Can There Ever Be a Grand Unified Theory of Physics? – Quantum Mindcast Episode 4

How mathematical theories show us that we can never have a complete theory of physics — or even the human mind, it seems. In this podcast we’ll descend to the most fundamental level of rational enquiry and delve into mathematics to ask whether it really makes sense to think that we can capture ultimate truth in mathematical equations.

Quantum Mindcast

In this episode:

The strange story of Whitehead, Russel and Gödel – Principia Mathematica – Kurt Gödel – formal systems – the incompleteness theorems – why we can’t create a grand unified theory of arithmetic, never mind the universe – theories of physics are like nets laid over a mountain range – Roger Penrose and Shadows of the Mind – Plato’s allegory of the cave – the weather and the brain are chaotic systems – chaos theory and Penrose’s crooked chain of pool balls – brains are unpredictable – consciousness is not in the gaps of physical theories – microtubules – do Gödel’s theorems prove anything about the brain? – Gödel’s paranoid food poisoning obsession – the curious relationship between logic and paranoia

Featured music: Length and Brecht (Remixed) – Halogen

Recommended Reading

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter

Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness by Roger Penrose

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