# Is Stephen Hawking right or not?

Cut from your earthsky link: "Earth is closest to the sun every year in early January, when it’s winter for the Northern Hemisphere. We’re farthest away from the sun in early July, during our Northern Hemisphere summer. So you can see that Earth’s distance from the sun isn’t what causes the seasons. On Earth, it’s mostly the tilt of our world’s axis that creates winter and summer. In winter, your part of Earth is tilted away from the sun. In summer, your part of Earth is tilted toward the sun. The day of maximum tilt toward or away from the sun is the December or June solstice."

I live in the northern hemisphere . . . . . so I guess its all "relative"

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Cut from your earthsky link: "Earth is closest to the sun every year in early January, when it’s winter for the Northern Hemisphere. We’re farthest away from the sun in early July, during our Northern Hemisphere summer. So you can see that Earth’s distance from the sun isn’t what causes the seasons. On Earth, it’s mostly the tilt of our world’s axis that creates winter and summer. In winter, your part of Earth is tilted away from the sun. In summer, your part of Earth is tilted toward the sun. The day of maximum tilt toward or away from the sun is the December or June solstice."

I live in the northern hemisphere . . . . . so I guess its all "relative"

ps/ Are we getting a little "off-topic" here - from the original post?/wlminex

What SH should have said:

I am not a religious man and I don't really understand the religious viewpoint.
Therefore I have nothing to say on the subject of religion.
But as a celebrated Theoretical Physicist, I can conclusively say
that I believe that there is no need in the theories of Mathematics, Cosmology, or Physics,
as understood at present, to necessitate the intervention of a Creator.

What he did say:
Blob de Blob de Blob de Blob.................... etc.

I've never heard such unconsidered rubbish from a man I have admired for decades, and still deeply admire.
Admire? Too mild a term. I adore him. He is my hero.
Lesson for all.
Don't talk crap about stuff which isn't your subject of expertise.

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@LG --

Your assumptions about evidence for god's existence aside, there is also no evidence for a godless universe, simply because the notion of identifying causal aspects of the universe with the senses is more ludicrous than jumping over your knees (how do you propose to see what contextualizes the phenomena of seeing?)

Irrelevant. We don't need to prove that there is no god, though that is a possibility depending on the circumstances, you lot need to prove that there is a god. And if you're feeling really ambitious you could try to prove that said god is the god that you worship. However until you do so we don't need to present evidence of anything, all we need to do is shoot down your arguments until you do manage to provide some evidence.

And since we've been waiting for thousands of years for evidence that there is a god(and not a deistic god, but a theistic god), I don't think that you'll be able to accomplish it. Nothing personal, you understand, I just have to hedge my bets.

IOW at the very best the "no god" camp is purely speculation.

Well that's not all we have. We can conclusively prove that there is no omnipotent god seeing as omnipotence is logically impossible and inconsistent. We can conclusively prove that there is no god that systematically answers prayers as such a god is entirely inconsistent with the world we see around us, and further, since the prayers of all religious people are "answered" or ignored equally we can prove that the gods of the abrahamic faiths are nonexistent(or liars, one or the other) as all three of the faiths were "told by god"(through their supposedly infallible or "divinely inspired" holy texts) that their prayers would be answered. There are any number of gods and goddesses that we can prove do not exist simply because their existence would not fit in the world we observe around us. So we have just a bit more than speculation.

However I do find this to be an odd argument for you to take, especially in the dismissive tone you use in your post. It's odd because all the pro-god side has is pure, and quite wild, speculation. There isn't a need to postulate a creator nor is there any evidence to support the existence of one and you lot do anyways, and it's nothing more than pure speculation which isn't even based on evidence. And yet here you are, dismissing the "no-god" camp as "pure speculation" in a rather arrogant fashion when you(and all theists) are doing the exact same thing you accuse us of doing.

Didn't your messiah have something to say on the topic of "hypocrisy"?

Nothing anyone can say can disprove, or in fact prove existence of god to the legions of agnostics. God itself needs to stepup and do the talking . . . We wait with bated breath . . .

Oh, and, some nice thrusts there Arioch.

The problem with assigning the word "God" to any subject in science, is that such assignment originates merely from tradition, i.e., the cultural element of primitive superstition that gave rise to the concept in the first place.

Tradition and especially superstition have no place in scientific discourse other than in some post mortem analysis, like history or archaeology. Stephen Hawking is no more qualified than a drunk sailor in characterizing God's role in the universe. He is however eminently qualified to characterize the universe, so, unlike the drunk sailor, he will have occasion to respond to the ceaseless probing of his vast mind by the other drunks in the bar who are at a loss to understand what the hell he is talking about and where did it all come from anyway.

Why is anyone asking about the icon of ancient tradition in the context of the contemporary sum of knowledge, which is the very thing that shed light on the darkness of ancient superstition?

Because we are creatures of habit, and some of us are still highly superstitious.

The question is moot. Traditions are great, as long as they are kept on a leash. Science is great, but only when it is allowed to roam free.

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I read his book "The Grand Design".
He says there is no God to create this universe - according to his M-theory.
Anyway, I think he has nothing to deny Spiritual World.
As he said, M-theory postulated the big bang is possible to create 10^500 types of universe, he believes there are multi-universes.

I have never seen hard evidence to support 10 to 500th universes or even multi universes. This is based on faith. I get the feeling this is really a battle of faith in his own version of the unproven. He tries to nip the competition in the bud, so his faith is the only one left. This seems to work with atheists.

Show me another universe, any one of the 10 to 500th will do.

I have never seen hard evidence to support 10 to 500th universes or even multi universes. This is based on faith. I get the feeling this is really a battle of faith in his own version of the unproven. He tries to nip the competition in the bud, so his faith is the only one left. This seems to work with atheists.

Show me another universe, any one of the 10 to 500th will do.
Oh wow. Yet another fail.

Try reading: M-theory postulated the big bang is possible to create 10^500 types of universe.
No "faith" required.
And stop making stupid comments that you can't support, such as "This seems to work with atheists".

M theory is not the work of Stephen Hawking. If it's any one person's work it would have to be that of Ed Witten. The landscape of M theory vacua is radically different to string theory and its string theory which has the \$\$10^{500}\$\$ (under a very naive counting method) vacuum states.

The \$\$10^{500}\$\$ number is not string theory saying there are \$\$10^{500}\$\$ universes but rather there are \$\$10^{500}\$\$ different ways you can satisfy particular requirements to build anything remotely like the universe we find ourselves in. It's like how \$\$ax^{2} + bx + c = 0\$\$ has 2 solutions. The string theory equations which are involved in the counting are much much more complicated than that but the general gist is pretty much precisely that. For example, general relativity allows a great many different space-time metrics if all you care about is the number of different ways of solving the Einstein field equations. However it isn't say "All of these possible universes exist!" but rather "All of these possible universes would have behaviour consistent with general relativity, just as ours does.".

Wellwisher, your comments about Hawking are thus completely off the mark. You don't know what work is or isn't his, you don't know what that work actually says and you don't seem to understand what Hawking is saying in terms of how things got started. I take it from your "This seems to work with atheists." comment that you're a theist. If we're in the realms of making blanket statements about such groups, it's my experience your behaviour is typical of vocal theists, particularly the more evangelical Christians. Your complete misrepresentation of a scientist, his work and the work of other scientists is very much like how 'Dr' Kent Hovind spouts BS which is completely misrepresentative of what science says.

I think you just made strong argument why the Anthropic Principle should be a key component for determining the exact vacua representing our universe. I remember reading Hawking strongly supporting the use of the Anthropic Principle to narrow down the possible solutions. It would be interesting to get an opinion from you. Thanks for the content of your post.

M theory is not the work of Stephen Hawking. If it's any one person's work it would have to be that of Ed Witten. The landscape of M theory vacua is radically different to string theory and its string theory which has the \$\$10^{500}\$\$ (under a very naive counting method) vacuum states.

The \$\$10^{500}\$\$ number is not string theory saying there are \$\$10^{500}\$\$ universes but rather there are \$\$10^{500}\$\$ different ways you can satisfy particular requirements to build anything remotely like the universe we find ourselves in. It's like how \$\$ax^{2} + bx + c = 0\$\$ has 2 solutions. The string theory equations which are involved in the counting are much much more complicated than that but the general gist is pretty much precisely that. For example, general relativity allows a great many different space-time metrics if all you care about is the number of different ways of solving the Einstein field equations. However it isn't say "All of these possible universes exist!" but rather "All of these possible universes would have behaviour consistent with general relativity, just as ours does.".

How many Calabi–Yau manifolds are possible in ST?

Aww, AN throw brucep a bone, will ya?

Here's an interesting little tidbit. It only pays \$38,500 a year, though.

Think you could be Hawking's new Technical Assistant?

Maybe he'd rather not give an opinion. I asked him this question at the 'incoherent' site and never got a response. Since he brought it up I thought I'd ask again. This is what Hawking wrote in 1999

Quantum Cosmology, M-theory and the Anthropic Principle

http://www.hawking.org.uk/index.php/lectures/physicscolloquiums/68

Maybe Hawking felt the exact solution was a 'stretch' early on?

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The \$\$10^{500}\$\$ number is not string theory saying there are \$\$10^{500}\$\$ universes but rather there are \$\$10^{500}\$\$ different ways you can satisfy particular requirements to build anything remotely like the universe we find ourselves in. It's like how \$\$ax^{2} + bx + c = 0\$\$ has 2 solutions. The string theory equations which are involved in the counting are much much more complicated than that but the general gist is pretty much precisely that. For example, general relativity allows a great many different space-time metrics if all you care about is the number of different ways of solving the Einstein field equations. However it isn't say "All of these possible universes exist!" but rather "All of these possible universes would have behaviour consistent with general relativity, just as ours does.".
Thank you, this layman found this to be an excellent explanation.

I love how people are willing to entertain almost any possibility but somehow a belief in God is foolish to them.

How many Calabi–Yau manifolds are possible in ST?
It's unknown how many topologically distinct 6 dimensional Calabi-Yau manifolds there are. There's infinitely many in the sense of how there's infinitely many circles when you count different radii but if you don't count just squashing and scaling (known as the moduli space of a manifold) you're just counting different topologies. It gets even worse when you allow for spaces which aren't manifolds, since being a manifold isn't actually a necessary condition on space-time in string theory, it just makes standard methods possible. Hence why string theory often comes down to pushing mathematical boundaries.

I think you just made strong argument why the Anthropic Principle should be a key component for determining the exact vacua representing our universe. I remember reading Hawking strongly supporting the use of the Anthropic Principle to narrow down the possible solutions. It would be interesting to get an opinion from you. Thanks for the content of your post.
In fact the \$\$10^{500}\$\$ count sort of includes that already. The reason why Calabi-Yau manifolds are used is that they break the supersymmetry of string theory down in a nice way.

Type II string theories have N=2 supersymmetry in 9+1 large dimensions. When you role up 6 of the 9 into say 6 circles (so a 6 dimensional torus) you get N=8 supersymmetry in 3+1 dimensions (3+1 being what we see normally). If you role the 6 dimensions into a Calabi-Yau then you get N=2 because Calabi-Yaus break 3/4 of the supersymmetry (proof omitted!). You could then do an orientifold projection to break this down to N=1. Or you could role the 6 into some horrible unsymmetric shape and you break it down to N=0. When you consider ALL of the possible 6 dimensional spaces you could make then you really do have a problem of infinite proportions.

So how do you break infinitely many possibilities down to \$\$10^{500}\$\$? You use the anthropic principle. We know that Nature includes chiral phenomena, the electroweak sector doesn't treat left and right handed things the same. The problem is that anything with N>1 supersymmetry is too symmetric and doesn't allow this. Conversely we want N>0 in order to use all the wonderful nice supersymmetry mathematical structure and then we can just softly break it in the same way the Higgs mechanism breaks electroweak symmetry. So that gives us N=1, which you get by doing something to N=2 theories, which are themselves much more mathematically interesting and powerful than N=1 ones. So that's the main motivation, we look at Calabi-Yaus because in Type II theories they give us N=2 supersymmetry, which we can do lots of awesomely complicated fascinating stuff in and which we can easily then break to N=1 to get the most phenomenological supersymmetric model we can make, which is then broken to the vacuum we see normally, all motivated by "It's how we see Nature.".

Ideally, if string theory is true and fundamental, at some point our grasp of compact manifolds of dimensions 0 to 10 would become sufficiently advanced that we find that there's some natural mechanism in supersymmetric string theory which causes 6 and only 6 of the spatial dimensions of space-time to curl up into a space with N=2 structure (the N=1 projection involves orientifolds, which are sort of like branes except they carry negative tension. They are not part of space-time, they are in it like particles are).

This notion has been considered in the literature. I once saw a talk by an horrifically smart guy who made precisely that point, that we presently don't know why its 6, it could in principle be anything. As such he and his collaborators considered if it were 10 because in the early universe they were all small but only 6 remained small. What if they all did? It's too long ago for me to remember the details but I think 10 dimensional compact physics is somewhat trivial in string theory because you don't have a 'big space' to move about in.

Believe, as I clarified in a previous post, Hawking and/or string theorists aren't saying they believe \$\$10^{500}\$\$ dimensions/universes exist but rather finding the right solution in a huge list of possible solutions is difficult. If you're referring to people researching somewhat 'out there' ideas like M theory they have been lead there by formal analysis of the implications of pretty straight forward principles. All of standard quantum field theory, the most accurate and tested physical model in history, is based on the quantisation of fields into zero dimensional oscillations (point particles). String theory just says "What if the oscillations aren't 0 dimensional but 1 dimensional?". That then leads to oscillations in any number of dimensions (branes), consistent descriptions of quantised gravity (quantum gravity and gravitons) and then fundamental objects of 2 and 5 dimensions (the M2 and M5 branes) namely M theory. Each step provides us with insight into both physical models we know about (gravity/gauge dualities provide insight into QCD via Type II string theory) and thus far unknown areas like quantum gravity.

Compare all of that to believing in a god. There's no evidence at all so just like Bigfoot the rational conclusion is disbelief, saying "I do not believe the claims about the existence of a deity or deities". Please note that's different from saying "I believe god doesn't exist". The former is a rejection of a claim so has no burden of proof while the latter is a claim and so has a burden of proof. Until any rational, logical reason or evidence can be provided there is no reason to have any belief in a god or gods. Besides, Santa told me not to.

Thanks for writing all that down.

Steven Hawking is f***ing retarded! Lets all think in 2D now!