Physics, Earth & Space Icon Physics, Earth & Space

Physicist Brian Keating — God Hypothesis Is a “Page-Turner”

David Klinghoffer
Photo: Brian Keating, by Brucelieberman, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons.

UC San Diego physicist Brian Keating had another fascinating conversation with our colleague Stephen Meyer about Meyer’s new book, Return of the God Hypothesis. The host was the always excellent interviewer Justin Brierley for the radio and podcast program Unbelievable? Watch it below. Keating is funny, smart, and sweet. He offers this about Meyer’s “page-turner” with its “airtight logic”:

Stephen’s book lays out a blueprint. You may not agree with it but you have to confront the airtight logic. I’ve confronted it because it is so engaging. And it’s hard to think that a book 579 pages [long] is a page-turner. But it is. And [in reading the book] you must grapple with this fundamental question: Which came first? The universe or the information? I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that, and the conversation continues.

Actually, Return of the God Hypothesis is 576 pages long, but why quibble? 😉

I believe Keating is right in his assessment but most in the science world wouldn’t have the guts or the generosity or the adventurousness to praise a book about intelligent design that way. (Although check out the list of scientific endorsers of Meyer’s book, including Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Josephson.) Keating’s own stand on the God question remains enigmatic. But last time he and Meyer met on Brian’s podcast, Into the Impossible, he described himself as an “agnostic.” Now he says he “was an agnostic,” in the past tense. 

There is much else of interest here including Steve Meyer’s phrase “basic theism” — which is the metaphysical stance the book makes a case for, not any specific religious view — and Keating’s statement about the goal of his work which is to convert seemingly unsolvable “mysteries” into potentially solvable “riddles.”