Marilynne Robinson and Marcelo Gleiser on the Mystery We Are (American Public Media)

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American Public MediaOn American Public Media’s On Being, Krista Tippett interviews Dartmouth’s Marcelo Gleiser, the Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy and a professor of physics and astronomy, and novelist Marilynne Robinson. Gleiser and Robinson, says Tippett, are “both passionate about the majesty of science, and they share a caution about what they call our ‘modern piety’ toward science.

“We bring them together for a joyous, heady discussion of the mystery we are,” Tippett says.

During the discussion, scientist and novelist talk about the mystery of creation and just how much humans can ever know about the nature of reality. “The way we understand the world is very much based on what we can see of the world,” Gleiser says. “And the notion that we can actually … have a theory that explains everything assumes that we can know everything, right? That we can go out and measure everything there is to measure about nature and come up with this beautiful ‘Theory of Everything.’ And since we cannot measure all there is to measure, since our tools have limitations, we are definitely limited in how much we can know of the world.”

Hear the full interview, published 11/8/12 on American Public Media.