What Stephen Hawking’s Final Paper Says (And Doesn’t Say)

By Nathaniel Scharping | March 20, 2018 4:51 pm
(Credit: Martin Hoscik/Shutterstock)

(Credit: Martin Hoscik/Shutterstock)

Before he died, renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking submitted a paper, with co-author Thomas Hertog, to an as-yet-unknown journal. Hawking’s last known scientific writing, the paper deals with the concept of the multiverse and a theory known as cosmic inflation. Though the paper currently exists only in pre-print form, meaning it hasn’t completed the process of peer-review, it’s received a significant amount of coverage.  “Stephen Hawking’s last paper,” after all, does have a bit of a mythological ring to it.

Stephen Hawking wrote a lot of papers, though. Most dealt with the same sort of heady concepts as his last, and few received such an inordinate amount of attention. Claims that the paper make predictions for the end of universe, or could prove the multiverse exists abound. But it’s worth remembering that the things Hawking thought and wrote about are abstract, they exist largely in the realm of theory. Even more well-known concepts like Hawking radiation have continued to elude scientists, so drawing solid conclusions from any one paper is difficult.. Like many topics in theoretical physics, the ideas that Stephen Hawking pondered were so radical and far-out that we usually couldn’t even test them.

And even for one of the brightest minds of our time, the calculations are extremely complex. Hawking and Hertog describe their preliminary theory as a “toy model,” or one that significantly simplifies the real world to make the calculations easier. Such a model wouldn’t necessarily reflect the universe as we see it. No one said theoretical physics was easy.

Many Universes

Stephen Hawking’s last paper is titled “A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation?” It tackles the idea of a multiverse, a vast collection of universes that exist simultaneously, though they’re spread out almost unimaginably far from each other. Multiverses arose, the theory goes, because of something called inflation. In the fractions of a second after our universe emerged, space-time expanded at an immense rate. As it did so, tiny quantum fluctuations expanded to become the large-scale features of the universe we observe today, and which serve as evidence that the theory might be true.



Under a variation of the theory that Hawking and Hertog work with, called eternal inflation, this inflation continues forever in most places, but, in some patches, it stops. Where it stops, universes form — our own and others, in a repeating process that never ends. In these universes, the laws of physics all look different, meaning constants we take for granted like the speed of light would vary between them.

Eternal inflation creates an infinite number of patch universes, little bubble universes, all over the place with this inflating space between them,” says Will Kinney, a professor of physics at University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences.

But an infinite number of universes presents a problem to physicists. One of the most fundamental questions in science is why our universe looks the way it does. Why is the speed of light 186,282 miles per second? Determining the probability of our universe looking the way it does would help scientists get at the answer. Finding probabilities involving infinity is a useless exercise, though. What Hawking and Hertog have done, using a lot of complicated math, is to propose a way that we could define some boundaries on the kinds of universes that might exist.

It’s like you have a bath full of lots and lots and lots of different kinds of soap bubbles and each soap bubble is a different universe, and there’s a huge variety of different soap bubbles of different shapes,” says Clifford Johnson, a professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department at the University of Southern California. “And what this model is suggesting is a mechanism by which maybe the variety of soap bubbles that are available is not as large as was thought.”

In addition, these universes might look a little more like ours, according to Katie Mack, an assistant professor of physics at North Carolina State University.

“The prediction is for … a smaller number of universes and they would have more in common with each other,” she says. “You could draw more of a straight line between the early universe and what we see today.”

Bringing Clarity

If the kinds of universe that could possibly exist is finite, then scientists could begin to understand how and why our universe looks how it does today. Hawking’s paper does not tell us exactly what kind of universes might exist, nor does he definitively prove multiverse or cosmic inflation theories. As Kinney points out, Hawking and Hertog don’t even suggest any ways that we might be able to see evidence of the multiverse, meaning that their theory remains, for the moment, untestable.

The two rely on something called the holographic principle to conduct their work. It’s a way of reconciling quantum mechanics with gravity — the physics of the very large and the very small, as Mack, puts it. The holographic principle states that all of the information in a volume of space is contained in the boundary of the volume. In effect, it compresses a 3-D space into a 2-D space, and the end result is to make the calculations easier.

It’s something that many other researchers use in their work, and Johnson stresses that Hawking and Hertog’s paper, while intriguing, is simply another entry in the field.

“It’s two very good researchers adding a paper to the many very good papers that have been incrementally moving this framework of ideas,” Johnson says.

Hawking himself appears to have been still at work on the theory. Just weeks before his death, he submitted a newer version of the paper containing substantial changes. His co-author Hertog will surely continue to refine the work as well.

In the end, this paper is an interesting hypothesis about how our universe could look on the largest scale. It may not reshape our view of the cosmos — at least not yet — but it adds more intellectual firepower to our collective arsenal. And that’s probably what Stephen Hawking would have wanted.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: cosmology
ADVERTISEMENT
  • http://glenbarrington.blogspot.com/ Glen Barrington

    Man! I REALLY want there to be a parallel world where I am actually the 5th Beatle.

    • John Madiro

      I totally subscribe to the multiverse theory. At such a level of understanding regular mathematics cannot be relied on to explain. I think this paper would have been convincing more if professor Hawking et al had used probabilistic methods of fractal analysis from both phenomenological topographic and numerical microscopic stand points. This is a sweet paper. Dr. J Madiro

      • Dan Lipford

        “I totally subscribe to the multiverse theory.”

        Which one? Surely in a multiverse, especially in an infinite one, there are a LOT of multiverse theories.

        • John Madiro

          i was referring to Stephen Hawking’s paper “multiverse and a theory known as cosmic inflation” entitled “A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation?” which he uses a quantum cosmic dynamics approach to explaining his arguments on multiverses. Stephen Hawking was very kind and lenient with the Mathematics in explaining the argument as his reasoning was mathematically consistent. Apologies if I answered to your wrong post initially.

          • Dan Lipford

            John –

            I was sort of poking fun at the multiverse theory in the same manner that I’ve poked fun at string theory in the past.

            If there is truly a multiverse of infinite proportions, it would take an infinite number varying multiverse theories to fill it.

            Dan

          • John Madiro

            No problem Dan, it’s actually fun to challenge each other constructively and that makes us revisit the material in question.

            “If there is truly a multiverse of infinite proportions, it would take an infinite number varying multiverse theories to fill it.” Your comment
            And from your comment Dan, it makes me believe that theories are “universe-centric” because if we theorize another universe in a space time fabric that experiences different gravitational forces and field intensities the laws of Physics as we know and use them here on Earth would come down tumbling.

    • Tclcit

      You can’t. I claimed fifth Beatle over 50 years ago.

      • http://glenbarrington.blogspot.com/ Glen Barrington

        That’s in THIS timeline. In MY timeline, you don’t exist!

        • Tclcit

          Too bad. We blew away the audience at last night’s performance. You should have seen that place rock.

  • TLongmire

    The holographic principle is correct I’ve experienced it through a lucid conscious experience. Everything that is emitted from a conscious experience is being observed on the face of a sphere and what is is only important on that surface.

    • TLongmire

      4 years ago
      As noted previously I always believed I was in a devise of sorts here is my attempt to explain. Perhaps I am being confined in order that my true nature can be known who knows. I used to ask why I was here and got the answer I was being held ransom perhaps I misunderstood and they said I was being held here while they ransome tests, haha. It seems to me that the devise is emitting a beam of energy at my brain, which by its very nature is a matrix, while an observer is analyzing the resulting outcome. Now my brain is a matrix that is dispensing substances known as neurotransmitters which don’t actually transmit anything but rather their purpose is to alter the rate and manner in which the energy is affected. The resulting diffusion of energy is a 3-dimensional fractal continuously expanding outward in all directions or my ora which is being observed at a given distance so it appears as a sphere. my ora could and perhaps is being observed at multiple distances giving rise to the sphere within spheres notion. As the observer perceives my ora it analyzes the resulting fractals (like divining the surface of the sun) and forms ideas within itself and then these ideas are conveyed back to me as thoughts to see how I react. This is either due to its choice or more likely due to the nature of “knowing” Let me deconstruct the word know for you, there is a line (l) intersected (->l) that diverges (->K) in (N) and around (O) to double you (W). The act of analyzing and conveying the information is perhaps the 1/2 to 2 second delay in “our” reality Didn’t Plato note that man by his nature is a member of a group which could be taken a step farther by saying man by his nature needs another to “be”. In this reality we are observed so that perhaps we become aware. So what I perceive as my conscious mind is my perception of the observed sphere (that hazy mirrored reflection) and my thoughts which are actually the interpretation of the observed sphere by another. Here is a way to examine what I mean, become a point in space then a sphere then back to a point again over and over, you can easily “see” a star and manipulate it by changing the perceived distance but when you are the point and become the sphere and back again you can only “feel” a sense of expansion and contraction. If we are only this then why do we perceive so readily from the outside and not vise versa. My subconscious is the swirling chaos of the 3-d fractal while my higher consciousness is that part of the interaction that escaped the analysis of the observer and is expanding infinitely fleeing from the observers expanding sphere of analysis. With its own analysis slowing it the only hope for rapture is becoming the leading edge expanding exponentially to complete dissipation. ora becoming light I meant

      • Rog

        You can’t reverse engineer reality.

        • TLongmire

          Which reality? Hawking’s paper was discussing the multiverse and possibly tapping into other realities which shouldn’t be discounted in any way. Besides we are in a simulation and therefore reality is actually engineered.

          • Rog

            Your ora can only appear spherical from a single dimension, point, at a single point in time existence.
            Time-space warp caused by outside influences will alter the perception of the sphere.
            Without the ability to reverse time, the sphere can no longer be restored to it’s original form. It’s shape can only be observed as it exists at the moment of observation.
            Your 2 state choice, (sphere point) is a series of events in time.
            Your ability to predict a future event by the the nature of ‘knowing’
            is based on future probabilities based on passed experiences.
            One observing a sphere would expect to observe a point at the given point in time predicted by previous state reversion.
            At this moment your aura is observing the expansion of mine limited by time, distance and space.
            I was lucid at a Grateful Dead concert. I didn’t see God but I saw Jerry Garcia.

          • TLongmire

            I could argue that “you” were not lucid at a Grateful Dead concert because all the cells of your body copies of cells and the longest lived ones are less than a decade old but that would be trying to prove a point that doesn’t need to be proven. Nevermind how I tried to make sense of my experience the conscious mind can comprehend the holographic plane. The holographic principle is such an absolute peculiarities that it shouldn’t be possible unless we are in a simulation.

          • TLongmire

            Your logical argument is probably sound and mathematically probable but so is the holographic principle which does allow what I stated to be real mathematically and experientially.

          • bwana

            Really no way of knowing whether we’re in a simulation or not unless we reach beyond the confines of our container, i.e.: per the movie The 13th Floor.

          • TLongmire

            I’ve been spoon fed there was a way out every since I’ve looked for one. I’ve made a point to cease thinking and withdrew to the cube only to be reinstated instantly. Own the ideas and own it all.

          • Michael Cleveland

            Don’t know how I missed all of this fine entertainment. The Wackadoodles are out in force. That’s alright, just put on your aluminum foil helmet and everything will be OK. Look, this kind of thinking is like trying to build a skyscraper with no tools. Go to school, get some real tools and real knowledge to think with, then turn yourself loose on the world, and never forget that hackneyed programmer’s rule: GI, GO (Garbage In, Garbage Out).

          • TLongmire

            I don’t need schooling I can think for myself. I hadn’t heard of the holographic principle until I read this article but I actually experienced it and tried to make sense of it. Hawkings used it to make sense of the universe, “aliens” use it to make contact with other consciousnesses in different dimensions(as do some humans, look up the Stargate program).

          • Michael Cleveland

            No, I suppose once you get that aluminum foil helmet on, you wouldn’t need schooling, but for the record, both the holographic principle and aliens are purely speculative. The Wackadoodle principle, on the other hand, is well understood.

          • TLongmire

            Stephen Hawkings believed in both.

          • Michael Cleveland

            And substantiated neither. They are still hypothetical.

      • Just Amazed

        TLongmire: Didn’t the actress Shirley Mclaine once claim that in a prior life she was a toaster? Might you be the toast?

    • Magic Mushrooms

      Wow man, my mind is blown! I don’t doubt you at all. Perhaps a dose of me will provide you even more clarity.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts my friend!

  • neritic

    If a parallel universe made of antimatter appears nothing will exist.

  • jawnhenry

    Don’t believe in artificial intelligence? Simply read some of the comments here.

    • AlDavisJr

      Some of these comments are either hallucinatory or delusional.

      • okiejoe

        It seems to me that someone has been running a random word generator.

  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/EquivPrinFail.pdf Uncle Al

    Tearing off a triangle’s corners then adding them always makes a straight line. Euclid: the sum of any triangle’s three interior angles is exactly 180°. Segment of the equator, two lines of longitude bounding it, and a pole where the latter intersect. In 1824 Bolyai showed Euclid was incomplete.

    50 years of physical theory, more than a million published pages…non-classical gravitation, dark matter, supersymmetry…and Hawking’s final work are empirically sterile. “Accepted” theory can be measurably falsified in commercial bench top equipment [brightspec(.)com] in one hour by making fewer assumptions.

    www(.)mazepath(.)com/uncleal/EquivPrinFail.pdf
    … Look. The worst it can do is succeed.

    • bwana

      “Euclid: the sum of any triangle’s three interior angles is exactly 180°” Only applies to flat space-time surfaces.

  • Ron

    Isn’t it easier to say the speed of light is 300,000 Km/sec? This is an important constant that gives us, for example, the relationship between wave length and frequency.

  • bob gershin

    I reading the comments below, I think what we need are new laws requiring that people take their meds

  • http://www.RNA-mediated.com jvkohl

    The claims in “Olfaction Warps Visual Time Perception” link the sense of smell in bacteria to our visual perception of energy and mass in the context of the space time continuum and biophysically constrained viral latency. Everything known to Hawking’s co-authors Roger Penrose and George FR Ellis has since been linked from what organisms eat to the physiology of reproduction via the creation of sunlight and biomolecules. The difference between Hawking’s ridiculous theories and biologically-based facts will place the claims about his intelligence and insight into the historical context of how celebrity scientists have led to our unnecessary suffering and premature death. It’s ironic that Hawking could have been effectively treated with food energy-dependent microRNAs, but instead got stuck with a useless theoretical approach to life.

    • Michael Cleveland

      If you will, kindly present us with a mathematical rebuttal to Hawking’s “ridiculous” theories. I do congratulate you for the finest example of pseudo-scientific gibberish that I’ve seen a month of wackadoodles. Well done!

  • bwana

    The new research into LSD is definitely showing in some of the comments…

  • JohnBoy

    “theory remains, for the moment, untestable” – just like the Gosses’ “Omphalos”, (the best-known variant of Mature Creation), which scientists have traditionally rejected because of its apparent untestability. If we’re taking Hawking seriously, maybe we should start taking Mature Creation seriously as well.

    • bwana

      There’s a difference between theory and faith. Don’t get the two confused!

      • JohnBoy

        I’m not, Bwana. I’m taking Mature Creation and The God Who made it as a scientific theory. You don’t need faith to admit that there is at least as much evidence for that as there is for Stephen Hawking’s theories, you just need an open mind.
        By believing in God, you’re not doing Him any favours. I KNOW the truth of the Bible MORE than I believe it. Nature tells you He’s there.

        • bwana

          Yup, right up there with the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Force in StarWars… But believe away if it makes you happy!

          • JohnBoy

            So long as you say the same thing about Stephen Hawking’s theories – but, you know, even T H Huxley admitted that biblical creation was a possibility.

          • TLongmire

            Look around and imagine you alone are God and all of this is your creation.

          • JohnBoy

            Yup TL, if the Bible weren’t true (including the Fall and its consequences), I’d have a problem. As it is, I would be remembering the infinite sacrifice of God the Son for the sins of those who had believed on Him in type and those who would believe on Him in substance, and looking forward to the day when I would be receiving them to Myself for eternal bliss, and pouring out eternal justice on those who hadn’t believed on Him.

          • TLongmire

            Why ain’t it so then

          • JohnBoy

            You mean why am I not God? Ans: Because Someone Else is God and the perfect world He created has been marred by sin, but will be restored. There ain’t room for the two of us to be God.

          • TLongmire

            I wish the world perfect

          • JohnBoy

            It will be when the time comes. Part of the perfection is the perfect justice that will be poured on those who didn’t take advantage of God’s mercy – You sure don’t want to be in that lot!

          • TLongmire

            Listen to thyself🤘

          • JohnBoy

            Indeed I need to – These guys who tell me “Believe it if it makes you happy” don’t realize how difficult it is to put theory into practice. The stakes are scary, and I could be mistaken – not about the existence of God, but my standing with Him. Not about the faithfulness of His promises, but the reality or otherwise of my obedience and my right to enter into them.

          • bwana

            “faithfulness of His promises”. Nowhere has “he” made any promises unless of course you believe the myths and tall tales in the bible! It is simply a believer’s delusion that there is a “he” so get ready to simply cease to exist when your time comes!!

          • JohnBoy

            Bwana, I can’t think what preparations would be necessary for simply ceasing to exist. Please advise.
            Neither can I think what preparations would be sufficient for spending eternity wishing that you COULD cease to exist. Better to avoid the situation by faith and repentance.

          • bwana

            No preparation required. You simply aren’t! The only “afterlife” is the memories of you left behind.

            If everyone believed in an fabulous afterlife there would be a lot more people killing themselves to gain that great reward. But deep down all people realize the end is simply the end!

          • JohnBoy

            If no preparation is required, why did you tell me to get ready?
            You really ought to read what people write before commenting on them. If everybody believed in an unconditional fabulous afterlife which they only need to kill themselves to gain, they would be greatly deluded. But as I said above, there is either Heaven or Hell.

          • bwana

            Love the sarcasm! Well done!

          • Michael Cleveland

            Yes, I’m God and I created all of this, and I look it over and my first thought is “God help me.”

          • bwana

            A theory is nothing more than a theory until proven. It took science 50 years to prove the existence of the Higgs Boson.

            I highly doubt the theory of the existence of a god will ever be proven. It’s been several thousand years now and we’re still running with the theory…

          • JohnBoy

            As it’s true, it will be proven in the prophesied events, if not before.
            In the mean time, the statistics favour Intelligent Design, by overwhelming odds.

          • bwana

            Ah, I see you believe in Nostradamus!? Good luck with that!

          • JohnBoy

            Eh? What’s M. de Notre Dame got to do with it.? The prophecies to which I refer are in the Bible.

          • bwana

            Put your faith in Nostradamus. He is much believable than all the contradictions and human idiocy in the biggest (fairy) story book of all time, the bible. You do realize the bible was written by normal humans a few thousand years ago?

          • JohnBoy

            OK Bwana (You don’t write like a Swahili speaker, by the way), tell me a contradiction in the Bible – Yes, it was written by normal humans, but God saw to it that what they wrote was correct – not Hitler’s name with one letter wrong.

          • bwana

            You know deep down as I do that man created god; thus, man actually oversaw what they wrote and we both know how fallible man is.

            It is the nature of conscious beings to have some mythical entity to thank for good things and blame for bad things. It is hard to take personal responsibility for all the good and bad on earth!

          • JohnBoy

            Man created many gods. The God of the Bible, though, is beyond man’s ability to create. He’s too different.
            I don’t need a mythical entity to thank and to blame, thank you – I find myself disinclined enough to thank the God that IS there, though God knows He deserves my thanks and more. As for blaming HIm, the blame is clearly with us humans.

          • bwana

            LOL! You’re welcome to your delusion… Everyone to their own.

          • JohnBoy

            Yes Bwana. Judas went to his own place.

          • bwana

            Not according to books/gospels not included in the bible as a result of various Conclaves and Ecumenical Councils over the ages. The Gospel of Judas paints a pretty favorable picture of Judas Iscariot. Maybe you should do a little original research rather than simply mouthing your minister’s lessons!? If there is a heaven, Judas will be there and one of the stars!

          • bwana

            “The God of the Bible, though, is beyond man’s ability to create.”
            How so, pray tell?

          • Michael Cleveland

            You’ve got to be kidding. The Bible contradicts itself with a consistency that is truly mind-boggling. It was written by humans, who may have believed they were influenced by God, but if you think about it, you may remember that we lock people up (or prescribe lithium to) those who hear voices.

          • JohnBoy

            If you were competent to comment on here, Michael, you would have recognized that lithium isn’t prescribed much these days, and when it was prescribed, it was for bipolar, not hearing voices.
            Well, you have jumped in saying the same thing as Bwana. He hasn’t given any example of self-contradiction in the Bible and neither can you, so you must mean that the consistency of zero with which the Bible contradicts itself is truly mind-boggling – and so it would be if were not divinely inspired.

          • Michael Cleveland

            Lithium has a long history in the treatment of mood-related aspects of schizophrenia. As for contradictions, Discus won’t let me post links, but take a look at one list at Answering Christianity, 101 Contradictions in the Bible. That’s just one of many sites, if you care to look. There are many more than 101.

          • bwana

            Many more than 101…

          • Michael Cleveland

            Beginner’s primer. The shock of encountering all at once might be too much.

          • bwana

            Far too many to even bother listing even a few of the hundreds!

          • Michael Cleveland

            Now that is purely in your imagination. You might try reading some of the real science in addition to the highly distorted Intelligent Design literature. If you only read one side, you can’t get the whole picture, and your overwhelming odds are well on the other side of the fence.

          • Michael Cleveland

            So many who don’t understand the meaning of “Theory”. You treat it as guess work, supposition, when in scientific use it means the most complete level of current understanding of an area of study. There is no such thing as scientific proof of Theory. Theory represents our best carefully investigated and thoroughly vetted understanding at present, but new facts, better tools, better understanding can cause theory to be updated. It is not immutable. That does not make it invalid. But science is not out to prove anything. It is a tool for achieving better–and growing–understanding of the world around us.

  • Richard Smith

    The multiverse was theorized to help explain two unanswerable cosmological questions. How did the Universe emerge from nothing, and why does our universe have all the precise physical values that make it possible?
    If you have an infinite number of random universes,each with their own physical variations, the exact one with all its attributes that we live in will emerge.
    We are just one relatively recent bubble in an infinite cosmos of inflation that has existed forever. Both problems solved? I don’t buy into it.

    • bwana

      With an infinite number of universes the idea of “relative” has no meaning since there is no reference universe in an infinite cosmos…

      What is your theory of the origin of our perfect universe?

      • Richard Smith

        There is no scientific answer for a universe that popped into being from nothing with all the properties necessary to form our universe. The multiverse of infinities is a contrived untestable attempt to make sense out of the senseless.

        • bwana

          All scientific discoveries start out as theories; some ultimately proven, some not. There is still the question of whether our universe actually exists? We may be simply living in something’s virtual reality simulation; very hard to prove one way or the other!

          As for the multiverse not being testable? Most things were consider untestable at some point before being proven or not. The Higgs Boson is a good example; took 50 years of research to find it. At one point people were jailed (or worse) for believing the Earth wasn’t the center of the universe, then the Sun, then the Milky Way Galaxy, now our Universe.

          I repeat my question to you,
          “What is your theory of the origin of our perfect universe?”

          • Michael Cleveland

            And one more who does not understand the meaning of the word theory. Science begins with observation, hypothesis, experiment, more observation, and ultimately, Theory, which is mutable only when new knowledge or understanding warrants. Theory is always the highest level of understanding at any given time. You could say that all Theories begin with scientific discoveries. Certainly not the other way around.

          • bwana

            Yes, “the highest level of understanding at any given time”, even at the beginning…

          • Michael Cleveland

            I don’t have a clue what that’s supposed to mean. Theory is not speculation or guess-work, and science does not begin with Theory, except as a jumping off point from previously vetted Theory.

          • Richard Smith

            And I repeat my answer. I have no scientific theory to explain the origin of the universe. I do have a theological answer, a Prime Mover, but that is not a theory but just a belief.

          • Michael Cleveland

            But then you have to account for the origin of the prime mover. Like infinities, such speculation explains nothing.

          • Richard Smith

            The Prime Mover exists outside of matter and time, so no explanation of His origin is necessary.

          • Michael Cleveland

            Now that is an opinion, but even if so, it does not account for anything without raising a new level of origin questions. It’s like the claim that life on this planet was seeded from somewhere else. No explanation, just begging the question of how it formed elsewhere. Science cannot address what it cannot observe, and no true scientist will have anything to say pro or con religion except “I believe” or “I don’t believe.” “Let’s investigate” doesn’t apply because no scientific investigation is possible.

          • Richard Smith

            The concept of a Prime Mover who exists outside of space-time is much more than just a personal opinion, it is a theological belief based on logic accepted by millions. Both science and theology agree that the Big Bang is more than theory, it is a logical conclusion based on scientific observation. Yet science is unable to explain how the universe spontaneously formed from nothing. A Prime Mover who existed forever outside of time and space with no beginning or end is a satisfactory explanation for those who can accept His existence. For those like Steven who cannot, the multiverse is a plausible answer. Yet the multiverse only pushes the question of origins one step further back. Where did it come from?

          • Michael Cleveland

            Key word: “Belief.” Belief, and empirical fact have nothing in common. If you believe otherwise, you too can have 49 virgins waiting on the other side if you will only kill infidels for Allah–just another name for your prime mover.

          • TANSTAAFL!

            I would not believe in any Prime Mover [God] whose existence I could prove.

            [with apologies to Groucho]

          • Michael Cleveland

            Again, “believe.” The fact that you believe a thing does not make it true, nor does disbelief make it false. The only way to reliable understanding of the world is empirical. Nothing wrong with non-empirical views, so long as you don’t try to present them as fact or truth. They are just belief.

          • TANSTAAFL!

            Agreed. The existence or non existence of God is beyond proof.

          • Michael Cleveland

            I would phrase that more objectively: the existence or non-existence of God can neither be proven nor disproven through observation, experiment, or the application of logic or other intellectual tools.

          • TANSTAAFL!

            That is acceptable

          • bwana

            I have no problem with theology or science as long as one doesn’t try to replace the other.

          • Michael Cleveland

            Only religion has ever suggested that one has the aim of supplanting the other. Science simply has no interest in the numinous, in that which is neither observable nor testable. It is religious paranoia that insists on defending itself against a none-existent threat.

          • bwana

            Now you’re simply being holier than thou. Science has often waded into areas best left to the occult and you know it!

          • Michael Cleveland

            Do I? There is a lot of pseudo-science claiming to be what it’s not, and I know of more than one self-proclaimed scientist who has in mind achieving some kind of scientific proof of Biblical “truth,” but that’s not going to work. It’s misguided for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that science is not in the business of proving anything.

          • bwana

            “Biblical truth” Now that’s an oxymoron!

            Yes, there are a few stories in the bible that can be roughly associated with actual history / events BUT they’re few and far between. This is quite understandable considering the age and source of the information as well as the number of times the bible has been translated, prejudicially interpreted and massaged to support various religious agendas (quite obvious from the books / “teachings” that were included / excluded)…

            As for taking the bible literally; only applies to thoroughly brainwashed souls!

            However, if one accepts the bible for the fiction it is, it is an interesting read!

    • Michael Cleveland

      I think you don’t fully comprehend the concept of infinity. In an infinite number of universes, there would be not only infinite variety, but infinite repetition, so not just one, but an infinite number of universes identical to ours. That’s the trouble with trying to deal with infinities: they tend to become rapidly top-heavy.

      • Richard Smith

        Anything that doesn’t contradict itself is possible with infinities. Yet no answers come from interjecting infinity into a problem..

  • Captain Obvious

    The comments here remind me of a short story called “The Library of Babel” by Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges. I highly recommend it.

  • DodgeMiniVan

    I know we humans er: Earthlings, like to think and believe we are the only ones existing in the universe. This, only proves our arrogance. I find it difficult to believe that we are alone in this vast universe. I believe we are being observed by astronomers from another planet as We are observing other planets.

  • Rico Belmore

    I have a decent theory so far. I’m not quite done yet, but I’m working on it as much as I can. I think it’s great to me, but I’m not sure how others will feel or not feel. I spoke with my mom about it tonight and she said I should talk about it with someone profess. In the next couple days I’m gonna go to my local high school and hopefully talk to the physics teacher. I’m gonna be honest, I’m not sure how this theory came about, I feel like I know this answer…

    • Rico Belmore

      I could tell you everything in our life is not what it seems to be. Honestly, it’s a good reality I see. I’m not sure if in this one I will be heard, but I’ll be waiting when someone is ready to hear. Reality is something We Created, We can Create it again.

      Life is a giant machine.
      It works like a factory.
      We are the workers.
      They are the watchers.
      We’ve all been here before.

    • Michael Cleveland

      This is a good kind of thinking, but bear in mind that Stephen Hawking was one of the most brilliant minds since Einstein, a mind also shaped by years of the most intensive and specialized education. He very likely got his start in the same way, so keep thinking.

      • Rico Belmore

        I found the answer my friend. I need to talk someone professional now in order for someone to believe it… I told my mom and my brother again today and they don’t believe it. It’s hard to believe because it’s right in front of us.

        • Rico Belmore

          The multiverse and the speed of light.

          • Rico Belmore

            I can tell you, Stephen Hawking was right.

      • Rico Belmore

        Thanks. Stephen Hawking was great and he was a good role model for Mankind.

    • satyr9

      We need more thinkers in this world, more Stephen Hawkings… more Einsteins; everyone is so used to hearing or reading about their work and majority probably don’t realize that it isn’t final. This universe or should I say multiverse is strange… Dream on! maybe you will be our next Stephen Hawking.

  • satyr9

    I hope the M-theory gets more publicity since Stephen Hawking left us with this big bang (lol?). For us to even hypothetically exist (in QM), we’d have to be observed—almost parallel to that cliché philosophical question “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”. The hologram principle possibly aligns with the dynamics of string theory by essentially viewing the infinite universes which we all simultaneously exist in as guitar strings; the one which we observe and have a consciousness to interpret the sphere of reality is the string which is resonating and creating sound. When two are—for the lack of a better word—plucked, they create a divergence or rather go off on a tangent; producing the sound of both 1 and 2 strings. I sometimes think that this world which we are in right now is the product of ALL strings resonating which results in ..chaos and an inflated universe…
    if we’re relating the multiverse to bubbles or foam.. don’t bubbles pop at some point? so I might have to disagree with it being “eternal”.

  • Sharlese Jones

    Am really happy that i and my husband are cured of (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) with the herbal medicine of Dr Kudos, i have been suffering from this disease for the past 3 years without solution until i came across his email kudosherbalcure@gmail.com /cure home of this doctor who have cure so many people with his herbal medicine, i also choose to give him a chance to help me and my husband, he told me what to do and i kindly did it, and he gave us his herbal medicine and direct me on how to use it, i also follows his instruction for use and he ask us to go for a check up after 2 weeks and which i did, to my greatest surprise our result came out as negative, we are really happy that there is someone like this Dr Kudos who is ready to help anytime any day. to all the readers and viewers that is doubting this testimony stop doubting it and contact this DR and see if he will not actually help you. i am not a stupid woman that i will come out to the public and start saying what someone have not done for me .contact him now if you are also in need of help via email kudosherbalcure@gmail.com or call/whatsapp +2348067408445

  • maxwell cambell

    hello viewers all over the globe am very happy today to share my testimony on how i was cure from HERPES disease, i have been suffering from herpes for the pass 11 months which makes me had constant pain all over my body, i have went to several hospitals taking treatment from doctors, but still know improvement till i meet a old friend of mine who direct me to a great traditional herbalist called Dr Saibu which i contacted by email so luckily he reply back i explain my problem to him and he told me not to worry that his going to prepare the herbal medicine and send to me which will cure me forever, i believed in him, after all the procedures given to me by Dr Saibu few weeks later i went to see my doctor to confirm if i was finally cure, the result was positive am totally cured by this great herbalist called Dr Saibu , my life is more important now am free and happy if you have such sickness or any kind of disease contact Dr Saibu details: drsaibu2@gmail.com or call +2348064438762 i will forever be grateful..

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+