Sep 11, 2022

Ian Hutchinson: Nuclear Fusion, Plasma Physics, and Religion

Posted by in categories: existential risks, military, nuclear energy, physics, robotics/AI

Ian Hutchinson’s concerns for existential risk after minute 42.

Ian Hutchinson is a nuclear engineer and plasma physicist at MIT. He has made a number of important contributions in plasma physics including the magnetic confinement of plasmas seeking to enable fusion reactions, which is the energy source of the stars, to be used for practical energy production. Current nuclear reactors are based on fission as we discuss. Ian has also written on the philosophy of science and the relationship between science and religion.

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Ian’s Website:
Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles? (book):
Monopolizing Knowledge (book):

Podcast website:
Apple Podcasts:
Full episodes playlist:

Clips playlist:

0:00 — Introduction.
5:32 — Nuclear physics and plasma physics.
8:00 — Fusion energy.
35:22 — Nuclear weapons.
42:06 — Existential risks.
50:29 — Personal journey in religion.
56:27 — What is God like?
1:01:34 — Scientism.
1:04:21 — Atheism.
1:06:39 — Not knowing.
1:09:57 — Faith.
1:13:46 — The value of loyalty and love.
1:23:26 — Why is there suffering in the world.
1:35:08 — AGI
1:40:27 — Consciousness.
1:48:14 — Simulation.
1:52:20 — Adam and Eve.
1:54:57 — Meaning of life.

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