Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On Mr. Stephen Hawking
RESPONDENT: I still say you cannot think clearly. What you have adopted as the actual universe is the product of the scientist’s speculation.
RICHARD: Not so … most of the scientific speculation these days is about a universe (with boundaries) expanding out of a ‘Big Bang’ some twelve to fifteen billion years ago. Before that, they theorise, time and space either did not exist or were contained in a particle so dense that it had to expand. They hypothesise that this expansion will go on for another ten to fourteen billion years and then there will be a ‘Big Crunch’. They think that this mathematically derived cosmogony is cosmology … such is their religious-like faith in ‘The Truth’ of mathematics. (Indeed I watched one world-renowned mathematician solemnly saying to the television cameras that ‘God must be a mathematician’ … it is a wonder that he and his wheelchair were not zapped on the spot with a bolt from above!).
RESPONDENT: Richard, have you read Sir Roger Penrose?
RICHARD: What I know of Mr. Roger Penrose’s work is what I have come across in reading other authors when they refer to him and/or quote him in relation to their own work ... or when pursuing ‘Consciousness Studies’ web-sites on the Internet. I have never considered it worth my time to read him as he is not only a self-proclaimed Christian by faith and a Platonist by belief – some of his peers refer to him as a ‘Mentalist’ – and a mathematician by profession ... but mainly because he makes no secret of the fact that he is a relativist. Indeed, near the end of his book ‘Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness’ he states that ‘as a Platonist [he] deeply believes in a world of mathematical forms distinct from both the physical world and the world of our conscious perceptions’. He is, foremost, a theorist of the ‘quantum physics’ persuasion ... in the 1960s he calculated many of the basic features of theoretical science’s ‘black holes’. In 1969, with Mr. Stephen Hawking, Mr. Roger Penrose mathematically proved (mathematical ‘proof’ does not mean ‘demonstrated empirically’) that all matter within a conjectural ‘black hole’ collapses to a ‘singularity’, a hypothetical geometric point in space where mass is compressed to infinite density and zero volume. Mr. Roger Penrose also developed a method of mapping the regions of Mr. Albert Einstein’s abstract ‘space-time’ surrounding a black hole (the much-publicised conceptual ‘space-time’ is a mathematically-derived four-dimensional continuum comprising three dimensions of space and one of time). Such a map, which is called a ‘Penrose Diagram’, supposedly allows one to visualise the effects of gravitation upon an entity approaching a black hole. Not surprisingly, given that the climate that prevails in the academic halls extends to Government Departments, he was knighted for his services to science in 1994.
(Another example of this kind of recognition is exemplified by that champion of quantum physics, the mathematical physicist Mr. Paul Davies, who was awarded the 1995 ‘Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion’, which carried a monetary award of $1 million, for his efforts to resolve the dichotomy between science and religion. I only mention him here because after initially becoming interested in the theory of quantum fields in curved space-time at the University of Cambridge – focussing much of his research in that area – in the early seventies he joined fellow-physicists Mr. Stephen Hawking and Mr. Roger Penrose who were researching the thermodynamic properties of black holes at the time. He published ‘The Physics of Time’ (1974), the first of more than 20 books directed to either his professional colleagues or the general public. Mr. Paul Davies’ most recent publications were ‘The Matter Myth’, an argument against the idea of a Newtonian clockwork universe; then one of his most influential works, ‘The Mind of God’; followed by ‘About Time: Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution’ and ‘Are We Alone?’).
RESPONDENT: 4) It would also be interesting for Richard/Peter/Vineeto or whoever is inclined to discredit the purported evidence in existence for the big bang. It has been said that the big bang is creationist cosmology – which for some is true – yet it is hardly ONLY creationist cosmology – take people like Steven Weinberg or Stephen Hawking for example. Mr Hawking has defended a finite universe with nothing outside or before it (nothing for a Creator to do) – so there appear to be some who propose there is an outside to the big bang and others who say it is self-contained. Obviously, whoever proposes there is something outside the universe must do so on non-scientific grounds.
I don’t intend to argue the case for the big-bang – but how would AF explain the red-shift, for example? Or the current interpretations of the cosmic background radiation, etc? I’m aware of Halton Arp’s counter proposals, but the question, it seems to me is where the evidence actually leads. Just because the person who came up with the big bang theory was a theist doesn’t discredit the theory if there is no god. If there are independent reasons (evidence) for thinking it is true, is it not important for those independent reasons to be examined? Does a finite universe necessarily lead to a something outside of it? It seems there are many scientists who don’t think so.
RICHARD: There are many, many refutations of both the ‘Big Bang’ theory and the ‘Red Shift’ theory available both in print and on the internet (mostly on the internet as publishers, generally speaking, will not publish anything which departs from the party line) ... which one would you like to read/hear about?
RESPONDENT: One other point of interest that I first encountered a while back in Hawking’s writings ... ‘Olber’s paradox’. Apparently, there are those that say that if the universe were infinitely old, the ‘night’ sky would be bright – not dark. I wonder.
RICHARD: In 1610 Mr. Johannes Kepler advanced an argument against the universe being infinite and eternal, and thus containing an infinite number of stars (a hypothetical problem nowadays popularly known as the ‘Olbers’ Paradox’ after the German astronomer Mr. Heinrich Olbers who also discussed it in 1823), by proposing that if the universe is indeed infinite and eternal and uniformly populated with luminous stars then every line of sight must eventually terminate at the surface of a star ... which implies that, contrary to observation, the night sky should everywhere be bright with no dark spaces between the stars.
This hypothesis assumes, of course, that because the night sky does not appear to be bright to the naked eye, with no dark spaces between the stars, then it is so in fact.
In order to comprehend why it was presented as an argument against the universe being infinite and eternal it must be borne in mind that in both 1610 and 1823 the known universe was a one-galaxy universe (the ‘Milky Way’ galaxy) and it was not until 1929 that astronomers discovered there were other galaxies ... many other galaxies, in fact (the current estimate is 125 billion and rising).
As recently as October 2001 astronomers, using the Hubble Deep Field telescope, looked 12 billion light years away from planet earth (one light year is approximately six trillion miles) into a speck-size area of the southern sky, an area so tiny to the naked eye that it would be obscured by a grain of sand held at arm’s length, and spied 620 galaxies (and one galaxy alone can contain trillions of stars).
If the naked eye was optically receptive enough (or powerful enough or whatever the right word is to describe what it is not) there would be nowhere it could look that its every line of sight would not eventually terminate at the surface of a star ... and the night sky would no longer appear to be dark.
RESPONDENT: Fine. What is being offered for confirmation of relativity is ‘experiential evidence’ – observation – confirmation.
RICHARD: You are aware that the topic under dispute is whether or not the universe is spatially infinite, temporally eternal, and materially perdurable (and not just Einsteinian relativity per se)?
RESPONDENT: I was not aware that of that, no.
RICHARD: Oh? Why would Einsteinian relativity be such a hot topic on this mailing list, then, if not because of my oft-repeated observation that the infinitude of the universe is directly experienced here in this actual world?
RESPONDENT: Do you say that because of your reasoning below?
RICHARD: Perhaps an example may be of assistance: I first came onto the internet, in 1997, to share my discovery with my fellow human being ... and in a very short time the following exchange happened:
That instance, in 1997, was but the very first of several such occasions when another would skip past my ‘only this moment exists/this moment has no duration’ (eternity is here on earth in this actual world and not in some other dimension) observation, written as the direct experience of it is happening, and seize upon my ‘this physical universe is eternal (and infinite)’ observation so as to present mathematical proofs (abstract computations) as to why the physical moment cannot be eternal (have no duration) because the mathematical equations ‘prove’ the existence of an underlying reality (as in my co-respondent’s ‘what makes the universe possible may indeed be something of an infinite, eternal nature’ comment above) which timelessly manifests all phenomena.
Mr. Victor Stenger has written a book called ‘Timeless Reality’ wherein he makes it quite clear that what he too calls the underlying reality of all time, all space, and all form (the overlying reality) is timeless. Vis.:
That clearly speaks of a beginningless and endless (aka uncreated) reality – a reality that just is – which isness may or may not have many universes (many overlying realities) manifesting as time and space and form (all phenomena) ... for example:
As he elsewhere adjudges fellow theoretical physicists Mr Stephen Hawking, Mr. Roger Penrose, and Mr. Steven Weinberg, to be Platonists (thus apparently excluding himself from that classification) the parallel with eastern philosophy is virtually inescapable ... as in a uncreated underlying reality timelessly manifesting all phenomena (all time and all space and all form).
And, as all this is ‘proved’ by mathematical computations, the direct experience of actuality is therefore (supposedly) invalided.
RICHARD: I only ask because the whole notion of it not being so comes out of the ‘big bang’ theory ... which is based upon the ‘expanding universe’ theory which was based upon Mr. Albert Einstein’s relativity theory ... it is, in other words, a notion drawn from a mathematical computation based upon a mathematical computation based upon a mathematical computation.
RESPONDENT: Just so I am clear on this – are you saying that since the ‘big-bang’ theory is false (according to you) that also entails that relativity is false?
RICHARD: As the mathematical ‘big bang’ theory proposes that there be a beginning to all time, all space, and all form – and a universe which has a beginning is not an eternal universe by any description – and as the ‘big bang’ theory is based upon the mathematical ‘expanding universe’ theory, which is itself based upon the mathematical ‘general relativity’ theory, it would appear that Mr. Albert Einstein’s relativity is indeed false if only for that reason.
However, I would suggest it is false for the far more pragmatic reason it is a subjective interpretation of what actually happens.
RESPONDENT: The ‘big-bang’ theory may need the theory of relativity – but I wasn’t aware that the theory of relativity needs the big-bang.
RICHARD: I am not suggesting it does.
RESPONDENT: Are you saying that if relativity is fact, then that implies that the ‘big-bang’ would have to be fact as well?
RICHARD: I am not saying that ... those who seek to disallow the direct experience of eternity – such as in a PCE – are saying that (if they did not I would not go looking up such things in encyclopaedias and other places).
RESPONDENT: And I have taken the liberty to snip as I don’t feel much inclined or competent to discuss the theories of the origin of the universe right now. Maybe, after reading more about the current state of the science, I will pick up that thread. The Einstein example was just an illustration of what clarity means to my mind.
RICHARD: Maybe it is indeed an illustration of what clarity means to your mind ... yet that clarity – and the meaning of that clarity to your mind – is not being conveyed successfully by your illustration. May I ask? Am I writing to the same person who wrote: ‘Putting things across logically is the first requirement of any discussion. If that requirement is not met, there is no communication. Then ‘X’ can write any crap and assume no responsibility’?
It is not necessary that you ‘discuss the theories of the origin of the universe’ either now or at any other time ... I was merely presenting a logical follow-through of what is implied and indicated in Mr. Albert Einstein’s statement (which is the statement that you enthusiastically endorsed in the snipped part of the post. Vis.: [Respondent]: ‘General Relativity says – ‘take away matter and space vanishes as well’. That, to my mind, is clarity’.
I also sketched out a brief resume of what his devout followers have made out of his General Theory of Relativity ... and I indicated where theoretical physics was heading to. But, of course his statement does not have to mean ‘the origins of the universe’ to you at all ... but it does means something to you, does it not? Otherwise why introduce it as an example of clarity? What does it mean to you? Why is it, to your mind, clarity?
I do so look forward to having a logically consistent correspondence with you; a discussion with someone understands and accepts that some people do not have the required training or education to engage in consistent discussions ... like you so aptly pointed out in a previous post. Vis.: [Respondent]: ‘Some on the list may not have the required training or education to engage in consistent discussions. I can completely understand and accept that. But what about those whose profession itself is to be consistent, logical, and clear? I find such lack of consistency and clarity in such people shocking. But maybe illogic runs in all places’.
But I also understand, seeing that I am but a lay-person dabbling in the science as presented by the popular press and that I have no formal training or academically acquired knowledge whatsoever whilst you do (before you switched from physics to MIS), that you may feel disinclined to pursue the subject with me. Yet from this undisciplined position I do discern two strands of science:
Where would you place the theoretical physics that is exemplified by such mathematical physicists as ... um ... Mr. Paul Davies, for example? In case you have not heard of him, he was awarded the 1995 ‘Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion’, which carried a monetary award of $1 million, for his efforts to resolve the dichotomy between science and religion. He initially becoming interested in the theory of quantum fields in curved space-time at the University of Cambridge – focussing much of his research in that area – and in the early seventies he joined fellow-physicists Mr. Stephen Hawking and Mr. Roger Penrose, who were researching the thermodynamic properties of black holes at the time. He published ‘The Physics of Time Asymmetry’ (1974), the first of more than 20 books directed to either his professional colleagues or the general public. Mr. Paul Davies’ most recent publications were ‘The Matter Myth’; then one of his most influential works, ‘The Mind of God’; followed by ‘About Time: Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution’ and ‘Are We Alone?’
RESPONDENT: Allow me to substitute another [illustration of what clarity means to my mind]: Richard tells me it is raining outside. I look out of the window and see it rain. Richard’s statement is clear to me.
RICHARD: Hmm ... this illustration is a far cry from ‘General Relativity says – take away matter and space vanishes as well’ would you not say? It falls distinctly into the commonsense category that Mr. Albert Einstein dismissed so cavalierly. Vis.: ‘Common notion is when you take away matter, space remains’ ... and you clearly endorsed his uncommon notion (General Relativity) as being clarity: [Respondent]: ‘That, to my mind, is clarity. And I try to apply that criterion to myself’.
A trifle inconsistent, non? You did say, did you not: ‘I find such lack of consistency and clarity in such people shocking. But maybe illogic runs in all places’?
Perhaps you could clarify something for me that I find illogical? I will give an example: I have a fruit bowl with one apple in it ... the apple is matter existing in the space delineated by the sides of the bowl. I take the apple (matter) out of the bowl ... and the space (delineated by the sides of the bowl) quite obviously remains. In fact, with the apple removed, there is more space in the bowl than before ... yet Mr. Albert Einstein would have me believe that the space vanishes! Now, as you so clearly understand that, when Richard says ‘it is raining outside’ and you look out of the window and see it rain, you know that Richard’s statement is clear to you. Does Richard’s statement ‘the space in the bowl quite obviously remains’ have the same clarity? I only ask because you enthusiastically endorsed Mr. Albert Einstein’s ‘take away matter and space vanishes as well’ statement by saying: ‘that, to my mind, is clarity’.
RESPONDENT: But I think you don’t need those illustrations as your writing is clear to me.
RICHARD: May I ask? Is my writing clear to you in the same way as Mr. Albert Einstein’s ‘take away matter and space vanishes as well’ statement is clear to you? Because, if it is then I doubt that you will comprehend such a simple question as this one: is it possible to be free of the human condition, here on earth, in this life-time, as this flesh and blood body?
RESPONDENT: So, back to your question – can one live peacefully with malice and sorrow in one’s heart – the answer is ‘no’.
RICHARD: Indeed not. And to think that all this while that Mr. Albert Einstein’s theories have been holding the public’s attention, Mr. Joseph LeDoux (www.cns.nyu.edu/home/ledoux/) has been hot on the trail of empirically finding the genetically inherited cause of all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides.
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
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