The mystery of how the universe began, and why there is something rather than nothing, is a puzzle that has perplexed scientists, philosophers, and theologians from the outset of thought. Even Hawking declared science 'cannot answer why there should be a universe'. But is there a risk that we have failed to recognise the wider significance of this deep puzzle? The hugely influential philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that the ideas that the universe has a beginning or has no beginning, are equally incoherent. He concluded that human thought is not capable of describing what he called 'transcendent reality'.   

Should we see our failure to provide an answer to the beginning of the universe as evidence of a fundamental limitation of thought? As a result, are our accounts of the world and science itself, mere versions of a reality that in the end lies beyond our comprehension? Or was Kant wrong, and a solution to the mystery conceivable even if it has not yet been framed?

MIT complexity theorist Scott Aaronson, theoretical physicist Marika Taylor, mathematician John Lennox, and AI researcher Joscha Bach debate the puzzling mystery of the origin of the universe.

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