Having talked about Burning Questions in the previous episode, we turn to answering Yonadav’s original question. What are our burning questions?
Tzvi’s burning question is who wrote the Torah and when? Meir-Simchah is miffed by his co-host’s heresy. It ends well. Tzvi neither burns up Torah, nor burns at the stake (yet). The question, for a religious Jew (or Christian!), is a loaded one. To deny the divinity of the Bible had you burned back in the day, and still takes you out of the religious community even today. On the other hand, there is mounting evidence that Moses didn’t come down Mount Sinai holding a giant book. How to balance everything and come to a conclusion that allows you to live is not simple…like all good questions, trying to find answers to this one only brings more questions. Which is how Tzvi prefers things, anyways, so just as well.
Meir-Simchah confesses to burning over questions like how do languages work and evolve, how are flocking birds like computers but maybe more like us, and ultimately how does meaning emerge from structure? He also fires a volley in the war over gender and pronouns. Then, nearly doublebacking on our argument against scientism, we look at how nature is the good and (for you armchair kabbalists out there) come to a new understanding of chesed.
We also take aim at TED Talks, answer peddling charlatans, and finding meaning where it simply doesn’t exist.
Enjoy the podcast! Check us out on Facebook, too. Like the page, and join the discussion group.
Will Stephen’s TED parody www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S0FDjFBj8o, Sam Harris’ talk about facts and values www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj9oB4zpHww (which itself falls into a scientist problem), and Radhika Nagpal’s talk on swarm intelligence www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bRocfcPhHU. Work by Lera Boroditsky (lera.ucsd.edu/papers/).
The oeis.org (music from here: oeis.org/search?q=a001414&sor…ge=english&go=Search).