The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast #348 – Brian Keating & Jordan Peterson

Brian Keating Jordan Peterson

Brian Keating

Brian Keating is a distinguished astrophysicist, professor, and best-selling author, renowned for his groundbreaking work in the field of cosmology. As an esteemed faculty member at the University of California, San Diego, Brian has dedicated his career to exploring the mysteries of the universe and unraveling its origins. His groundbreaking research on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) has led to pivotal discoveries in the world of astrophysics, earning him numerous accolades and awards. An engaging public speaker and science communicator, Brian shares his expertise through his top-rated podcast, "Into the Impossible," where he interviews fellow visionaries and thought leaders in science, technology, and beyond. The author of the acclaimed book, "Losing the Nobel Prize," Brian Keating's work continues to inspire and captivate audiences, expanding our understanding of the cosmos and humanity's place within it.

Books Mentioned in The Jordan B Peterson Podcast #348 with Brian Keating & Jordan Peterson

Summary of The Jordan B Peterson Podcast #348 - Exploring the Universe with Brian Keating

In Episode #348 of The Jordan B Peterson Podcast, Jordan Peterson interviews Dr. Brian Keating, an astrophysicist and author, to discuss his research, the universe, and the future of cosmology. This in-depth conversation covers topics such as the expansion of the universe, the multiverse, and the relationship between science and religion.

Keating's Research: Proving Everyone Else Wrong (3:14)

Dr. Brian Keating is an astrophysicist who focuses on disproving the scientific consensus. His research has led to groundbreaking discoveries in the field of cosmology and helped redefine our understanding of the universe.

Telescopes as Time Machines (5:55)

Keating explains how telescopes allow us to observe the past by capturing light that has traveled billions of years to reach us. As we observe distant celestial objects, we essentially look back in time.

Webb Telescope and Invisible Light (8:04)

The James Webb Space Telescope is set to revolutionize our understanding of the universe by observing objects in infrared light, allowing us to see objects beyond the visible spectrum.

Blue and Red Shifts (13:49)

Blue and red shifts are phenomena that occur as objects move away or towards us. They help us understand the expansion and movement of the universe.

More Than One Galaxy (15:30)

Keating explains how the discovery of multiple galaxies expanded our knowledge of the universe and its vastness.

The Universe is Becoming More Diluted (17:04)

As the universe expands, it becomes increasingly diluted. This means that galaxies are moving further apart, and the space between them is growing.

Olber's Paradox, Edgar Allen Poe (18:35)

Olber’s Paradox addresses the question of why the night sky is dark, despite the vast number of stars in the universe. Edgar Allan Poe contributed to solving this paradox by suggesting that the universe is not infinite and is, in fact, expanding.

Hubble's Law, Hubble's Constant (21:45)

Hubble’s Law describes the relationship between the distance of a galaxy and the speed at which it is moving away from us. Hubble’s Constant is a critical value in this equation and has a significant impact on our understanding of the universe’s age and expansion rate.

Stephen Hawking, Expansion and Contraction (25:42)

Stephen Hawking’s work in cosmology explored the concepts of expansion and contraction within the universe. His theories have shaped modern cosmology and our understanding of the universe’s origins.

Einstein Was Wrong? Dark Energy (29:25)

Einstein’s theories on the universe’s expansion have been questioned due to the discovery of dark energy, a mysterious force that appears to be causing the universe to expand at an accelerating rate.

Precision Cosmology (33:01)

Precision cosmology is an emerging field that seeks to measure the universe’s properties with unprecedented accuracy, enabling us to better understand its origins, composition, and ultimate fate.

Going Back 13.8 Billion Years (38:41)

The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation, discovered in 1964, is a relic from the early universe. By studying the CMB, scientists can learn about the universe’s state 13.8 billion years ago.

Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (44:00)

The CMB is the afterglow of the Big Bang, providing crucial evidence for the universe’s origins and offering insights into its age, composition, and evolution.

Gravitational Radiation (47:55)

Gravitational waves, or ripples in spacetime, are caused by massive objects accelerating through space. Their detection has opened a new windowinto understanding the universe and its most violent events, such as black hole collisions and supernovae.

Three Properties of Light (51:44)

Keating highlights three properties of light that are crucial for understanding the universe: wavelength, intensity, and polarization. By studying these properties, scientists can learn about the cosmos and its history.

A Consequence of Dust (54:04)

Dust in the universe can create false signals that may lead to incorrect conclusions about cosmic phenomena. By accounting for and understanding the effects of dust, researchers can ensure more accurate observations and interpretations.

Father Figures (56:03)

Keating discusses the importance of mentors and father figures in his life, emphasizing their roles in shaping his scientific journey and personal development.

BICEP: Almost Conclusive (58:05)

The BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) experiment aims to detect primordial gravitational waves from the early universe. Although not yet conclusive, this research could provide groundbreaking insights into the universe’s origins.

A Brief Schematic of Time (59:20)

Keating provides an overview of the universe’s timeline, from the Big Bang to the present day, highlighting key events and the development of cosmic structures.

How the Periodic Table Emerged (1:01:50)

The periodic table emerged as a result of the processes occurring in the early universe, such as nucleosynthesis, which created the first elements.

Plasma: The Fourth State of Matter (1:05:24)

Plasma, often referred to as the fourth state of matter, is an ionized gas consisting of electrons and ions. It plays a crucial role in the universe’s evolution and is prevalent in stars and other celestial bodies.

AI and Einstein's Happiest Thought (1:07:40)

Keating discusses the potential for artificial intelligence to expand our understanding of the universe and solve complex problems, such as Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

Entropy and Unexpected Emergence (1:09:57)

Entropy, a measure of disorder in a system, often leads to unexpected emergent phenomena in the universe, such as the formation of galaxies and the birth of stars.

Everything Hinges on Curvature (1:12:02)

Curvature plays a critical role in understanding the universe’s geometry and its ultimate fate, whether it will continue to expand forever or eventually contract.

Deviation from Symmetry (1:14:13)

Keating discusses the importance of symmetry and its deviations in the universe, which can provide crucial insights into the cosmos and its development.

Detecting the Smoking Gun (1:15:29)

In the search for evidence of cosmic inflation, scientists aim to detect the “smoking gun” – a unique signature that would confirm this groundbreaking theory.

Inflation: Infinite Potential (1:18:00)

Cosmic inflation is a theory that suggests the universe underwent a rapid expansion shortly after the Big Bang, setting the stage for the formation of galaxies and other structures.

Theological Cosmology Theories (1:20:05)

Keating and Peterson discuss the intersection of theology and cosmology, examining how various religious traditions attempt to explain the universe’s origins and purpose.

Mirror Universes and the Multiverse (1:21:09)

The multiverse theory posits that our universe is just one of many, each with its own unique properties and laws of physics. Mirror universes are a subset of this concept, suggesting the existence of parallel universes with opposite properties.

Sea of Probability (1:23:10)

Quantum mechanics describes the universe as a “sea of probability,” in which particles exist in multiple states simultaneously until they are measured or observed.

Lean into That Which Would Devastate You (1:25:29)

Keating encourages embracing challenges and facing fears, as this approach can lead to personal growth and a deeper understanding of oneself and the world.

When You Recognize Your Dragon (1:29:50)

Recognizing one’s “dragon” – a personal challenge or fear – is an essential step in overcoming obstacles and achieving success, both in science and in life.

Scientists and Religion (1:33:00)

Peterson and Keating explore the relationship between science and religion, discussing how some scientists find compatibility between their faith and their scientific pursuits, while others experience conflict.

Teaching Teaching (1:38:09)

Keating emphasizes the importance of teaching as a means of advancing scientific knowledge and inspiring the next generation of researchers.

Most Discoveries Aren't Real (1:40:50)

Keating highlights the sobering reality that many scientific discoveries are later disproven or revised, emphasizing the need for rigorous testing and skepticism in the pursuit of knowledge.

Meteorites and Magnetic Illusions (1:45:40)

The study of meteorites and their magnetic properties can reveal important information about the early universe and its formation, as well as provide insights into the Earth’s history.

Systematic Contaminates: How to Mitigate (1:49:50)

Keating discusses the challenges posed by systematic contaminants in scientific research, stressing the importance of identifying and mitigating these factors to ensure accurate results.

Moses and the Edge of Perception (1:52:28)

Peterson and Keating conclude their discussion by examining the limits of human perception and understanding, acknowledging that there is still much to discover about the universe and its mysteries.


This comprehensive conversation between Jordan Peterson and Dr. Brian Keating offers valuable insights into the field of cosmology, the nature of the universe, and the relationship between science and religion. By delving into various topics, they provide an engaging and thought-provoking exploration of the cosmos and our place within it.