Plentyoffish dating forums are a place to meet singles and get dating advice or share dating experiences etc. Hopefully you will all have fun meeting singles and try out this online dating thing... Remember that we are the largest free online dating service, so you will never have to pay a dime to meet your soulmate.
     
Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  >      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 70
view profile
History
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the UniversePage 3 of 19    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)
RE Msg: 70 by Kardinal Offishall:
As usual you are baffling.
Hey, a lot of people told me that. But they've usually agreed with me, once I've taken the time to explain things to them, in what I consider a child's level of understanding.

Hawking and Hartle’s proposal is what it is. It was a theoretically and empirically informed speculative attempt to extrapolate from known physics, in addition to some other constraints, a way in which our universe could begin naturalistically (without need for positing a make-believe “prime mover” deity).
I appreciate that. But it's still based on the equations of our universe, which are in turn based on the observations we have made for our universe. So I cannot say that the same would be true for our universe. I cannot even say that in another universe, with the same rules as our own, that they would definitely come to the same conclusion, because they'd have different things happening, and thus could have different observations, and different conclusions about their universe.

I appreciate this most sincerely in the light of cognitive science, as your put-downs have encouraged me to consider my theories on the subject of the mind in much greater detail, and have shown me 2 things, that my views are far more consistent with known data than I ever realised, and that they have far wider-reaching applications that will help me immensely, and, when they are published, will transform the worlds of cognitive science, and even, education.
You definitely must be on something. This is the clincher. You should print what you just typed and put it on your medicine cabinet (pun not intended).You could have a point there. I definitely lack motivation and confidence in myself. It's one of the few things that everyone who knows me IRL is convinced of about me.

I’m sure they’ve already begun polishing your Nobel Prize, Scorp, in anticipation of your sagely contributions.
You're definitely the second person who's said that to me. I seriously doubt that I'd get a Nobel Prize, even if I did discover and publish something monumental. It's not that easy to win one you know.

I’ve exposed you a number of times for being so far off base in matters cognitive science, so poorly under- and mis-educated, that only someone delusional could think they harbor forthcoming breakthrough insights.
You've exposed that I disagree on many matters with you about cognitive science, and about what you have pointed out seems to be scientific consensus on the subject. I know that I have a deprecating self-image that believes that everything I do is wrong. But the trouble is, that I've been right a hell of a lot of times. A lot of that being right, comes from having such a low sense of self-confidence, that I'll go over an idea hundreds of times, before I even consider it as even a possible idea that MIGHT deserved to be considered as a hypothesis. So what a lot of scientists have published a theory they came up with, that they have proved beyond doubt, I would consider that, if I thought of a theory, that level of consideration would not even be enough for me to consider even telling anyone else about it.

From what I've been told, and from my own observations, I need to bolster my self-confidence, to actually put something out there.

I know that a lot of what I write seems to be radically different than how you think. But

Finish reading that Pinker book before you needlessly generate another epic fail.
All right, all right. I'll get round to it. Stop hounding me about it. It dwells on my mind too much already, to finish it. The more I think about finishing it, the more I feel pressure, and the more I feel pressured, the more I avoid something. So it's becoming counter-productive in my motivations. I'm having to work on developing more motivation in myself, just to complete it.


So please, keep your criticisms coming. It only serves to motivate me to find even better truth.
Oh I will... Though I call it showing you that your “truths” are sadly a phantasm of your own making.
I never minded that. I was expecting the Credit Crunch to be a few years later than it was. I was expecting that scientists would say that eggs weren't bad for you, only fried eggs. I have few more ideas of what I expect will happen in the future, in economics and in science.

Bear in mind, though, that I watch a lot of science programmes, just to keep up, and to see how much of my hypotheses, and the theories I have heard about, are consistent with other results. That way, I can see where I am off-track.

For instance, I was watching a Horizon programme last night, called "seeing is believing". It was very interesting, and informed me about certain results in the subject of visual and auditory illusions, that have great significance in the subject of cognitive science. I highly suggest that you watch it.

RE Msg: 71 by abelian:

Also, perhaps you can provide a source for finding the list of reviews of the paper, so that I might see what peer reviews have been done on it.
You apparently have no clue about the peer review process. The process goes something like this: (1) You submit a paper to a journal; (2) If the paper is on a subject that is appropriate for the journal, the paper is sent to three referees who are experts in the field and who remain anonymous; (3) The referees check the work in the paper for accuracy and if applicavle, make corrections and possibly make suggestions for revisions; (4) The corrections and suggested revisions are sent back to the author, who may or may not agree with the referees; (5) The author may dispute what the referees suggested, but in any case, sends back a paper which reflects his opinion on what needed to be revised; (6) The paper is sent back to the referees and the process continues until the referees return the paper with a vote to publish or not publish or publish with certain reservations or whatever. In any case, the referees are anonymous (although one can probably guess who they might be just because there aren't that many with enough people expertise to referee such specialized topics). The editor makes the final decision based on the referees's comments. The process takes around 6 months for a paper that requires no real changes.

Since the paper was published in phys rev d, it was peer reviewed. If it weren't it would not have been in phys rev d. Even Hartle and Hawking do not know who reviewed their paper.
Yeah, I read that about scientific journals before. I think it was in the New Scientist. However, if I remember right, it pointed out that when it comes to peer-reviews before publication, the editor of a journal uses the same people to do peer review on a subject, so these people are getting a whole load of reviews, and have their own full-time work on top. So if I remember right, the result was that they don't really get a lot of time to do a proper analysis that might take quite a lot of time.

Also, if you really want to review someone's work, then it would make sense that you repeat the experiment. If not, then you get a case like Jan Henrik Schon, where his work was published in journals, and yet, when anyone tried to repeat his experiments, they couldn't achieve his results. But if its "big science", then its going to be very expensive, and very time-consuming. A review like that, could require a budget close to the original, or at least in the same ball park.

However, I have noticed, or it had been brought to my attention, that many works have been reviewed after publication, and those reviews have been published in scientific journals. I also notice, that some theories that used to be accepted, are no longer accepted, because others have found faults with them, which have caused them to be replaced by other theories. I would have considered these such reviews of one's work by one's peers, to be also a form of peer review.

Also, given that there are time and budget constraints on pre-publication peer reviews, then post-publication peer reviews, which have more time to them, and probably would have actually used their results, and possibly found problems with them as a result, would then constitute a far greater test of those theories than any pre-publication peer review could hope to achieve.

If it's mathematically-based, like this one, then I recall the case of Andrew Wiles. I had just finished my first year of university. A friend, who knew that I had a great interest in mathematics, well before I did a degree in it, and independenty of doing a degree in it, had shown me a clipping that Andrew Wiles had solved Fermat's Last Theorem. So when I went back for my second year, I spoke to one of my lecturers. The first thing he did was to correct me, that it was called Fermat's Last CONJECTURE, as it was an unproved hypothesis. Then I replied that surely, since it had been solved anyway, that it did deserve to be called a theorem now. He replied that it was being checked out by mathematicians right now. As it happens, his published paper was found to have errors in it, that brought the proof into question. Andrew Wiles had to then go back, redo his proof and then publish it a year later.

So yes, pre-publication peer-review is a form of peer review, no less than asking someone else in your field to read over your work and see if there are any glaring problems that stand out. But is it a reliable means of determination, that the paper is definitely valid, and that it has been thoroughly checked out? From what I've been given the impression by experienced lecturers and from scientific media sources, no, it is not all that solid a form of review. But it does keep out a lot of the more woolly stuff.

I was asking for a list of post-publication peer reviews, to see what was written about it. I find it very useful to read what others in the field have said about a discovery, as then I find I have a more balanced viewpoint, and quite often, it is extremely useful to me, as it corrects me, both when I agree with the discovery, and when I disagree with it.

The anonymity is important to ensure that the referees cannot be pressured by well known scientists.
I can appreciate that it's important to ensure that peer-reviewers are not pressured.

However, in my view, it's important to know what the reviews said, both pre-publication and post-publication, as all of that is part of the scientific process of discovery. You cannot just look at the answers and expect to understand a problem in science, and scientific research is no different. You need to see all the working out.

It's also important to me to know who those reviewers are, after publication, for transparency. Different academics hold different positions. So if one is an ardent follower of Chomsky, and the paper attacks linguistic relativism, the reviewer might still be in the field and thus might have reviewed the paper. But he might have given a rather more optimistic view of the matter, because it supports his views. He probably still has points. But it makes one more aware of which points in the review are stronger points, and which ones are weaker.

But of course, that would require a change in the way that the scientific community functions, and I am not in any position to make them do what I think might be to their benefit.


This presents a certain problem for me,
Mainly because you're just tossing out jargon. First of all the Hartle-Hawking wavefunction is a functional, not a function.
Fair enough. But as it represents a map from a domain to a co-domain, to me, I still see it as a function. But you are entirely right.

The sum over paths in this case is over all possible metrics that satisfy the boundary conditions. Our universe is the one that maximizes the functional. The point is that one doesn't need to know initial conditions. The ``universe from nothing'' comes from the fact that the functional satisfies the Wheeler-DeWitt equation (which is actually the least controversial aspect of Hartle and Hawkings idea).
I agree that Hawking has done accurate mathematics. But it doesn't necessarily take into account that it based on mathematical results that are based on our observations of our universe.

Whenever we write a mathematical equation, or even a mathematical proof, there are still underlying conditions that are assumed. For instance, Pythagoras' theorem cannot be argued with. However, it does assume that one is dealing with a Euclidean space, which requires the assumption of Euclid's Fifth Axiom. Even then, it still carries a lot of assumptions about the nature of geometry and arithmetic, that are generally assumed to be true for all spaces. We normally put in all these assumptions into the proof, or the resulting equation. If we did, then even something simple like the basic rule of Pythagoras' Theorem (a^2 + b^2 = c^2) would be huge.

We can assume these things in a given context. However, when we generalise to outside of this context, we cannot assume these results are true.

As a result, we can say that the universal wavefunction is true about our universe, and any universes which also operate with the same underlying assumptions that lead up to the Wheeler-DeWitt equation, and the sum-over-paths method. But not about any other universes in which we cannot state for certain that these assumptions hold.

So it would be true to say that THIS universe's wavefunction is a maximal over all universes with observations that match our own universes enough to form the basis of the Wheeler-DeWitt equation, and the sum-over-paths method, which would mean our universe is the most probable of those to occur, and thus has an optimal design.

But we cannot say this universe's wavefunction reaches a maximal, about universes in general, only about a subset of them.


I see this as putting me in the same category as Edward Jenner and Albert Einstein.
Score yourself:
http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 71
view profile
History
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/19/2010 6:49:19 AM
RE Msg: 72 by OpenEyes:
Oy, what a mess.
Don't you mean "Oy Vey"?:laugh:

1: Hawking is claiming proofs, yes; but nonnecessity and nonexistance are two very different things. You can't prove that something doesn't exist, but it is quite possible to show that it doesn't have to.
Yes, I do understand the difference. For instance, I cannot prove that aliens don't exist. But I think I can prove that aliens don't have to exist. But only because humans exist, and we have no evidence of alien existence, and we have sufficient explanations of how humans came to be. Although, having said that, without a proof of abiogenesis, someone could point out that, although evolution provides a valid explanation of how we got from the first amoeba to humans, we still need to prove abiogenesis to explain where the first amoeba came from. So come to think of it, I'm not quite sure that my proof would be such a great one.

It's real easy to come up with a false argument even when it comes to proving or disproving necessity. You are still proving the lack of existence of necessity. It's the difference between proving that A=>B is false, and proving A is false. So arguments of non-necessity often have the same challenges as proving non-existence from a theoretical basis. They are different. But not necessarily any easier.

Also, I'm not forming a Pope/Hawking Dichotomy-
Good. I'm glad that we can agree on that.

what I said is that Hawking is maximally qualified to talk about the fundamental construction of the universe. Can you think of someone better?
Yeah. There have been lots of philosophers who have discussed the origins of the universe, both those known to Western secular society, and many who are known to many, but not really all that well-known to Western secularists. Hawking can talk about physics. But once he gets outside of this universe, he's talking about places we've never been, based on things that he knows about, but are only based on where we've been. That's why I gave the example about Schrödinger's cat. We are the cat. We know all about our universe. But we really cannot know what other universes are like. So physics stops being such a given, at that point, and philosophical speculations do start to become much more important.

2: Einstein's hypotheses made easily tested experimental predictions. People weren' t excited about it until this was done.
I was reading back in the 70s, that scientists were STILL spending a lot of time and money testing Einstein's theory, even in the 50s.

When it comes to theoretical physics, it's much more about who has done significant work in the field in the past. Hawking Radiation has some experimental evidence for it 30 years later, for example.
If you mean to say that it takes decades before one has evidence to support a theory in certain subjects, that I can agree with. But then the same would be true to disprove a theory. So we might not have evidence for it, or against it, until 30 years hence. In the meantime, we cannot say that the theory will be validated or invalidated by physical experimentation, and then, we would not be remiss for saying it is currently neither true or false.

3: As I already said, heliocentric books, including Kepler's, weren't dropped from the prohibited books list until 1758; Kepler's theory was surpressed by the church just as much as Galileo's was- he just didn't get a visit from the inquisition. So it was never about Kepler's theory explaining things 'better'- if that were the case, they would have supported Kepler, no? It was always about heliocentricism going against church dogma and galileo's criticism of it.
Fair enough. But then why didn't Newton's Principia Mathematica make it into the Index Librorum Prohibitorum?

One of Newton's books made it onto the list of banned books. Yet his work on Heliocentrism did not. Kepler published other books, but they didn't make it onto the list of books. Clearly, the issue cannot be put down to banning science either by author or by subject.

Kepler's book that was banned, was his "Epitome astronomiae Copernicanae" (Epitome of Copernican Astronomy), and only that one was mentioned as banned, even though Kepler wrote more than this. It might not have been the best judgement to call your book after an author that had already had conflicts with the church, and whose books had already been put on the Index.

I found the Index online. You can examine the full list of banned books here: http://tinyurl.com/2avognf

4: That 'KID' was 17: not exactly unable to consider the consequences. Death threats can be criminal matters- Death threats against a head of state almost always. The fact that he wasn't prosecuted was a lucky break for him; if he was American he could have gotten five years.
But he WASN'T in America, he WASN'T 18, and plenty of people get death threats all the time, like Richard Dawkins, amongst many other people of all persuasions. I can understand them banning him for 5 years, to send a message that it's not acceptable for young kids to send death threats, particularly to Presidents of countries.

But a lifetime ban, implies that they consider him a genuine threat to the President of the USA. That would constitute terrorism on a global level, which would require the British authorities arresting him on suspicion of terrorism. No such arrests were made. So the British intelligence services, who have far more access to knowledge of his whereabouts, known aquaintances, and the like, to determine if it's just a nonsense threat or if it's something serious, realised that it was just a young kid, who was p*ssed off. He was probably p*ssed off at the loss of so many lives of loyal British soldiers of his country, just because his country was brought in to a war that many in this country believe was totally illegal, purely because America went into it, and because Blair backed Bush to the hilt.

It sends a message, that if someone is p*ssed off at political policies, but in no way constitutes a potential threat, that if they voice their feelings, that the US government will treat them as terrorists anyway. For Brits, it's not all that different when an old man, who was a lifetime member of the Labour Party, was forcibly evicted from a Labour Party Conference under Blair, for speaking his mind, that Blair was conducting illegal activities by bringing them into this war. All in all, it sends a message to the world, that if you disagree with how the US is doing things, then you will be treated as a terrorist.

Now look at it from the side of the Taleban and Al-Quaeda. If some of them thought that the US could find a happy medium with them, that they could afford to give up terrorism, they still would maintain that the US and the UK was wrong about the way they have handled Iraq and Afghanistan. But looking at what happened to a British kid, who is not considered a threat by them, they can expect that their problems with US policy will never be listened to, unless they bend over backwards to be polite.

However, the Harvard School of Business wrote a book on negotiation, in which it pointed out that when one side plays hardball and the other plays softball, the side that plays soft, will almost always lose their shirt. So they cannot back down that much. They have to at least be able to say what they think, even if they don't act on it.

But this sends the message that they cannot even say what they think. That leaves them only with their BATNA to negotiate with, their Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. That is, from what I can see, terrorism.

So this sort of thing, can keep those who are moderates within terrorist groups, and who have the influence to get their groups to give up terrorism, to avoid doing so, becuase they have reason to believe they will never have their grievances listened to.

It's overkill, that makes everyone else think that Americans want to steam-roller over everyone else, and that the only way to make Americans listen, is to keep doing things to them, that will FORCE them to come to the negotiating table, which so far, seems to be keeping on blowing them up in terrorist acts, until they realise they just cannot win such a war.

So no, it's not good, not the way I see it.

Of course, I'm not an American. My country hasn't been attacked twice in 100 years. The UK has been attacked loads of times. So maybe we don't scream blue murder every time we are attacked once, because we expect that it's bound to happen every now and then, it you control other nations, economically and militarily. But then again, the UK is a much older country. So we have far more experience in this matter.

Maybe we just need to wait until 3776, for Americans to catch up. It's not long, only another 1766 years.

Also, it wasn't the secret service, but the FBI, who were involved in this instance.
I wasn't disputing who had jurisdiction.

Summary:
The way I see things, Hawking has published something. If scientists wish to wax large about what it teaches them about their ToE of physics, that's up to them. But so far, all you've given me is even more reason to think that it's not at this point either proved or complete enough to suggest large statements about the universe, particularly about its origins.

Maybe in 30 years, it might be. Or maybe if someone else builds on it, it might be. Just I don't see it yet.

But then, that's my opinion. You are entitled to your opinion. But only because everyone is entitled to hold their own opinions, and that applies to me as much as you.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 72
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/19/2010 8:08:07 AM

Yeah, I read that about scientific journals before. I think it was in the New Scientist. However, if I remember right, it pointed out that when it comes to peer-reviews before publication, the editor of a journal uses the same people to do peer review on a subject, so these people are getting a whole load of reviews, and have their own full-time work on top.

For future reference, don't take anything in New Scientist seriously. The APS joutnals (e.g. phys rev lett., phys rev a,b,c,d,...) are peer reviewed by members of the APS who are experts in their field. In particular, no one indivisual is getting ``a whole load of reviews.''

It's also important to me to know who those reviewers are, after publication, for transparency.

You don't count. The purpose of a scientific journal is to disseminate information to other scientists, not appease lay readers who won't understand the content or put the article in the proper perspective (which is that very little is going to be of lasting significance). . If you want a say in what the APS does, join the APS. The reason that referees are anonymous is to allow them to the freedom to reject a paper from someone of Hawking's stature without fear of repercussions.

Different academics hold different positions.

So? If the article is clearly written, technically correct and relevant to the journal, the article will get published. If an author has an article rejected, there is always the option of submitting it to another journal.
There's already more junk in journals than ought to be there. If you want the junk that gets rejected, but could possibly be of some interest to someone, no matter how unlikely that might be, try arxive.org. It's the world eprint repository for mathematics, physics and a few other disciplines.

But it doesn't necessarily take into account that it based on mathematical results that are based on our observations of our universe.

Well, you have to start somewhere and since the goal is to explain this universe, that probably seemed like a good place to start. On the other hand, the only constraint imposed on it is that the 3-geometry is a compact manifold without boundary. Strictly speaking, the model is at least incomplete, however it's sufficiently general to make predictions which agree with observation despite being incomplete. However, the real argument being made against theism here is more due to the Wheeler-DeWitt equation,

H Psi = 0

Since H is the Hamiltonian (i.e., the energy constraint) for all possible field configurations on spacetime, one needs to show that there exists a solution to this equation. If the equation above has a solution, then the total energy is zero at all times and there is nothing objectionable about the universe arising from nothing. The Hartle-Hawking wavefunction is such a solution, so what they've shown is that there are in fact universes which have features that are at least similar to ours which can arise from nothing with maximal probability. That supports what Hawking did say, which is that a god was not necessary.

I'd say that Hawking's claim is sensational only because he happens to be famous. In his book, ``God: The Failed Hypothesis,'' Victor Stenger does a much better job of reducing whatever role there is for a god to almost nothing based on things we know very well and that pretty much rules out any judeo-christian god.
Personally, I don't see what all of the fuss is about.

For instance, Pythagoras' theorem cannot be argued with. However, it does assume that one is dealing with a Euclidean space, which requires the assumption of Euclid's Fifth Axiom.

So? That's equivalent to equipping a manifold with a flat metric which is positive definite. Since we can use rulers to measure things, one might expect the universe to have a metric. Our universe is, in fact equipped with a Lorentzian metric, however, in the Hartle-Hawking wavefunction, what's relevant is the spatial part of the metric. (That what the 3^g or 3^G means).

Even then, it still carries a lot of assumptions about the nature of geometry and arithmetic, that are generally assumed to be true for all spaces.

Since they state right up front that the functional is a functional of the metric, I don't see the problem. That isn't a ``lot of assumptions.'' It's a few assumptions based on some very simple observations, like the fact that we can measures distances. Hint: First figure out what the gravitational field has to do with the metric and note that the Hartle-Hawking wavefunction has something to do with quantum gravity.

But we cannot say this universe's wavefunction reaches a maximal, about universes in general, only about a subset of them.

Eh? The point of a functional is to write down a completely general expression and pick out the subset of functions that extremize it, preferably leaving exactly one uniiverse - ours - as the most probable. All Hawking has done is to provide a model of a lot of universes in which god has, at best, a very small role to play, which is nothing like whatever concept of god as a personal exists in religion.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 73
view profile
History
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/19/2010 10:30:13 AM
RE Msg: 75 by abelian:
For future reference, don't take anything in New Scientist seriously. The APS joutnals (e.g. phys rev lett., phys rev a,b,c,d,...) are peer reviewed by members of the APS who are experts in their field. In particular, no one indivisual is getting ``a whole load of reviews.''
That's exactly what the New Scientist said. However, there are a number of papers in each field, and there are only so many experts in each field who have been chosen to do the reviewing, and thus, the number of papers, IMO, should seriously outnumber the number of expert reviewers, within each field. Of course, if there are only a few papers published a year in each field, and each expert spends all the time necessary to review it, which means a fair bit of time for something that took years to develop, easily months if in a mathematically-based field, then it would have a lot more standing. But I cannot really quantify that, without having some definite figures on the subject. Perhaps you could point me in the direction of someone who does have expert knowledge on the process of peer-review, and wouldn't mind informing an ignorant upstart like myself?


It's also important to me to know who those reviewers are, after publication, for transparency.
You don't count.
Your dismissive statement is what I have encountered before, which is why I wrote earlier, that scientists wouldn't be willing to listen to my views on the issue of peer-reivew.

The purpose of a scientific journal is to disseminate information to other scientists, not appease lay readers who won't understand the content or put the article in the proper perspective (which is that very little is going to be of lasting significance).
I guess that I'd feel better about that, if there were 2 types of journals, one for other scientists, and not for lay people, including the media, and another for public consumption. But whenever I look up media reports of a scientific discovery, then it seems to come from the same scientific journals that you say are not for "lay readers". Sure, the media don't employ people without a knowledge of science, to read up on the latest PNAS articles. But they are not exactly expert enough that the media stories I read, all that often match what even the abstracts say, which I do look up, on the odd occasion.

I'm in a quandary. First you say that the journals are not for public consumption. So I cannot trust what I read in scientific journals. But if you don't offer anything else, then there is no reasonable way for lay people, which include the media, politicians, businessmen, and everyone else, to get information on new scientific discoveries. So I cannot trust any lay people from the media, the government, or businesses, who reads them, and tells the public what they mean. So then I can only trust scientists who explain their ideas to the public.

If they explain them well, all well and good, and some do. That's where a lot of my scientific information comes from. It's why I like to watch so many science programmes on TV. I select the ones in which professors explain their own findings. It's also why I like to read the New Scientist, because most of the articles ARE written by scientists, and published as such.

Some scientists leave me with a problem with everything they say, that, whether they are right or not, it isn't consistent, to my understanding. Even thinking about them at length, doesn't seem to help my understanding of those scentists. It just makes me find even more problems. So then, at best, I have something that even the person who came up with it, cannot seem to elucidate to me. I cannot work with something that doesn't make any sense at all to me.

I do watch scientists explanations about major physics, like the ones about black holes, and the Big Bang, and things like that. But these seem to end with a lot of physicists saying "We don't really know about black holes", "I really don't like Dark Matter, and would prefer that it goes away", things like that. Although I have a gist of what physicists are saying, I feel so non-plussed, that I end up feeling like I really want to read the maths behind it, because they aren't helping me. So maybe if I read what they read, I might at least understand that. But I really haven't put enough effort into learning particle physics and quantum physics for myself, only on a basic UK high school level.

But overall, such an approach would mean that I would have to discount all the normal sources for scientific discoveries to come to the public, which, I would imagine, most people would see as ignoring science completely.

So for now, either I listen to you, and take an approach that would seem to be me ignoring science completely, or I can put your words on the back burner, to check with people in the field that I meet or contact, to explain what you mean. I'm not sure which to do.

If you want a say in what the APS does, join the APS.
I'm not an American. So even if I did want to join an association of Physicists, it would be a British association. But even then, let's be honest, you and other physicists wouldn't give me the time of day unless I was accredited by working full-time in the field or an associated field in an established university. All of that requires getting into academia and having to deal with office politics, which I sucked at, and so badly, I realised that I would not do be happy at all, until I felt I could deal with office politics, or that I could work for someone who would field all that stuff for me. Maybe in the future, I'd re-consider a career in academia.

The reason that referees are anonymous is to allow them to the freedom to reject a paper from someone of Hawking's stature without fear of repercussions.
I got that. I still don't understand why the scientific community would want to give them repercussions in the first place. But, hey, if that's the way it runs, then that's the way it runs. I won't quibble on your testimony on that.

There's already more junk in journals than ought to be there. If you want the junk that gets rejected, but could possibly be of some interest to someone, no matter how unlikely that might be, try arxive.org. It's the world eprint repository for mathematics, physics and a few other disciplines.
Fair enough, and thanks for the pointer.


But it doesn't necessarily take into account that it based on mathematical results that are based on our observations of our universe.
Well, you have to start somewhere and since the goal is to explain this universe, that probably seemed like a good place to start. On the other hand, the only constraint imposed on it is that the 3-geometry is a compact manifold without boundary. Strictly speaking, the model is at least incomplete, however it's sufficiently general to make predictions which agree with observation despite being incomplete. However, the real argument being made against theism here is more due to the Wheeler-DeWitt equation,

H Psi = 0

Since H is the Hamiltonian (i.e., the energy constraint) for all possible field configurations on spacetime, one needs to show that there exists a solution to this equation. If the equation above has a solution, then the total energy is zero at all times and there is nothing objectionable about the universe arising from nothing. The Hartle-Hawking wavefunction is such a solution, so what they've shown is that there are in fact universes which have features that are at least similar to ours which can arise from nothing with maximal probability. That supports what Hawking did say, which is that a god was not necessary.
That's quite similar to what the vid said, about the zero-sum energy point. I still had problems with that. But since this seems to have got me into very hot water with everyone, and you do have a clear point, I'm thinking that maybe I just ought to put this also on the back-burner, until I learn enough of this type of physics (I don't want to say QM, in case someone starts arguing that it's particle physics, or something else, as that's happened before on this forum).

But if you do post back that you do not mind more questions on this, then I would be only too happy to post my more questions, as that way, I could hope to get them resolved.

I'd say that Hawking's claim is sensational only because he happens to be famous. In his book, ``God: The Failed Hypothesis,'' Victor Stenger does a much better job of reducing whatever role there is for a god to almost nothing based on things we know very well and that pretty much rules out any judeo-christian god.
Can't say that I've read it. I have seen a few documentaries that do a nice summary of the arguments against theism. Unfortunately, it wasn't of the level of Hitchens. A lot of the points the presenter made, contradicted themselves, but in subtle, and not overt ways, at least, that's what I noticed. As it is, I suppose I COULD read it. But many of the arguments made today, are actually arguments that were very old in the 70s when I was a kid. They've just been dressed up in new, more scientific terminology. But the fundamentals of so many arguments are the same as they ever were. So it's quite difficult for me, because I've heard so many of them before, just in an old version.

Even Stephen Hawking's argument is not dissimilar to arguments that I myself proposed to myself at the age of 14, although his argument is not even as strong as the one I employed on myself.

I think I'd enjoy reading Stenger's book, only on the condition, that if I found serious flaws with his arguments, that I could go and debate them out with him face-to-face. Outside of that, it would just be me giving yet another person the benefit of the doubt, when I've done that many times before, to no avail.

But I'm sure that it's a good read, and I'm sure that he's presented points that many haven't heard before. I doubt tha most people were arguing over proofs of theism when they were in their teens.

Personally, I don't see what all of the fuss is about.
It's because Hawking is a scientist. People take scientists' word for it on anything. If you said that drinking at least 10 cans of Coca-Cola every single day of your life was good for you, people would believe you, because "you're a scientist", which is often followed up with "you're really smart, you know lots, and we are very stupid, and know very little, so whatever you say, you must be right". Consider yourself religiously infallible, at least from a large portion of the populace. They'll only disagree with you, if you say something that they do all the time, is wrong, like that drinking lots of alcohol is bad for you. But outside of that, you have more power than the Pope.


For instance, Pythagoras' theorem cannot be argued with. However, it does assume that one is dealing with a Euclidean space, which requires the assumption of Euclid's Fifth Axiom.
So? That's equivalent to equipping a manifold with a flat metric which is positive definite. Since we can use rulers to measure things, one might expect the universe to have a metric. Our universe is, in fact equipped with a Lorentzian metric, however, in the Hartle-Hawking wavefunction, what's relevant is the spatial part of the metric. (That what the 3^g or 3^G means).
Try writing out every axiom and every method of logic that you require to prove the existence of a positive, definite, flat metric on a manifold, in wffs, in pure logic. Or try proving it Pythagoras' Theorem using pure logical statements, and nothing else, no geometrical shapes, no algebra, no arithmetic, nothing but pure logic. It's doable, because mathematics is all logic. But you won't be able to do it, without putting in all those extra axioms. I tried to consider all the axioms that were required just for basic arithmetic, for instance, to prove 1 + 1 = 2, you require to define 1, +, =, and 2, and show they all exist, or assume they exist as axioms, and then define the extra condition that allows for the existence of combinations of elements that can be used as counting, to become another element, in an arithmetical way. It made my head spin. Apparently some mathematician did it, and it took him almost 150 pages!

A lot of what we do in maths, seems to me, to be context sensitive.


Even then, it still carries a lot of assumptions about the nature of geometry and arithmetic, that are generally assumed to be true for all spaces.
Since they state right up front that the functional is a functional of the metric, I don't see the problem. That isn't a ``lot of assumptions.'' It's a few assumptions based on some very simple observations, like the fact that we can measures distances. Hint: First figure out what the gravitational field has to do with the metric and note that the Hartle-Hawking wavefunction has something to do with quantum gravity.
Again, all of those "few" assumptions, I'd have to prove, using pure logic, and nothing else, no arithmetic, no calculus, nothing but pure logical statements. Then I'd be able to see just what assumptions I would need to prove it all. I am of the opinion to prove something like the existence of a Hamiltonian, could take a few hundred axioms alone. Just to prove calculus, requires the existence of continuous domains, and the existence of pairs of sequences that converge roughly in parallel, that both map to groups, and have norms over both, which both map to the same field, and probably way more than that.


But we cannot say this universe's wavefunction reaches a maximal, about universes in general, only about a subset of them.
Eh? The point of a functional is to write down a completely general expression and pick out the subset of functions that extremize it, preferably leaving exactly one uniiverse - ours - as the most probable. All Hawking has done is to provide a model of a lot of universes in which god has, at best, a very small role to play, which is nothing like whatever concept of god as a personal exists in religion.
It is probably a very general statement for physics. I don't think it would be something that I would consider to be a general expression. But then, I've been thinking on what qualifies as a general expression for 20 years now, and what I think now, is very different from what I was taught. I have thought about standing up and saying what I've worked out. But I still think I need to solve a major problem before anyone would be willing to listen to me, and I still doubt that anyone would anyway.

So maybe I'm a nutcase on this, and I ought to get back to solving some riddles I am working on, mathematically speaking.

I hope that you can forgive a nutcase for bothering you.
 desertrhino
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 74
view profile
History
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/19/2010 4:59:13 PM

I'm in a quandary. First you say that the journals are not for public consumption. So I cannot trust what I read in scientific journals.


I think the point is more that you cannot UNDERSTAND in adequate context, due to the direction and focus of your education to this point, what you read in the serious scientific journals. It not that you can't TRUST it. You just lack the background and training to decide what is reasonable or where there may be holes in the research.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 75
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/19/2010 10:33:11 PM
...And that is supposedly the end of the debate? If that were true we should just annihilate everybody but the scientists because they are so educated and right. Holes in their research? Big ones..caused by their hubris and way too many toys to amuse them through their very educated and blind days. Aaah. Each victory gained by science pails in comparison to the losses experienced.
 desertrhino
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 76
view profile
History
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/20/2010 4:15:07 AM

Each victory gained by science pails(sic) in comparison to the losses experienced.


...says the woman posting to an online forum on a computer in the middle of backwoods Canada.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 77
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/20/2010 5:25:51 AM
"backwoods Canada?"

Would that be anywhere north of Highway 7 in Toronto?
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 78
view profile
History
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/20/2010 12:04:19 PM
RE Msg: 77 by desertrhino:
I think the point is more that you cannot UNDERSTAND in adequate context, due to the direction and focus of your education to this point, what you read in the serious scientific journals.
Then I cannot falsify anything in it. But if I cannot falsify it, I cannot find it to be true either. So then, I can only take the perspective that it is just as likely to be false or true. All I could do then, is treat it as a hypothetical suggestion that anyone could make, but without validity.

It not that you can't TRUST it.
I trust scientists completely. I trust them to obey the laws of science, just like all inanimate objects, and all animals, including humans. One of this is the principle of scientific induction, which is that if something follows the same pattern of behaviour, then without anything happening that will force it to change its behaviour, it will continue to do so. So, whatever pattern of behaviour can be observed by yourself about a scentists, or about a group of scientists, then by scientific induction, they will continue in such manner.

You just lack the background and training to decide what is reasonable or where there may be holes in the research.
If I cannot say if it is unreasonable, then I cannot say it is reasonable. If I cannot say if it has holes, I cannot say it doesn't. So it becomes something that is equally likely to me, to be unreasonable as much as reasonable, and to have no holes as much as to have 1 hole or 2 holes or 3 holes or more holes. So then I can only take the perspective that it is at best, just as likely to be false or true. All I could do then, is treat it as a hypothetical suggestion that anyone could make, but without validity.
 merelymortal
Joined: 11/24/2009
Msg: 79
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/20/2010 11:52:53 PM

Hey merely

You wrote in response to my saying that hawking was expressing an opinion:
"Not really Paul K, Hawking was really just pointing out that something came out of nothing."
What is that if not an opinion??

Then you wrote:
"My point to you was that really, Hawking is outside of his field of expertise... philosophy covers this realm, not physics."

So now you agree that hawking was giving opinion?

Paul K


This was a long time back but I meant to answer it.

Basically, Paul K, I believe that Hawking's opinion that the universe needs no creator to come into existence is an expert opinion being that he is an accomplished physicist. An expert opinion is still an opinion, but it should be given more weight than a layman's opinion.

Now, whether or not god exists outside of the universe is a different question, just because no evidence comes from physics that there has to be a god doesn't mean there isn't a god.

I would say that philosophy answered that question allot longer before science did though. Also, that's why I think that Hawking is simultaneously outside of his field of expertise, but still put his scientific evidence that explains that god doesn't have to exist in order for the universe to exist in the expert category.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 81
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/21/2010 12:33:14 PM

Now, whether or not god exists outside of the universe is a different question, just because no evidence comes from physics that there has to be a god doesn't mean there isn't a god.


Doesn't mean there is one, either. The point of Hawking's statement is that God isn't needed to explain the existence of the universe.

And, if God is not the explanation for anything, isn't the consequence of that is that God is not the explanation for anything?
 merelymortal
Joined: 11/24/2009
Msg: 82
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/21/2010 3:29:37 PM
stargazer1000:
And, if God is not the explanation for anything, isn't the consequence of that is that God is not the explanation for anything?


Only if nihilism, a valueless existence, is what we want to hold as truth.

We can overcome nihilism without a god, sure, but some sort of creator of values of will ultimately be needed for "the masses"(the majority of non-reflective society of which most physical scientists are themselves a part of) to do so.

Its uncommon for one to be able to look at one's mortality with a straight face and not believe in some sort of meaningful purpose for life. Science provides no meaningful purpose for life. Science doesn't confront mortality, it delays it, ignores it, and tries to defy it. Science is not creative, it merely observes what has been created, by who knows what? Maybe nothing? So natural science is not value creating at all, its value destroying.

So, the question wasn't if god was needed to explain the existence of the universe in the first place, but wether mankind needs a creator of values in order to have a complete and meaningful existence.
 merelymortal
Joined: 11/24/2009
Msg: 84
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/21/2010 3:55:43 PM
Paul K:
You should be a politician, as you covered both sides of the argument perfectly. I do agree with your current assesment.


Thanks Paul, thats flattering, I doubt I would get very far because to get votes a politician needs to flatter the masses. It would probably be fun to watch me run for public office and be critical of my own electorate.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 85
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/21/2010 4:40:07 PM


And, if God is not the explanation for anything, isn't the consequence of that is that God is not the explanation for anything?


Only if nihilism, a valueless existence, is what we want to hold as truth.


Why is that the only alternative, except to demand a false choice of God or nothing? What "meaning" life ultimately has is entirely your own choice. And your own responsibility. However, the constant assertion that only "God" can lay the foundation of a basic moral code is not only wrong, it's at least paternalistic and at worst insulting.


Science doesn't confront mortality, it delays it, ignores it, and tries to defy it. Science is not creative, it merely observes what has been created, by who knows what? Maybe nothing? So natural science is not value creating at all, its value destroying.


Again, utter nonsense! Science does not remove anyone's basic requirement to be good to their fellow human being. Indeed, science has shown that what we term "morality" actually has an evolutionary basis in group behaviours seen in several species.

I'm not religious. I'm at best ambivalent to the concept of "God" and I'm very enthusiastic to the latest findings in a variety of areas of science. Are you trying to say that, on that basis, I lack a basic morality? Well, I think I tend to treat people pretty good and certainly haven't killed anyone yet. Indeed, some of the worst crimes against humanity have been performed in the name of "God."

So the evidence would appear to contradict your supposition.


So, the question wasn't if god was needed to explain the existence of the universe in the first place, but wether mankind needs a creator of values in order to have a complete and meaningful existence.


Please feel free, with as few equivocations and prevarications as possible, to demonstrate how this is true.
 merelymortal
Joined: 11/24/2009
Msg: 86
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/21/2010 4:59:23 PM
stargazer1000:
Science does not remove anyone's basic requirement to be good to their fellow human being.


Sure it doesn't, but science also doesn't posit any moral values.


Indeed, science has shown that what we term "morality" actually has an evolutionary basis in group behaviours seen in several species.


What we term as "morality" is a bit deeper that what the scientists are examining in chimps and other animals. Are you saying that animals reflect on their mortality, and that science has confirmed evidence of this? Are you saying that Animals think about justice, and that science has confirmed evidence of this? Sorry, but while I can believe that a chimp group might split up food in a way it thinks its done "fairly", I don't buy that they are thinking about what happens after they die, or that they are contemplating justice and what it is. What you have proposed is just another example of how science breaks everything down to the lowest common denominator. This is exactly the reason why science is not value positing, it doesn't question existence or create anything, it merely observes facts and posits conclusions based on those facts.


Indeed, some of the worst crimes against humanity have been performed in the name of "God."


But those weren't crimes, those were actions of honesty and commitment to belief. If you read some of the wiki links to great book literature I put above maybe you will get a better understanding of what morality is than simply "nice behavior".
 merelymortal
Joined: 11/24/2009
Msg: 87
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/21/2010 6:40:58 PM
So, the question wasn't if god was needed to explain the existence of the universe in the first place, but wether mankind needs a creator of values in order to have a complete and meaningful existence.

stargazer1000:

Please feel free, with as few equivocations and prevarications as possible, to demonstrate how this is true.


Do you think that a valueless existence is a full and meaningful existence? Is life just all about being comfortable and peacefully coexisting with every other being on the planet? To me, that sounds allot like living the life of a herd animal. Not questioning which way to go, but following the herd. Not doing anything to upset the norm that is the herd. It is all about being a creature without any beliefs or will of its own. Its just nihilism.

There doesn't need to be a god to create values, but values need a creator. For example, I don't believe in god, but I believe in values. A god didn't create those values though, people did. Those values did not come from science though, because science doesn't affirm moral values. Science lacks that creative power.

You took offense from my claim that science creates no values because you are atheistic. So am I. When I examine where my values come from though, I realize they don't come from science, they are created by mankind.

Even if the animals observed by scientists do have values and morality, science didn't create it. Science is the study of material existence, not moral existence.
 merelymortal
Joined: 11/24/2009
Msg: 88
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/21/2010 7:11:39 PM
Oops, I realized i put those links on another thread, this is where morality comes from, philosophy, not science. Science doesn't create culture. Morals come from culture.

Take a quick read through this stuff:

The Republic (Plato): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Republic_(Plato)

The Prince (Machiavelli): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prince

Two Treatises on Government: (Locke) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Treatises_of_Government

The Federalist Papers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_Papers

New Atlantis (Bacon): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Atlantis

Politics and the Arts (Rousseau)

& Nietzsche,

Twilight of the Idols: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_of_the_Idols,

Thus spoke Zarathustra: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thus_Spoke_Zarathustra,

The Anti-christ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Antichrist_(book),

On the Genealogy of Morality:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Genealogy_of_Morality

After Buddha was dead people showed his shadow for centuries afterwards in a cave,—an immense frightful shadow. God is dead: but as the human race is constituted, there will perhaps be caves for millenniums yet, in which people will show his shadow.—And we—we have still to overcome his shadow! - Nietzsche
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 89
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/21/2010 10:20:38 PM
I have a problem with all these erudite, faded, dead, wrong men links and when the heck did all these educated unconscious males figure they have the ultimate say because they say it so so much better in their own minds but they died just like the rest of us and you bet you have to follow shadows because the alternative leaves you starved even after good steak and it is the middle of the night and your education runs out and you realize you have much knowledge but you have nothing more. Oh but I invented the Internet and thank you for cancer treatments and don't forget the flippin atom bomb and I really thank you for the power in my indoor lights and heating, but I wonder why it may all be descending into a denominator of have not and I am not thankful to man. Never. Who can buy the wonders of medical science and all of the rest of the whistles and bells when we all begin the steps down the ladder of what we deserve? But it is easier to believe in Man....why not? Man is the ultimate deceiver. Actually...who invented all of these flippin military weapons and ugliness that masks itself as defence and who invented a space program that robbed the poor and etc. Peace.
 merelymortal
Joined: 11/24/2009
Msg: 90
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/21/2010 10:29:33 PM
That was allot to allege in very poor grammar without any support 60 to 70.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 91
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/21/2010 10:42:48 PM
Hey grammar is part of the plot of keeping your mind indoctrinated, you know? And by the way can I correct you? "that was allot" should be typed, yes typed...as...." that was a lot..." without any support? Who are you to say so? Allege is based on my evidence and wide reading and a heck of lot of experience. I actually respect results more than you, and the rest. And do not be lazy in your keyboard skills... it has a lot to say about your character as you feel so free to remark about mine. Lol.
 merelymortal
Joined: 11/24/2009
Msg: 92
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/22/2010 1:28:22 AM
60 to 70: "Indoctrinated" you call me, as if you are free, but who the hell taught you to be rude and type in a way that is hard to read? I don't type to be a "special" person like you that is better than the rest of us who at least do our best to make it easy for other people who take the time to read what we write.

You said that the great thinkers who I provided as examples of value positing men were no better than the rest of us because they were mortal... well, guess what... if they weren't mortal, then they wouldn't be very good value creators for mortals, because the same rules of life wouldn't apply.

I'm not really sure what your point was other that nihilism. You are a nothing believer. Sure, you can argue against everything, including trying to make anything you write easy for others to read, but thats only to be a difficult person to be with.

People like you are truly worthless even to the most easy and accepting type of person that can be. I'd be surprised if most people who know you enjoy your company.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 93
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/24/2010 10:21:53 PM
I only reminded you that you can also take some lecturing. And...how you got from that to telling me that nobody enjoys my company is just plain wrong. The end.
 FoshFish
Joined: 4/30/2010
Msg: 94
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/24/2010 10:26:32 PM
"Stephen Hawking is almost completely paralyzed, he speaks through a computer, his is eternally limp as wilted lettuce and he poops into a bag.
/
Is it any wonder that he doesn't believe in God?"

I think it's more of a miracle, actually.
 FoshFish
Joined: 4/30/2010
Msg: 95
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 10/24/2010 10:32:41 PM
Even Stevie can't know. He is not saying that, is he?

Oh, and about expert opinion: The Pontiff says there is a god.

Which expert should I believe? Especially about as important and useless an information whether there is god or no?

Hawking is a physicist. The pope does not design Hadron Colliders.

I think people should do their business what they've been hired for. It's against union rules for a physicist to clean house in a spiritual matter, much like your parish priest should not dabble in discussions on evolution.
 StrawberryBurns
Joined: 9/18/2010
Msg: 97
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 11/11/2010 5:23:54 PM
I've been reading a book called "The Scientists" ( a history of Science as told through the lives of some it's greatest contributors). In every single chapter that I've read so far there has been instance after instance of scientists being pressured, persecuted, tried by the Inquisition, being the subject of brutal assassination attempts, and being put to death for going against the popular religious beliefs of the day with their observations and research. How these scientists had to be very careful, how at times they had to publicly go against their own work to save their own lives, and would have to conduct work in secret. Religion in general has played a huge role in the stunting of the growth of science and technology. Why? Why would constant fear of knowledge and enlightenment be so ingrained in the religious communities of many different religions throughout history? It's about power, it's about the ability to keep the followers of your flock in your pocket. If they can be shown a reasonable explanation for something that goes against what the hierarchy of their religion wants them to believe, then that is perceived as a threat, when in reality it's just curiosity. When you see someone being overly defensive about something, don't it trip your radar? Science is not charged with the duty of disproving God, yet religion gets overly defensive and accuses science of it, it drags science into it's path so that science is given no choice but to address it. Religion has been like a bully on the playground who made your life miserable, and no matter how hard you tried to mind your own business and just do your own thing, religion would always be there ready to pounce. Now Science is no longer the pale thin kid on the playground. It has steadily sought the knowledge and truths of the world around us and the universe that world is in, which has given science strength and a high level of credibility. Non intentional byproducts of the truths science has sought have translated on an ever expanding scale into explanations of what used to be credited to the divine. Slowly but surely, these explanations have done away with a lot of the smoke and mirrors used by religion for a lot of us. I'm not surprised at the attention Hawking's book and statements are getting, it's par for the course. I'm just glad he's able to speak his mind without fear of being burned at the stake, stoned, or beheaded. If he were a scientist in another part of the world, he could be restricted greatly due to fear of prison or death if his research went against the controlling religion of the region. When you look at a lot of countries that are strictly governed by religion you find some pretty scary and horrific stuff going on. Religion has had to change it's game in a lot of countries though, that's why it is seeking to creep it's way into politics (especially in the US) at an ever increasing rate. Instead of burning scientists at the stake, we have lobbyists and special interest groups behind the scenes controlling politicians like puppets, trying to legislate itself back into power. FRC ring any bells???? Separation of Church and State in America is under attack in my opinion.

And while we are addressing the subject of creating, there is also the creation of hype and controversy on the part of the media to sell magazines, papers, get net views, and whatever else they can sell.
Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  >