Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Foundational Questions Quest

It has been a long time since I visited The Foundational Questions Institute, a wonderful place that confronts the big mysteries and unanswered questions in categories including:

Can we understand consciousness?
What happened before the Big Bang?
How fine-tuned is the Universe?
What is the nature of time?
Is life ubiquitous?
How should we interpret quantum mechanics?
Whence the constants of nature?
Are there other universes?

I returned today, and the essays in the communities pages and thoughts explored in the blogs remind us of how much remains mysterious and unknown, and that in some sense everything fundamental remains mysterious and unknown. I should visit more often to be reminded and to enjoy exploring some of the great mysteries of our strange existence.


  1. At the request of Sue (Elephant's Child) Word Verification is off so, on a trial basis, you will no longer need to "prove you are not a robot". So it's Open House now and all robots are welcome, especially from other worlds (but if you are trying to sell me women, viagra or help me collect my multi-million dollar inheritance for a trifling administration fee of a thousand pounds, then your comments will be deleted.)

  2. Thank you so much. I hope that too many troll like creatures don't slither out from under their rocks. This post reminded me of our own Questacon, which is largely hands-on scientific experiments but to the ignorant among us (me) raises more questions than it answers. I must go back.

  3. I'll take a look at Questacon. In my lecturing work I may need to do some more hands-on scientific experiments with youngsters next year, so I am looking for ideas, as most of my own ideas are too dangerous to be allowed :)

  4. Ah, while editing my meagre profile a moment ago (adding a few of my uninteresting interests) I noticed the message from Blogger saying "We have enabled automatic spam detection for comments." I don't think this facility was around last time I had word verification off, when some very persistent Chinese people spent a lot of effort trying to sell me the attentions of Chinese women. Which is ridiculous anyway, for if anything the money transfer for such an arrangement with the Don should surely be the other way round? But I digress... hopefully automatic spam detection will keep most of the silly spammers away.

  5. Sounds interesting I will visit when I have answered the foundational questions about where I've left my keys' wallet and glasses

  6. Ha ha Jams. Those are often tough questions, especially the glasses one. I have my keys on a chain that loops around my belt and is stowed in my pocket these days, so if I've remembered to put my trousers on then I've got my keys. Usually works in most situations.

  7. I'm looking for my mind....Either this page is rebirthing itself, hour by hour, or I haven't read it properly the last time I saw it....The biographical notes are certainly new to me, and could lead to a tumultuous world.

    But I will return to the blog, be it only to look at the peaceful, calm, very sane, very smiling ladies who (I'm sure) will take charge of any disturbing element the Don might create.

  8. Your comment popped into my email 1 second after I sent you an email Claude. Fear not for your mind for I have been developing a few things, as you know I tend to do.