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Do we inhabit a multiverse? Do we have free will? What is love? Is evolution directional? There are no simple answers to life’s biggest questions, and that’s why they’re the questions occupying the world’s brightest minds. Together, let's learn from them. Welcome to The Well, a publication by the John Templeton Foundation and Big Think.

Featured Interviews

“For several years, I owned and lived in Einstein’s house in Princeton...

I was kind of his, in that sense, his successor at the Institute for Advanced Study. He added profound themes to our understanding of nature. At a technical level, he really advanced, although he didn’t articulate it explicitly by example, he advanced the idea that symmetry is what’s very basic to the operation of fundamental law.”

Frank Wilczek
Professor of Physics, MIT

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“Common wisdom says we have a self and that self is the source of our free will, but...

 the subject of the self is riddled with paradoxes. Because the mind has been categorized as something “nonphysical,” its definition alone places the self outside of physical cause-and-effect, and beyond the scope of science. However, as with many philosophical quandaries that involve the proposal of a thesis and the emergence of a counter-thesis (or antithesis, in the words of Hegel), a synthesis often emerges, reconciling seemingly disparate views into a more coherent and sensible perspective.”

a man in a suit and tie posing for a picture.
Bobby Azarian

“I owned and lived in Einstein’s house.” How Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczeck was inspired by Einstein in science and in life:
Are you convincing everyone you’re smart, or accidentally alienating them? Here’s how to find out.
We’re closer than ever to being able to upload our minds and become “digitally immortal.” But should we?
Remembering the legendary creative Steve Albini.
Our hearts are heavy with the passing of Steve Albini, an icon in music both as a producer and performer. We were fortunate enough to interview Steve last year. He…
With great genius comes great rigidity. Professor Barabara Oakley on how to stay mentally agile — and get smarter as a result:
“Focused attention is an endangered species.” Psychologist Daniel Goleman on how mindfulness can actually make you more productive:
He spent 25 years studying hunter-gatherer tribes — and realized “dog eat dog” Darwinism is a lie:

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