A Buddhist and a Physicist Have a Chat . . .

Are the mysteries of reality within the grasp of science? Or does a strictly empirical, Western materialist approach fail to properly consider the role of humans as observers?

In this video from the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement at Dartmouth (ICE), the US theoretical physicist Sean Carrol argues that, through scientific inquiry, a comprehensive understanding of reality is within our reach. Indeed, one layer of our reality—the world of elementary particles and forces—has already been entirely accounted for. Countering him, the US scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, B Alan Wallace, argues that such a materialist account of our Universe fails to fully account for both the complexities of the human mind and the world outside it.

Marcelo Gleiser, a Dartmouth physicist who writes for ORBITER’s 13.8 blog, moderates this fascinating discussion.