| The Discovery Channel
A Cosmic Encyclical by Pope Hawking IV
by Larry Leonard, ThD*
Science is a religion, folks -- and you know how religions love other religions.
This was truly amazing. On August 7, 2011, it appeared on my television screen. World famous cosmologist, Stephen Hawking (the fellow in the wheelchair), who sits in two places at once (simultaneity), the second one being the Lucasian Chair of physics at Cambridge (England) University. Isaac Newton's old post.
He announced that there is no cosmological need for God, and in fact, science tells him that the fundamental laws of physics deny the presence of one "in the beginning."
At the end of his famous book, A Brief History of Time, he said that God was as likely to be the First Cause as not. (Due to thermodynamic conditions described by quantum probability subatomic particle physics inside extremely small telephone booths.) This, he said, meant that when it came to the God thing, it was up to you. Thus, this latest declaration was something of a surprise. He has changed gears, here.
First Cause being the core topic, the first thing I'll do is explain why he did it.
Feelings, nothing more than feelings ...
His reason was simple. He is tired of being laughed at by all the other cosmologists on the planet. No "sane" physicist believes publicly in a (probably monotheistic) God. In fact, no sane physicist not employed by the Vatican or Notre Dame admits the possibility of the existence of such a deity if he wants to keep his job. You see, major universities in modern places are propaganda mills for Progressivism (read: socialism), and as a famous socialist once said, "Religion is the opiate of the masses."
Pick your famous American university -- Harvard, Columbia, M.I.T., UCLA, even the University of Oregon. Now, say a prayer before eating lunch at the cafeteria. The Wroth of Aclu (the liberal god is an ACORN staff attorney), as dispensed by the school staff and management will come down upon you, and send you to live and work in a university located just to the east of Eden, for you have sinned a great secular sin.
For years, I had a pet subatomic particle physics professor who spoke Japanese.
It is (trust me) politically incorrect in spades to mention God with a capital "G" in 99% of America and England's colleges and universities. The only reason why Hawking didn't get fired for saying it in that first book was the fact that (a) he lives in a wheelchair and (b) he is the only physicist on the planet whose name is recognized by the public. He makes for good media numbers.
I bet he'll win the Nobel for this.
So, what changed his mind?
It must have been his religion. What he has learned inside science since he wrote his old testament -- A Brief History of Time. This is not to say that he has learned new facts that disprove the existence of "intelligent design." It is rather to say that he has found new facts that allow him to rationalize (lie to himself about) this "new" position on the subject. He will be liked by physicists, now.
In brief, here was his initial-program sequence: Time is a function of space and vice versa. If you reverse the volume of space back to the primordial ylem (first particle), recognizing that time began with the expansion of the Big Bang, then by definition there couldn't have been a creator before said expansion began.
Here, I'll do that, again. First particle (entire present universe condensed into a ball the size of a particle like a neutron) is just sitting there. Before expansion there was no Einsteinian space-time. They are the bones of the same finger. Without either one, the other ain't there.
No time, no creator to kick things into gear, he says. It takes time to do anything. No time, no do.
This is Stephen Hawking's version of Einstein's Cosmological Constant. When Einstein found out that one of his two Relativity theories predicted some things he didn't like (as I recall, an expanding universe, but it might have been black holes), he added an equation that "balanced" things better. Settled the universe down on the couch he preferred.
Later, he described that as the worst mistake he had ever made.
Here, in Hawking's case, we have the same thing. Hawking -- for some interior reason -- is uncomfortable with the God thing, so he manufactures "scientific" logic just like Einstein. Time and Space are woven threads of the same cloth. Einstein called it the fabric of "space-time." Before the Big Bang, explains Hawking, since there was no expansion, there was no space -- and therefore no time.
The Big Bang, therefore, just happened.
(loud buzzer sound, here -- computer voice repeating, "error, error, error ... "
Infinite gravity, infinite warping of time-space, old Albert said. Somebody should call Stevey Wonder Scientist and tell him that based on his own rules, if there was no time, that meant there was no space, either. (That means: no "place" for the primordial particle to be -- to exist, sit on or in, or under, etc.)
I repeat, no space, no place. So, no place, no ylem.
Hawking didn't mention that part during this program. He just said that the first particle was there before there was a there there. (He really believes that a chair can sit in a kitchen that isn't there, It would be a good idea if he proposed a substitute location.) This sounds like magic -- in religion, known as a miracle. My guess is that he knows what the primordial particle was sitting in, but doesn't want to tell us, because it was old jelly.
I love ya, but better luck next time, SH. Explain where the ylem was, or back down. Here, this will make you feel better. I wrote it for Michio Kaku down in Beerkely, but it works beautifully, here, too.
If the cosmos
is made of strings
then time began when
they were strummed.
*Dr. of Thinkology, Emerald City Universiatus Commitiatum
(Dept. of Anti-Gallic Cowboy Philosophy)
The material covered in the Hawking segment, the discussion show that followed it and the biography of the universe that followed that is amazingly similar to a piece I wrote for the old (Portland, Oregonian) Northwest Magazine sunday supplement tabloid in the Sixties -- and which I keep on the cover of this magazine: Black Holes
Since I doubt that anybody at the History Channel or Cambridge University has ever heard of Oregon Magazine, it's probably coincidence due to the fact that facts are facts. However, they probably should have hired me to write their stuff. I'm better at it than their writing team.
© 2011 Oregon Magazine