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Stephen Hawking, Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, the Belief in God, and More

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The world’s foremost physicist, Stephen Hawking has once again enjoyed a burst of creativity. He has in recent days made several intriguing statements, offering a number of spontaneous views, and generally given to those of us within the Hawking sphere of influence, some new things to think about.
Hawking has it seems joined the previous greatest thinker on Earth, Doctor/Professor Albert Einstein, in a new determination that there is no God. Einstein we recall, while describing himself as a “deeply religious man,” went on to say he could not conceive of a God who would “reward or punish,” nor could he condone a belief in a consciousness which would “survive physical death.” Hawking cites the existence of even a single planet revolving around a star not our sun as proof that “There is no God.”

Hawking has co-authored a new book, The Grand Design, with American physicist physicist Leonard Mlodinow, the book to be released the week of September 6, 2010. The physicists disagree pointedly with Sir Isaac Newton, who believed that because the Universe could not have been wrought out of chaos, it must have a divine origin. Hawking’s point is that the universe, with  planets other than our own, was therefore not designed simply to please humans. It should be mentioned that this marks a change of thinking for Hawking, who did believe in God as recently as 1988.

In other matters, Hawking warns us that we might do well to leave our home planet of Earth and travel to a few other destinations, not as it were, placing our “eggs” in a “single basket.” He says the future of Earth is “touch and go,” and mentions specifically the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1963 as a point in time when it all might have ended. We recall that Soviet missiles had been installed in Cuba, aimed at the U.S., and then-President John Kennedy warned that if they were not removed we would strike from a flotilla of warships that we emplaced around that island nation. The missiles at the last moment were removed. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev ordered the dismantling of the offensive weapons and returned them to the Soviet Union. The point then is that Stephen Hawking say’s with potential extinction a distinct possibility within periods of decades, surely we cannot face hundreds or thousands of years with the expectation of survival.

Hawking also warns that there is an almost 100% certainty of space aliens, many of whom may be hostile, and we shouldn’t take foolish chances. In one view of the Hawking’s thinking, if we encounter such aliens, we must not speak to them! If we attempt to reveal ourselves, open handed to the universe, we might be like kitchen mice, waving flags, and saying, “Here we are!!”

Hawking, always an interesting observer, suggests an additional option; that perhaps rather than search out a planet which might take centuries to reach, we could merely exceed the speed of light, move forward in time, and then re-populate our eventually devastated Earth. Hawking does mention that talk of time-travel was once equated with quackery, but he say’s, these days he is not so cautious!

 

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • John Lake

    Good Morn, Naresh..
    Probability indeed; also, cause and effect.,
    like myself you must be some philosopher!
    The rules as you know governing time and space, curved or otherwise are part and parcel of God, not as some speculate, a thing apart.

  • John Lake

    Note: Naresh had a comment on my philosophy, and he seemed to be quite an avid thinker himself. Somehow, someway, his comment vanished. Maybe he thought twice. In any case, …

  • Udaybhanu Chitrakar

    Philosophy is dead. Is Logic dead also?

    “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.”
    – Stephen Hawking in “The Grand Design”
    “As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”
    – Stephen Hawking, Ibid

    Here three questions can be asked:
    1) Which one came first, universe, or laws of gravity and quantum theory?
    2) If the universe came first, then how was there spontaneous creation without the laws of gravity and quantum theory?
    3) If the laws of gravity and quantum theory came first, then Hawking has merely substituted God with quantum theory and laws of gravity. These two together can be called Hawking’s “Unconscious God”. Therefore we can legitimately ask the question: Who, or what, created Hawking’s unconscious God?
    Not only this, but there are other problems also. If the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes spontaneously appearing from nothing, then initially there was nothing. Then wherefrom appear those laws of gravity and quantum theory to allow universes appearing spontaneously from nothing? In which container were those two laws of nature?
    Now regarding the M-theory: I have already written something on multiverse theory (not yet published anywhere). There I have come to the conclusion that if there are an infinite number of universes, then only within that infinite number of universes there will certainly be at least one universe in which life will emerge. If the number of universes is only 10 to the power 500, then it is very much unlikely that any one of them will support life, because no universe will know which set of values the other universes have already taken, and if everything is left on chance, then there is every probability that all the universes will take only those set of values that will not support life. There will be no mechanism that will prevent any universe from taking the same set of values that have already been taken by other universes. There will be no mechanism that will take an overview of all the universes already generated, and seeing that in none of them life has actually emerged will move the things in such a way that at least one universe going to be generated afterwards will definitely get the value of the parameters just right for the emergence of life. Only in case of an infinite number of universes this problem will not be there. This is because if we subtract 10 to the power 500 from infinity, then also we will get infinity. If we subtract infinity from infinity, still then we will be left with infinity. So we are always left with an infinite number of universes out of which in at least one universe life will definitely emerge. Therefore if M-theory shows that it can possibly have 10 to the power 500 number of solutions, and that thus there might be 10 to the power 500 number of universes in each of which physical laws would be different, then it is really a poor theory, because it cannot give us any assurance that life will certainly emerge in at least one universe. So instead of M-theory we need another theory that will actually have an infinite number of solutions.
    Now the next question to be pondered is this: How did the scientists come to know that an entire universe could come out of nothing? Or, how did they come to know that anything at all could come out of nothing? Were they present at that moment when the universe was being born? As that was not the case at all, therefore they did not get that idea being present at the creation event. Rather they got this idea being present here on this very earth. They have created a vacuum artificially, and then they have observed that virtual particles (electron-positron pairs) are still appearing spontaneously out of that vacuum and then disappearing again. From that observation they have first speculated, and then ultimately theorized, that an entire universe could also come out of nothing. But here their entire logic is flawed. These scientists are all born and brought up within the Christian tradition. Maybe they have downright rejected the Christian world-view, but they cannot say that they are all ignorant of that world-view. According to that world-view God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. So as per Christian belief-system, and not only as per Christian belief-system, but as per other belief-systems also, God is everywhere. So when these scientists are saying that the void is a real void, God is already dead and non-existent for them. But these scientists know very well that non-existence of God will not be finally established until and unless it is shown that the origin of the universe can also be explained without invoking God. Creation event is the ultimate event where God will have to be made redundant, and if that can be done successfully then that will prove beyond any reasonable doubt that God does not exist. So how have they accomplished that job, the job of making God redundant in case of creation event? These were the steps:
    1) God is non-existent, and so, the void is a real void. Without the pre-supposition that God does not exist, it cannot be concluded that the void is a real void.
    2) As virtual particles can come out of the void, so also the entire universe. Our universe has actually originated from the void due to a quantum fluctuation in it.
    3) This shows that God was not necessary to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going, as because there was no creation event.
    4) This further shows that God does not exist.
    So here what is to be proved has been proved based on the assumption that it has already been proved. Philosophy is already dead for these scientists. Is it that logic is also dead for them?

  • John Lake

    The issues you mention are more fittingly addressed in philosophy than physics. I am certain however that BlogCritics readers will find fascination in your words.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t be giving philosophy a bad name, John.

  • Matt M

    These multiverse theories that keep popping up by athiests all over the place are completely frustrating. I’m pretty sure that Stephen Hawking is quite a bit smarter than I am at any level; but yet he makes such absurd statements about something as completely unproven as bubbling universes. I saw a debate with Richard Dawkins and when his back was against the wall he started babbling on about the same thing.
    Stephen Hawking then claims that the universe “can and will create itself from nothing” (as the comment above quotes). Umm, am I the only one asking if there is any evidence for this? It’s almost a childish assertion. Well, I say the universe can’t and won’t create itself from nothing (so there…! naa naa) I’m pretty sure there is more scientific evidence that matter has never been observed coming forth from nothing than for the opposite. Until there is, athiesm will never be “scientific”; which is the great irony. Athiests consider themselves utterly scientific to a fault; but their belief system logically regresses to a very unscientific dependancy at the root of their belief.
    Athiets tend to pride themselves on being indifferent, objective and following indisputable evidence wherever it may lead (which to me is pretty laughable to me none the less); but then they start in on their belief in bubbling universes.
    Why do I bother; who can argue with such logic? Bubbling universes… who could ever disporve it?
    Let’s face it, Hawking is and always be a scientific midgit compared to Newton. He may be a great physicist but he is wanting in the study of logic. His beliefs in God can probably be explained by exploring his own psychological situation than by science.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    What you don’t appear to understand, Matt, is that these are THEORIES; until there is evidence to back them up, neither Hawking, Dawkins or any other scientist is claiming them as fact.

    This is in stark contrast to faithists, who have no problem at all with their own peculiar theories or in asserting them to be true, despite the fact that there is precisely zero evidence to support them.

    Finally, atheists (please note the correct spelling, by the way) DON’T pride themselves on being indifferent or objective.

    Maybe cynics or the terminally jaded would consider themselves indifferent and it is scientists, when practising science, that try to be objective…

  • al bilal siddiqui

    stephen sir. my question is can’t we make a machine which can reveal the past things that is if we can sy that whatever we spoke the vibratoin particla remain in the universe so can we take those vibration and know about what god han been said

  • al bilal siddiqui

    universe, itself is secret of universe

  • John Lake

    We are closing in on the philosophy of the honored Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    John –

    Hawking is also a proponent of the “Many Worlds Interpretation” (MWI), as was Richard Feynman before him. MWI essentially holds that for every quantum particle, when that quantum particle changes state, it changes not just to one different state, but to all possible different states, each to a different (and new) reality.

    Now for an interesting extrapolation. If each quantum particle indeed changes into all possible states, each state being a new reality of its own, that means not only that the same holds for every new state of every quantum particle in existence, but also for every possible combination of new states of every quantum particle in existence.

    So with each change of state of all quantum particles in existence, that would require a new number of realities (N) equal to N to the Nth power minus 1: N^N-1. The number of new realities with every state-change of every quantum particle in every fraction of every second would have to be by now almost infinitely higher than the number of quantum particles extant in the Big Bang 13.7B years ago, and each new quantum particle in each new reality would be creating the same exponential number of new realities every fraction of every second.

    Does this twist your mind into knots yet? Remember, this is all on the assumption that Hawking and Feynman are right…but I’m not done yet!

    With MWI, since all possible events on the quantum level that can happen, DO happen, then that means – demands – that every possible event on the macro level that can possibly happen, does happen, must happen…no matter how remote the possibility of the event. Think about that for a moment – if MWI is true, then in the next few minutes in one reality you will suffer a heart attack, in another you will win the lottery, in yet another you will commit suicide, and in another you will murder your kids.

    And if MWI is true, then to me that almost demands the existence of God as well. Why? Because I cannot believe that in the next minute in any reality that I would physically attack my wife who is sitting a few feet away from me. In other words, if MWI is true, then the only things that don’t happen are those things that are not allowed to happen…and there is only one possibility of how any one event can be prevented, nullified, disallowed: the existence of a God Who would not allow it.

    I figure that I’m going to be the subject of quite a bit of scorn for all this…but for those who reject my extrapolations on this thought experiment, just show me where my chain of logic is faulty – that’s all I ask.

  • John Lake

    For anyone but God it would be challenging to implement any change in any reality without upsetting basic absolutes such as cause and effect.
    I sometimes suspect the great thinkers at some point err, then their errors become hopelessly magnified and entangled.
    While infinity is as you say an assurance that everything that can, will happen, I refuse to consider any more than one single reality actually prevailing.
    The issue of multiple universes was an offshoot of “nothing can exceed the speed of light.” So when the relative distances between or among matter exceed that speed, they may be considered existing in different universes. This is all very perplexing, but is of little use to any operational scientist.
    I challenged a group of college-aged readers to consider that at the “big bang”, time, space and matter were moving outward at speeds faster than light. But if we consider a plane running through the “bang”, we must consider those things exiting in all directions, some directly opposite others. Those speeds become more incomprehensible.
    An asteroid the size of a school-bus passed the closest in recorded history, today (Jan 27), at one-fifth the distance to the moon.

  • John Lake

    Now that the wheels are spinning…
    I don’t mean to be a poo-poo, I find this sort of thing as interesting as the next guy. And I have probably said some of the same things an infinite number of times; if not more.
    But now that I’m thinking about infinity, and I concede there really has to be an infinite number of earth like planets, and an infinite number of planets so developed that they can search for and reach the earth-likes (which now that I think about it, may be impossible, thereby reducing the number to zero. Nuclear proliferation, or asteroids and solar flares…) … in any case, they should be arriving shortly.
    Since they haven’t, we must consider an unconsidered factor. Maybe with our being one of an infinite number of potential finds, and with the infinite number of searchers, there is some as yet uncalculated delay. Maybe they won’t be here until tomorrow. Or late December.
    Okay, I’m off in space. So, the final message, I don’t mean to poo-poo.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    John –

    I refuse to consider any more than one single reality actually prevailing.

    What you or I refuse or don’t refuse to believe doesn’t matter. All that really matters on this issue is scientific observation and mathematical proof. Again, if you disagree with my extrapolation of MWI, show me where I’m wrong.

    And please read a bit more on MWI – as I understand it, it’s not an ‘offshoot’ of the limit of C.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    John –

    On #13, the fact that we haven’t seen proof of them doesn’t mean a whole lot. After all, we are on a remote part of one arm of the galaxy, and the distances involved are vast indeed – particularly if few (or none) have found a way to exceed the speed of light. Think about it – any civilization that would have detected us must have done so since mankind started radio broadcasts, and so the civilization must be within 100 LY of Earth. What’s more, said civilization would have to be monitoring the frequencies we use, and – if they were limited to light speed – would be unable to reach us if they were less than 50 LY away.

  • John Lake

    Many Worlds dates back to the 50’s with revision during the 60’s when strange ideas were being explored. I prefer to think that although there are many divergent avenues through which time may venture, only one actually prevails.
    I must say that you seem less imaginative and more restricted today than usual; you don’t appear to be exploring much beyond radio broadcast monitoring, and earth like creatures limited by the speed of light.
    The fact of our location on an edge of an ordinary galaxy would matter in a lesser universe, but we are looking here at infinity, and some things may be possible that we haven’t yet thought of.
    I think when it all comes to conclusion we may be disappointed by a discovered similarity with our current pragmatism.
    In the end, matter at the speed of light is energy. That explains the pulsing that takes place in sub-atomic and solar (should I say stellar) situations as matter and energy alternate.
    If the energy could be propelled to an exponent of the speed of light, we might see some hope for time travel.

  • John Lake

    Here’s a relative bit from wiki:
    “…The many-worlds interpretation is very vague about the ways to determine when splitting happens, and nowadays usually the criterion is that the two branches have decohered. However, present day understanding of decoherence does not allow a completely precise, self contained way to say when the two branches have decohered/”do not interact”, and hence many-worlds interpretation remains arbitrary. …”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    John –

    As far as we can tell, there’s no way to send physical objects (much less living beings) FTL. Until we see that such is possible, it’s a mistake to think that such is (a) possible or (b) achievable by any but a very, very small proportion of aliens, or (c) that they’d even be interesting in going to the expense of coming to our backwater planet.

  • John Lake

    (c) Obviously you haven’t seen Central Park on the Forth of July.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I saw Central Park at midnight on New Year’s Eve a few weeks ago – does that count?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Times Square was too packed – we didn’t show up eight hours ahead of time, so we got shuffled by the NYPD from street to street and finally found our way to the south end of Central Park right next to some nice hotels, and danced in a circle with others singing Auld Lang Syne and swapped picture-taking with families from India and the Middle East and consoled a girl from Nepal who’d lost her friends in the crowd.

  • John Lake

    I once reached out to prevent a purse-snatching on a Times Square New Years Eve. ’twas cold that night, too.

  • Richard Paulson

    I won’t bother answering the obvious with my own words. But I would like to present the following to Stephen Hawking, how unscientific atheism is. I quote from one regarded as the greatest scientist who ever lived, Isaac Newton:

    “One principle in Philosophy is the being of a God or spirit infinite eternal omniscient, omnipotent, & the best argument for such a being is the frame of nature & chiefly the contrivance of the bodies of living creatures. All the great land animals have two eyes in the forehead, a nose between them, a mouth under the nose, two ears on the sides of the head, two arms or two fore leggs or two wings on the sholders & two leggs behind & this symmetry in the several species could not proceed from chance there being an equal chance for one eye or for three or four eyes as for two, & so of the other members. Nothing is more curious & difficult then the frame of the eyes for seeing & of the ears for hearing & yet no sort of creatures has these members to no purpose. What more difficult then to fly? & yet was it by chance that all creatures can fly which have wings? Certainly he that framed the eyes of all creatures understood the nature of light & vision, he that framed their ears understood the nature of sounds & hearing, he that framed their noses understood the nature of odours & smelling, he that framed the wings of flying creatures & the fins of fishes understood the force of air & water & what members were requisite to enable creatures to fly & swim: & therefore the first formation of every species of creatures must be ascribed to an intelligent being. These & such like considerations are the most convincing arguments for such a being & have convinced mankind in all ages that the world & all the species of things therein were originally framed by his power & wisdom. And to lay aside this argument is unphilosophical.”

    Note: By “unphilosophical” Newton also meant unscientific, as back then in Newton’s day science came under the heading of philosophy.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Saying someone is the “greatest scientist who ever lived” is about as meaningful as saying one particular band is the “greatest artist who ever lived” or any other such subjectivity.

    What we can say with confidence about Sir Isaac Newton is that he died 285 years ago, back in 1727, which was long before 98% of everything we now know was ever discovered.

    He was also known as a heretic and an anti-trinitarian and had many other unconventional theist ideas.

    Although undoubtedly he played a major role in the development of our scientific understanding, there is no reason at all to take at face value his thoughts on what became known as evolution thanks to the work of Charles Darwin over a century after the death of Newton…

  • Richard Paulson

    To Christopher,

    I did not say that Newton was the greatest scientist who ever lived, but that he was regarded as such. The fact is that he is renowned as the father of modern science, and those that dismiss him dismiss him foolishly. Just because time passes it doesn’t mean that truth changes. Newton was far better than many give him credit for in so many ways.

    Actually Newton was not a heretic as you say. I know that biographers say that he was an anti-trinitarian, but it is based on unfounded assumption. There are a few who having studied his own works have shown it to be unverifiable. But it is not only in this that he has been misunderstood. Many make so many other assumptions also and defame him in so many ways. However, when you actually examine Newton’s own words and writings, you won’t find him denying that Jesus is God. It is just a lie. He was not anti-trinitarian. Many also say/write that he was arrogant and bitter, but when we examine his life and his own words it is apparent that he has been greatly misunderstood. He was actually a very humble, good and godly man, very kind and generous and very sensitive to his conscience, seeing sin in himself even where there wasn’t any. It’s really sad that his character is so defamed. People just make assumptions that cannot be verified and they end up as unfounded opinions of ignorant people who write “biographies”. What makes Newton so outstanding was that he was an honest seeker for truth. So many are not so. This does not make him flawless but it does make him more reliable than those who deny obvious facts like Charles Darwin. Darwin was foolish. So are many scientists/philosophers who deny God’s existence. The Bible says: The fool has said in his heart there is no God.

    Science (and invention) has indeed progressed in some remarkable ways, (but so much because of Newton, and a few others like him,) but then so has foolishness abounded and people continue in ignorance. Newton gave us so much and made so much possible, which cannot be said for Charles Darwin, for instance.

    The fact is that the words I quoted from Newton are irrefutable and plain to all those that can understand them. Can anyone refute his argument? No. Can Darwin? Certainly not. Evolution is full of empty words that have no meaning, and people are fooled when confronted with concepts that lack any real definition. In Darwin’s totally imaginary and fictitious work “Origin of Species”, we see a desperate attempt to make evolution seem credible. Is there a God? Of course. But there are a whole bunch of liars out there also blinding many.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Richard, you talk of Newton as if scientific discovery ceased with his death, whereas, as Chris pointed out, the vast majority of current human knowledge has been amassed in the almost three centuries since.

    Newton was a phenomenal scientist but he was also bound by the state of knowledge and his thinking influenced by the cultural landscape of the late 17th/early 18th century. His view, that the purpose of his science was to uncover the glory of God in the structure of the universe, was the usual one among scientists of his time and still motivates a fair number of them even today. It didn’t occur to Galileo, for instance, that his work would be seen by the Church as doing anything else, which is what got him into such hot water.

    Newton’s argument is only irrefutable from an 18th century perspective. He knew nothing of relativity, the Big Bang, the expanding universe and quantum mechanics, all of which would undoubtedly have led him to a somewhat different conclusion and worldview, similar to that expressed by Einstein, who did know of such theories.

    Your argument about Darwin is just stupid. First of all, Darwin’s work has nothing to do with Newton and asking if he can refute him is like asking if Marie Curie can refute Pythagoras. Secondly, your claim that “it cannot be said” that Darwin “gave us so much and made so much possible” is so blatantly false that I am tempted to conclude that you are either spectacularly ignorant or lying. Evolution by natural selection is one of the most complete, well-supported and soundest theories we have, and in fact it is integral to almost all modern biology.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Richard, it’s so hard to respond to your comment as it is very high on opinion and very low on facts. I don’t think Newton would approve.

    That said, it isn’t really significant whether you said Newton was the greatest or he was regarded as such by others; it is all opinion and lacking in clarity.

    Even if it were true, it still wouldn’t mean that everything he believed was true, so you are simply making a false appeal to authority in support of your own opinion.

    You write at length about what Newton was really like but the real truth is that you simply have no way of knowing that.

    As to gods, what I know is that more than 6,000 years after the one you refer to was first conjectured, there is still no credible evidence that proves its existence, so you are simply left with unsubstantiated belief, which is the exact opposite of science.

    There is no effective way of debating with belief so I see no point in trying to do so with you but, for the record, you have not even got close to mounting a coherent, let alone convincing or persuasive, argument. I am left with only the option of putting you into the category of the deceived and deceiving, which you seem to prefer to call liar…

  • Richard Paulson

    To Dr. Dreadful and Christopher.

    Firstly, Relativity is not a proven fact. Nikola Tesla, who was a critic of Einstein and probably the greatest inventor who ever lived thought it was nonsense, as it is illogical to think that space (or nothing itself) can bend. So just because a claim to greater knowledge is made does not make it so. However, it is irrelevant to my point, as the proofs of God’s existence are beyond the possibility of counting, since design itself proves the existence of a designer. This obvious logic is ignored by those that consider themselves thinkers, but don’t have the least bit of logical sense. “Dreadful”, you said that what I said about Darwin was stupid, but you cannot prove me wrong. It doesn’t suffice to simply say that science has progressed since Newton’s day. It is this exaltation of Darwin’s pure foolishness that is stupid. As for advancement, science has much more advanced since Darwin’s day also, and his ideas are now seen for the stupidity that they are. For example, here is a sample of today’s scientific understanding. I quote from just one source: Dr. Walt Brown.
    Copyright © Center for Scientific Creation. All rights reserved.
    [ The Scientific Case for Creation > Life Sciences > The Theory of Organic Evolution Is Invalid. > Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed. > Natural Selection]
    5. Natural Selection
    Like so many terms in science, the popular meaning of “natural selection” differs from what the words actually mean. “Selecting” implies something that nature cannot do: thought, decision making, and choice. Instead, the complex genetics of each species allows variations within a species. In changing environments, those variations give some members of a species a slightly better chance to reproduce than other members, so their offspring have a better chance of surviving. The marvel is not about some capability that nature does not have, but about the designer who designed for adaptability and survivability in changing environments. With that understanding, the unfortunate term “natural selection” will be used.
    An offspring of a plant or animal has characteristics that vary, often in subtle ways, from those of its “parents.” Because of the environment, genetics, and chance circumstances, some of these offspring will reproduce more than others. So, members of a species with certain characteristics will tend, on average, to have more “children.”

    Because of a lack of room,
    CONTINUED IN NEXT POST

  • Richard Paulson

    CONTINUED:
    Only in this sense, does nature “select” genetic characteristics suited to an environment-and more importantly eliminates unsuitable genetic variations. Therefore, an organism’s gene pool is constantly decreasing. Notice, natural selection cannot produce new genes; it “selects” only among preexisting characteristics. As the word “selection” implies, variations are reduced, not increased.
    For example, many mistakenly believe that insect or bacterial resistances evolved in response to pesticides and antibiotics. Instead,a lost capability was reestablished, making it appear that something evolved, or a mutation reduced the ability of certain pesticides or antibiotics to bind to an organism’s proteins, or
    a mutation reduced the regulatory function or transport capacity of certain proteins, or a damaging bacterial mutation or variation reduced the antibiotic’s effectiveness even more, or a few resistant insects and bacteria were already present when the pesticides and antibiotics were first applied. When the vulnerable insects and bacteria were killed, resistant varieties had less competition and, therefore, proliferated. While natural selection occurred, nothing evolved and, in fact, some biological diversity was lost. The variations Darwin observed among finches on different Galapagos islands is another example of natural selection producing micro- (not macro-) evolution. While natural selection sometimes explains the survival of the fittest, it does not explain the origin of the fittest. Today, some people think that because natural selection occurs, evolution must be correct. Actually, natural selection prevents major evolutionary changes.
    End quote.
    So if anything is stupid it is to say that evolution is true and suppose that Darwin had any sense.
    It is interesting how my quotation of Isaac Newton is dismissed. Take just one thing he said, namely, the difficulty of achieving flight. I suppose that if something as perfectly senseless as evolution were true, I should be able to begin to make it happen myself by beginning to flap my arms in order to achieve flight. You might actually like to try this in your own living room. Just flap as hard as you can. You might like to go out into the park, and run and leap while you are at it. Of course the process in achieving flight is slow, your arms won’t turn into wings straight away however, given time, with persistence, some effect in that direction will take place on some biological level, and given the persistence of your progeny in that direction of attempting flight, eventually a feather will form, and then some more, and etc. till all the things necessary (as complex and many as they are) for flight will eventually form upon the body given the persistence of countless generations of arm flappers (why they should persist at all in that one and the same direction for thousands and millions of years I don’t know). Now surely this idea is what is stupid.

    Christopher, you say I express my own opinions. Well, I wasn’t saying I was here to prove everything about Newton, but it is just that there is alternative views to your own opinions about him, which were not proven factual either. As for your saying I have not given any coherent or persuasive argument, is not true. I did by quoting Isaac Newton. I can in my own words also easily prove evolution to be a lie as it is the stupidest possible idea. You also have no proof in saying I am deceived and a deceiver. Why you should have to put me into this category since you cannot prove anything you say, I don’t know. Also where is your coherent and persuasive argument against the God of the Bible being fact?

  • Richard Paulson

    P.S. (from previous post)
    Christopher, saying that I am deceived and a deceiver or liar is only unjust condemnation of me, since I did not make this discussion about myself but only presented the words of Isaac Newton at the beginning. But your last comment only adds to the list of irrelevant points made concerning what I presented, and which I also have addressed in all honesty and truthfulness. I am no deceiver or liar as God is my witness (whom you think to be non-existent).

  • Richard Paulson

    P.P.S
    Dr. Dreadful, you said: “Darwin’s work has nothing to do with Newton and asking if he can refute him is like asking if Marie Curie can refute Pythagoras.” This statement is silly. The point of the discussion was that Newton showed design as obviously proving God’s existence. What I was saying was that Darwin did not disprove this obvious fact in anything he claimed to be true. You also said: “Secondly, your claim that “it cannot be said” that Darwin “gave us so much and made so much possible” is so blatantly false that I am tempted to conclude that you are either spectacularly ignorant or lying.” Well this is so untrue and ignorant of my meaning. How does the theory of evolution improve technology or advance the condition of our living? How does Darwin’s ideas compare with Newtonian physics which actually changed the whole world we live in? In saying this you are only reflecting your own spectacular ignorance. You also said: “Evolution by natural selection is one of the most complete, well-supported and soundest theories we have, and in fact it is integral to almost all modern biology.” I have already shown by my quotation that this is not true. You are obviously ignorant of present day scientific knowledge which has disproved Natural Selection as evidence for evolution. (Therefore my argument about Darwin was not “stupid” as you say.)

  • Richard Paulson

    One last thing:
    Christopher you said:
    “It’s so hard to respond to your comment as it is very high on opinion and very low on facts. I don’t think Newton would approve.” How would you know what the facts are? Did you read Newton’s own writings to find out? or do you expect me to quote everything he said for you? whilst you sit back and say it is just my opinion? And how would Newton not approve since I am agreeing with him in the comment I quoted from him, and have spoken highly of his character? or do you think he would rather approve of you saying that he is a heretic?

  • Zingzing

    “You are obviously ignorant of present day scientific knowledge which has disproved Natural Selection as evidence for evolution.”

    You wouldn’t care to actually tell anyone what this “present day scientific knowledge” is, would you? Otherwise, that’s kind of a laughable statement and no proof that your argument isn’t just as stupid as dreadful says it is… But hey, if you’ve got the “present day scientific knowledge,” whip it out.

  • Igor

    Darwin himself was not religious, but his wife was. Therefore, he postponed publishing “Origin Of The Species” for several years to spare her discomfort, until he discovered that Wallace had discovered the same thing and was preparing to publish.

    The fact of evolution can hardly be disputed, but some of the constructions that people put on it can be disputed. For example, “survival of the fittest” was not Darwins phrase, it was used by others for their political purposes.

    One of the startling predictions of Darwin regarded the Shooting Star Orchid, a very showy plant with a long (12″ or more) ovum, which caused Darwin to hypothesise that there must be a moth with a long rolled up proboscis that could pollinate the orchid. It wasn’t until after Darwins death that biologists saw the moth.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Richard, thanks for posting so much ado about nothing. Your low on factual content, high on belief comments are nothing if not entertaining.

    Firstly, quoting what other people’s opinions at some point in their lives does not prove anything.

    Your commitment to your faithist views is admirable mostly for its complete lack of anything other than, well, faith. As such, I see no point in trying to communicate with you as you believe too much and know too little.

    I am confused why you keep referring to logic whilst failing to demonstrate any grasp of it at all. If you did, you would already know and understand that it is not necessary to disprove the existence of any gods; the burden of proof falls on those who propose such notions and that has never been done in all of human history.

  • John Lake

    Great stuff!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Relativity is not a proven fact.

    Yes it is. Einstein’s predictions have been confirmed many, many times by experiment and observation. I’d post some links, but suspect it would be much easier if you were to educate yourself a little by means of a Google search using a carefully targeted search term. Like, for instance, “relativity”.

    Nikola Tesla, who was a critic of Einstein and probably the greatest inventor who ever lived thought it was nonsense, as it is illogical to think that space (or nothing itself) can bend.

    1. Tesla was wrong. 2. Why is it illogical? 3. The “bending” of space is an analogy, not what space actually does, for which there is no adequate word in any human language. (“Warp” is probably the closest we can get.) 4. There is no such thing as “nothing”. Even the purest vacuum contains space which is suffused with particles and waves. 5. An appeal to authority and an argument from incredulity all in the same sentence is impressive, if only for its neat demonstration of the intellectual stuntedness of the writer.

    I quote from just one source: Dr. Walt Brown…

    Who sums up the theory of evolution by natural selection quite succinctly and then proceeds to completely misunderstand it. (Although it’s just as likely that he does understand it but has chosen to lie about it.)

    1. Microevolution and macroevolution are just the same process on a different scale, just as the number 100,000 is a whole bunch of the number 1. 2. Evolution does not address the question of how life originated, only of how it evolves.

    A couple of gems from Dr Walt:

    “Instead,a lost capability was reestablished, making it appear that something evolved”

    A faith-based statement if ever I read one.

    “or a mutation reduced the regulatory function or transport capacity of certain proteins, or a damaging bacterial mutation or variation reduced the antibiotic’s effectiveness even more…”

    This is priceless. Mutation, far from disproving evolution, is precisely the mechanism that drives it!

    (Although by your standard of reasoning you probably think this is wrong as well, since nature has no hands, feet, eyes, ears or driver’s license and cannot drive…)

    I suppose that if something as perfectly senseless as evolution were true, I should be able to begin to make it happen myself by beginning to flap my arms in order to achieve flight […} Now surely this idea is what is stupid.

    There’s that argument from incredulity again. Just because you can’t believe something could happen doesn’t mean it couldn’t.

    “Darwin’s work has nothing to do with Newton and asking if he can refute him is like asking if Marie Curie can refute Pythagoras.” This statement is silly.

    Exactly.

    The point of the discussion was that Newton showed design as obviously proving God’s existence.

    Newton made an unwarranted inference from the data available to him. A couple of examples to show the fallacy of his argument: 1. The hexagonal basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland look artificial. Does this mean they could not possibly have been formed by natural processes? 2. A silicon chip is obviously designed. Does that mean God made it?

    How does the theory of evolution improve technology or advance the condition of our living?

    If you truly don’t know the answer to this question then the entirety of modern medicine must be indistinguishable from magic to you.

    Another Google project for you might be to search for “practical applications of evolution” and enjoy a few of the 41 million or so hits that come up.

    And even if you had a point, which you don’t, why does a scientific theory necessarily have to “advance the condition of our living”?

  • Richard Paulson

    Firstly,
    Zingzing: I did “whip out” a long quotation. If you really want to know then look up creation scientists on the Web. The world abounds with them and they make Darwin look like the silly that he is.

    Secondly Igor, It doesn’t seem to be that you are aware of so many other modern scientists today who have disproved Darwin’s theory. If you look up creation scientists and give it a fair go, you will see that there are many indisputable facts that show he was completely wrong. Does anyone realize that Darwin was only a Naturalist? He based his ideas on nineteenth century understanding of biology. But today, the processes are so much better understood. However, those that do not wish to believe in God will turn deaf ears.

    Thirdly, Christopher,
    You are either a liar or completely unable to think at all. Your words are offensive and dishonest. You have not been able to contribute a single reason to anything you say. All you can do is say that I don’t understand logic. Well then, neither does Newton since I am in agreement with him, as all my words are. So did Newton understand logic? I am sure he did. You seem to be totally unable to read and can only parrot the same empty words again, making it abundantly clear that you know nothing at all. It is apparent that you want to bury your head in a hole because that’s all you can do to maintain that there is no logical proof for God. It is you who have written nothing. Whatever you have said about me therefore is really about yourself.

    Fourthly, Dr. Dreadful. Okay, so you believe Einstein was right and sure enough some say there is evidence that relativity is true. However, some say it is not. So it just depends on which point of view you take. In my view I think Tesla was right, and he poked fun at Einstein for going against Archimedes and Newton and for believing his incredible theory that something can act on nothing. Obviously you think that nothing does not really exist (and of course it doesn’t) etc. but then I can’t see space bending in any sense at all whatever the words that may be used to try to describe it. You said that I am intellectually stunted. Why? because I align myself with Tesla? Well is that a polite way of saying I am stupid? Not really. I am not stupid for believing Tesla was right, otherwise you are saying that Tesla was intellectually stunted and stupid also. And he wasn’t stupid and neither am I stupid. This is all just an insult to my intelligence. If anything shows being intellectually stunted it is definitely all this argument against God’s existence. For example: what is stupid is this statement from you “2. A silicon chip is obviously designed. Does that mean God made it?” The fact that a silicon chip is designed proves that there is intelligence behind design. God created the brain to be able to think so therefore it is able to design things itself. However, what about those things that are not designed by man, like life itself and even the design apparent throughout the universe? By your own words you have pointed out the necessity for an intelligent creator. The fact of design itself makes God necessary. As for God, being without beginning and end, he has no necessity for a creator himself. This is the simple logic that proves God’s existence. There is nothing more logical than that. It is self-evident that God exists from design. And it is stupid to call me stupid for that. It is an insult to all that is intelligent. But to deny this means having faith in scientists and in people such as Darwin etc. who simulate meaning in words where there isn’t any. I don’t agree with what you shared, but I think you need to realize that what you have is faith in certain scientists. It is they that need to prove their case, but they really can’t except with empty words, because design has always been the proof of God’s existence. For scientists to argue otherwise is like arguing whether or not Mickey Mouse has big ears or not, or whether the Mad Hatter really had a tea party, when all the while the obvious fact is that such characters do not even exist. So much for their theories! Perhaps they have brilliant minds in one respect but they are utterly foolish.

    You also said in reply to what I said about Darwin not improving the human condition: “If you truly don’t know the answer to this question then the entirety of modern medicine must be indistinguishable from magic to you.” No, modern medicine is not indistinguishable from magic to me. I did not know that the entirety of modern medicine is based on evolution as you say. That makes no sense. I don’t think so. But if it is, then we are all in a lot of trouble!

    Well folks, I have tried to make my points. You can all disagree if you want to and maintain your views. That is up to you. However, I do not wish to argue no end. I think it is all up to you to honestly seek the truth for yourselves. So Farewell.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Richard, the only reason you are arguing to no end is because you are not making sense.

    You have already decided what you believe and are grasping at intellectual straws to support your beliefs instead of following the evidence to find out what is really true. So it is really you that is, rather desperately, trying to “maintain your views”.

    In short, you have your intellectual cart in front of your logical horse!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Okay, so you believe Einstein was right and sure enough some say there is evidence that relativity is true. However, some say it is not. So it just depends on which point of view you take.

    No, it doesn’t. It depends on whose point of view is backed up by real-life evidence. Again, both Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity have been confirmed by experiment and observation. You didn’t Google it, did you?

    You said that I am intellectually stunted. Why?

    Because of the intellectual laziness and the complete lack of critical thinking ability, logic, common sense and imagination you have amply demonstrated in just a few comments here.

    I am not stupid for believing Tesla was right, otherwise you are saying that Tesla was intellectually stunted and stupid also. And he wasn’t stupid and neither am I stupid.

    I never said Tesla was stupid, just that he was wrong about Einstein. Even very smart people can be wrong, you know. For example, a little more than a century ago, almost all the world’s most brilliant minds believed in an “ether” that filled the space between the heavenly bodies and was the medium through which light and other forms of energy propagated. They were wrong about that, but that doesn’t mean that they were wrong about everything.

    The fact of design itself makes God necessary.

    You are making an unwarranted assumption. Even if the universe is designed, it doesn’t follow that the designer must be God, and particularly not whichever version of God you personally happen to feel you owe your allegiance to. Your hypothesis is no more valid than it would be if you were an electron contemplating the delicate complexity of the silicon chip it finds itself whizzing around on and concluding that only God could have designed it.

    But to deny this means having faith in scientists and in people such as Darwin etc. who simulate meaning in words where there isn’t any.

    Argument from ignorance. Just because you personally don’t understand some of the things scientists say, it does not follow that they are just making stuff up.

    I did not know that the entirety of modern medicine is based on evolution as you say.

    Then perhaps you hadn’t heard that before pharmaceutical drugs are approved for human use, they are usually tested on animals. Perhaps you also hadn’t heard that surgeons frequently practice their skills not on human cadavers, but on dogs, pigs, sheep and other mammals. Now, unless you believe that all animals just happened, coincidentally, to develop what for all practical purposes are the exact same molecular structures, internal chemical processes, body layout, biological functionality and modes of operation, then what we are looking at is animals (including humans) who descended via series of mutations from a common ancestor.

    Understanding evolution is also key to:
    – combating antibiotic resistance among disease pathogens
    – virulence: why pathogens require particular host organisms in order to propagate
    – immunity: how pathogens develop ways to evade and combat a host’s immune defences
    – gene therapy: tracing the mutations in a hereditary disease-causing gene to figure out where, when, how and why they occurred

    Something else you could have found out for yourself through a quick Google search…

    I think it is all up to you to honestly seek the truth for yourselves.

    That’s up to all of us. I’m game. We’ll see whose brain explodes first.

  • Zingzing

    Richard: “i did “whip out” a long quotation.”

    If you did, I don’t think you know what the word “scientific” means. Or “knowledge”. This isn’t philosophy, it’s science, and there’s a way to actually test the things we question.

    “If you really want to know then look up creation scientists on the Web. The world abounds with them and they make Darwin look like the silly that he is.”

    And with that you have made you look the silly you are.

  • Newton quotes

    “He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God; but he who really thinks has to believe in God.”


    Isaac Newton

    Which explains to me (in part) why mr. Hawking is talking about space aliens and time travel as well. The other part being that it’s popular to talk about things like unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters and mermaids, so it sells well. Perhaps he should start writing some fantasy books, or at least title his books that way so you can find them in the right genre at the bookstore next time.