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Dr. Schaefer Part Three

November 17, 2009

Stephen Hawking investigates singularties, Black Holes and the begining of the universe.

Related story about scary black holes. Stephen Hawking talks about what would happen if a person entered a black hole.

All evidence for Black Holes is indirect.

Hawking’s PHD thesis is his most famous work. Doesn’t have his Nobel prize yet.

Told the story of Hawking and his wife, Jane Wild, who is a committed Christian. And, Hawking’s battle with ALS brought reality to his life.

A Briefer History of Time is more up to date and more readable.

Music to Move the Stars by Jane Wild (About Their life together)

The main character of A Brief History of Time: God, Hawking tries to stay on the scientific border of this question.

Hawking is adament that he is not an Atheist and believes the question is open. “Christianity is not incomptabile with science, if it was, Newton would never have discovered the law of gravity.” QUote from Hawking

Hawking’s search for the grand reunification theory. Gravity and Quantum Mechanics.

Hawking likes St. Augustine. “Time is only a property of the universe God created. He knew what he was doing when He set it up.”

Oscilating theory of the universe. Gouth put an end to it by showing the impossiblity of the bouncing universe. And, expansion of the universe is excelerating, which means it will never come back.

“Biology made me do it”  (become a Christian). Don Page, Stephen Hawking’s research student and closest friend. “The beauty principle (Ockham’s razor better theory is the simplest) is a reflection the simplicity of the Gospel”.

Rick Smalley, father of nanotechnology, tough character, colorful life, wives, mistresses, “Smalley takes no prisoners in his scientific investigation”. Notorious atheist. Highly critical of Christianity.

“Recently I have gone back to church regularly with a new focus to understand as best I can what it is that makes CHristianity so vital and powerful in the lives of billions of people. Although I suspect I will never fully understand,  I know think the answer is very simple: It’s true.”  Rick Smalley

Big bang represents a powerful but carefully controlled release of matter and energy.

Seven Points:

A creator msut exist

Ripples point to ex nihlio event

Creator must have awesome power and loving in the elegance of the universe.

Creator is just from human beings.

Human beings fall short of that standard and moral law.

Creator made a way to rescue us from our failings.

If we trust our lives to the rescuer, Jesus Christ, we will



5 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrew permalink
    November 18, 2009 8:04 am

    Hawking and Jane Wilde separated in 1991. While Hawking describes himself as agnostic, Wilde disagrees; she’s repeatedly described him as an atheist. He’s certainly not a theist and has never supported any theistic positions; the most you could say was that he was agnostic between atheism and some sort of neo-Deist position.

    Smalley’s deathbed conversion (he was dead within six months of writing that statement, having been diagnosed with leukemia 6 years earlier) is about as convincing as deathbed conversions usually are, which is not at all. Fear of death does funny things to people; and judging by his ludicrous “it is clear evolution could not have occurred” statement, much cited by creationists, he had already lost the plot.

    It’s really rather shameful the way people like that get exploited by the religious camp (see the more recent case of Anthony Flew for another example).

  2. thomas2026 permalink*
    November 18, 2009 1:49 pm

    A couple of points. First, thanks for getting the name on that quote. Dr. Schaefer said it in his speech, but I couldn’t type fast enough.

    I agree on Hawking’s view about God and Schaefer would as well. He read a statement by Hawking himself about how he considers it an open question.

    On Dr. Schaefer’s relationship with the ID movement. I talked to him extensively last night about it and he has quite a few reservations with ID. He also has reservations about certain aspects with evolutionary biology, but nothing that is not fairly common about said biologists. In fact, Dr. Schaefer doesn’t like to talk about ID at all because of all the cultural baggage attached to it and “life of its own” quality the discussion has taken.

    Finally, I’m a bit put off by your comments about Smalley and the “exploitation” by the religious camp. First, Dr. Schafer knew Smalley so he was relating personal stories. Second, Smalley didn’t convert on his “deathbed” as you asserted. His actually came to faith about five years before his dead, according to Dr. Schaefer. So, this hardly qualifies as a deathbed confession.

    And frankly, I think your view of his conversion and Flew’s change to deism is way of base. To accuse someone of being senile (as Dawkins accused Flew who responded pretty hotly) or being afraid of death as their main reasons for changing their minds is just not a rational argument. It might be, to be sure, but you have no way of knowing it. There are too many complicating factors for people to changes their minds on important issues to chalk it up to one thing. This is true whether you are a christian who becomes an atheist or vice versa. As much as atheists or Christians want to say they come to their faith purely out of rational reasons, it just isn’t so.

    As for exploitation, I don’t think anyone in the religious camp exploits people anymore than what happens in the atheist camp. We all have celebrity worship issues, something I gave an Attie to about a month ago. So, let’s put the stones away, shall we?

  3. Eric R permalink
    November 26, 2009 2:03 am

    his ludicrous “it is clear evolution could not have occurred” statement, much cited by creationists

    Rick Smalley as emminent as he was of a chemist and physicist, is hardly the final arbitor on the validity of evolution, though creationists will never fail to trot out anyone who can be remotely quoted, misquoted, or quotemined to attempt to prove otherwise.

    Knowing of his immenant demise if he took comfort in religion then I say “More power to him”, that just may be the one thing religion has to offer to folks, rational or not. If it comforts someone then great.

    As much as atheists or Christians want to say they come to their faith purely out of rational reasons, it just isn’t so

    Truer words have never been spoken, the religious sense.. has never been about rationality, it never will be.

  4. Andrew permalink
    November 26, 2009 9:52 am

    Truer words have never been spoken, the religious sense.. has never been about rationality, it never will be.

    Maybe so, but certainly some people will vigorously deny the suggestion that their faith is in fact irrational. Plus, the talk which is the subject of this post seems to be heavy on attempts to reassure the faithful that they are in the company of rational people; why else trot out a bunch of famous scientists?

  5. thomas2026 permalink*
    November 26, 2009 11:58 am

    And atheists don’t do the same thing?

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