Stephen Hawking: God NOT Needed For Creation

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by kmguru, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. Neverfly Banned Banned


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  3. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    How about I provide evidence that I can see? Will that do it?
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  5. Neverfly Banned Banned

    No, really. It's ok. I think this has gone on more than long enough.
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  7. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    So you concede that all Hawkings has (allegedly) done is to exclude a Biblical type God? Not much of an achievement there.
  8. Neverfly Banned Banned

  9. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    It looks like someone just admitted they don't really understand what Stephen Hawking is saying--or what he's been saying publicly for over three decades.

    As I surmised, not many people understand the no-boundary proposal.
  10. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    He doesn't do that.
    This is media hype.

    How will we ever come to a conclusion about what occurred before time and space existed as we know them now?
    Traditional Science depends on hypotheses vindicated by experimental proof.

    Hawking may be saying that he doesn't find a need for a Biblical type God, but that's a different kettle of fish.
  11. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    The Biblical version vs Hawking's version is a sideshow (see e.g. Sideshow Bob).
    It's a tricky one. But obviously Hawking and various other cosmologists now believe that the answer is connected to the emergence of time and gravity. Einstein's theories predict that space and time 'emerged' from a singularity, where the theories themselves cannot apply--GR predicts its own failure.

    One of Hawking's former students: J J Halliwell:

    "The Wheeler-DeWitt equation is the cosmological analogue of the Schrodinger equation. In the simplest cases, the spatial size (i.e. the volume) of the universe is the analogue of position, and the rate of expansion represents the momentum. A fundamental assertion of quantum cosmology is the 'extravagant' extrapolation that quantum mechanics applies to the entire universe at all times (i.e. all 'times' are equivalent in the theory, as in AdS), and to everything in the universe (including observers).

    In attempting to apply quantum mechanics to the entire universe, however, one meets with acute difficulties that cannot be brushed off as philosophical niceties.
    In a theory of the universe, of which the observer is a part, there is no fundamental distinction between observer and observed."

    This appears to be saying that the universal God (who had no choice) is indeed the same thing for observers (who also have no choice about observing the universe) as for the entire cosmological wavefunction. Therefore this vindicates the position that you are God.

    Or not.
  12. Neverfly Banned Banned

    If there is a lack of understanding-- Please provide clarity.
  13. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Please provide evidence that Hawking is specifically referring to the same God described in the Bible, rather than a generic version, so his target audience is 'Christians only'.

    Please provide clarity on the meaning of a universal wavefunction that includes universal observers as part of the universe; please also indicate why these observers are able to observe themselves, instead of only being able to observe those parts of the universe which are 'not' themselves.
  14. Neverfly Banned Banned

    I cannot provide such evidence. Moreso, I have no real impression that he was being specific- although the name "God" implies it.
    Often times, (FREAKING AGAIN!!!!) since "God" has been bumped up the rungs of the ladder so much, whatever "description" of him you get from the average person, very little of it will line up to the one described in the Bible.

    Most folks tend to make up their own impression of what God is based on what they want him to be. Most ignore the childish, jealous, wrathful, and demented one described in the Old testament (Save a few fundamentalists that seem to enjoy that aspect...)

    Honestly, I'm not sure what you are asking here. Themselves or not themselves? Matter is matter. I'm uncertain as to whether you're differentiating between matter or something outside of matter (Since much of our argument is based on that).

    That aside-- Why are you asking ME for clarity?

    You said that there was a lack of understanding. I asked you to provide clarity.

    You answered a question with a question.

    Is this because you cannot provide clarity so you are trying to worm out of it?
  15. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Think of it this way: we are made of matter. Can matter 'observe'? Can it observe 'itself'?
    In the case of matter which is alive (whatever that means), it seems to be the case that matter can observe itself. But we are part of a universe, part of a universal wavefunction.

    How is this related, if at all, to either the Bible or any other scriptural description? Doesn't it make more sense to think that these descriptions are because of observations (a correct or incorrect interpretation of the universe, that is)? That these observations include, as a necessary condition, observations of the observers?

    How does the Bible really figure in this? Does Hawking's idea exclude the Mayans, or the Na-Dene?
    You seemed to have concluded that Hawking has managed to do away with the Biblical version of God, and this doesn't amount to much. You appear to be stuck on a particular version of God; you keep referring to the Bible. Why is that?
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  16. Neverfly Banned Banned

    this bit:
    Excellent point.
    I agree with everything said here...

    I have not kept referring to the bible.
    I referred to it about ONCE, actually. And I had said nothing about Hawking in that.

    I had pointed out that over time, believers that are confronted with more discoveries that show a lack of a God, bump him up to the next unfalsifiable rung on the ladder (I pointed that example out several times.)
    It was after that that I had pointed out the irony of that behavior (as most of the people doing that ARE Christians) is that they end up completely making their primary reference for God appear to be extremely inaccurate and invalid.

    If you actually read what I said, it's quite clear.

    As far as Hawkings statements: "God" is the specific name for the Judaic deity, popularly the Christian one in the USA.
    So what he meant as "God" can be different from the average accepted designation of God, but the name is the name just the same as if he was discussing Paul Bunyan.

    If you have issue with that- Ask Hawking to correct his book to say "General Deity" instead or something.
  17. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    So you contend that because Hawking speaks english, and was born in a nation which is nominally christian, he is addressing a 'Judaic' deity?

    You understand that the Wheeler-DeWitt equation is universal though? Maybe Hawking is really addressing a universal kind of deity, which is not specific to the USA, or any other place? I think this is far more likely.

    So the Bible's is then just one of many versions of this universal kind of description, which takes in all of our history, or, our God/gods are a kind of sum-over-histories, like the universe we can see?
  18. Neverfly Banned Banned

    What is it with you and this Red Herring?
    Seriously- what are you trying to achieve here?

    I said that "GOD" is the name given to that deity. If Hawking meant something else or not- I do not know. I also do not CARE. But he used that NAME so deal with it or ask HIM to change it. It has nothing to do with me.
    I did not speak much on that although you are trying to claim that I did. Any fool can see I barely touched that topic in my posts and that it was an off hand side remark, anyway.

    I'm not going to address this little red herring of yours anymore. I've clearly answered it several times.
  19. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    So because you 'know' that the word "GOD" is the name given to the Christian/Judaic version, you have no choice but to believe that Hawking is referring specifically to this version?
    If he doesn't change it, that also means he is confirming your belief?
    What if he had used "Allah", or Egyptian heiroglyphics? Binary code?

    Are you really unable to see beyond the use of english--the author's native language?
  20. Neverfly Banned Banned

    Straw Man.
    Edit as an aside: Definitions are set on order to facilitate effective communication. If words could mean whatever any user wanted instead of a set definition, then communication would break down into just bird calls.
    So don't act like I'm somehow making a radical mistake simply because I pointed out the set definition of the word.

    Straw Man.
    ETA: I already said- Ask him to change the wording of his book to "General Deity" if you are so bothered by it. I did not write the dictionary.
    Straw Man.
    See above in regards to English- my native tongue.

    And lastly, Stop With The Red Herring. All you've done is change from the herring chase to erecting straw men.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  21. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    It looks like we aren't in Kansas anymore.
  22. stratos Banned Banned

    Tonight on prime-time British television is the first of a new three-part series, "Stephen Hawking's Universe".
  23. swivel Sci-Fi Author Valued Senior Member

    I read the book this week in a single sitting. The first 95% is the same history of cosmology done in tons of other books (Cosmos, The Whole Shebang), the only difference being a chapter on M-theory.

    What the book does best, in my opinion, is give the strongest argument to date for the strong anthropic principle. I've always been a little iffy on buying into parallel universes (with no empirical evidence for), but this book convinced me that we are probably in one of many universes, all with varying laws of physics. The argument is built up nicely (and invisible), then unwinds to perfection.

    What this book does NOT do is the thing it's getting so much press for. It does not show that the universe got started without a god. In fact, the only attempt comes in the last page and a half, and is very thinly put. It felt like the book needed another 50 pages to expound on what amounts to a statement of conjecture in the guise of solid hypothesis. To love a book so much, then finish it feeling confused and unsatisfied, it makes it hard to say what I thought of the book.

    Had it not made such bold claims (or the media made such bold claims for it), I would rank GRAND DESIGN as one of my favorite popular physics books. What I'll say instead is that this is a great book for pushing the strong anthropic principle, and it poses interesting questions for gravity being a downhill phenomenon from a prior state of complete nothingness.

    A stronger argument for there not needing to be a god is this: The rules for causality we are familiar with from WITHIN this universe tell us nothing about the rules of causality BEFORE there were any such things as universes. The complete absence of anything might have, as its only property, a "sucking" action which creates everything. If it's unsettling to give complete absence any qualities at all, rephrase that to say that "everything" has the property of coming to being in the presence of complete absence.

    Either way, nothing is violated, certainly not as much as this fallacious argument: "Everything needs a prime cause, therefore let us postulate a thing that does not need a prime cause to be the prime cause for everything else."

    With such fishy reasoning, one could substitute "universe" for "god" in this horrid argument and keep things much simpler.

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