- Mar 14, 2018 at 4:13 am #3524411
A very special person.Mar 14, 2018 at 2:37 pm #3524465
Ken T.BPL Member
He’s suffered enough and will be missed.Mar 14, 2018 at 2:43 pm #3524468
He leaves a void for sure. He did not seem to let his suffering stop him and he certainly did not let it define him. I bet he’d have been glad to keep on going a while longer.Mar 14, 2018 at 3:20 pm #3524473
Ken T.BPL Member
Sure.Mar 14, 2018 at 3:23 pm #3524474
I love the guy. I read A Brief History of Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes, and The Grand Design. I pretty much owe everything I know about cosmology/astrophysics to his writings.
Off into stardust….Mar 14, 2018 at 3:45 pm #3524483
He was a pretty cool dude. He had a significant contribution to our understanding of the universe. He wrote about it in a way that was accessible to many of us. He kept a great sense of humor.
I loved his A Brief History of Time (great title). If you haven’t seen The Theory of Everything, it’s a great movie about his life.
He believed philosophers have not kept up with science. He believed that “philosophy is dead” and that science has replaced it as the vehicle for our knowledge and understanding. He believed philosophical problems could eventually be answered by science.Mar 14, 2018 at 3:51 pm #3524489
My disagreeing with him on all of the points that Ben mentioned doesn’t stop my admiration for him. And of course the work that he did in his field is ‘stellar’.Mar 14, 2018 at 3:57 pm #3524492
“My disagreeing with him on all of the points that Ben mentioned doesn’t stop my admiration for him.”
Bring on the discussion, I love this topic!Mar 14, 2018 at 3:58 pm #3524493
Groan….. (as to the pun; I am also guilty of using the pun on occasion)Mar 14, 2018 at 4:18 pm #3524499
He believed philosophers have not kept up with science. He believed that “philosophy is dead” and that science has replaced it as the vehicle for our knowledge and understanding. He believed philosophical problems could eventually be answered by science.
Pretty sure I just heard Nick’s head explode. ;)Mar 14, 2018 at 4:24 pm #3524501
Alright, maybe not my best effort. Ya gotta throw the pasta at the wall to see what sticks, or something like that.
I just think that there are topics like justice and charity and God that can’t be addressed by scientific method. And for Hawking this means math. For him, if something can’t be described mathematically it isn’t true or doesn’t exist. But the vast majority of our everyday experience, our reality, has meaning far in surplus of any mathematical description of it. To reduce the love you have for your children to a chemical formula which is then claimed to be its truth is reductive and misses the point, in my opinion. Which I just threw against the wall like spaghetti.
There are plenty of physicists today–string theorists for example–who are returning to philosophy and calling it science because their findings are untestable (multiverses and 13 dimensions). A book called The Trouble With Physics by Lee Smolin goes into this.Mar 14, 2018 at 4:31 pm #3524503
My son is a biologist. We discuss it a lot. He does research on dna replication and the like. He often tells me that the deeper he looks at the basics of life, the more it looks like chemical reactions and the less it looks like what we like to call life.
Science has led to an awful lot of advancements in the past 100 years. I’m not sure the same can be said of philosophy. There is no philosophy phone, philosophy plane, or philosophynet.Mar 14, 2018 at 4:38 pm #3524504
Quantum mechanics….Mar 14, 2018 at 4:46 pm #3524505
Yeah, well can a quantum mechanic fix the heater fan in my car?Mar 14, 2018 at 4:51 pm #3524506
Sometimes we take on subjects that are extraordinarily complex and create fictions of something we can understand. Love, for example is something that is pretty clearly the result of chemical reactions in the body. They are incredibly complex. Too complex for us top analyse reasonably on a regular basis. Nonetheless, love is a fiction we have created to explain chemical reactions too numerous and complex for us to understand normally. Similarly, we see a video on our computer screen and see something happening far away. In reality, it is instead a complex array of 1’s and 0’s that are so too numerous for us to comprehend, but also so numerous that they create something completely different to us. Sometimes the videos even create emotion in us, which is but a series of complex chemical reactions in our body.
Whew……Mar 14, 2018 at 4:52 pm #3524507
My favorite Hawking quote:
“However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. Where there’s life, there’s hope.”Mar 14, 2018 at 4:54 pm #3524508
His perseverance is pretty impressive even if you don’t agree with him on everything. No disrespect to Lou Gehrig, but I think we should call it Hawking’s Disease.Mar 14, 2018 at 5:06 pm #3524511
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Mostly he’s a great story
I disagree with his trying to connect religion and science. Trying to replace god with something scientific.
I think it’s best for religious people and scientists not to trample on each other’s turf. The two can co-exist just fine.
I just heard that he was born on Galileo’s birth day and died on Einstein’s
Why did he connect with popular culture? Was it his disease? He did describe things in a way common people can understand.Mar 14, 2018 at 5:07 pm #3524512
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Nothing can escape a black hole.
But what about gravity? It can escape. Very confusing…Mar 14, 2018 at 5:09 pm #3524513
Chris’s nephew’s wife’s father ( !) had ALS and died a few years back. He quickly lost all ability to move except batting his eyes and then he designed a program that his then 5 year old grandson could use one day to teach himself calculus. One last thing he wanted to get to and made sure he did. People are amazing.Mar 14, 2018 at 5:12 pm #3524514
Maybe something like love need not be an either/or proposition. Maybe we can acknowledge it is incredibly intense, important, and complex- taking on spiritual proportions- while simultaneously understanding that it is also the product of mere chemical reactions.Mar 14, 2018 at 5:34 pm #3524517
Science has a tendency to over promise. remember that there is still no scientific explanation for consciousness. Justice either doesn’t exist or lacks a mathematical formula. We can say that love is a chemical reaction but science has yet to pinpoint that–it’s pure speculation. Remember that 15 years ago we were told by scientists that they were on the verge of completing a Grand Unified Theory. Then they discovered dark matter. Turns out that they knew nothing about , what, 75% of the mass of the universe? Consciousness, even if it is based on matter,is far more complex than the physical universe.
I think scientific explanation has limits, like everything else, and is just one part of the puzzle.Mar 14, 2018 at 5:36 pm #3524518
^^^ I agree with Jeffrey.Mar 14, 2018 at 5:44 pm #3524521
And yet if you were born without your senses and had never experienced any form of sensory input (which is all physical), would you know you were even alive?
What would your consciousness or self-awareness be based upon? An innate spirit?
We like to say that consciousness cannot be explained by science but I’m not sure this is true. A skilled anesthesiologist can use any manner drugs to start or stop your consciousness at will. It might not be as elusive a concept as we think it is. I tend to think we actually overcomplicate it.Mar 14, 2018 at 5:52 pm #3524523
I would agree that we have not suddenly learned all of science. We keep learning more and more. The universe is very large and very small at the same time. Some of it we can not see because of human limitations. But I strongly believe that we live in a universe that is governed by rules. We are working to learn them with our feeble human brains and senses. We know many things with certainty now through science that were previously a complete mystery. I think we have the ability to learn more and more through science. The universe is large enough that there is always more to learn about. But I disagree that we can’t learn the science behind things – almost anything.
Just a few decades ago, for example, we had so little understanding of how genetics and DNA worked. It was the work of God. Now we know so much more. We’ve learned enough to be able to manipulate the process. We know how to use viruses to inject genes into existing DNA to change them. Same goes for quantum computing, etc.
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