“Human beings do not stand outside nature; we are a part of it,” says Sean Carroll. “Ultimately we are made of particles, evolving and interacting according to the laws of physics. And we know what those laws are—the progress of modern science has reached a point where the laws underlying everyday life are completely understood.” The end of science? Not exactly. It is, however, the end of telekinesis, astrology, and life after death.
Carroll will ask what that means for our understanding of consciousness, free will, and “the meaning of life.” No small assignment. “I will argue,” he says, “that taking the laws of nature seriously opens a vista of possibility, freeing us from outmoded ideas about what it means to be human.”