Here’s a link, just in case you missed it.
Right on the money!
It reminds me (in a good way) of this classic J&M:
to be fair, hawking’s claim is indeed hubristic considering the vagueness of his “spontaneous” thing, which is not backed up by fact or theory and which, even if it were, would not explain the existence of whatever it came out of. but it’s always hilarious to hear people who’s entire cosmogony is based on blind belief and superstition point out a thinking man’s rational construct.
Good strip. @WilliamJansen – that’s a great one, thanks for the reminder.
Another fave of mine – http://www.jesusandmo.net/2007/01/05/deep/
Science has become a bit too politicized and scientific opinion a very marketable commodity. Listening to some alleged scientists pontificate their theories is much like enduring t v evangelists peddle salvation. Science demanding its followers to have blind faith in it’s prognostications is a bit of a stretch, agw for example. The universe exists to amuse the powers that be, the greater the intelligence, the greater the requirement for diversion, and humanity is, in many ways absurdly entertaining.
“The universe exists to amuse the powers that be…”
Would you be willing to expand, Nassar?
@Nassar – I second The Beagle’s request. I’d be interested to know how you acquired that information.
@Nassar Ben Houdja
I’ve long referred to this as the “Cosmic Giggle”, which is an idea I stole from some counter-culture comic book in the late 1960′s, maybe “Wonder Warthog” (google it).
re: Author, it’s a statement of one’s private opinion, why would he (or she) need to explain how any information was acquired?
@ jerry w:
Nassar certainly does not NEED TO explain his statement of a private opinion. That is why words and phrases like “request”, “I’d be interested to know” and “Would you be willing to” are thrown about, instead of “tell us now”-exclamations.
“Science demanding its followers to have blind faith in it’s prognostications…”
what science requires faith? Maybe Nassar is confusing science and scientology.
Been waiting for this all day
BTW @nassar surely if there is such a thing as a supreme being he/she is self-sufficient and not in need of external sources of entertainment?
The last sentence of Nasser’s comment is not phrased as an opinion; it is an assertion. It is entirely reasonable to reply to a non-subjective assertion with “How do you know that?”
Well, I guess science does have principles & axioms that must be accepted on faith (ex. 1 does not equal 0). However, I’d rather put my “open-eyed” faith in those abstract concepts than “blindly” following the dreams of madmen.
LOL~ too cool, although I am sometimes a fan of the ‘cosmic amusement” theory ~ LOL ~ Early Star Trek episode “THE SQUIRE OF GOTHOS” with the ending lines of “Trelane, you must be nicer to your pets or Mommy and Daddy won’t give anymore planets to play with.”(paraphrased)~ looking at our species~ ya sometimes gotta wonder~ LOL~ @ NASSAR ~ science unfortunatly has always been politicized ~ remember Galileo !! LOL ~ I love this strip !!
@jerry w – Ophelia said what I was going to say.
BTW, I was just thinking about Wonder Warthog the the other day. I had some images in my head, but I couldn’t remember what the strip was called. Thanks!
But why this superfluous and unnecessary hypothesis that überhaupt there is or should be a reason for this universe?
It was silly of Hawking to say, though. After all, he’s not talking about any sort of facts, he’s just giving his opinion, and any scientists knows that mere opinion is basically worthless.
The end of the linked article annoys me – “Hawking has previous appeared to believe in God because he once said the word God in a piece of hyperbole!”
When I read something like that I groan “oh god” and put my head in my hands. Does this mean I believe in a god and am praying? I hope not. It would suck to believe in something without knowing you believe in it.
It seems that taboo words are stored in a part of our brain closer to the brain stem and emotional centers. The word “god” was implanted in that part of my brain in infancy, and additional glue was layered on all through my childhood. It would take a complete brain reformat to get rid of it. So when I say something like ‘god damn fuckin’ asshole”, it doesn’t mean that I believe in God, or in fuckin’ assholes. Just a primitive part of my brain adding emotional emphasis before my rational mind has time to intervene. Those taboo words are stored closer to the speech and action area than the rational thought areas are stored, which is why emotion can hijacki the brain. Thank you Stephen Pinker.
Does the name Philbert (AKA PH) Desanex ring a bell?
From the Hitchikers’ guide to the Galaxy
Narrator: There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
it’s sad how the three characters don’t see how small that their universe is when they put themselves at the centre
Also argh, “refutation” used to mean “disputation” (is that a word?). Too accurate depiction of religious argument.
I have no idea what Hawking was talking about and my opinion on his pronouncements would be worthless.
Good cartoon, though.
The Sun doesn’t go around the Earth any more but it still goes around Christians/Jews/Muslims.
Is that coffee that Moses is drinking?
@ NBH. “Science has become politicised”. Science is not a thing. It certainly isn’t a set of beliefs. It’s a loosely affiliated set of processes for filtering beliefs, in ways appropriate to subject matter (one hopes) and always subject to revision.
Are you claiming that this process has been politicised?
Is so- how?
Or are you claiming that people pretend to knowledge they dont have? If so- not news! (And bugger-all to do with science)
I really don’t understand why people make a hullabaloo over Hawkings’ comments. He’s certainly an awesome scientist, but his comments regarding the Universe doesn’t settle anything. I don’t mean to say that he shouldn’t have said “there’s no need for a creator” because it does seem like that’s a fact, but even if he said something to the contrary, that wouldn’t have made God a weeny bit more probable.
@ Stephen Turner – it’s tequila.
@jerry w – Yes. I’m going to look for some old WW comics now.
oh dear. sorry for going off topic, but it seems pat condell has fallen for the “zeitgeist” movie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHjH66gPhM4
Science is for sale to the highest bidder, text book example, agw studies, assorted u n sponsored pandemics plagues and pestilence. Science is supposed to be reason, logic, demonstrable and very definitely subject to peer review. Accidentally loosing data is the trade mark of an elementary school child, not a credible scientist. Mr Hawking has had some brilliant ideas in the past, but he is now in a field somewhere between make believe and the unprovable.
Nassar Ben Houdja’s statement hereabove of September 5, 2010 at 7:10 pm is by no means supported by reason or logic, is not demonstrable and very definitely not subject to peer review.
Therefore his statement is scientifically worthless.
“assorted u n sponsored pandemics plagues and pestilence.” Don’t bother with the agw stuff, though.
I could go with your assessment of science to a degree if all we were talking about was pharmaceutical companies and their rather ‘relaxed’ definition of ‘evidence,’ but your little list looks more like a conspiracy theorist’s bookmarks page.
The M-theory that unifies the five string theories and gives a mathematical explanation for the big bang was not devised by Stephen Hawkings. It is (like just about every second great achievement in the fields of quantum field theory and string theory made in the last 15 years) from Edward Witten. It’s strange how just one minor statement about a long known fact of a long known (but not yet established) theory can stir up debates across the whole bloggosphere, just because it’s from a pop-star like Hawkings.
@LordElric: “1 does not equal 0″ is not an article of faith. I remember that I had to prove this statement, and even “1 is greater than 0″ in my first semester at university, starting from the definitions of 1 and 0 as the neutral elements of multiplication and addition, respectively.
If there’s no god, there’s no “why”. Pretty obvious when you think about it.
Although I suspect there is an element of marketing here – don’t atheist books do well these days?- I am pleased Hawking has found an excuse to make this point. It is most annoying when Theists point to a scientist using the word god and claim it means they are a believer. I have myself been accused of hypocrisy for saying ‘Oh God’ as an exclamation. I tend to point out I also say ‘Oh Shit’ quite a lot and yet have no urge to headbut a carpet five times a day in the hope of appeasing an imaginary pile of excrement…
Daoloth says that ‘science is not a thing’ I think that it is. To me, it’s the acceptance that we cannot rely on our senses to tell us the truth. Like a Muslim submits to god, a scientist submits to reality. Then she uses scientific tools (reason, logic, experiment etc.) to see what she believes in.
Nassar Ben Houdja
you are confusing the field of science, with the frailties of being human
Science is not a thing – it’s a process to build a body of knowledge and a framework to give that knowledge context
By the same token, “religion” isn’t a thing either – it’s a process to suppress knowledge and a framework of magical thinking to overlay reality
Plus, science is science no matter where you are on the globe
but religion varies widely location to location
@Turnsup. I agree with your formulation. Not relying on the senses is a good first pass at showing why doing it is difficult. I would still call that a process, but why quibble?
The probem is that some folk really think that they can feel gods presence…
Hawking does not deny the existence of God, just his role in creation, but if we use Genesis 1:1 as a passive definition of what God is, we find that God is the Creator of the Universe (whatever force/person/law that may be). Hawking intimates that the Law of Gravity is a pre-cursor to the Big Bang, and that the Universe could not have come into existence without it. So what he means to say is that he believes the LoG is God.
[...] via [...]
What disturbs me is the zeal with which the atheist/scientist community is picking this up. Yes, God is not scientifically necessary (as science perhaps is not religiously necessary), but so what? All that has now been supplied is another mechanical question: how did the universe come into existence. If you accept the latest theory. But the importance being attached to the theory strikes me as quasi-religious. It’s as if atheists want to prove they are “right” about something, and this is the proof they need. While I understand that from a social point of view, it is essentially a non-scientific way of thinking.
@Ken Gibert – thanks! i’ve been trying to express this for ages (the second part of your post), but couldn’t find the right words. sometimes it seems like people say “there must be a scientific explanation” without having one, then find a merely plausible one and proclaim “aha! that’s that sorted, then!”.
@archbish : are you kidding? God is depicted as bored, willful, and destructive as a child in sore need of entertainment. We’re here for its amusement.
God meddles with us for sport, makes a clay figure of man after playing in mud, gets bored with the dollhouse of Eden (don’t tell me you’ve never stripped Barbie & Ken before?) , causes a big ol’ flood (must have been dreamt up in the tub), plays with the menagerie of the ark, destroys things but gets another set, hides dinosaur bones, knocks down someone else’s tower, burns stuff like bushes (psychotic tendencies like pyromania apparent early in life), jerks around humans like puppets, and basically acts like that creepy kid in the Twilight Zone episode where people get sent to the cornfield or get turned into a jack-in-the-box.
And, if the one god of 3 bitterly divided religions, then plays us off against one another for sport, like a child at the center of a 3-family custody battle. Omniscient and omnipotent, this god could set this right, down here on earth, but no, just looks at the havoc wreaked and curls a malevolent smile.
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