Saturday, September 04, 2010

Hawking: Churches hit back at the heretic

Quantum information and tests of string theory:

This is an off-topic comment. But Mike Duff and others have promoted their recent very interesting work on quantum information and U-dualities in string/M-theory as tests of string/M-theory. Well, I don't think that any tests of the characteristic physics of string/M-theory or quantum gravity is being tested in this way.

However, I do agree that the work shows that a small subset of a much more powerful mathematical toolkit of string/M-theory - when interpreted a bit differently (the black holes carry an "exponentially bigger" information than the "information" substituted to the hyperdeterminants) - is directly relevant for very practical questions in quantum computing. See BPS black holes as a Hungarian quantum computer (2006) and SUGRA, black holes, and quantum information (2010).
Quite often, we have reasons to think that the mankind and even the Church has made a lot of progress since the era of Galileo Galilei. On the other hand, sometimes we're shown that nothing essential has changed since those old times.

Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow have written a new book, The Grand Design, in which they fired God from the job of the Creator.

He's no longer needed: M-theory has taken His place. Now, every physicist will realize that this is a kind of metaphor or a marketing slogan or a joke: physics and religion haven't interacted that directly for centuries. Physics doesn't operate with the term "God" and His existence. And if it talks about creation, it means something substantially different than the religious people do. The logical systems of science and religion are not compatible.

However, the physicists who actually understand the content of the new book at the technical level also know that there's a genuine justification hiding behind Hawking's "heretical" pronouncements.

At any rate, the provoking statements have abruptly catapulted Hawking and Mlodinow's new book to the first place among all the bestsellers at amazon.com - and I really mean all titles, not just the scientific titles. And in this case, I do think that Hawking kind of deserves the success, despite the superficially cheap marketing. He has quite a lot to revenge for to the non-existent God. ;-)

Nevertheless, the negative reactions began to arrive, too. First, God Himself wrote an op-ed for the Times:
God: Hawking has “ruined it for everyone”
Unfortunately, the original article is behind the paywall so the believers will have to trust the second-hand testimony by Michael Brooks above - who says that he has seen the original article. ;-) In His article, God shows that He exists and explains why His mind-tapping is compatible with the constitution and all other laws (Google is also doing these things, He argues), among other things.




According to other reports, God has Alzheimer's so he omitted a few zeros in Genesis and all imperfections can be forgiven - it's just not fair to criticize him.

However, you may also obtain versions of the same articles that are not hiding behind any paywall. Here is what the union of the U.K. spokespersons of God - including the archbishop of Canterbury - wrote:
Mid-Day: Religious leaders hit back at Hawking
They say that "physics on its own will not settle the question of why there is something rather than nothing". You know, science is all about explanations while religion is about interpretations. Do I agree with these proposed methods to separate science and religion?

Well, I don't. As far as the second statement goes, you can't ever strictly separate "explanation" from an "interpretation" as long as you are trying to find correct explanations and correct interpretations. If science finds an explanation why something exists or why something looks the way it does, it also eliminates other explanations and other interpretations what those things mean. You can't do anything about it.

See also many reactions to God's and his spokespeople's opinions in The Telegraph and note that the most influential Marxists in the world came to defend their comrade God, too. ;-)

Can physics on its own "settle the question of why there is something rather than nothing"? Well, maybe it can't. But it's a physically meaningless question because the obviously correct answer is almost tautologically that "there must be something rather than nothing; otherwise nothing, and not even this question and answer, would exist".

While physics (and science) may fail to offer a "deeper cause" for similar tautologically true propositions (such as that there is something), what it can do is exactly that it may falsify some interpretations of what the existence of something implies.

And indeed, it has falsified many of them. The existence of something does not imply that a prayer will increase the chance of your winning a lottery. It's exactly the investigation of these - and, more often, other (more realistic) - hypothetical implications and relationships between propositions that science is so good at. Good science is not primarily about the Yes/No answers to strictly isolated questions. It is about observations and methods that allow us to derive answers to different questions from each other.

The creating power of M-theory

Needless to say, I agree with Hawking and Mlodinow that string/M-theory is the unifying theory that Einstein was looking for and that it also has the capability to answer all dynamical questions about the possible and likely appearance and disappearance of matter, and even space and time, from something else, from nothing, or otherwise. And about many detailed questions that arise as soon as you begin to study these issues seriously.

Another question is whether we fully understand what the theory does say about these things but it's simply not true that such questions are guaranteed by someone to stay outside the mantinels of science. The research of string/M-theory and quantum gravity has demonstrated that the topology - and, arguably, also the number of components of space - may change. And we know many rules governing closely related phenomena in detail. We don't understand others but there's clearly no "guaranteed eternal" wall that will prevent science from making further progress.

Centuries ago, Napoleon - whose own relationship to religion was somewhat ambiguous - asked a deliberately intimidating question to Pierre Laplace: "Where is the room for God in your models?" And Laplace boldly and famously replied: "I did not need that hypothesis."

Of course, Laplace's self-confidence was a bit naive because he knew nothing about the Big Bang - the moment in which the Universe began to exist, apparently out of nothing. When the Big Bang was found as a consequence of Einstein's general relativity, the philosophy of creation has been altered for decades. It may be said that the discovery of the Big Bang has partially returned God to the game.

Well, it was a somewhat modernized God who enjoys producting Planckian seeds of the universes rather than women out of Adam's ribs - but some features of the religious logic could have been preserved. For a while.

However, a part of this change was due to the new mystery - and new ignorance - about the details of the tiny, Planckian, seed of the Universe. The cosmological models based on general relativity implied that the Universe used to be so tiny that the very laws of classical general relativity broke down. They can only be trusted if the curvature is relatively small.

That's where quantum gravity comes into the game. String/M-theory - the only and arguably inevitably correct theory of quantum gravity, as Hawking and Mlodinow agree - has its own range of validity and it is literally everything. In particular, the events that occurred when the Universe was freshly created are the events in which the dynamical laws of string/M-theory are most directly applicable.

The prediction of their behavior is what string/M-theory is so good at.

Dear archbishops, you can't really prevent science from extending its reach of validity. And indeed, Hawking is right that the creation of matter but also space and time out of nothing has become a legitimate scientific question that is studied by the same, and quantitative, scientific method. And we have probably found the right framework in which these questions can be addressed at some point - to put it rather mildly. Religious apparatchiks cannot do anything about it.

Now, you may admit that the laws of M-theory could create matter, space, and time. But you may also ask: "Who created M-theory?"

From a scientific viewpoint, this is, of course, a meaningless question. A priori, M-theory is a mathematical structure that "always" exists in a Platonic world of ideas. It happens to be relevant for the physical worlds that obey its laws - such as ours. But M-theory itself is not a physical object within any space and time. So we can't talk about its "coming to the existence".

When we talk about "coming to the existence", we mean that an entity "E" did not exist before it came to the existence, but did exist after it came to the existence. Clearly, this logic presupposes the existence of time and it cannot be applied to mathematical structures such as M-theory that exist "outside space and time". So the question "Who or what created M-theory" is just a misleading bogus rhetorical exercise designed to confuse the gullible people who are ready (or eager) to get confused.

Moreover, when someone asks "Who created M-theory?," he usually doesn't ask the fully analogous question "Who created God?" Clearly, if we are comparing two possible entities that could have created the Universe, namely God and M-theory, we have to treat them fairly. So if it is legal to ask "Who created M-theory?," it must also be legal to ask "Who created God?".

In reality, the believers are more likely to burn you at stake if you ask the latter blasphemous question. Only the annoying question about M-theory is allowed to be asked, as a trick to sling mud at it, while God remains protected against questions. ;-)

But if they don't burn you at stake and if they even try to answer something to your question about God's pedigree, it's damn clear that whatever (nonsense) they will have answered, can also be used for M-theory. You just use their very explanation and change the term "God" to "M-theory" throughout this explanation. And you will get an equally meaningful - or, more precisely, equally meaningless - answer to the question "Who created M-theory?".

So this whole discussion about the "creator of M-theory" is just a biased method to obscure the fact that M-theory is indeed starting to replace God even when it comes to the creation event. I realize that this is a bitter pill to swallow for the believers. But that's how the world works.

As Feynman said in Davies' and Brown's book, Superstrings, God is hiding in places that we have not yet understood. Once we understand something, the living room for God shrinks. And that's currently the case of the birth of the Universe, too.

And that's the memo.

23 comments:

  1. Lubos-

    An interesting post to a contentious topic. You present a compelling line of reasoning.

    I want to start with saying that I cannot prove or disprove the existence of God. God is not a material being.

    Now when we say (as does Hawking) that a theory of space, time, and matter do away with the need for a God I can say both yes and no. Yes, I do not appeal to an unknown variable to make my theory work. A good thing indeed. Thus a "material" explanation with its accompanying "platonic" forms closes the loop. No, in that the "platonic" form makes metaphysical assumptions that are not strictly physical.

    It is the the "platonic" assumptions that create the uncertainty in the discussion. This takes all the way back to the greek debates.

    Could you please restate your point without the use of the platonic form. I think this will go a long way in clarifying the legitimacy of Hawking's point.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank God we have you and Hawkings to understand and explain it all to the rest of us. Otherwise we might be in awe of the immensity of all creation and have to wonder where it all came from - and - God forbid - actually be mislead into thinking there might be some higher power behind it all - someone/thing greater than even you self-appointed 'Great Masters of the Life, the Universe, and Everything' - which idea is, of course, unthinkable and, as you yourself assure us lesser minds, clearly wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Lubos,

    As an interested agnostic, it seems to me that science and particularly physics is an attempt by man to link himself with, or in a way, become "God". I see similar characteristics with fire-and-brimstone preachers/Imams and politicians.

    We are sentient beings evolved slightly, genetically from chimps. Once we think we have "it" all figured out... we become dangerous.

    Dan C.

    ReplyDelete
  4. well this is more impressive

    Lubos Motl
    Dear Le Grand Fromage, yes, I think that I do believe in God in this general spiritual sense. Cheers, LM
    Yesterday

    god is emanating from each point of B:) two
    future-directed and two
    past-directed your comment
    proves this assumption
    rei cal

    God is a string being

    ReplyDelete
  5. Okay then! Because I am in possession of an elastic philosophical thinking cap, I can, when forced to, convert my irreligiousness to rationally believing that What Is (or if you insist...gulp...what I would mean by God) exists as follows:

    Ultimate reality consists of two parts ONLY!

    1. A 'manifestating' or 'eternally excecutive' (fundamentally physical, including all the quantum weirdness) patterning tendency/process
    +
    1. A fixed 'Platonic' provisioning of only 'a patchy infinity' of patterning possibilities.
    [That is, in other words: every 'Platonically prescribed' potential patterns (be they physical, physiological, emotional, social or intellectual (e.g. the string/M-theoretical pattern - and of course also every other less true theory in the field of HEPTs) amount to a set of Platonic prescriptions that is quite obviously not in every respect infinite.]
    =
    2
    %)

    ReplyDelete
  6. funny little humans....
    the marching morons can
    obama can can
    percieve all the aspects of reality

    σχιζοφρενία?
    σχίζειν-divide und φρήν- phren or phrénos the liasion
    between body and soul
    or between materia material and imaterial

    division of the universe in two parts
    a dichotomical vue

    Ultimate reality consists of two parts ONLY.....only

    1. A 'manifestating' or 'eternally excecutive' (fundamentally physical, including all the quantum weirdness) patterning tendency/process
    +
    1. A fixed 'Platonic' provisioning of only 'a patchy infinity' of patterning possibilities.
    [That is, in other words: every 'Platonically prescribed' potential patterns (be they physical, physiological, emotional, social or intellectual (e.g. the string/M-theoretical pattern - and of course also every other less true theory in the field of HEPTs) amount to a set of Platonic prescriptions that is quite obviously not in every respect infinite.]
    =
    2
    %)
    a paranoid vue
    i appreciate it

    and this comentarium boxes are better
    than the rapid ones
    a relativistic approach roach
    to comment boxes

    god's and strings

    ReplyDelete
  7. Now, you may admit that the laws of M-theory could create matter, space, and time. But you may also ask: "Who created M-theory?"

    Might an annoying person also say M-theory is God by another combination of letters (and for another group of people)?

    'M' for "Miracle-Theory"!

    ReplyDelete
  8. you are fast
    oh heretic one...
    i am very very slow
    at tipping...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lubos,
    I wonder if this attempt to get rid of God will be any more successful than past attempts?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lubos,
    I wonder if this attempt to get rid of God will be any more successful than previous attempts?

    ReplyDelete
  11. an attempt to find a rational explanation for existence over at http://arationalexplanationforexistence.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  12. It looks like this idea of God is not a good idea… for science. There is so much weight from the human past related to this word, so many opinions, so may illusory theologies, so many religions in conflict for this word, each one wants the word for themselves and not for the others… leading to the most stupid and dangerous actions.
    Once you have discarded the personal God’s concept, which has nothing to do with Science and more with the ancient myths of our ancestors, what you have in your hand is perhaps the God of Spinoza, which is probably anymore the usual idea of God.
    Discussing in science if there is or not God at the origin of the cosmos is then like discussing about where are localised the laws of nature. It is a question about something you do not know what it means. This leads to confusion and misunderstanding. Except maybe that the origin of the cosmos is determined by the laws of physics and anybody knows where they comes from. This question is not related to God but to logic.
    Now your idea of Platonic world of mathematical structures, sorry, is meaningless to me. Nobody has seen it except perhaps in the imaging of our brain. This idea from Platon is a very old idea, and he linked it to God as well, so we are back to confusion, and in my view M-theory does not help but push further our ignorance to anywhere.
    My last word is “we don’t know”, so simply; but this state of uncertainty is usually insupportable to human being.
    Pierre Jarron

    ReplyDelete
  13. It looks like this idea of God is not a good idea… for science. There is so much weight from the human past related to this word, so many opinions, so may illusory theologies, so many religions in conflict for this word, each one wants the word for themselves and not for the others… leading to the most stupid and dangerous actions.
    Once you have discarded the personal God’s concept, which has nothing to do with Science and more with the ancient myths of our ancestors, what you have in your hand is perhaps the God of Spinoza, which is probably anymore the usual idea of God.
    Discussing in science if there is or not God at the origin of the cosmos is then like discussing about where are localised the laws of nature. It is a question about something you do not know what it means. This leads to confusion and misunderstanding. Except maybe that the origin of the cosmos is determined by the laws of physics and anybody knows where they comes from. This question is not related to God but to logic.
    Now your idea of Platonic world of mathematical structures, sorry, is meaningless to me. Nobody has seen it except perhaps in the imaging of our brain. This idea from Platon is a very old idea, and he linked it to God as well, so we are back to confusion, and in my view M-theory does not help but push further our ignorance to anywhere.
    My last word is “we don’t know”, so simply; but this state of uncertainty is usually insupportable to human being.
    Pierre Jarron

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lubos,

    I have enjoyed your blog as a lurker for some time now.

    Just out of curiosity ...

    Is there anything in modern physics which implies that the universe (time / fields, et. al.) is not simply the mathematical equivalent of "nothing" expressed in a complex form and is there anything in modern physics which would imply that nature favors a simple form of "nothingness" (such as a void) over a more complex form of nothingness (such as our universe)?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great ideas, Robert, perhaps too far behind the boundary of the realm we call the realm of speculations.

    I do indeed share your belief that in some sense, our Universe is "equivalent" to nothing. After all, this is a legitimate summary of the Hartle-Hawking wave function as well as the general approach to the birth of the Cosmos in Hawking's and Mlodinow's new popular book.

    I would love to know some details, however! I could tell you my preliminary picture but it would be way too incomplete.

    These are stunning possible philosophical interpretations of some laws of physics. Nevertheless, one should never forget that science is about studying the *something* that exists rather than studying the *nothing* that is not the only thing that exists if it exists at all. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. The fact is that M-theory - as a consistent theory - is not known. It is also possible that nothing like M-theory actually exists. There are ideas, expectations, some more or less developed methods and partial approximate mathematical descriptions valid under specific circumstances. Such a collection of expected conditions, wishes, ideas and partial mathematical results forms the current meaning of M-theory. M-theory itself is just being searched for, it is not found or formulated yet let alone proved as a valid scientific theory. If found, it must pass consistency checks, it must explain the existing phenomena and predict new ones that will eventually be experimentally verified. Only after undergoing such a cycle we will have something real in hands that can be considered valid scientific knowledge similar to, e.g., general relativity. At present, the 'M' in the name stands rather for 'mystification' or 'mythology', especially when reflecting the efforts of some leading scientific protagonists trying to trick ordinary people into false belief that a speculative scientific hypothesis should be understood and accepted as a valid scientific picture of the universe.
    The mere fact that M-theory actually does not exist up to these days, is sufficient enough to dismiss all scientific-looking arguments on metaphysical topics as irrelevant. Furthermore, saying that 'string/M-theory is the unifying theory that Einstein was looking for' or 'the only and arguably inevitably correct theory of quantum gravity' sounds like misunderstanding at best or puffed-up lumpish ignorance at worst, particularly, when viewed from Einstein's scientific perspective. The almost infinite landscape of possible string theories hardly ever capable of being verified in the future is pretty far from his picture of simple, consistent and verifiable theory with predictable power. Einstein understood very well that simple fact that once a theory is not falsifiable, not giving detectable predictions, it loses its scientific strength and soon becomes indistinguishable from myths or religion faiths.
    While God in religions is basically believed in, the indistinct term God can still be accepted here as part of personal belief or specific religion teaching. However, when science wants to formulate statements regarding God, it cannot afford such benevolence. Scientific statements, however, often use the term God as if it were exactly scientifically defined. Even when this is apparently not the case, some scientists seem not to desist from making confident inappropriate statements putting themselves into somewhat uneasy position. The thing is, they demonstrate missing self-reflection and are gradually becoming the heralds of new scientific-looking myth of creation, where uncertain God has been replaced with the same uncertain landscape of universes driven by so far mythical M-theory. Instead of ancient narrative myths accompanied by beautiful paintings, this one looks like a pithy logically consistent construct decorated by impressive mathematical equations - both, however, lacking the factual correlation with reality. The difference is that original myth producers or religion heralds did not usually insist on a generally acceptable and objectively verifiable 'scientific' picture of reality, but sincerely declared their teaching as faith. Some scientists seem not to reflect this fact as they tacitly defend similar position based on faith.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hawking is right when saying ‘science does not need God to explain the universe’. The role of science, and particularly physics, is focused on finding physical laws and the structure of matter, not on going into details beyond the empirical realm. Once the laws are discovered, described and adopted, the goal of physics is basically reached unless an unexpected observation or experiment appears. Science tells us how things work, or why they act the way they do in terms of known laws. But the very last reason why fundamental laws ever exist, or why they are exactly as they are, is out of the scope. If Hawking says that something exists because it is spontaneously being created out of nothing, this is not the answer on question why there is something instead of nothing. I am not asking by which mechanism the beginning of existence is being manifested, but why existence is here, or in other words, why spontaneous creation is ever taking place instead of nothing. The nested chains of reasons can soon lead us beyond the empirical realm towards speculations, making such statements irrelevant in terms of scientific thinking. But the questions still exist and remain unanswered. They arise as a priori ideas in mind regardless of whether science is able to cope with them or not. Mind cannot be limited by restricted program of natural science, and that is why philosophy or religious perception comes to scene. Science cannot explain the substantial or the essential nature of matter, field, life or consciousness. It cuts off one half of reality in the inner world such as thinking itself, sensation, feeling, fantasies, wishes, hopes, etc., it does not even recognize the ‘meaning’ or ‘purpose’ of things but it rushes to come up with the ‘theory of everything’ where God, without knowing what this word actually means, together with important part of reality being not considered at all, should be excluded from the picture.
    It’s a pity that some brilliant physicists generalize their ideas of limited area and limited thinking as having almost exclusive validity with no or little respect to other aspects. They, often without realizing it, just demonstrate their narrow-minded positions trapped in cage of scientific thinking scheme. Fortunately, ordinary people usually intuitively clearly recognize these boundaries.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hawking is right when saying ‘science does not need God to explain the universe’. The role of science, and particularly physics, is focused on finding physical laws and the structure of matter, not on going into details beyond the empirical realm. Once the laws are discovered, described and adopted, the goal of physics is basically reached unless an unexpected observation or experiment appears. Science tells us how things work, or why they act the way they do in terms of known laws. But the very last reason why fundamental laws ever exist, or why they are exactly as they are, is out of the scope. If Hawking says that something exists because it is spontaneously being created out of nothing, this is not the answer on question why there is something instead of nothing. I am not asking by which mechanism the beginning of existence is being manifested, but why existence is here, or in other words, why spontaneous creation is ever taking place instead of nothing. The nested chains of reasons can soon lead us beyond the empirical realm towards speculations, making such statements irrelevant in terms of scientific thinking. But the questions still exist and remain unanswered. They arise as a priori ideas in mind regardless of whether science is able to cope with them or not. Mind cannot be limited by restricted program of natural science, and that is why philosophy or religious perception comes to scene. Science cannot explain the substantial or the essential nature of matter, field, life or consciousness. It cuts off one half of reality in the inner world such as thinking itself, sensation, feeling, fantasies, wishes, hopes, etc., it does not even recognize the ‘meaning’ or ‘purpose’ of things but it rushes to come up with the ‘theory of everything’ where God, without knowing what this word actually means, together with important part of reality being not considered at all, should be excluded from the picture.
    It’s a pity that some brilliant physicists generalize their ideas of limited area and limited thinking as having almost exclusive validity with no or little respect to other aspects. They, often without realizing it, just demonstrate their narrow-minded positions trapped in cage of scientific thinking scheme. Fortunately, ordinary people usually intuitively clearly recognize these boundaries.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Dominik, I can't read your comments in detail but be sure that M-theory - in the sense used by physicists, e.g. 11-dimensional generalization of string theory that is well-defined at all energies but reduces to 11D supergravity at long distances - is not just a "dream". It's a well-defined and provably consistent theory that's been described by an explicit Lagrangian at least since 1996 when Banks, Fischler, Shenker, and Susskind found the matrix model for M-theory, a crisp quantum-mechanical Hamiltonian.

    Hawking uses the term M-theory for what other people continue to call "string theory" - all versions of string theory including the 11-dimensional M-theory and all the cosmological aspects that have to come with it to make it complete and consistent. This theory is not "completely" known but enough "portions" and "aspects" of this theory are known to be sure that your comments attempting to deny what Hawking is saying are logically invalid.

    Cheers
    LM

    ReplyDelete
  20. Luboš, to clarify the situation I should say that I am not a physicist. I am involved in studying some special aspects of the philosophy of science (among other philosophic disciplines) so, that is where my interest comes from.
    My interest has arisen after the newest and a controversial Hawking’s book The Grand Design came out. When I first read the book, the naïve philosophical implications in the end surprised me in a way that I’ve started thinking about scientific facts and details mentioned in the book more in detail. I have read several books on the topic, e.g., Paul Davies’s Cosmic Jackpot or Lee Smolin’s The Trouble with Physics, as well as various recent articles on the Internet. It’s possible that some of them are out of date.
    I know well that lots have been done during last two decades. I, of course, do not consider M-theory to be sort of fantasy, there are many efforts, models and mathematics behind it, this is not the point. The point is definition, completeness, consistency and verifiability of the theory. And, well, here I am not that sure my attempts are really logically invalid. I have found the similar status of M-theory as you are mentioning:
    -“M-Theory is not yet complete, but the underlying structure of the mathematics has been established and is in agreement with not only all the string theories, but with all of our scientific observations of the universe. Furthermore, it has passed many tests of internal mathematical consistency that many other attempts to combine quantum mechanics and gravity had failed.
    Unfortunately, until we can find some way to observe higher dimensions (impossible with our current level of technology) M-Theory has a very difficult time making predictions which can be tested in a laboratory. Technologically, it may never be possible for it to be proven.”-
    In my understanding, M-theory still has long miles to go and the result - as a valid physical, not mathematical theory - is unpredictable. The weakest part seems to be “M-theory enjoys no observational support whatever”, as stated Roger Penrose (I guess he rather meant “predictive observational ability”)
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/bdf3ae28-b6e9-11df-b3dd-00144feabdc0.html.
    If, however, there were attempts to weaken the verification methodology, as some indications point out (such as swampland or theory-dependent realism) there could be a big methodological problem to accept this in natural science.
    So, at the moment, I see the firm statements in the article cited in my comment way too premature, don’t you?

    Cheers
    Dominik

    (Feel free to remove the duplicate copy of my previous comment, there was a technical problem while posting it.)

    ReplyDelete
  21. IF GOD CREATED THE UNIVERSE, THEN WHO CREATED GOD?
    Part I
    Earlier it was impossible for us to give any satisfactory answer to this question. But modern science, rather we should say that Einstein, has made it an easy task for us. And Stephen Hawking has provided us with the clue necessary for solving this riddle. Actually scientists in their infinite wisdom have already kept the ground well-prepared for us believers so that one day we can give a most plausible and logically consistent answer to this age-old question. Let me first quote from the book “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking:
    “The idea of inflation could also explain why there is so much matter in the universe. There is something like ten million million million million million million million million million million million million million million (1 with eighty zeroes after it) particles in the region of the universe that we can observe. Where did they all come from? The answer is that, in quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle pairs. But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero.”
    Here the question stops. So the clue is this: if we can ultimately arrive at zero, then no further question will be raised, and there will be no infinite regression. What I intend to do here is something similar to that. I want to show that our God is a bunch of several zeroes, and that therefore no further question need be raised about His origin. And here comes Einstein with his special theory of relativity for giving us the necessary empirical support to our project.
    God is a Being. Therefore God will have existence as well as essence. So I will have to show that both from the point of view of existence as well as from the point of view of essence God is zero. It is almost a common parlance that God is spaceless, timeless, changeless, immortal, and all-pervading. Here we are getting three zeroes; space is zero, time is zero, change is zero. But how to prove that if there is a God, then that God will be spaceless, timeless, and changeless? From special theory of relativity we come to know that for light both distance and time become unreal. For light even an infinite distance is infinitely contracted to zero. The volume of an infinite universe full of light only will be simply zero due to this property of light. A universe with zero volume is a spaceless universe. Again at the speed of light time totally stops. So a universe full of light only is a spaceless, timeless universe. But these are the properties of light only! How do we come to know that God is also having the same properties of light so that God can also be spaceless, timeless? Scientists have shown that if there is a God, then that God can only be light, and nothing else, and that therefore He will have all the properties of light. Here is the proof.

    ReplyDelete
  22. WHO CREATED GOD?
    PART B


    Scientists have shown that total energy of the universe is always zero. If total energy is zero, then total mass will also be zero due to energy-mass equivalence. Now if there is a God, then scientists have calculated the total energy and mass of the universe by taking that God into consideration. In other words, if there is a God, then this total energy-mass calculation by the scientists is God-inclusive, not God-exclusive. This is due to two reasons. First of all, even if there is a God, they are not aware of the fact that there is a God. Secondly, they do not believe that there is a God. So, if there is a God, then they have not been able to keep that God aside before making this calculation, because they do not know that there is a God. They cannot say that they have kept Him aside and then made this calculation, because by saying so they will admit that there is a God. They cannot say that the behind-the-picture God has always remained behind the picture, and that He has in no way come into the picture when they have made this calculation, because by saying so they will again admit that there is a God. At most they can say that there is no God. But we are not going to accept that statement as the final verdict on God-issue, because we are disputing that statement. So the matter of the fact is this: if God is really there, then total mass and total energy of the universe including that God are both zero. Therefore mass and energy of God will also be zero. God is without any mass, without any energy. And Einstein has already shown that anything having zero rest-mass will have the speed of light. In other words, it will be some sort of light. So, if God is there, then God will also be light, and therefore He will be spaceless, timeless. So from the point of view of existence God is zero, because he is spaceless, timeless, without any mass, without any energy.

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  23. WHO CREATED GOD?
    PART C

    Now we will have to show that from the point of view of essence also God is zero. If there is only one being in the universe, and if there is no second being other than that being, then that being cannot have any such property as love, hate, cruelty, compassion, benevolence, etc. Let us say that God is cruel. Now to whom can He be cruel if there is no other being other than God Himself? So, if God is cruel, then is He cruel to Himself? Therefore if we say that God is all-loving, merciful, benevolent, etc., then we are also admitting that God is not alone, that there is another being co-eternal with God to whom He can show His love, benevolence, goodness, mercy, compassion, etc. If we say that God is all-loving, then we are also saying that this “all” is co-eternal with God. Thus we are admitting that God has not created the universe at all, and that therefore we need not have to revere Him, for the simple reason that He is not our creator!
    It is usually said that God is good. But Bertrand Russell has shown that God cannot be good for the simple reason that if God is good, then there is a standard of goodness which is independent of God’s will. (Book: A History of Western Philosophy, Ch: Plato’s Utopia). Therefore, if God is the ultimate Being, then that God cannot be good. But neither can He be evil. God is beyond good and evil. Like Hindu’s Brahma, a real God can only be nirguna, nirupadhik; without any name, without any quality. From the point of view of essence also, a real God is a zero. Mystics usually say that their God is a no-thing. This is the real God, not the God of the scriptures.
    So, why should there be any need of creation here, if God is existentially, as well as essentially, zero?
    But if there is someone who is intelligent and clever enough, then he will not stop raising question here. He will point out to another infinite regression. If God is light, then He will no doubt be spaceless, timeless, etc. Therefore one infinite regression is thus stopped. But what about the second regression? How, and from whom, does light get its own peculiar properties by means of which we have successfully stopped the first regression? So, here is another infinite regression. But we need not have to worry much about this regression, because this problem has already been solved. A whole thing, by virtue of its being the whole thing, will have all the properties of spacelessness, timelessness, changelessness, deathlessness. It need not have to depend on any other external source for getting these properties. Thus no further infinite regression will be there.

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