  And what I’m interested in is the common core of all the teachings and not just the Christian teachings, the Eastern teachings, the Islamic teachings, I think there’s a very basic truth there that relates to the nature of consciousness.  And it comes back to the fact that we create our own experience and each of us wants the same thing about our experience.  Each and every one of us ultimately wants to be happy.  We want to be at peace.

Fred Wolf

We are being led perhaps to a new form of spiritually, a new kind of spirituality.  Not a spirituality based on prejudice and fear but a spirituality based on wonder and awe and recognition of how nature really works.

Brian Greene

We are seeking to take the journey which man has been on for maybe two thousand years to understand the universe around us at it’s deepest level.  We are striving to take that one baby step further.

Dwight Neslon

Matter finely tuned to support life.  Photons of light that communicate instantly across vast distances.  Tiny musical strings that hold the universe together.  And the very fact that we’re conscious at all.  These are a few examples of the wonders that fill our universe and point us toward the divine.  When we come back we’ll talk to the principle research physicist at Princeton University’s Plasma Physics laboratory.  We’ll talk to him about his views on physics, the universe and God.

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Dwight Nelson

Dr. Robert Kaita is the principle research physicist at Princeton University’s Plasma Physics laboratory.  He teaches in the department of Astrophysical Sciences and is the author of more than 200 publications in Nuclear and Plasma Physics.  Dr. Kaita is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Science, The American Physical Society and The American Scientific Affiliation.  Bob, it’s a treat to have you on our show.  I want to cut right to the chase.  Because at the moment I see those words, plasma and physics, I’m thinking, the man must be a blood doctor.  But it has nothing to do with blood.  What in the world is the juxtaposition of those two words?  How do  you get a career called plasma physicist?

Robert Kaita

That’s a really good question.  The study of plasmas is the study of the so-called fourth state of matter.  The people are familiar with solids, liquids and gasses.  But when you make these gases really hot, like you find in the center of stars, you have a state called the plasma.

Dwight Nelson

Do we have the fourth state of matter on earth here?

Robert Kaita

Actually you do. You find them in florescent light bulbs.

Dwight Neslon

Ok.

Robert Kaita

Did…this is as very pervasive state of the matter…matter that actually constitutes most of the universe.  It’s a fascinating area of study for me.

Dwight Nelson

What’s hot right now in plasma physics?

Robert Kaita

One of the exciting things about plasma physicists and the plasma physics we do is that there is an application.  We know all about stars and we’re beginning to understand a lot more about how they work.  And what if you could harness that energy here on earth?  That would be a marvelous energy source.  And so this whole area of controlled nuclear fusion that involves plasma physics is what we do in this laboratory.  We’re trying to harness that energy as an energy source.

Dwight Nelson

Now when you say harness it, this isn’t cold…what do they call it…

Robert Kaita

Cold fusion.

Dwight Nelson

Yeah, cold fusion.

Robert Kaita

No, I’m afraid, it would be great if you would be able to put fusion in a bottle like that.  No, this is very much hot fusion.

Dwight Nelson

Ok.  Now you’re a scientist working with…with empirical evidence and research. I want to ask you a question about human beings in general.  When we encounter evidence how do our presuppositions interface with our interpretation of research, of evidence?

Robert Kaita

I think what you…the best way to address that question is to go back to what motivated the earliest scientists when they decided to start this endeavor that we call modern science.  A lot of them, in fact, all of them that we know of in the Western world had this presupposition.

Dwight Nelson

Are you talking like Isaac Newton, Galileo

Robert Kaita

Galileo and these guys.  You look at their writings and it’s ripe with references to the Creator, the Creator that for them wrote the Bible, the book of laws.  But it was also then by what was written in that book, the Creator of nature, the book of nature.

Dwight Neslon

Can you really take what those presuppositions they lived with and really validate them anymore?

Robert Kaita

Absolutely because if you say that those presuppositions were no good, then what’s the rationality for actually doing the science?  What is a rational basis for doing the science.  You see their presuppositions were that there was a God who set down these laws of nature that then  made the  universe comprehensible.  So now what are you going to say?  The universe is not comprehensible?  Essentially a lot of people have things backwards.  It’s not that…you need God first to make the universe comprehensible to you as a rational thing to do.

Dwight Nelson

You looked at the evidence for you as a dispassionate scientist what was it that you said, that’s the piece that does it for me?

Robert Kaita

I would have to say that the piece that does it for me is the fact that I can be a physicist, that I can do physics.  That there are these finite number of laws, that there are 92 elements in the universe, no more and no less.  No matter where we look down here on earth or into the sky.  That then there’s electricity, magnetism, gravitation, but there…these laws that seem to be finite but describe a whole slew of phenomena.  That has to be, at least for me, some compelling evidence for a Designer, a mind that then says that I want to be known and I have created a universe that’s understandable and makes the science rational.

Dwight Nelson

I can look at the same laws and you give me the…you accord me the freedom to say, you know, I just don’t…we’ve got the laws but that doesn’t…it’s not ipso facto…it’s not automatic therefore that we have a designer.  And I could be a practicing, effective, successful scientist.

Robert Kaita

Obviously, you obviously can from the point of view of methodology.  But as a human being do you want to end it there?  Do you want to…

Dwight Nelson

What do you mean end it?

Robert Kaita

End it there in the sense of not asking the question, then why is it the way it is?  This is the question that I believe baffled great minds like Albert Einstein who asked the question, or made the statement, something to the effect that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.  And so if you’re willing to forget about these kinds of questions then fine.  You are welcome to forget about them and look, you know, in my work, 90 percent of the time I worry about or maybe close to 100 percent of the time, I worry about more prosaic things having to do with the doing of science.  But when I ask those questions, I have to come up with an answer.  And I chose to have the answer that then admits to the Designer.

Dwight Neslon

Bob, thanks for being with us on The Evidence.

Robert Kaita

It’s my pleasure.

Dwight Neslon

What do you think about The Evidence?  Let us know by visiting our website, interactive website.  You can find it at www.theevidence.org  We’ll be back in just a moment with some closing thoughts.

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Looking for more?  You can discover More Evidence, our complementary newsletter featuring more stories, more insights, and more in-depth looks into the lives of the guests seen on this program.  To receive More Evidence call 1-866-509-1234.  That’s 1-866-509-1234 or you may write, Post Office Box 1000, Thousand Oaks, California, 91359.

 

Watch, listen and interact with The Evidence by going to www.theevidence.org  View current and past episodes.  Read show transcripts, and access additional material not seen on the show.  Find out more about the guests on The Evidence by reading their bios and clicking on their website links.  Discover and purchase our featured author’s books at TheEvidence.org you may interact with other viewers in our open forum discussions by reading or replying to, or posting topics.  Tell your friends and family where they can view The Evidence by clicking on the viewer station guide.  Come back often and find more stories, more information and more insight.  Discover The Evidence.

 

Forgiving The Dead Man Walking, the riveting narrative of courage, faith, and forgiveness, an autobiography of Debbie Morris whose testimony sent killer, Robert Lee Willey to justice.  This is the untold other half of Dead Man Walking, the feature film starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon.  For more information or to purchase this book on line go to The Evidence website at www.theevidence.org.  To order by phone call toll free 1-866-509-1234.

Dwight Nelson

A startling transformation is taking place in western scientific and intellectual thought.  Recent discoveries in physics and other fields paint a radically new picture of the universe and humanity’s place within it. Central is this dawning realization that the cosmos, far from being a sea of chaos, appears instead to be intricately and finely tuned.  In fact, interesting enough, some of the latest discoveries in physics and astronomy suggest that the universe is actually a friendly place.  In other words, it’s a place designed for life.  Things fit together much more than they fall apart.  The evidence clearly supports the view that God cares, t hat the universe is ordered to our benefit. This wondrous universe is a gift of beauty.  It’s a marvel of order.  And it’s our home.  That’s what I think.  I’m Dwight Nelson.  Join us next time for more of The Evidence.

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