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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Saddened; as 1/3rd of book is dis-crediting others' thoughts only to bolster his own case!, 20 July 2013
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This review is from: The Grand Design (Paperback)
I expected more from such an eminent cosmologist and highly-regarded thinker. Expects to use a top down approach to come up with how the universe formed, then contradicts the same method by promoting that a prior history of our universe has undergone an infinite number of possible histories. Such histories being totally random and all inclusive... very thin! Our universe apparently just appeared from nothing. Science is based upon causality (cause and effect), it is also a study in logic, therefore, how can we have an effect that was without cause that is also totally illogical? I expected much better than this from Stephen Hawking.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Aug 2013 15:35:52 BDT
The Skirrid says:
Science is not based on cause and effect, nor is it based on logic. This a typical philosophical argument against science in an attempt to remain valid.
It's based, as I'm sure you know, on observation, making a hypothesis to fit that observation and then seeing if observation of the real world matches the expected predictive outcomes of your hypothesis. If it doesn't, you're wrong. Simple.
Unfortunately when nothing [and that is NOT the classical philosophical or theological nothing] went KERSPLATT and out universe was created time and space were created. With no time prior to that there can be no cause, and it almost [but not quite] certainly will never be known by science. Of course, it's also highly probable that no cause is required at all, Nobel Prize winning science has discovered that nothing really isn't nothing at all at the quantum level.
Does this mean it's wrong, as a cause might never be knowable? No, and thankfully unlike philosophy and theology, science will give us the most probable answer to the great questions, and never present us with absolutes, and never stop looking.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Sep 2013 21:34:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Sep 2013 22:00:17 BDT
trini says:
The Skirrid,

You say in your post of 28 August 2013: "Science is not based on cause and effect, nor is it based on logic".

Does that mean that you believe (and that every scientist believes) that a doctor performing, say, a heart-transplant operation, does not know in advance what will be the effect (the transfer of another working heart into the patient's body - or something else? ) of the cause (the complicated operation) which he and his team are carrying out?

You also say: "Of course, it's also highly probable that no cause is required at all, Nobel Prize winning science has discovered that nothing really isn't nothing at all at the quantum level". I think that every one who agrees with that statement, and the Nobel Prize winners who make it, should be simply laughed out of court. I do not care what level you are operating at, but if you say that nothing is not really nothing, then you (and your Nobel colleagues) cannot be debated with.

May I repectfully refer you, to save my time, to my review of this book by Hawking and Mlodinow. My 1-star review, dated 23 Sept 2010, deals with this issue and other nonsense views in Hawking/Mlodinow's book.

To anticipate from my full review, may I quote the deliciously ridiculous Hawking/Mlodinow view that the universe self-creates out of nothing beause of the laws of nature. But of course, if nothing exists, there is no nature to provide laws of nature.
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