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Back in the old days, if your species was faced with an existential threat, you were stuck hoping for some advantageous mutation. Maybe an extra fin or a slightly more sophisticated eyeball. Outwitting fate was pretty much out of the question. 

And as much as we might prefer to just go binge-watch something and forget about it, there are several plausible scenarios whereby humanity could face extinction in the too-close-for-comfort future. 

Happily, thanks to our very large brains and thinkers like my guest today, theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku, we have options. Dr. Kaku’s latest book is The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth. 

Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode

Bret Weinstein on the Social Brain (we watched only a portion of the clip), Daniel Bergner on Female Desire 

Michio Kaku quote: When I was a child, I used to go to the Tea Garden in San Francisco to look at the carp.  And I used to wonder what would it be like to be a fish?  Well, those fish lived in a two-dimensional world. They could swim forward, backward, left, right.  And then I imagined there was a scientist [fish] there. He would say “Bah, humbug!  The pond is everything there is. There is no such thing as ‘Up’, the third dimension.”  Then I dreamed I could reach down and lift the scientist fish into the world of Up.   What would he see? He would see beings moving without fins—a new law  of physics. Beings breathing without water—a new law of biology.  Today, we physicists believe that we are the fish. We believe that there could be a multiverse  of universes. And each universe is a bubble. And so the new paradigm is a bubble bath.  Each bubble is three dimensional, and it’s expanding into hyperspace.

About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.

You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.