Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Hawking: God may play dice after all
WorldNetDaily ^ | May 23, 2002 | By Mike Martin

Posted on 05/23/2002 3:02:41 AM PDT by lavaroise

Despite an aging Albert Einstein's famous comment, "God does not play dice with the universe," renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking and his academic collaborator Thomas Hertog now suggest that God did roll the dice at least once – at the moment of creation.

Like that familiar wizened sage atop the highest peak, God cast that first die down a mountain of potential energy where, according to Hawking and Hertog, it rolled like a snowball, growing, expanding and inflating into the universe we know today.

"The quantum origin of our universe implies one must take a 'top down' approach to the problem of initial conditions in cosmology," Hawking and Hertog write in their latest paper on the subject – "Why does inflation start at the top of the hill?"

Inflation – and creation – started at the top of a potential energy mountain, the two cosmologists claim, where fundamental field particles acted like snowflakes that coalesced into cosmological snowballs. A rolling stone may gather no moss, but the rolling die of creation – known to physicists as a subatomic particle called the "Hawking-Moss instanton" – gathered these snowflake-like particles.

"The early evolution of our universe is a bit like a ball of snow that grows while rolling down a hill," Hertog told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive interview. Hertog equated the growing snowball to a field of particles. "Our calculations show that our universe was most likely created by this field at the top of a 'potential hill.'"

Like mischievous children, quantum fluctuations in the early universe rolled the cosmological snowball down the hill and it expanded.

"Because of Heisenberg's famous uncertainty principle, the field at the top of the hill fluctuates," Hertog explained. "Because the top of the hill is an unstable point, these fluctuations eventually cause the field to roll all the way down."

The snowball of creation eventually settled into a valley and became the universe that surrounds us today, Hertog explained. Although this valley is lower than it was at the beginning of everything, "the bottom of the valley doesn't seem to be at sea level," Hertog said. Cosmological sea level may be described by Einstein's famous "cosmological constant that cosmologists are measuring," he added.

Hawking and Hertog assert that their "top down" approach to cosmology is a fundamental departure from scientific tradition.

"The usual approach to the problem of initial conditions for inflation is to assume some initial configuration for the universe and evolve it forward in time," Hawking said. "This could be described as the 'bottom up' approach to cosmology."

The quantum nature of the cosmos, however, dictates the "top down" approach, Hawking claims, because the history of the universe depends on the mountain, the dice, the snowflakes and the snowballs. In other words, the universe "depends on the observables being measured."

God may play dice then, but only if the dice are loaded. If the universe depends on observables, it also depends on we the observers, so the dice had to somehow guarantee that we humans would emerge. Physicists call this idea the so-called "Weak Anthropic Principle" from the Greek "anthropos," which means "man" or "human."

"The top-down approach is a mathematical formulation of the Weak Anthropic Principle," Hawking writes, in which observed values of all physical and cosmological quantities are restricted by the requirement that carbon-based life must exist.

"The top-down approach incorporates the Weak Anthropic Principle because it takes into account certain observed features of our universe – such as the fact that it expands – in order to explain its origin," Hertog said. "In other words, a top down approach does not tell us how the universe should be, but why the universe is the way it is."

"If Hawking speaks, we should probably listen," Randolph-Macon College physics professor George Spagna told WorldNetDaily from Ashland, Va.

"The approach Hawking and Hertog apply in their paper is to work backwards from the current state of the universe to its possible origins, rather than attempting to cook up the appropriate initial state and see if it evolves forward into something resembling the present universe," Spagna explained. "Hence, it is akin to attaching mathematics to the Weak Anthropic Principle, because we obviously inhabit a universe whose conditions permit our very existence in the first place."


Mike Martin regularly reports on breaking science news for ScienceNewsWeek, United Press International and other publications. View his other stories at sciencenewsweek.com.


TOPICS: Editorial; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: hawkingmossinstanton; realscience; sciencecreation; space; stephenhawking
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-106 next last
What came first? Jurisdiction or matter? According to Hawking, if we take into account jurisdiction as we have it today and work back on the chain of events for the creation of the universe, we find a unique jurisdiction for the creation of the universe, coupled with a stochastic machinery to further expand this jurisdiction to all corners of the Universe. SO we have the creator, who not only created the universe, but who also created the very tool that creates the Universe. Then comes man to replicate this process. A sort of trinity.

AFter all, man uses nature to support man, while nature does not use man to support itself. "Natural" death is not jurisdiction over man, it is man's life that has jurisdiction over nature to prolongate/bless man's life. If nature is the manipulated blessing for man, then man has the jurisdiction.

Hence, since jurisdiction comes before nature, a creator with jurisdiction had to exist before our bodies did. A sort of proof of G_d by jurisdiction as opposed to the definitions all make of G_d.

1 posted on 05/23/2002 3:02:41 AM PDT by lavaroise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: dennisw , Yehuda , monkeyshine, ipaq2000, Lent, veronica, Sabramerican, beowolf, Nachum, BenF, an
bump
2 posted on 05/23/2002 3:14:54 AM PDT by lavaroise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xm177e2
I know you inquired about this before.
3 posted on 05/23/2002 3:53:42 AM PDT by lavaroise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lavaroise
Interesting. It is a good way to look at creation because all that leads to the existence of the universe today that supports life cannot have happened by chance. The variables involved are staggering. If only one, such as temperature at the time of creation were slightly off, none of the universe would exist or if it did, it would be very different. Then you get into the variables that lead to man on earth and it becomes even more profound. Which is why Einstine said that God does not roll dice. If He did, we would not be here. There is a creator.
4 posted on 05/23/2002 3:56:17 AM PDT by KeyWest
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lavaroise
In simple terms, is this not also a reformulation of the argument from design?
5 posted on 05/23/2002 4:02:46 AM PDT by RobbyS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: lavaroise
"The top-down approach is a mathematical formulation of the Weak Anthropic Principle," Hawking writes, in which observed values of all physical and cosmological quantities are restricted by the requirement that carbon-based life must exist.

So, because of the wild improbability of a random universe being able to support life, they assume a restriction that "life must exist."

Reminds me of a joke from my economics days in college... an engineer and an economist fall into a pit. The engineer says, "Let me see if I can find a way out." He measures and calculates, draws diagrams in the floor of the pit, scratches his head, and finally concludes that it is impossible for them to get out. The economist retorts, "Hah. It's quite simple, actually. First, assume we have a ladder..."

7 posted on 05/23/2002 4:31:39 AM PDT by kezekiel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lavaroise
According to Stephen Wolfram, author of "A New Kind of Science" quoted in a Wired interview, the universe was built from a simple, short rule:

As dessert is served, I bring up the secret-of-the-universe question. Wolfram's theory that there is a single rule at the heart of everything - a single simple algorithm that, in effect, generates all the rules of physics and everything else - is bound to be one of his most controversial claims, a theory that even some of his close friends in physics aren't buying. Furthermore, Wolfram rubs our faces in the dreary implications of his contention. Not only does a single measly rule account for everything, but if one day we actually see the rule, he predicts, we'll probably find it unimpressive. "One might expect," he writes, "that in the end there would be nothing special about the rule for our universe - just as there has turned out to be nothing special about our position in the solar system or the galaxy."

8 posted on 05/23/2002 4:33:50 AM PDT by tictoc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tictoc
There has turned out to be nothing special about our position in the solar system or the galaxy."

If he means that the Vulkans will be landing any day. he is all wet. So far the evidence is that we are not only special but unique.

9 posted on 05/23/2002 4:49:32 AM PDT by RobbyS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: RobbyS
Welcome to Sunday School 101! At least Hawking finally had the nerve to admit the God factor, he is on his way! There is a lot more to learn for Mr. Hawking, my kids will save him a seat in Bible class, in the "front rowwww!"
10 posted on 05/23/2002 5:08:59 AM PDT by Dr. I. C. Spots
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: lavaroise
Thanks, I had mentioned this on another thread.

Einstein said "God does not play dice with the universe," and Niels Bohr said, "Albert, don't tell God what to do" (or something to that effect)

11 posted on 05/23/2002 5:11:59 AM PDT by xm177e2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: xm177e2
And God asked Job (as well as Mr. Hawking) "Where were you when the foundations of the earth were laid?"
12 posted on 05/23/2002 5:24:56 AM PDT by aardvark1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: lavaroise
"Weak Anthropic Principle"

I always thought this principle was more than a bit hokey. It should be called the Circular Reasoning Principle: the Universe cannot be any different because if it was any different, we wouldn't be around to observe it. Maybe calling it the "Begging the Question Principle" would be more accurate.

Tuor

13 posted on 05/23/2002 5:25:30 AM PDT by Tuor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Dr. I. C. Spots
I think there are many who would agree with Hawking (as I do) that there is good reason to presume a creative event.

I have done so all my life.

However, there is also good reason to presume that the creation did in fact take place some several billions of years ago.

15 posted on 05/23/2002 5:45:19 AM PDT by Charlotte Corday
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: aardvark1
"Where were you when the foundations of the earth were laid?"

Nowhere. But when I get down into the basement, I can see in great detail how the work was done.

16 posted on 05/23/2002 6:19:22 AM PDT by Physicist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: KeyWest
If only one, such as temperature at the time of creation were slightly off, none of the universe would exist or if it did, it would be very different.

People assert this, and sometimes assert that if it were the case then life would be completely impossible, but they never provide evidence for the assertion. As it is, it's not quite possible to determine the complete effect of a different value of a universal constant because we have no other universes as a basis for comparison.
17 posted on 05/23/2002 6:23:29 AM PDT by Dimensio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Dr. I. C. Spots
At least Hawking finally had the nerve to admit the God factor, he is on his way!

Uh, I don't see that at all in the article. I see that Hawking is making speculations that run counter to the sentiments expressed by Einstein in his "God does not play dice..." statement -- which was meant to illustrate Einstein's dismissal of quantum theory and not a theological commentary -- but the "God may play dice" line was inserted by the article author, not Hawking.

Hawking is making statements regarding quantum theory and universal origins. The author is inserting the God lines.
18 posted on 05/23/2002 6:27:08 AM PDT by Dimensio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: RobbyS
So far the evidence is that we are not only special but unique.

So you're saying that our particular spot in the galaxy has some cosmic significance? That it is impossible for life to exist in any other portion of the galaxy, even in a similar (or identical) solar system?
19 posted on 05/23/2002 6:28:24 AM PDT by Dimensio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: RobbyS
Yes, despite attempts to deny that here.
20 posted on 05/23/2002 6:32:01 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: lavaroise
"...quantum fluctuations in the early universe rolled the cosmological snowball down the hill and it expanded."

Just like on the Bullwinkle and Rocky Show...

21 posted on 05/23/2002 6:34:12 AM PDT by azhenfud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kezekiel
The real joke is economics. Either the discipline (a polite euphemism for being able to charge for college courses) is a fraud because not one of its practitioners ever consistently predicts or explains anything or they are all idiots because not one of its practitioners ever consistently predicts or explains anything.
22 posted on 05/23/2002 6:38:10 AM PDT by RWG
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: ex con
Hawking's, in his "A Brief History of Time", takes scientific and mathematical evidence for Intelligent design as far as it is observable - which, if one follows evidence where it leads, points to the Creator's hand. While I believe Hawking stopped short of declaring God as the Creator for fear of being discredited by his peers, it is obviously left to the reader to conclude the point beyond where the evidence stops.

I think I recall his conclusions to this as being before the first three seconds of the Universe's creation from using Hubbel's expansion theory to support a "regressive" origin timespan of 15 by - yet the Universe has a beginning.

Other notable scientists didn't like the idea, because if the Universe had a point of finite singularity in its origin, it suggests the Universe requires a Creator which is in opposition to their preconceptions. Hawking's theory too closely paralleled the Biblical accounts of "In the beginning, God created" for their comfort zone.

Like a crime case, when overwhealming evidence points an investigator in the direction of a particular suspect, only those who dismiss evidence which doesn't support their preconceptions would turn away from the obvious - and in so doing, their conclusions become lies...

Psalms Ch 19 V 1 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork."

23 posted on 05/23/2002 7:05:45 AM PDT by azhenfud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: lavaroise
Contrary to what some of you seem to be assuming, I think he is trying to make a 'by chance' argument, not a 'by design'. He is saying that it isn't possible to have the control needed to design creation.

Because of Heisenberg's famous uncertainty principle...

He is assuming that God is as limited as man is, just because something is uncertain to US, doesn't make it uncertain to God.

Mr Hawking has crapped out, God did not 'roll the dice' but he does play poker. He always has the best hand and never bluffs though.

24 posted on 05/23/2002 7:11:59 AM PDT by Grig
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: Physicist
"Where were you when the foundations of the earth were laid?"

Nowhere. But when I get down into the basement, I can see in great detail how the work was done.

Priceless.

26 posted on 05/23/2002 7:17:41 AM PDT by Lurking Libertarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Grig
I've gotten into the "Heisenberg" arguement before, and also the "Paley" illogic.

What both of these miss is the Biblical statement "In the beginning, God" is not a reference to God's beginning - but to that of us and of our Universe. I too, am often guilty of trying to ID God into the physical realm as we know it.

If Hawking is right with his "point of singularity" theory, the Universe, time, space, and all matter began from that singular point. That is enough to prove we have no concept of an existence not bound to time/space - that place where God dwells. It is so fitting that Jesus said "they know not what they do"...
Regards,
Az

27 posted on 05/23/2002 7:22:51 AM PDT by azhenfud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: ex con
"I like hawking's writings, at least the ones I can understand before he goes all techie on me."

I like his writings, too. I've learned that when he gets "techie", it's because he's "overstayed his welcome" on the subject and has run out of new revelation - but I'm amazed at the depth of applicable knowledge he possesses...
Regards,
Az

28 posted on 05/23/2002 7:28:06 AM PDT by azhenfud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: RWG
"Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists." -- John Kenneth Galbraith
29 posted on 05/23/2002 7:29:03 AM PDT by Ranxerox
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: lavaroise
Stephen Hawking postulating the existence of a god? heresy.
30 posted on 05/23/2002 7:30:02 AM PDT by Terriergal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KeyWest
If God rolled any dice, it was in giving men free will.
31 posted on 05/23/2002 7:30:52 AM PDT by Terriergal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Cyrano
ping
32 posted on 05/23/2002 7:31:14 AM PDT by Terriergal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Terriergal
I've read and re-read this article, and I still cannot find a credible relationship between the dice and the snowball - except that neither can roll without Significant Input from an outside source.

I refer to this "Significant Input" of the Universe as God....

33 posted on 05/23/2002 7:59:47 AM PDT by azhenfud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: azhenfud
Did you also notice the argument that Carl Sagan presented in "Contact" was that there IS an intelligence behind it all? The signals never came from nowhere... they either came from Et's or from a man ... but in any case they all knew it was from an intelligent source.
34 posted on 05/23/2002 8:11:09 AM PDT by Terriergal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: lavaroise
The truth is out there!
35 posted on 05/23/2002 8:21:22 AM PDT by sandydipper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RadioAstronomer; ThinkPlease; edwin hubble; PatrickHenry; general_re
Space-time place-moment marker
36 posted on 05/23/2002 8:37:14 AM PDT by longshadow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Tuor
It should be called the Circular Reasoning Principle: the Universe cannot be any different because if it was any different, we wouldn't be around to observe it. Maybe calling it the "Begging the Question Principle" would be more accurate.

Lots of things in life are like that. Oh, well.

I always found the Doomsday scenario to be the most amusing aspect of the WAP (it helps to have an appreciation for jet-black humor) - we're all dead, and Real Soon Now, too ;)

37 posted on 05/23/2002 8:48:40 AM PDT by general_re
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: aardvark1
And God asked Job (as well as Mr. Hawking) "Where were you when the foundations of the earth were laid?"

I LOVE IT! Go get 'em, aardvark1.

I find it interesting that "intellectuals" refer to us as ignorant if we point to God to explain the unexplainable, but one of the "best and brightest" has just done the same thing.

By the way, from Isaiah 42:5, here's how the universe expanded:"Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth,and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:"

38 posted on 05/23/2002 8:52:31 AM PDT by HeadOn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Lurking Libertarian
"Priceless"? Well, considering, in context, that this is only one of dozens of questions Almighty God asked Job, only a man, I would think that a smart answer like that would be deadly.

All the impossible-to-answer questions in that passage, asked in rapid-fire succession were designed to let Job know in no uncertain terms that God is not obliged to answer silly questions concerning His motives. He might, but He is not required to do so. He is LORD. He made the rules. Job understood.

39 posted on 05/23/2002 9:02:57 AM PDT by HeadOn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: HeadOn
I understand the quote from Job in its context, and agree with it. Physicist, however, was responding to that quote in a very different context-- it was being suggested to him that the Bible precludes any attempt to use our senses and our reason to understand the origins of our physical universe. In that context, his reply was, indeed, priceless; nor do I, as a Jew, find it blasphemous or disrepectful of the Creator.
40 posted on 05/23/2002 9:10:11 AM PDT by Lurking Libertarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: one_particular_harbour
Hawking at his most cryptic, the WorldNetDaily interview. I'll wait for another book.
41 posted on 05/23/2002 9:21:44 AM PDT by VadeRetro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Dimensio
So you're saying that our particular spot in the galaxy has some cosmic significance? That it is impossible for life to exist in any other portion of the galaxy, even in a similar (or identical) solar system?

There is likely no "identical" solar system or location in our galaxy or any other. I recommend you read "Rare Earth" by Ward & Brownlee. Earth and our solar system are indeed rare - perhaps unique in all the universe.

42 posted on 05/23/2002 9:48:46 AM PDT by toddst
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: kezekiel
So, because of the wild improbability of a random universe being able to support life, they assume a restriction that "life must exist."

These are commonly known as boundary conditions. If life and man are a boundary condition of ultimate creation, then we get the extreme right end of the boundary conditions. From there you can get the initial conditions. Inversely, initial conditions determine functions. In our case we have to deal with final conditions.

43 posted on 05/23/2002 9:52:29 AM PDT by lavaroise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Lurking Libertarian
I think G_d meant that he should be given the benefit of the doubt. Time and again Moses was tested by G_d and he had to disagree with G_d. The Bible is anything but against challenging the "word" of G_d, but of our own perceptions or understanding of that word.
44 posted on 05/23/2002 9:56:24 AM PDT by lavaroise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: RWG
Economics consistently predicts and explains lots of things. But only when consistently applied to things which can be predicted. It is not engineering where the machine does what it is supposed to do. The economic machine has a large component which is determined by the human element and thus, less predictable than a purely mechanical world.

People ragging on a particular discipline are often those most ignorant of it.

45 posted on 05/23/2002 9:59:41 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: VadeRetro; longshadow; physicist
I've never been attracted to the "Weak Anthropic Principle." It's true that life has developed in the universe, and that we evolved here on earth, but to say that the universe was required to have conditions which make this possible is a bit of a stretch. Rather, our existence is possible because it is compatible with the universe. The universe was not made to be compatible with us.
46 posted on 05/23/2002 10:00:35 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: *realscience;*space;Ernest_at_the_Beach
fyi
47 posted on 05/23/2002 10:23:01 AM PDT by Free the USA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: kezekiel
So, because of the wild improbability of a random universe being able to support life, they assume a restriction that "life must exist."

Well, duh. If there is no life, the universe will never be observed by anything. If a trillion universes arise in succession and life arises in only one of them, only the life-bearing universe will constitute observed data.

48 posted on 05/23/2002 10:23:53 AM PDT by steve-b
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: azhenfud
hee hee -- now I can hear the Rocky and Bullwinkle theme music in my head.... Think God pulled a rabbit out of His hat, too?
49 posted on 05/23/2002 10:26:13 AM PDT by ValerieUSA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Tuor
the Circular Reasoning Principle

Also central to the Theory of Special Relativity.

50 posted on 05/23/2002 10:26:36 AM PDT by RightWhale
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-106 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson