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Why Are We Here? Website now up

As I promised here is the link to the website that accompanies the Series Why Are We Here.


The site was created by my longtime colleague Mark Tanner who was also one of the main creators of the series. And I have to say its one of the very best websites I have come across. This one actually does what websites have always said they would do but mostly don’t.

The site gives you access to almost all the interview footage we shot. The interviews are almost entirely unedited in the sense you that you get to see everything that was said. But it was shot on two cameras so we have edited those two together so you get to see how the conversation happened. So you get to see the full interviews of a really all-star line up of contemporary thinkers. The site allows you to search by person and by theme.

There is also a section for commenting and joining a conversation about the topics the series covered. So if you are interested in the multiverse, on emergence, reductionism, altruism, empathy, nice nihilism, beauty and truth, scientism or a host of other topics then I think you’ll find a brilliant resource.

There is a linked FB page https://www.facebook.com/whyareweheretv

And a twitter feed – https://twitter.com/whyareweheretv

And lastly we just heard that the feature-length film, based on the series will be shown at the Vancouver Film Festival.


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14 Responses to Why Are We Here? Website now up

  1. FallingLeaf March 22, 2017 at 12:07 am #


    From what I can see of the website, it is really excellent. Congratulations to you and Mr. Tanner and the rest of the crew.

    I think the selection of people you’ve interviewed is great – and I’m looking forward to the ones I haven’t heard of.

    I’ve just watched the Conway Morris interview – I’ve tried for years to engage with his ideas but I’ve found some of his work (even his popular stuff like Life’s Solution) both too technical and difficult, stylistically. But this interview is really impressive, you both get to the heart of the matter and he is very clear.

    On a side note re Conway Morris, it’s interesting that the biggest enthusiast for the convergence and the ever greater complexity arguments is…Richard Dawkins, just about Conway Morris’s opposite.

    Really looking forward to watching the rest of it.

    Well done!

    • Golem XIV March 22, 2017 at 3:30 pm #

      Thanks Falling Leaf.

      I agree its amusing Dawkins enthusiasm for Conway-Morris. Personally I think Conway-Morris is a really important thinker and his theory is powerful. So much flows from it which leaves behind much of the rubbish of the standard synthesis.

  2. Spartacus Rex March 22, 2017 at 10:15 am #

    Looks Great!

    A suggestion if I may, David

    USE your Twitter account
    a wee bit more to get the word out! : )

    It’s essentially FREE Marketing/Promoting
    to let your Readers/Followers know
    when you posted something,
    or have new info or website to share with them.


    S. Rex

    • Golem XIV March 22, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

      I know your right S. Rex. Really I do. But I can’t get on with Twitter. Frankly its all I can do to deal with FaceBook. But I will try. Good too hear from you. And apologies for posting so very rarely.

      • bill40 March 28, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

        Hi David,

        A free offer for you. I will update your Twitter feed and be your social media manager free of charge. drop me a line at billriley77@hotmail.co.uk if you are interested in discussing it further.

  3. Spartacus Rex March 22, 2017 at 11:52 pm #

    It’s understood David.

    So much going on, that Time Flies, truly.

    I was thinking about your Pop on the 13th
    saying how fast the last two years have gone by.


    S. Rex

  4. steviefinn March 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

    Top class website David, from which I watched the Marcelo Gleiser clip last night & was pleased to hear his assessment of String Theory as being something that is not provable,

    Perhaps it is in some ways a work of science fiction, like the book I read many years ago which apparently took Stanley G. Weinbaum fifteen years to write. It is called ” The New Adam “, & tells the tale of a sudden jump in evolution which produces a cerebral superman. The thing that intrigued me about it was that eventually the guy was hunted down & I think condemned to death, which led him to tell the woman he loved that the universe is infinite & that someday everything would happen again, but slightly differently & they would once again be together, while in the meantime being dead, time would have no meaning.

    Buddhist re-birth & Neitzsche’s eternal recurrence are also perhaps part of an effort to cheat death as would be the whole Multiverse theory. The thought that there are trillions of us out there is troubling, especially when thinking about Tony Blair, but it might make more sense if they were stretched out through infinity as different versions of this universe.

    Anyhow, as usual as they say over here, I am probably losing the run of myself. I do like the musical aspect of String theory – the whole universe being some kind of unbelievably complex symphony. Hugh Everett of the Many World’s theory had a son named Mark who until educated by Max Tegmark, had no idea of his father’s work & had no aptitude to follow him. He is actually the leader of a successful rock band who composed this short piece, which I think kind of fits with the spirit of ” Why are we here “.


  5. David Morey March 26, 2017 at 11:31 pm #

    Looks great, just read Peter Watson’s The Age of Nothing that looks at the positive opportunities of nihilism from a broader cultural perspective, less science more art, poetry and literature that is. Well worth a read.

  6. David Morey March 26, 2017 at 11:35 pm #

    Peter Watson proposes 3 new secular magisteria: science, phenomenology or experience and the sphere of desire. He makes an interesting case.

  7. David Morey March 29, 2017 at 7:17 pm #


    This is relevant and worth a read. I find Dennett’s reduction of the manifest image to the scientific one incomplete and falls short of being convincing, but he is clear and sets out a vision worth understanding. For me it assumes too sharp a subject-object dualism, and an animate-inanimate one too, matter, I suspect, is even more complex than our current theories allow, more active and open to possibility than mechanistic and deterministic concepts recognise, more tied to past necessities as particulars than simple universals suggest, more open to particular possibilities that are often unique and never repeated.

    • FallingLeaf March 31, 2017 at 2:58 pm #

      re Dennett

      I’m partial to a bit of panpsychism. This need not be incompatible with a more nuanced physicalism than Dennett’s. As I mentioned on a previous thread, there is a paper by Galen Strawson in the Journal of Consciousness Studies entitled ‘Does physicalism entail panpsychism?’ which also includes replies to his critics individually.

      For those more inclined to the quantum side of things, I would recommend checking out the ideas of Henry Stapp as well as Stuart Kauffman’s. I find both of these more promising and better thought out than the Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR theory – from a layman’s perspective, that is.

  8. Roger Lewis April 20, 2017 at 7:49 pm #

    Lots of inspiration, I watched the whole series with Johanna over a few evenings last week, wonderful. Today it was Martin Nowack who set off a train of thought.


  9. steviefinn May 10, 2017 at 11:18 am #

    An earlier fascinating piece from David, available for 20 days :


  10. 4APK.RU August 29, 2017 at 7:49 am #

    Philosophers have, for millennia, been fascinated by the question of why we are here and have written considerably on the subject. Now I look back and question what exactly I did and how I managed without these teachings in my life. – Christopher Smith.

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