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« The Separation of God from Public Life | Main | What does a teacher want... »

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

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Comments

Richard

Mr. Hawkings will discover in the not too distant future whether or not he was right. After all, he has 50-50 chance by the world's reckoning. I'd sure hate to be in his shoes if he is that 50 percent wrong. What a shock to his system that will be.
Of course, we know, he's 100 percent wrong. Not good odds.

Gail F

Read it in the WSJ yesterday. It makes no sense at all. The laws of gravity and quantum physics, he says, make it not only possible but necessary for entire universes to spontaneously generate from nothing. So where did the laws come from? According to Hawking the universe(s) exist and are the way they are because of the rules of gravity and quantum physics -- which just ARE.

Tiresome stuff.

I guess we get to be lords of creation because we exist. Or something. Hawking may be smart, but he has apparently never studied metaphysics.

Stephen Sparrow

I thought Hawking was supposed to be a scientist - yet he says "new theories have shown there is no need for a creator". New theories !! From memory I think ch 2 of 2nd Thessalonians refers to those who persist in ignrance "so God sends them a strong delusion" gives them what they want. Dedicated atheists are actually a drain on Society with the negativity they promote - we need a new Inquisition ;-)

Charles E Flynn

The review by Dwight Garner in the New York Times describes the book as "pop science":

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/books/08book.html?ref=books

Galen

When I saw on Yahoo that he was changing his position I thought maybe he was becoming religious, but then it was this and I was like "wow, he's come off as thinking that the whole time, what's different?"

Nate

Do people really not know what "theories" mean in relation to science?

US Academy of Science:

Some scientific explanations are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them. The explanation becomes a scientific theory. In everyday language a theory means a hunch or speculation. Not so in science. In science, the word theory refers to a comprehensive explanation of an important feature of nature supported by facts gathered over time. Theories also allow scientists to make predictions about as yet unobserved phenomena


Beyond that, I have to wonder how you can BEGIN to criticize what he is saying without an understanding of what M-Theory and string theory are.

And writing off what he's saying because he hasn't studied metaphysics, while ignoring his studies in relativity, quantum physics, and thermodynamics is mind-boggling. Denial is a sad thing to watch happen.

W.

re: "theories"

As Fr. Spitzer said on CNN tonight, this approach to reality, to explaining things, is based on arguing from particulars to a universal, which is what Hawking seems to have done. And that is a fallacy.

Theories may be very helpful and may be the best explanation we have at a given time but to conclude--as Hawking does in the new book--so dogmatically and absolutely is to conclude fallaciously.

Theories are great but when they are pushed this far to the status of facts and truths then they are unscientific and unhelpful in our attempts to explain reality.

Mark Brumley

Hawking has this tendency to make these silly statements. They're really counter productive to understanding.

Nate

As far as I have seen, Hawking does not conclude in his book that there is no God, simply that one is not needed to create the universe. If M-theory is correct, and so far we haven't seen anything that says otherwise, then he's right.

Theories being pushed to facts and truths is unscientific? Do you say the same when it comes to the theories (for that is how they are still classified) of gravity, or the earth rotating around the sun? I somehow doubt this. Simply picking a theory and saying it's unscientific to call it a truth because it disagrees with what you believe, while accepting the others as truth, is clearly hypocritical.

Taking a HYPOTHESIS and calling it truth is, of course, another matter entirely. But that's not the case here.

As far as this being "counter productive to understanding," I somewhat agree, but perhaps for different reasons than Mark Brumley had in mind. Einstein attaching the name God to things, when he clearly did not mean the Christian God, or any other deity, still causes confusion to this day, and unfortunately Hawking's statements like this one, as poetic and inspiring as I might find it, will also do the same. I think the very post this comment is attached to shows that pretty clearly.

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