A Brief History of Time
By Stephen W. Hawking
By Richard E. Noble
I read this book several years ago and since that time I have read it several more times. Since my first reading, I have not been able to get this book off my mind. On that account I should give it five stars. But the things that I can’t get off my mind are all negative criticisms. On that account I should give it one star.
My criticisms start before I even get to the author.
In his introduction Carl Sagan speaks of “Einstein’s famous question about whether God had any choice in creating the universe.” Unfortunately Mr. Sagan paraphrases this one of Einstein’s many famous questions incorrectly, as my memory recalls.
If there were a God why would he not have a choice in creating the universe? This paraphrasing makes no sense.
Einstein’s question as I recall it was whether or not God had any choice in his own existence.
Now that is a big question. Mr. Sagan’s incorrect paraphrasing makes Einstein’s “famous question” no question at all.
Asking whether God had a choice in his own existence is a subtle way of stating the impossibility of the God concept.
If there is a God he could not have had the choice to exist or not to exist. He either was or he wasn’t. If he wasn’t, he could never have been because something cannot come from “nothing.”
The answer to the rhetorical question is that he had no choice and therefore was lacking in freedom. God cannot be God and be lacking in freedom. Therefore the concept of God is untenable.
The above is not my opinion; it is simple philosophic logic that can be found in any philosophy book debating the God concept.
This was really a rhetorical question in my opinion on the part of Einstein. He was expressing his dubiousness on this subject.
If there is a God whether or not to create the universe is no problem at all; God can do as he pleases. He can create it or not create it. Who or what is going to make him do it or not do it? What logic says he can’t do it? Sagan’s question makes no sense.
There is a second interpretation of this question. Could God have made the universe in any other way than the way that it is?
This question was already asked and debated vigorously. Gottfried Leibniz presented this notion in 1710 Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man, and the Origin of Evil. Leibniz’s point was that this is the best of all possible worlds.
Of course, if this is the best of all possible worlds, God could not have been all that bright according to Voltaire. Voltaire mocked and ridiculed this notion in his popular play Candide.
Einstein certainly was aware of all this. I doubt he would have asked the same foolish question once again.
Did God have any choice in his own existence, is a much bigger question. This question is more of what I would expect from Albert Einstein. And this is Einstein’s question as I have read it in biographies of Albert Einstein. Albert was not a believer in any anthropomorphic God notions. He proposed a cosmic concept of the universe based on physics and science.
Now we come to Mr. Hawking and friends.
Unfortunately there is a lot of sloppy language going on in the scientific community. Mr. Hawking is just one of many who “slop” around terms to the point of meaninglessness. One such term is the word “universe.”
The universe is defined briefly as, “all that is.” I am sorry but there cannot be two “all that is.” All that is covers everything. It follows then that there can be no multiple universes, parallel universes or competing universes. There can only be one universe.
Scientists are obviously using the word “universe” with a different understanding than “all that is.” Somebody should explain to readers how the scientific community is defining the word universe.
Other improperly used words are infinite and annihilate.
The universe cannot be at the same time infinite and limited. An infinite universe cannot expand. It is already infinite. It can’t get no bigger than that.
A particle cannot be annihilated and at the same time transformed into something else. If a particle is annihilated it not only disappears, it ceases to exist. It doesn’t just disappear. As far as I know annihilation is impossible. Therefore if a particle turns into light and/or energy, then it hasn’t been annihilated. It has been transformed. It can only be annihilated if it has been turned into nothing – and this is an impossible theoretical state. A state of “nothing” does not exist.
Space is also something. Its influences may be so minimal that they are not necessary to mathematical equations but space is more than a state or condition fabricated by gravity and other magnetic forces. There are scientists who are presently working to discover exactly what space is and what its influences are on the universe.
Light travels in straight lines in all directions infinitely – but it also bends. This is impossible. It does one or the other. It either travels infinitely in straight lines or it bend and wiggles its way through space.
If light bends and wiggles its way through space then it certainly cannot be used as a measurement of the distance between planets or galaxies. Unless someone can measure the exact amount of wiggle at every distance in space – which I doubt very much is possible. What the heck are these scientists talking about?
An ellipse is an extended circle? Then I suppose a circle is a square with rounded sides. I know these guys are trying to dumb this stuff down for folks like me but if they dumb it down too much they are me and then we are all going nowhere.
I’m not a Big Bang guy and neither was Mr. Hubble. I have read that Mr. Hubble who established the notion of red shifts and blue shifts said that he in no way concluded from this observation that the universe is actually expanding or that any Big Bang was involved.
I think the Big Bang notion is comparable to “the world is flat” notion along with the Ptolemaic universe and phlogiston. It is being challenged by plasma theorists and others. The whole concept seems to be imploding in favor of an infinite, self-evolving universe.
I am reading a book at the moment by Eric J. Lerner The Big Bang Never Happened. It is making some sense to my way of thinking.
Question posed in Mr. Hawking book: What was God doing before he created the universe?
Answer provided in book by St. Augustine: Time did not exist before the beginning of the universe.
So then where was God? He obviously did not exist before the universe either. Is God not a part of “all that is”? Does he exist? If so then he must have existed within the concept of “all that is” – the universe. No universe, no God.
And if the universe had no beginning – and the Big Bang cannot be construed as the beginning of “all that is” – then St. Augustine may be right. Time began when the universe began; the universe always was and always will be (in one shape or another) therefore time always was and always will be.
Mr. Hawking, Mr. Sagan and others in the scientific community I don’t think are/were big on philosophy. They know their math but seem short on logic and semantics.
This book to me is pretty much an exercise in scientific madness (time going backwards, the universe collapsing, parallel universes, universes that are cone shaped, or infinite but finite and limited) but it is not just Mr. Hawking who has gone mad. He has a whole bunch lined up to jump off the edge of the universe and splatter on the nothingness below following eagerly behind him.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
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