The physicist Sean Carroll has a new book coming out next May that I’m looking forward to: The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself.
Carroll blogs about it here, with an outline.
A key Carroll post is this one about The World of Everyday Experience, In One Equation:
Longtime readers know I feel strongly that it should be more widely appreciated that the laws underlying the physics of everyday life are completely understood. (If you need more convincing: here, here, here.)
This theory is correct in its domain of applicability. It’s one of the proudest intellectual accomplishments we human beings can boast of. Many people resist the implication that this theory is good enough to account for the physics underlying phenomena such as life, or consciousness. They could, in principle, be right, of course; but the only way that could happen is if our understanding of quantum field theory is completely wrong. When deciding between “life and the brain are complicated and I don’t understand them yet, but if we work harder I think we can do it” and “I understand consciousness well enough to conclude that it can’t possibly be explained within known physics,” it’s an easy choice for me.
And to see a style of his thinking, see A Compilation of Sean Carroll’s Best Arguments and Comebacks (A 15-minute video.)