Smolin, Lee

Lee is a founding faculty member of the Perimeter institute for Theoretical Physics. Focusing on quantum gravity, which is the unification of Einstein's general theory of relativity with quantum theory, he is the author of The Life of the Cosmos, Three Roads to Quantum Gravity, and, most recently, his controversial The Trouble with Physics. Lee's main contributions to research are to the field of quantum gravity, where he was a founder of the approach known as loop quantum gravity, but he has contributed to other approaches including string theory.  He is also known for proposing the notion of the landscape of theories, based on his application of Darwinian methods to Cosmology. He has contributed also to the foundations of quantum mechanics, elementary particle physics, and theoretical biology.  He advocates that the two primary approaches to quantum gravity, loop quantum gravity and string theory can be reconciled as different aspects of the same underlying theory. Lee has expressed the opinion that quantum mechanics is not a "final theory," writing, “I am convinced that quantum mechanics is not a final theory. I believe this because I have never encountered an interpretation of the present formulation of quantum mechanics that makes sense to me. I have studied most of them in depth and thought hard about them, and in the end I still can't make real sense of quantum theory as it stands.” He also has a strong interest in philosophy and his three books are in part philosophical explorations of issues raised by contemporary physics.  His 2006 book, The Trouble with Physics, is broadly concerned with the role of controversy and diversity of approaches in the ethics and process of science. It is strongly critical of string theory and of its prominence in contemporary theoretical physics. He suggests both that there appear to be serious deficiencies in string theory and that string theory has an unhealthy near-monopoly in U.S. fundamental physics, and that a diversity of approaches is needed. Following are Lee’s claims, all of which are contested vigorously by his critics: that string theory makes no new testable predictions; that there is no coherent mathematical formulation of string theory; that it has not been mathematically proven to be finite; that the proposal of a landscape of up to 10500 string vacuum solutions is tantamount to abandoning accepted science. Lee states, “The scenario of many unobserved universes plays the same logical role as the scenario of an intelligent designer. Each provides an untestable hypothesis that, if true, makes something improbable seem quite probable.”



Can Religion Be Explained Without God?

Most people believe that God exists and religion is God’™s revelation. But some claim that religion needs nothing supernatural; that religion, without God, can flourish because personal psychology and group sociology drive religion.

Read Post >  |  Comments (283) >

ALSO: Arguing God from Design, by Richard Swinburne >


  • View All Cosmos Comments
  • View All Consciousness Comments
  • View All God Comments

TV Episodes

Current TV Episodes - Summaries.
The 39 episodes in the current TV season: 13 episodes each for Cosmos, Consciousness, God.

Future TV Episodes - Cosmos, Consciousness, God

Previous TV Episodes


Learn about Closer To Truth participants. Browse bios and articles on CTT topics.

About Closer To Truth

Closer To Truth overview. Go behind the scenes and meet the CTT team. View photos from around the globe and more.

Articles & References

Additional material and resources on Closer To Truth topics.

Visit SciTech Daily: the best intelligent, informed science & technology coverage and analysis daily.

Previous CTT Season 3

Website of Closer To Truth season 3.