George H. Smith

Stephen Hawking: God didn't create universe

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http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/09/02/hawking.god.universe/index.html?h

Something created from nothing?

I believe in physics! I do not understand, but I believe!

Ghs

From the article:

From there he introduces the idea of multiple universes, saying that if there are many universes, one will have laws of physics like ours -- and in such a universe, something not only can, but must, arise from nothing.

It's quasi-scientific techno-babble like this that makes the slick defenders of intelligent design actually look intelligent.

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http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/09/02/hawking.god.universe/index.html?h

Something created from nothing?

I believe in physics! I do not understand, but I believe!

Ghs

From the article:

From there he introduces the idea of multiple universes, saying that if there are many universes, one will have laws of physics like ours -- and in such a universe, something not only can, but must, arise from nothing.

It's quasi-scientific techno-babble like this that makes the slick defenders of intelligent design actually look intelligent.

Yeah, I would normally welcome atheistic arguments from someone of Hawking's stature, but I would be embarrassed to defend this sort of thing. It makes Hegelian metaphysics look reasonable by comparison.

On the other hand, I haven't read the book (though I plan to), and secondary accounts by journalists, which sometimes focus on sensationalistic aspects, can be inaccurate or misleading. I have always liked Hawking -- I thought his Brief History of Time was especially well done for a popular exposition -- so I am going to reserve final judgment until I can judge for myself.

Ghs

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Do you have any way of knowing if Stephen Hawking really said what he's said to have said?

Does HE have any way of knowing if what he's said to have said is what he said?

Hope you're never in such a circumstance.

I thought his Brief History of Time was especially well done for a popular exposition -- so I am going to reserve final judgment until I can judge for myself.

I've heard tell -- I haven't read the book myself -- that there are some noticeable errors in that book. I "reserve final judgment," since I don't know for myself.

Ellen

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This talk was discussed on another thread many months ago:

Can’t resist adding the Douglas Adams bit, his “sentient puddle” is such a great metaphor.

Dinesh D’Souza gave a sneering reply to the Krauss lecture in one of his debates with Christopher Hitchens (available on YouTube). Maybe I’ll seek it out this weekend, it’s good to hear representative rebuttals.

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On the other hand, I haven't read the book (though I plan to), and secondary accounts by journalists, which sometimes focus on sensationalistic aspects, can be inaccurate or misleading. I have always liked Hawking -- I thought his Brief History of Time was especially well done for a popular exposition -- so I am going to reserve final judgment until I can judge for myself.

Ghs

Here he is, in his own words...There is good news and bad news...First, the good news. A quote from the final chapter of The Grand Design (from the Discover website):

“Some would claim the answer to these questions is that there is a God who chose to create the universe that way. It is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is God, then the question has merely been deflected to that of who created God. In this view it is accepted that some entity exists that needs no creator, and that entity is called God. This is known as the first-cause argument for the existence of God. We claim, however, that it is possible to answer these questions purely within the realm of science, and without invoking any divine beings.”

Cool and groovy. But now the bad news...

Here is a preview of the book by Stephen Hawking from Amazon. The third paragraph is particularly exhilarating.

"How can we understand the world in which we find ourselves? Over twenty years ago I wrote A Brief History of Time, to try to explain where the universe came from, and where it is going. But that book left some important questions unanswered. Why is there a universe--why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why are the laws of nature what they are? Did the universe need a designer and creator?

"It was Einstein’s dream to discover the grand design of the universe, a single theory that explains everything. However, physicists in Einstein’s day hadn’t made enough progress in understanding the forces of nature for that to be a realistic goal. And by the time I had begun writing A Brief History of Time, there were still several key advances that had not yet been made that would prevent us from fulfilling Einstein’s dream. But in recent years the development of M-theory, the top-down approach to cosmology, and new observations such as those made by satellites like NASA’s COBE and WMAP, have brought us closer than ever to that single theory, and to being able to answer those deepest of questions. And so Leonard Mlodinow and I set out to write a sequel to A Brief History of Time to attempt to answer the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. The result is The Grand Design, the product of our four-year effort.

"In The Grand Design we explain why, according to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence, or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously. We question the conventional concept of reality, posing instead a "model-dependent" theory of reality. We discuss how the laws of our particular universe are extraordinarily finely tuned so as to allow for our existence, and show why quantum theory predicts the multiverse--the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. And we assess M-Theory, an explanation of the laws governing the multiverse, and the only viable candidate for a complete "theory of everything." As we promise in our opening chapter, unlike the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life given in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the answer we provide in The Grand Design is not, simply, '42.' "

It’s like all those marauding giant insect movies that came out after Hiroshima and Nagasaki were incinerated. Script writers could say the word nuclear, and people would buy anything.

Now the same thing is true for physicists. Just say the word quantum, and it’s ‘Katie bar the door.’

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Here is a preview of the book by Stephen Hawking from Amazon. The third paragraph is particularly exhilarating.

...

"In The Grand Design we explain why, according to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence, or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously. We question the conventional concept of reality, posing instead a "model-dependent" theory of reality. We discuss how the laws of our particular universe are extraordinarily finely tuned so as to allow for our existence, and show why quantum theory predicts the multiverse--the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. And we assess M-Theory, an explanation of the laws governing the multiverse, and the only viable candidate for a complete "theory of everything." As we promise in our opening chapter, unlike the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life given in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the answer we provide in The Grand Design is not, simply, '42.' "

This would make a lot more sense to me if I could score some acid.

"We question the conventional concept of reality..." This definitely falls into the "No shit, Sherlock" category. They also question the conventional concept of sanity.

Ghs

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Yes, this is the same old nonsense. There never was a time when nothing existed, out of which for the universe to pop. There is absolutely no evidence for the multiple-universe claim. It's cosmology as if by a bad scifi screenwriter. If anything that can happen does happen, then why is it that we live in the one universe where pigs don't fly, and miracles don't happen?

Edited by Ted Keer

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Yes, this is the same old nonsense. There never was a time when nothing existed, out of which for the universe to pop. There is absolutely no evidence for the multiple-universe claim. It's cosmology as if by a bad scifi screenwriter. If anything that can happen does happen, then why is it that we live in the one universe where pigs don't fly, and miracles don't happen?

I'm not sure about pigs, but we do have empirical evidence that cows can fly. See the following clip at 7:50:

<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNVBbUnW3QY?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNVBbUnW3QY?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNVBbUnW3QY?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>

Ghs

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Unfortunately, that's just a cow hurtling, not flying. In the lucky universes, cows not only fly, they teleport, sometimes butchered, apportioned, and roasted medium rare and glazed in a nice pepper sauce right on to your silver and chinaware.

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Unfortunately, that's just a cow hurtling, not flying. In the lucky universes, cows not only fly, they teleport, sometimes butchered, apportioned, and roasted medium rare and glazed in a nice pepper sauce right on to your silver and chinaware.

[video deleted]

Ah, yes. Your example is a much better example of the implications of QM than mine is.

Ghs

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Yes, this is the same old nonsense. There never was a time when nothing existed, out of which for the universe to pop. There is absolutely no evidence for the multiple-universe claim. It's cosmology as if by a bad scifi screenwriter. If anything that can happen does happen, then why is it that we live in the one universe where pigs don't fly, and miracles don't happen?

Except for the dream state, the one time the mind is shut off. It is either that, or that headphone mic he has is giving him jiggy interference.

rde

You can always go for the aluminum foil helmet.

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Dinesh D’Souza gave a sneering reply to the Krauss lecture in one of his debates with Christopher Hitchens (available on YouTube). Maybe I’ll seek it out this weekend, it’s good to hear representative rebuttals.

Start from 1:27:00

I'm afraid I remembered it as being more interesting than it is.

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Krauss wrote a piece that’s not exactly a review of the new Hawking book, but addresses the controversy it created.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703946504575469653720549936.html?KEYWORDS=LAWRENCE+M+KRAUSS

While we’re on the topic:

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Krauss wrote a piece that's not exactly a review of the new Hawking book, but addresses the controversy it created.

http://online.wsj.co...WRENCE+M+KRAUSS

While we're on the topic:

It looks like Nothing is Something.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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The world began when I was born

And the world is mine to win

--Brant

please pass the gin

Actually it existed long before you were born, but it didn't BEGIN. It always was.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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It looks like Nothing is Something.

And Everything is Nothing. Mostly. :unsure:

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The world began when I was born

And the world is mine to win

--Brant

please pass the gin

Actually it existed long before you were born, but it didn't BEGIN. It always was.

How do you know that it always was?

Krauss wrote a piece that’s not exactly a review of the new Hawking book, but addresses the controversy it created.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703946504575469653720549936.html?KEYWORDS=LAWRENCE+M+KRAUSS

From the article:

"As a scientist, I have never quite understood the conviction, at the basis of essentially all the world's religions, that creation requires a creator." (L. Krauss)

Buddhism, one of the world's main religions, does not have the concept of a creator.

Edited by Xray

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