“TWO THINGS ARE INFINITE:
THE UNIVERSE, AND HUMAN STUPIDITY;
AND I AM NOT SURE ABOUT THE UNIVERSE.”
I always have criticized the excessive trend of specialization at the expense of losing the forest by the trees, big, well known scientist are not the exception to the rule not even figures like Professor Stephen Hawking English Theoretical Physicist, and Cosmologist in the sense of Astronomer, since we have to point out there is other definitions that apply to Cosmology (Cosmogony). In his most recent book “The Grand Design” he declared:
“Philosophy is dead.”
A sort of Nietzsche paraphrasing of: “God is dead.”
Mr. Hawking alleges that Philosophy has not kept with modern developments in Science, particularly Physics. Therefore Scientist are the: “Torch bearers” of discovery.
Then he got to expound on the M Theory, basically in the simplest words possible he explains that ours is not the only Universe but a great many (Infinite number perhaps?) and that all this Universes were created out of nothing, and of course this not imply a supernatural Being like God, but rather they arise of Physical Laws, each Universe has many possible outcomes, and even different types of Universes, some very different from ours, were life will not be possible.
He come to the conclusion that the law of gravity it is why the Universe exist!
Of course Mr. Hawking forgets conveniently to try to explain Nothingness, and the fact that Universal laws didn’t exist before the Big Bang! Like if this wouldn’t be relevant to the same questions he pretends to answer next:
“Why is there something rather than nothing?”
“Why do we exist?”
“Why this particular set of laws and not some other?”
In page 29 he set to tell us he will answer what is the origins of the laws of nature, and that if is possible to be miracles, and exceptions, and if this are the only possible set of laws? In page 34 of his book : “The Grand Design” He declares:
“This book is rooted on the concept of scientific determinism, which implies that the answer to question two, it is that there are no miracles or exceptions to the laws of nature.”
Now let’s examine what this imply:
Determinism (specifically causal determinism) is the concept that events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object or event) is completely, or at least to some large degree,determined by prior states. In physics, this principle is known as cause-and-effect.
Determinism is also the name of a broader philosophical view, which conjectures that every type of event, including human cognition (behavior, decision, and action) is causally determined by previous events.
In philosophical arguments, the concept of determinism in the domain of human action is often contrasted with free will. The argument called in-determinism (otherwise “non-determinism”) negates deterministic causality as a factor and opposes the deterministic argument.
Determinist believe any determined system is fully governed by causal laws resulting in only one possible state at any point in time. A debate within determinism exists about the scope of determined systems, with some maintaining that the entire universe is a single determinate system and others identifying other more limited determinate systems. Within numerous historical debates, many varieties and philosophical positions on the subject of determinism exist, most prominently the free will debates involving compatibility and incompatibles.
Predeterminers proposes there is an unbroken chain of prior occurrences stretching back to the origin of the Universe.”
The problem with this it take us back to square one, the origin of the Universe!
Also it presents us with the problem of Chaos theory:
Small differences in initial conditions (such as those due to rounding errors in numerical computation) yield widely diverging outcomes for chaotic systems, rendering long-term prediction impossible in general. This happens even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future behavior is fully determined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved. In other words, the deterministic nature of these systems does not make them predictable.This behavior is known as deterministic chaos, or simply chaos.
And this is why nobody has been able to predict the number that will win the Lotto! Embracing this Philosophy is pointless!
It is clearly that Mr Hawkins is bound by this Axiom, that to my mind it is a sort of dogma, that predispose you too look for a Godless answer to the problems of Existence, and that set you in a mindset were you are closed to a God option, Mr Hawking is in his full right to be an Atheist, or an Agnostic, but that clearly doesn’t explain what was before the Big Bang, neither explains why we do exist, and that his conclusion of a multiverse, were the law of gravity is the answer, even if mildly interesting from a scientific point of view, it is clearly misguided, and not the answer, and for an individual who dare to claim Philosophy is dead, looks to me nothing but a boastful, irresponsible declaration, even if it is clear that Mr. Hawking is a brilliant physicist, we can’t say the same when it come to his poor knowledge of Philosophy!
It is like if Mr. Hawking is trying at all cost to disassociate himself of his famous early statement in his “A Brief Story of Time” when he talks about discovering a complete theory of physics, and why and for what the Universe Exist: “for then we would know the mind of God.”
In his desire to not be identified as a Theist, he runs away scared of any idea that may suggest God as an answer, and consequently falls inadvertently, in to a crude Pantheist position, where the Universe itself, and the laws that rule it (which is first?)self create themselves radomly, hardly an explanation of the origin of the Universe or Multiverse if you prefer, but neither is a philosophical statement that will dissociate you from God.
I understand the word God is a charged issue, since most people have a tendency to associate it to an anthropomorphic image, but let’s be honest, replacing it by Existence, or Being, perfectly acceptable words, that not posit an anthropomorphic idea will not make the problem go away, since it is not Semantics that is in question, but the idea of a Creation ex nihilo! And that would be a Mystery if you wish, if you don’t want to use the also charged word; miracle!
Ironically the ephemeral qualities, and behavior of sub atomic particles of Quantum Physics had many a Physicist scrambling for explanations that not look Metaphysical in nature, and try to come with perfectly rational, and concrete reasoning that doesn’t stretch the limit of what they consider valid Science, in this effort they cook a lot of nonsense!
If you read the critics of this book, that by the way are numerous, at least 40% of them (Check Amazon) and even a large part of those who seem pleased, and give good reviews raise questions about Mr. Hawkin’s conclusion, a critic for example says:
“Anything that begins to exist has a cause
The universe began to exist
Therefore, the universe has a cause.
Obviously, the cause of the universe is not part of the universe. Gravity is part of the physics of the universe. As such, gravity cannot be responsible for the universe beginning to exist. Simple spontaneity, like “luck” or “chance”, is not a causal agent. It does not “do” anything. It’s only an abstract name we attach to what we observe after-the-fact, when we notice that something does not fit a given pattern. Instead of making a case for how God is not necessary for gravity to exist (and thus, a multitude of universes), Hawking has only opened the door for others to expose his playful, theoretical romp through magical universes for what it is. Frivolity.”
Another (a scientist) goes as far as, to examine the percentage of responses good and critical, he ended giving it a very poor review (one star) his review is very methodical but unfortunately too big to reproduce in it’s entirety here however here is a critical excerpt of it:
“Talking about philosophy, even most of those who gave the book 5 stars agree that saying “philosophy is dead” was a very sloppy choice of words by the authors — even though I think I know what they meant to say. The revolution started by -among others- Poincaré and Einstein made Science an indispensable part of Philosophy and, as Poincaré said in his “Science and Hypothesis” book: “… much advantage will accrue if men of science become their own epistemolgist…” By the same token, after such revolution, no serious philosopher can go about her/his business without deepening into what modern science has to say about the ultimate philosophical questions. Philosophy is not dead; and if “The Grand Design” proves something beyond doubt at all, it is ironically and precisely that.”
Here is an excerpt of a Muslim Philosopher of the twelfth Century: Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, about Existence, and possibly an answer to why do we exist, to my mind a parallel explanation, and if you ask me a simpler, and more elegant explanation than the one Mr. Hawking provide us nine hundred years later, and with no need of a Hubble telescope, or giant Supercoliders that would drain the budget of many under developed Nations!
“There is only one Existence. That existence is, naturally, a state of Being. That being, then, is the One and Only, Infinite Being. It exists through its own existence irrespective of any other consideration. Naturally so, because there is no other premise than its own existence, therefore there is no other point of reference or relationship in respect of which it could be considered. When it is self-conscious it creates or constitutes its own consideration of itself. This bringing into consciousness of itself as a mentation of its own potential existence is when it “manifests” itself to itself. This is the only state of its own duality possible or imaginable where the duality is really no other than itself with its own image of itself. This self-consciousness of its ownmentation of is potentiality takes itself from its own singularity and uniqueness to its own duality of unique singularity only in its own consciousness. At this point of its singularity of duality it is necessary to give existence to all of its own potentialities since these potentialities are of the “fabric” of its own
self-consciousness. These infinite number of potentialities which thus have come to and have acquired existence through the self-consciousness of the essentially self existing Unique, One and Only, Infinite Existence, then, are the only source of number and, consequently, of all possible plurality.
Universality presumes a locus or a multiplicity of areas, a plurality of loci. This plurality, in reference to the One and Only and Infinite Existence, must either deny it or allow a situation where plurality of the One is essentially a self-corporate mode of a many-faceted existence where “each” individual existence is a consideration of accommodation for this global Uniqueness in expression. Consequently, here the infinity of the one permeates the theoretically many facets of the global one. The result is One expressed manifold. Each of these manifolded expressed facets of the One Infinite Existence are so many Universes all enclosed in the One and Unique Infinite Existent.”
It is clear to me now, that to discover the Origin of the Universe, and go back in to History, it is too profound, too cosmically disorderly to be be confined to the hands of the utilitarian neatness habitual to those scientific determinist’s minds, maybe we need people with a creative mind, used to contradictions, dichotomies, who can conciliate opposites, maybe people like artists, poets, or philosophers!
The sun of the evening announce
the fragrance of the Jazmin
Life is enclosed in the
nook of a labyrinth,
It’s roads are narrow,
and there is only a mirror
to reflect our truths.
Will I ever understand
this deepest of loves?