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Did anyone notice Stephen Hawking contradicted himself?

 
 
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2016 11:46 am
I have great respect for the brilliant genius especially given his illness. However, after watching a recent episode of "Think like a Genius" show, I realized the man contracted one of his earlier lecture.

In this particular episode, "Is Time Travel Possible?", he concluded with the volunteers that backward time travel likely impossible. His reasoning is that as you walk backward in time-space, you'll inevitably meet yourself along the way. Therefore, the two of you will occupy the same space at a specific moment in time-space. However, one of you weren't there the first time you walked forward in time, so that second you can't just pop out of nothing. His entire logic is that something cannot come out of nothing.

However, in a 2011 televised lecture, he pointed out that the need of a creator is not necessary because Quantum physics has evidence that protons can appear and disappear randomly. He then argues that nothing existed before the big bang, and that the big bang resulted in today's matter and energy (which is essentially the same thing according to Einstein's theories). Thus, the universe came out of nothing.

Did you guys find this contradicting?
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2016 12:35 pm
Not contradicting. Different somethings; different nothings.
0 Replies
 
Thomas33
 
  0  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2016 01:28 pm
I don't follow Hawking's materials. As for the argument about protons, it could make sense if resolution doesn't need bias (or at least I'm inferring a link between the two).
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2016 01:36 pm
@Angelgz2,
Yea, really hard isn't it Angel to entertain the idea that anything could come from nothing. Furthermore there's a puzzling inference of a "before"

Seems obvious to me at least that its having existed in one form or another forever avoids contradiction and paradox. It does however entail a deep math problem that I'd be happy to discuss
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2016 06:22 pm
@dalehileman,
I believe in the current knowledge about human evolution.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_human_evolution

Primarily that humans originated in Africa, and evolved into what homo sapiens exists today.
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2016 06:25 pm
@Angelgz2,
I find it more likely that you misunderstood the analogies than that Dr. Hawking contradicted his own understanding of those very complex and somewhat theoretical examples.
TomTomBinks
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2016 08:05 am
@Angelgz2,
In quantum physics, particles appear and disappear for reasons unknown. In order for a person to appear, each and every single subatomic particle that made up that person would have to appear simultaneously and in the correct configuration. Two very different situations.
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2016 11:43 am
@cicerone imposter,
Cis I didn't mean to imply the humanoid has existed forever, but that there always was something, even if only an infinitesimal blob of infinite mass
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2016 11:53 am
@dalehileman,
I know what you meant. Didn't mean to argue your point; I agree with you.
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2016 12:09 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Why thank you Cis, you've again made my entire day, a rare occurrence
0 Replies
 
Angelgz2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 12:20 pm
@rosborne979,
Quote:
I find it more likely that you misunderstood the analogies than that Dr. Hawking contradicted his own understanding of those very complex and somewhat theoretical examples.


No, obviously, I won't be able to understand his mathematical models, but when he give lectures, he uses plain language that everyone can understand. He clearly said once that he believes that the universe can come into existence out of nothing, but then said something cannot come out of nothing in a later episode about time travel. Go watch it yourself and see.
Angelgz2
 
  0  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 12:26 pm
@dalehileman,
Code:Seems obvious to me at least that its having existed in one form or another forever avoids contradiction and paradox. It does however entail a deep math problem that I'd be happy to discuss


Infinity is rather an abstract concept such that even a bound set could have infinitely many members but yet be the subset of a larger, infinitely large set, such as the set of real numbers [0, 1] is infinite, but is a subset of all real numbers R, which is yet a subset of all complex numbers C. However, I don't see this pose any issues. It would just imply that something has always existed and regardless how long ago you can "travel" to, there'll always be an infinite number of years behind you. The universe could be a bounded infinite subset of a larger existence.
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 12:26 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
a rare occurrence
Oops Cis, I mean rare with others
0 Replies
 
Angelgz2
 
  0  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 12:28 pm
@TomTomBinks,
Yeah, something as complex as the universe could "pop" into existence out of noting, why not a human being in the right configuration. Doesn't seem to solve the contradiction.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 12:29 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
into what homo sapiens exists today
Thanks Cis, gotcha, but isn't the op mostly to do with creation
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 12:33 pm
@Angelgz2,
My first question is; why does this matter? The science of Steven Hawking is what is allowing you to read what I typed right now... without the science here, your computer would not work and the Internet would not work. If Steven Hawking happened to make a mistake... then so what? It doesn't mean that science doesn't work (or that you can no longer use the Quantum Mechanics that run the semiconductors in your computers).

So what?

That being said... let's think about this. There is a possibility that Hawkings contradicted himself. In that case there are three possible explanations.

1) One of the times he misspoke (i.e. he was correct in his understanding, but didn't word it correctly).
2) One of the times he was factually incorrect (i.e. he made a mistake).
3) One of the times (or both) you simply misunderstood what he was saying.

Steven Hawkings is human and is certainly capable of making a mistake. When he does make a mistake that doesn't invalidate thousands of years of human knowledge

But let's think about the specific claim. I am going by what you are saying, I did not hear what Hawking actually said, but there is no contradiction here.

In the first case he is talking about a specific example of the movement of an entity as time is increasing. In the second case he is talking about the beginning of time (before which time may not have existed). If time isn't advancing... than the phrase "pop into existence" isn't relevant.

I think that the possibility that you are misunderstanding what Hawkings is talking about... and that he is perfectly correct in both cases is pretty high. Steven Hawkings is well regarded for his understanding of Physics by the people who have studied Physics. There is a reason for this.

But even if Hawkings is wrong either in the way he expressed himself, or that he made a factual error, that doesn't invalidate science.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 12:36 pm
@maxdancona,
If you don't believe in Science... then you are going to have to explain how we build computers, send robots to mars and build jet airplanes.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 12:36 pm
@Angelgz2,
Quote:
However, I don't see this pose any issues
Angel, me and Cis apparently agree widya 'cuz it's so very hard to entertain the idea of nothingness, which we'd suppose incapable of Creation

There is one concept of forever however, that bothers me. If it's finite, if anything that can happen will happen and if the rules are the same everywhere, then won't everything everywhere repeat exactly, ever so often
Angelgz2
 
  0  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2016 07:40 am
@maxdancona,
Code:But even if Hawkings is wrong either in the way he expressed himself, or that he made a factual error, that doesn't invalidate science.

I think there's a huge misunderstanding on your part that I have never said it invalidates science. Religion is science that is not yet understand and in my view there's no conflict. What I am trying to understand is that if something can indeed come out of nothing like what Hawking said about our universe, then he is rather incorrect in his later assertion about time travel. Therefore, if you want to say I want to invalidate anything, I want to invalidate his claim that time travel is not possible and it's only we don't fully understand how to do it yet. His own words was that "if you want to go back and see the pyramids being built, that is likely impossible." Dr. Hawking went on and explain the possibility of multiple universe and that it could, by some stretch, that you, who went back in time, simply "created" an alternate history. However, he then invalidated this view by saying that these "systems of multiverses" are likely self-contained, that is, outside interference is highly unlikely. His most interesting lectures are transcribed online so feel free to read them.
Angelgz2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2016 08:16 am
@dalehileman,
Quote:
There is one concept of forever however, that bothers me.


That is why Dr. Hawking himself said in an interview that:

"[T]o say 'I don’t know that God exists, therefore He doesn’t,' and to say 'In the face of my limited science, I declare that there is no afterlife,' in the face of the limited knowledge we have (brilliant as we can be), is actually a faith statement as 'ignorant' as some scientists accuse others of being."

I agree with Dr. Hawking in a way that it's needless defend or argue against religion / science as they both take equal amount of faith. An implication of the famous Godel's incompleteness theorem in math is that there's no true axiom in any science, math or model, because a statement cannot prove it's own validity. However, based on a set of presumed "axioms" science is wonderful and is for the betterment of our lives, but as much science as we have today, we just barely scratched surface of what's out there (or maybe not even close). Believing that something has always existed, something could come out of nothing, with no scientific proof is just another form of faith. Some people still believe that we, human beings naturally evolved from apes. To those, you need a biology lesson. The short answer is "we have no idea". People put words in Darwin's mouth, which is truly unfortunate. The correct statement is that we, humans, shared a common ancestor with apes, but as to how the evolution happened, science has only theories that are vastly unproven. Darwin died in 1882, and DNA wasn't ultimately discovered until Watson and Crick in 1950. Without the understanding of DNA, Darwin only theorized as much as he could.

This again, goes back to my issue that if something come out of nothing, we can potentially solve this problem of genes "popping into existence". Scientists' biggest puzzle is how can a gene that previously didn't exist suddenly "pop into existence"? It's like you are saying a machine writing it's own code, evolving from a windows 98 system into Windows 10 -- that's absurd. However, if you put infinity into the equation, then we may have a solution. It's not that things will forever repeat, but like you said, anything that can happen, will happen. I'd say you can think of the infinite universe, or "existence" as a Turing machine that runs permutations on an infinite set of variables. Although Windows 98 will not evolve into Windows 10 in finite time, but if you think of Windows 98's code as a problem, and the Turing machine's job is to figure out a solution and make it into Windows 10, then, given an infinite amount of time, the machine will find a solution and "evolve" it into Windows 10 - it will just take a gazillion years. Same thing with our DNA, if you believe that permutation of our genetic code is all it is, that the "universal logic" could potentially result in "humans" purely by chance.
 

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