Hawking's Multiverse

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mattrose
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Hawking's Multiverse

Post by mattrose » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:08 pm

This morning I read an article about Stephen Hawking’s latest speech on the origin of the universe. The headline read: Stephen Hawking lays out case for Big Bang without God. Having just explained the ‘First Cause’ argument for the existence of God this past Sunday, I was naturally curious to see what counter-argument he is touting these days.

The article begins by describing the interest in Hawking’s speech. He spoke to a “packed house.” People had waited 12 hours to get their hands on the free tickets. The line to get into the lecture was about a quarter mile long. Another auditorium and an outdoor jumbotron were used to manage the masses. $1,000, apparently, wasn’t enough to take a ticket of someone’s hands. All that to say… people were excited to hear what Stephen Hawking had to say about the origin of the universe. People are interested in the big questions of life. Where did we come from? Why are we here?

After dismissing a number of outdated scientific theories, Hawking’s advocated M-Theory. What is M-Theory, you ask? It is the belief that there are lots of universes. These other universes exist in other dimensions that we don’t have access to. They are sometimes called parallel universes. The article states that, “Hawking sees that theory as the only big idea that really explains what he has observed” (He also feels quite lucky to have landed in one of the universes suitable for life).

So the case for a first cause (The Big Bang) without God is the belief in multiple parallel universes. You may be wondering WHY such a theory is put forward. Let me explain. Hawking admits that the universe appears to be designed (the ‘Design’ argument happens to be the second argument we discussed this past Sunday). Hawking knows it is a worthless endeavor to try to explain this appearance of design as a statistical anomaly. But how else can it be explained? If it is incredibly unlikely that the appearance of design in our universe may be explained by random chance… then why not posit an infinite number of universes? If there’s a near infinite number of universes, a few of them are bound to ‘appear’ designed!

Take a second to think about the move Hawking is making here. To avoid belief in an invisible God, Hawking is willing to believe in the existence of a near infinite amount of universes that he can’t see or observe. Not only does this, to my mind, require far more faith than most any religious system… it also doesn’t happen to explain the origin of the universe (which, I thought, was the whole purpose of the lecture)! Indeed, it multiplies the problem. If you thought it was hard to explain the origin of one universe… try explaining a billion or more!

What would motivate such an intelligent man to come up with such a faithful theory? What is it about G-theory (The God theory) that makes M-Theory so attractive? We find clues to this in the article as well. Early in the lecture, Hawking quipped, “What was God doing before the divine creation? Was he preparing hell for people who asked such questions?” Hawking sounds like a person who has some issues with God from the outset. He’s an angry God. Let me say this… if I felt God was primarily characterized by anger, I’d be looking elsewhere too.

Later in the speech Hawking observed that Pope John Paul II admonished the scientific establishment against studying the moment of creation, as it was holy. He then joked, “I was glad not to be thrown into an inquisition.” This reference to church history, once again, shows that Hawking may have less issue with the divine in concept that he does with religion in general. Based on these two quotes, in fact, I would suggest that Hawking’s atheism is motivated more by a distorted view of God and the downfalls of religion than by the scientific facts. He admits the evidence seems to point toward God, but he’d rather appeal to invisible universes than bow to invisible God.

I don’t claim to be nearly as smart as Stephen Hawking when it comes to the inner workings of the universe. I can, however, say this confidently: Belief in M-Theory is motivated more by an anti-God philosophy than it is by actual evidence. Such being the case, one could easily argue that Hawking is just as faithful, if not more so, than your average believer in God.

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Re: Hawking's Multiverse

Post by steve7150 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:32 pm

He admits the evidence seems to point toward God, but he’d rather appeal to invisible universes than bow to invisible God.

I don’t claim to be nearly as smart as Stephen Hawking when it comes to the inner workings of the universe. I can, however, say this confidently: Belief in M-Theory is motivated more by an anti-God philosophy than it is by actual evidence. Such being the case, one could easily argue that Hawking is just as faithful, if not more so, than your average believer in God.






Good post! I don't think he quite admitted the evidence points to God. It was more like he allowed for this possibility but your conclusion is spot on. I can understand the agnostic viewpoint if they admit the design all around us and in us but simply accept that they can't explain the unexplainable. Instead atheists often go to great efforts to justify why God was not needed to create everything that exists, which suggests an emotional element in their position.
The multiple universe idea is so abstract that Hawking protects himself from having to explain how it works. Maybe he can write his own bible for his followers.

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steve
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Re: Hawking's Multiverse

Post by steve » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:20 pm

Hawking is no different than any other man who, because of his sins, is disinclined to believe in a God who will judge him. He very treacherously divorced his wife of decades, the mother of his three children (back in the eighties), largely because she was a Christian. He then married another woman, a nurse who was a caregiver of his, whose husband had invented the voice box that allows Hawking to communicate. She left her husband to marry Hawking. That a man would divorce his wife and steal the wife of another man—one to whom he was so indebted, at that—suggests a man who does not live with a clear conscience before "whatever gods there be." His friends describe him as an arrogant man, which probably makes denying God an easier option than humbling himself in repentance and finding a clear conscience through God's grace.

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mattrose
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Re: Hawking's Multiverse

Post by mattrose » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:17 pm

steve7150 wrote:Good post! I don't think he quite admitted the evidence points to God. It was more like he allowed for this possibility
Yeah, I was iffy on typing that line. He certainly never says the evidence points to God, but I think the fact that M-Theory goes way out of the way to avoid that conclusion confirms that it's a fairly inevitable conclusion :)

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Ian
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Re: Hawking's Multiverse

Post by Ian » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:54 pm

Steve, your information source might be a tad out of date on his marital life.This from Wikipedia:
The same year Hawking and Elaine quietly divorced, following which Hawking resumed closer relationships with Jane, his children and grandchildren. Reflecting this happier period a revised version of Jane's book called Travelling to Infinity, My Life with Stephen appeared in 2007
(Jane being his first wife and Elaine his second, the latter having apparently abused him in various ways).

Just my two cents: he likely has a lot of inner, helpless rage over his physical condition. On a human level, entirely understandable. Who would prefer to be in his position than their own? Hardly anyone. He perhaps thinks, "I`ve lost all this. What more can I lose by thumbing my nose at a god?" It might be his revenge.


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steve
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Re: Hawking's Multiverse

Post by steve » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:02 pm

Yay, Matt! You are starting to get some of the recognition that your gifts warrant! Soon you'll have your own radio show—maybe mine! ;-)

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Paidion
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Re: Hawking's Multiverse

Post by Paidion » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:15 pm

What is M-Theory, you ask? It is the belief that there are lots of universes. These other universes exist in other dimensions that we don’t have access to.


Wikipedia states the following:
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of existence.
Various dictionaries I consulted say something very similar.

If this is what is meant by "Universe", how can there be another one?
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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mattrose
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Re: Hawking's Multiverse

Post by mattrose » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:22 am

Paidion wrote:
What is M-Theory, you ask? It is the belief that there are lots of universes. These other universes exist in other dimensions that we don’t have access to.


Wikipedia states the following:
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of existence.
Various dictionaries I consulted say something very similar.

If this is what is meant by "Universe", how can there be another one?
Either they see a need to modify the definition or they don't consider the other universes strictly part of our existence

SteveF

Re: Hawking's Multiverse

Post by SteveF » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:57 am

This article got picked up by Greg Boyd's ReKnew site today
http://reknew.org/2013/11/multiverse/?u ... multiverse
Cool!

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