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God Will Lose

I just muted the "Through the Wormhole" Science Channel series, which is debating if the order of the universe demands a creator, to watch this clip of Hawking. There is significantly more clarity in ones words when you have to type them out with your cheek.



What the hell, is that John Lithgow palling around with Hawking and Brian Greene?

Pays to be a celebrity

I wonder if she (or her writers) chose that god quotation at the end to smooth out any ruffled feathers from the interview. I did like the twinkle in Hawking's eyes when he found something amusing.

As far as I know, Hawking throws around the "god plays dice" phrase in reference to Einstein's famous "god does not play dice" quip regarding his skepticism about quantum mechanics. Hawking has some fun with it in The Universe in a Nutshell: "However, all the evidence is that God is quite a gambler".

Thank you for this information. I'm still a little curious about the placement of the quip, but it's not a huge deal.

If you're referring to Einstein's quip, it was because he was skeptical about quantum mechanics, especially the uncertainty principle. This basically states that chance is inevitable, and it's not that you can't tell a particle's position and velocity exactly, but that they don't have exact coordinates, until you measure them. They only have probabilities of being somewhere. There are some experiments (google the double-slit experiment) which are pretty brain-exploding.

Thus Einstein tried to be a smartass about it and said something to the effect that "god does not play dice" with the universe. He liked a perfectly deterministic universe, such as so-called classical physics (Newton, himself) dictates.

and it's not that you can't tell a particle's position and velocity exactly, but that they don't have exact coordinates, until you measure them

The Science channel show did this segment on a similar idea, that the universe isn't really completely there when not being observed. The concept seemed stupid and wrong.

Well to say the universe behaves like that I think it's taking it too far, probably Chopra-like. Particles do behave like that, it's verified by experiment, also it's exemplified by Schrödinger's cat. That double-slit experiment is also super weird. Basically they shot one electron at a time, and it interfered with itself by going through both slits at the same time.

I think nobody would think quantum mechanics is real, if it wasn't for the actual experiments, which I hear (from several cosmologists like Krauss and Greene) that it's the most accurate scientific theory ever, including General Relativity. Brian Greene's latest book (The Fabric of the Cosmos) is mind-blowing with information regarding all this weird thing. He even discusses teleportation of particles which is not as crazy as you might think.

I'm not skeptical about the origins or existence of any quoted material. Yes, I can look these things up, but I trust you.

What I'm questioning is the end placement of a quotation that includes a reference to god, since the rest of the conversation revolves around science and simply "being" rather than the interference of a supreme being. I'm just thinking it was chosen to mollify the general viewership.

Oh you meant Hawking's being quoted by Sawyer. In that I agree with you. I was just pointing out that it was probably worse cause he was kind of misquoted. His quote says nothing about "god", it's just a play on Einstein's own quip, who by the way, also didn't mean "God" god.

So yeah, as I thought, that quote was completely out of context. I thought I'd heard/read the version with the "throws them where they can't be seen" part before. It is not anything mystical or particularly philosophical and doesn't make sense at all in the context of the interview. In fact in its correct context (the impossibility to "look inside" a black hole) it's quite literal:

Thus it seems Einstein was doubly wrong when he said, God does not play dice. Not only does God definitely play dice, but He sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen.

Groovy; thanks for the link. Had to book mark it; feeling the crunch of a deadline.


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