- Season 1
There are some definite “Stop the world, I want to get off” moments in the new Great Minds with Michael Medved podcast from Discovery Institute. Michael talks with economist Jay Richards about the future of “smart machines,” including sex robots. Dr. Richards, author of the new book The Human Advantage: The Future of American Work in an Age of Smart Machines, offers a balanced view of what the future holds.
Of his many specialties, in this episode Michael inquires into David Gelernter’s professional preoccupation: artificial intelligence. Gelernter recalls the pioneering role of his father, warns of the perils of letting children be captive to flickering screens, and remarks on whether AI robots can be spiritual seekers. Gelernter also emphasizes the key role of the Judeo-Christian Western tradition in creating a free and idealistic context in which technology is primed to explode.
Michael Medved and long-time friend Randall Wallace discuss the fortunes of the once robust business of movie entertainment and the current exodus toward television. The ensuing conversation revisits the birth of the idea of Braveheart in a Scottish church, the initial meeting with Mel Gibson, and the importance of having the conviction to be faithful to one’s own heart.
No question is greater or more ultimate than that of our origins as living creatures. Darwinian theory tells the story of our origins one way. Biblical creationists, of course, tell it another way. Does that exhaust the possibilities? Our guest today, Stephen Meyer, doesn’t think so.
In this wide ranging conversation, Michael Medved and David Gelernter touch on scientism, consciousness, and education. Gelernter observes how at times, scientists let their vaunted position get to their head, bullying other disciplines while failing to acknowledge their own limits. Having written extensively on consciousness, he describes the current state of the field and Thomas Nagel’s scandalous opinion that we currently lack the tools to solve this “deepest mystery”. Finally, Gelernter reflects on the state of higher education, specifically with reference to Yale.
We know that, despite the cliché, great minds do not all think alike. That’s why on Great Minds with Michael Medved, we bring to you a diverse list of guests, who don’t think alike, and who don’t necessarily think the way the majority or the “consensus” in their field say they should. After his timely and controversial essay for the American Enterprise Institute, Michael asks Jay about about the idea of a “consensus” in science, and when we’re entitled to doubt it.
Mr. Randall Wallace is a committed storyteller and artist, and, something rarer in Hollywood, a committed Christian. Michael talks with Randall about Hollywood and faith: Must they be in a perpetual collision, or can there be productive collaboration?
The title of our program is Great Minds with Michael Medved, and it really does take a great mind to survey the sweep of Western intellectual history and pick out in all of that a disturbing trend. That’s what historian of modern European history Richard Weikart does in his latest book, The Death of Humanity: And the Case for Life.
Michael talks with Dr. Richards about the book he co-authored with astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, Privileged Planet. Nothing in this physical reality of ours is greater than the universe itself. What is man’s place in it? And in the hopes of answering such an audacious question, what makes scientific discovery even possible?
Even if you don’t know how to define life, you know it when you see it. But how? Of course there is a rigorous scientific definition, specifying the characteristics that distinguish living from nonliving matter. And these lead to conundrums for any materialist understanding of evolution.