Professor Anthony Gill, a political scientist at the University of Washington, talks to particle physicist Dr. Stephen M. Barr in a Research on Religion podcast. The casual, hourlong discussion veers from such topics as determinism and the role of the observer (get ready to reopen the catbox), why “the God particle” is an inane name for Higgs boson, and why quantum mechanics does not make faith easier, but does make pure materialism less tenable. Some of the discussion may be familiar to longtime readers of this publication, but much of it is helpful refresher material, especially for those of us who are generally not as well attuned to developments in physics as we ought to be.

Near the end of the audio, Barr also reflects on his own faith and upbringing, and dispenses advice to religious young people thinking of making a career in academia—particularly in the hard sciences where, he says, believers might find surprising tolerance, or at least an unexpected equality, thanks to the uniform and putatively objective nature of their work.

You’ll find the Barr interview, and all one hundred previous  Research on Religion podcasts,  here .

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