This amazing cosmic conception of knowledge starts at 6:15.
Billions of years ago, and billions of light years away, the material at the center of a galaxy collapsed towards a super-massive black hole. And then intense magnetic fields directed some of the energy of that gravitational collapse. And some of the matter, back out in the form of tremendous jets which illuminated lobes with the brilliance of - I think it's a trillion suns.
Now, the physics of the human brain could hardly be more unlike the physics of such a jet. We couldn't survive for an instant in it. Language breaks down when trying to describe what it would be like in one of those jets. It would be a bit like experiencing a supernova explosion, but at point-blank range and for millions of years at a time. (Laughter) And yet, that jet happened in precisely such a way that billions of years later, on the other side of the universe, some bit of chemical scum could accurately describe, and model, and predict, and explain, above all - there's your reference - what was happening there, in reality. The one physical system, the brain, contains an accurate working model of the other - the quasar. Not just a superficial image of it, though it contains that as well, but an explanatory model, embodying the same mathematical relationships and the same causal structure. > > Now that is knowledge. And if that weren't amazing enough, the faithfulness with which the one structure resembles the other is increasing with time. That is the growth of knowledge. So, the laws of physics have this special property. That physical objects, as unlike each other as they could possibly be, can nevertheless embody the same mathematical and causal structure and to do it more and more so over time.
So we are a chemical scum that is different. This chemical scum has universality. Its structure contains, with ever-increasing precision, the structure of everything. This place, and not other places in the universe, is a hub which contains within itself the structural and causal essence of the whole of the rest of physical reality. And so, far from being insignificant, the fact that the laws of physics allow this, or even mandate that this can happen, is one of the most important things about the physical world.