Hawking Warns Against Human Arrogance

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Between reading this Stephen Hawking quote, plucked for whatever commercial or controversial reason I don’t want to fathom, and some of commentary that follows and Kim Lee’s quip, I passed from euphoria to despair.

In his new book, he points to the observation in 1992 of a planet orbiting a star other than our sun.

Between reading this Stephen Hawking quote, plucked for whatever commercial or controversial reason I don’t want to fathom, and some of commentary that follows and Kim Lee’s quip, I passed from euphoria to despair.

In his new book, he points to the observation in 1992 of a planet orbiting a star other than our sun.

‘That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions – the single sun, the lucky combination of earth-sun distance and solar mass – far less remarkable, and far less compelling as evidence that the earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings,’ he writes.

Christian scientists said Professor Hawking had the wrong view of God as something to explain gaps in our knowledge of the universe.

The Rev Garth Barber, a cosmologist and member of the Society for Ordained Scientists said: ‘I don’t believe in a God of gaps but in the creator of the laws of science. The laws of science are God’s laws of creation.’

Professor George Ellis, President of the International Society for Science and Religion, added: ‘My biggest problem with this is that it’s presenting the public with a choice: science or religion. A lot of people will say, “OK, I choose religion, then” and it is science that will lose out.’

Firstly, I read the Hawking quote I bolded above as a refutation of the anthropic principle. Any discussion of a contest between religion and science misses the point: the brain is a flawed instrument, and any theories reached through are suspect. That’s why we have conversations and experiments. Any discovery that contributes to the protection of humans against the brain’s flaws – e.g., confirmation bias, story-telling – is beneficial. But now, these articles reinforce another story, that of the contest between religion and science, to make a buck.

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Filed under: Academia, Movies/Media, Religion, Science Tagged: anthropic principle, isaac newton, physics, stephen hawking








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