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Stephen Hawkings Grand Designs [DVD]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2013
I Had to have this because of my interest of all things physics and quantum. Stephen always puts things in a great way,putting things together in a journey through the topic being disused.Like Alice going down the rabbit hole. and this was no exception. 10/10.
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on 14 July 2013
First of all allow me to say that Stephen Hawking is my personal legend and myth. First of all ofr his great capacity to perform state of the art research notwithstanding his physical conditions and then for his ability to remain positive and proactive, ironical and funny, witty and generous, respectful and polite, all at the same time. He should be a remarkable example to follow for all of us.
Coming to the DVD it goes well with the rest of series which is a very well described, science-based, narration of whether or not is there a gran design in the universe and what our destiny is in this segment of reality. It may strike hard the believer as well as the non-believer, but
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on 24 February 2015
Stephen Hawkins sais that philosophy is dead and still presents a lot of philosophical views of his own. And he seems happily unaware of the complexity of theese questions.. He simply states his naturalism and never even tries to defend it against all the anti-naturalistic arguments that philosophers have expressed both in anglosaxon and continental philosophy. Stephen Hawkins is a great scientist, but he's not a great philosopher.
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on 28 November 2014
Bought for my Son for Christmas. He liked Stephen Hawkings Universe collection, so I hope he will be as challenged by this.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2012
Mind blowing stuff but explained for anyone to understand , this man is Albert Einstein of our time , everybody should watch this.
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on 11 July 2014
It's great!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2012
This DVD Is absalutly brilliant! I recomend it to any one who like space and phisics and stuff like That! :)
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2013
But again you're talking emotionally. You cannot believe in any existence of a 'god' without emotional thought. This may hurt you, but if you really want to believe in a god then you obviously have to ignore all facts and knowledge, and most importantly, justify this in your emotional thoughts by also refusing to dwell too long thinking about the obvious reasons why all gods or religions are invented by humans, for whatever purpose and therefore obviously don't exist. This may sound offensive, but only ignorance can allow an emotional mind to believe in something that can't possibly exist, try not to think of the modern offensive use of the word 'ignorance', and understand what I really mean by its proper definition. But what I never understand with religious justification, is WHY do you need a nice fluffy meaning of life? Everything you wrote to try and persuade yourself that there is a god and religious meaning to your life, was emotional hope, you even said that religion is good even if its not true, which it isn't quite often, also most religions are very sexist. Of course faith in religion is built on beleiving that something exists without the need for proof, it obviously couldn't work else, as I stated earlier. But life is life and the universe is so beautiful anyway, why do you need to make up a fluffy lovely impossible meaning to this. Why do you need to believe in some egotistical, judgemental god to justify your existence or give you a reason to have a child, this reflects your emotional flaws and frailties and has nothing to do with the physical mechanics of the universe, which has no emotion. To understand this you first have to learn what emotions really are and how they work in a human body and you will realise that you are projecting your own emotional needs and fluffy designs on everything. You could study more and learn how your body actually works, find the reasons why a scientist says something works a certain way. Knowledge and understanding delivers a much more fulfilling existence I think, this is just my personal opinion of course, but as I live my life I find so much excitement and pleasure in being able to understand exactly how things work because of what I've studied. I don't need to use a magical reason to explain how emotions work, what they are and how they effect our thoughts, for example. You could also understand how things work, you just have to study it and understand what you study. Of course my pleasure and excitement at understanding the facts of the universe are emotions also, but obviously these are emotions ignited by understanding facts unemotionally. But what you're are doing is trying to use your emotional desires to explain something you don't understand, do you see the difference? The problem us humans have in trying to explain something we don't understand, is its hard not to think emotionally, but you must understand surely that these protein emotions can't possibly exist in any thing not organic, don't you?. So the need for you to find an emotional meaning in your existence and life is your desire and not that of anything un organic, or anything without a clump of cells we call a brain, because if you study how your body works exactly, you would know that emotions can't possible exist in those objects and that everything has basically just coalesced and settled into the existence that we observe around us, observed mainly through our brains absorbing reflections, through what we call eyes, of a small part of what humans have called the electromagnetic spectrum, visible light. The real reason of how humans have evolved to exist as a sentient species, amongst millions of other species, is far more beautiful and exciting, we don't need to make up a magical reason anymore, the evidence we have is out there if you want to study it. But, another very important thing to consider, is that all these words we are using to communicate are also human invented. No other species has a language on our little planet. Other animals can't consider their emotions like we can, nor can they interact in as much detail their thoughts and desires. People constantly project their complex emotions on their pets, for example. Most people would quite confidently say that their pets "love" them. Again this is projecting their emotional desires and thoughts on to something else, this is explaining something emotionally. In fact, a dog, for example, has no knowledge of the human invented word love and doesn't have the same thought processes as a human. The pet owner only sees something which they have decided they will call love, without knowing anything of the chemical interactions that are performed to create a behaviour in humans that we have invented the word "love" to explain. Dogs don't have complex thought processes like us, they can't consider their emotions like humans can, so obviously they don't have the necessary tools to create a complex communication language and tell each other why and how much they love each other, because they don't. They just felt something, they don't know what or why and they act on it, unless they've been disciplined not to. In fact dogs have evolved a strict hierarchy system of existence, and that's all they are doing as pets, we are their packs. Dogs have evolved to exist as the species they are at the moment. We humans have then taken them and bred them to be acceptable to us, by selecting the most child like submissive dogs and breeding those until all offspring exhibit a submissive behaviour during adulthood.
All things in the universe work the way they work. We humans have evolved the ability for complex thought, so we can think deeply about things. But our brain is also interacting with other evolutionary processes called emotions, these directly effect our thought processes and are very difficult to ignore. A long time ago our ancestors didn't know why their crops wouldn't grow some years, leaving them vulnerable and hungry. They weren't able to study their environment in the detail we can today. So, mainly through desperation, they would have probably worshiped something they thought would directly effect the success of their crops, from their ignorant view of their environment, maybe a large seemingly hot and bright yellow object above them, that seemed to affect the growth of their crops when clearly visible for long periods of time.
This is why religion has swept across Africa so quickly, first Christianity brought over by Europeans, and now Islam. Africa is full of vulnerable people, desperately clinging on to life. There are people in Africa suffering more than you would think possible, for reasons you'd think weren't possible, while we sit comfortable in our fluffy little lives moaning about bad wifi coverage or wether or not your little existence requires a nice lovely emotional meaning or not.
All evidence to explain how your brain works, how humans have evolved and the mechanics of the physical universe is available to you, if you want to know how things really work. There are some amazingly intelligent scientists around the world and if you studied not just what they've discovered, but, more importantly HOW they discovered what they know, then you would understand that what they say isn't just correct, but how brilliant these scientists are to prove what they have discovered.
Please, if you wish to continue an ignorant existence and don't wish to study and discover why scientists say what they say. Then at least please try to resist from your need to discredit their discoveries and justify your unbelievably magical, fluffy and perfect emotional reasoning of existence. Just remember, these are human words were using now, humans invented these communication techniques, not the universe. But isn't everything we've discovered, invented, accomplished and what we do everyday so much more amazing and beautiful, than having to explain everything by the will and allowance of some made up magical god. We don't need to anymore, the evidence is already available for you to study if you want to understand :-)
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7 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2012
The DVD offers three chapters, the beginning of the universe, the meaning of life and the key to the cosmos.

Different from what you might expect, Hawking develops the entire set on the question of the existence of God and life after death, hence trying to scientifically falsify the essential religious foundation, spitting into the face of billions of people all over the world.

In trying to do so, he recalls some dark pages of church's history, hence does not even try to distinguish between church and God. His examples are Galileo Galilei and his own experience, when the church requested that science should not analyse the Big Bang, this being the act of creation.

Now, as Hawking brings forward his "cookbook of the cosmos", his ingredients are matter, energy and space; an interesting sequence where the essential ingredient of time is missing.
Hawking proposes an unusual analogy to explain space, which is an indefinitely large sea, having a drain which forms a vortex, forcing a boat into a curve around it. In doing so, he looses Einstein's fundamental analogy of thinking of gravity as a geometrical property of space, which is usually represented by a large sheet of latex, which is curved by masses according to their amount.

This is not the only problem. Hawking has a fondness for introducing his very own and unique physics to "prove" that the universe has jumped out of nothing, not requiring any God for its existence. Not only does he simply apply the rules of quantum mechanics to a very different and not applicable scenario. In proposing "negative" energy, which exactly balances the positive energy of our universe, he claims that the total energy of the universe stays zero. He uses another analogy, which sees a worker building up an earth hill, where the hill represents the positive mass-energy, the hole the negative one; the worker remains out of the interpretation. The worker is as ignored as the laws of energy- and matter conservation, as are the consequences when applied to the well known typical equations describing energy, where then a negative mass (not to be confused with antimatter) or a negative frequency would need to exist.

Then, Hawking maintains his theory, which he puts forward as undisputed fact, that the universe had its beginnning out of nothing with the Big Bang, also starting time just then.
However, some twenty years ago, Abhay Ashtekar and Martin Bojowald have described the development of a predecessing universe, collapsing and bouncing into our own; hence it is at least probable that our universe was at least not the beginning of time itself.

Hawkings conclusion is that there is no God necessary to explain our cosmos (beginninng and existence), as science has an explanation for everything - which is obviously a grand error (instead of his grand design).
This is quite the same attitude some Sovjet scientists had a couple of decades ago when they claimed that despite thorough investigations of corpses, they could not find the soul.

Now, Hawking may of course believe in whatever he wants. But holding the Lucasian Chair carries a specific responsibility; unfortunately, he acts far from any shadow of such a responsibility here.

Moreover, when looking at the meaning of life, Hawking shows that biology is not exactly his forte. Self-awareness is not so characteristic for the human species as he wants to make us believe. As for the free will, brain scientists have long ago come to very interesting actions of the brain which Hawking is obviously unaware of. So, there is hardly anything revealing in this chapter.

Finally, when trying to find the key of the cosmos, there is this promising route of string theory, integrated by (Ed Witten's) M-Theory. It is almost fascinating how superficial Hawking scetches out this quite challenging theory (especially when having studied eg. Brian Greene or Ed Witten before). Not only does Hawking maintain that the string theory explains everything (up to and including the non-existence of God), he simply fails to explain even the basic facts to set up as much as a shadow of a hint which might support his outrageous theory. In going deeper into string theory, he would have had to admit that so far, string theory has not succeeded to develop an explanation for the implementation of the constants and laws of nature. The inner workings of the universe remain mysterious.
However, as current mainstream demands, Hawking also suggests that there is not just one universe, but countless multiverses out there; of course, far away from any scientific rationale, which is at least currently not available.

In short:
To mix religion and science is not only unethical, it is not even scientific at all.
Apart from the few examples above, the scientific contents are too often questionable (at least).
Most certainly, this is the last time I've bought any product from Hawking.
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