Friday, May 06, 2011

I want to post a few comments on an excellent lecture by John Lennox. (A matter of gravity) It's a response to the new book by Stephen Hawking; Grand Design, and is available online. [see notes]

Quotes and comments;

1. "Because there is a law of gravity the universe will create itself out of nothing." - Hawking [1.]
- And where did gravity come from? Did it birth itself? Doesn't there have to be a universe for there to be gravity?

2. Hawking declares philosophy to be dead (echoing Nietzsche, and his claim god is dead).
- I see this as evidence for Van Til's claim that the death of god is the death of rationality. i.e. of truth, objectivity, etc.
- as Lennox notes; this statement by Hawking, is itself a philosophical statement.

3. The idea the universe created itself is as nonsensical as me saying that I created myself.

4. Hawking claims universes (plural) arise from laws; but there can be no laws if nothing exists. He reifies law; law isn't a entity in itself; it's merely a description of what we see going on in the universe. It's too bad he thinks philosophy is dead; because he could learn something by studying it. He's making concrete what is an abstraction. There is no law over and above what is going on. Laws are descriptive not presciptive. What is a law if nothing exists? His view can only mean that laws exist independent of the universe... and this is a fallacy.

5. Lennox tells us that a scientist can describe how a jet engine works; but cannot account for how it came into being....
- Certainly the law of gravity didn't create the engine. But if you're a materialist this is what you'd have to say if you wanted to be consistent. (Being consistent is something no unregenerate person wants to do.)

6. H. when asked where gravity came from said, "M theory"

- In my view, this isn't, and cannot be science. Cosmologists like Hawking have abandoned empirical science. That he knows his math doesn't mean he's not a quack. There is No way he can know the things he claims to know.
In his delusions of grandeur he's confusing his speculations with reality. As Lennox points out a theory can't create anything. These guys have been smoking the materialist pipe so long they're high on the fumes... and have left the real world behind. This isn't science... it's science fiction (of a very boring sort.)

7. H. claims to know there are many universes. I find this comical arrogance. No one can know this. Once upon a time universe meant all that exists. If we take that definition there can't be many universes. (I notice that they never tell us how many universes! If it's all simply a matter of doing the math, why is it they don't know how many universes there are?)

I consider this burlesque; not science. Whatever happened to empirical science? As you can accomplish anything with statistics, so you can do anything with equations and mathematics. (Is H. aware, I'm sure he is, that many mathematicians consider math to be a human invention. If it is, it couldn't prove anything about the universe.)

8. An investigation of the physical universe can never disprove God; this is a juvenile idea. (Try reading a little philosophy Stephen) This is like saying if I study a jet engine, and don't see its human inventor residing inside of it, said person doesn't exist.

9. Some people claim that are an infinite amount of universes. How could they know? How can the infinite exist? An infinite number of universes came from nothing? We're a million light years past silly here :=} God is an impossiblity according to Michael Martin, but an infinite number of universes aren't?
If given an infinite number of universes anything can happen, why is it our universe could not have been created by god? His argument refutes itself.

10. H. claims that 'science' has killed philsophy (as it's killed god) One wonders what it will kill next. (Echoes of here of Fred Saberhagen's Berserkers?)

11. Roger Penrose has said the mulitverse idea is an excuse for not having a good idea (ie. why there is something rather than nothing; why the universe is so exquisitely fine tuned.)

12. "Free will is an illusion.'' - Hawking
- if that's the case why is he trying to persuade us of his views?

13. Lennox tells us many (including the editor of Nature) opposed the idea of the big bang when it came out. Why? Because it 'supported' the biblical view of a creation in time.

14. Since he accepts the idea of Evolution, I wonder if H. is aware of the creationist claim that matter (or the laws of physics if he prefers) cannot produce genetic code. Imagine looking at a computer and saying ''look, the laws of physics produced this thing... aren't the laws of physics incredible?"

If all is physical law, then his own book is a product of physics. His divorce from his first wife was a matter of gravity. Does he believe that?

To say something was created by the laws of science' (e.g. the universe) makes no sense to me. Did the 'laws of science' create the model T?

15. To say that 'science' can answer every question is to claim every answer boils down to physics, that everything can be understood in terms of matter in motion. This is nothing more than comical bravado.

1. A matter of gravity - John Lennox [YouTube]
- His lecture is much better than my rough notes make it appear. Don't waste your time here; go straight to the lecture.
2. Ravi Zacharias Answers Stephen Hawking - Part 1 [of 3] YouTube
- Ravi Z. in conversation with John Lennox