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Posts Tagged ‘stephen hawking’

Smart, Loving Universe or Mechanistic Physical Laws?: Interview

Posted by Admin on December 22, 2011

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-21/smart-loving-universe-or-mechanistic-physical-laws-interview.html

December 21, 2011, 7:02 PM EST

By Bloomberg

Interview by Zinta Lundborg

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) — In “War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality,” Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow consider life’s big questions.

For Mlodinow, the infinite universe is governed by strict laws of nature that we are discovering.

Chopra says the universe has its source in a loving God or infinite consciousness.

A professor at the California Institute of Technology, Mlodinow has written on subjects ranging from randomness to hyperspace, including two books co-authored with Stephen Hawking. He’s also done scripts for “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and designed award-winning high-tech games.

An Indian medical doctor, Chopra runs a healing center in Carlsbad, California, focusing on the mind-body connection and has written more than 60 books that have been translated into 85 languages.

We spoke at Deepak HomeBase, a physical and virtual salon Chopra just opened in New York.

Lundborg: Deepak, in positing a conscious, benevolent universe, how do you know that you’re not engaging in magical thinking?

Chopra: I have a brain inside my skull that only senses things like pH and electrolytes and body temperature and has no exposure to the external world, yet it gives me the experience of color and sound and touch — that’s magical.

So all my thinking is magical.

Yesterday’s Magic

Lundborg: Science confronts the magical differently?

Mlodinow: Today’s technology was magic yesterday. What science will be able to create in hundreds of years would appear magical to us, just like our technology would appear magical to those in the past.

Lundborg: You have totally different world views: Science says the universe is going to end in equilibrium, cold and dark, while spirituality says the universe is evolving into greater complexity. So which is it?

Chopra: There is an omnipresence and omnipotence and omniscience to the cosmos, and it is very ordered, intelligent, and creative.

We are actually an activity of the universe and the universe is becoming self-conscious through the human nervous system.

Lundborg: Leonard, you disagree?

Nature’s Laws

Mlodinow: We look at what is, and when we look at nature we see there are certain laws that everything follows and those laws don’t include any kind of organizing principle or guiding force totaling creativity or imagination.

They’re purely mechanistic laws and the beauty of it is that wonderful conscious beings like us could appear based on those laws.

Lundborg: Where do you fundamentally agree?

Chopra: Where I fundamentally agree is that you can’t argue with scientific truth. But it’s only a partial truth because it’s all about what you observe there.

Science describes nature as it’s exposed to a human nervous system, to questions that human beings ask, and therefore ultimate truth remains elusive.

Mlodinow: I agree that the awesomeness of the universe drives you. If you’re a physicist, you’re looking at data concerning things like exploding stars and colliding black holes, and when you see the amazing power in the universe, it really is pretty mind boggling. Physicists are driven by a desire to understand it.

To me, there’s a separate ground for science and for spirituality or religion. What I do object to is when they say we can’t teach science in school. If you’ve got religious beliefs, that’s fine, but don’t go saying we have to change science.

At the very frontiers of science, there may be debates, but evolution is not one of them. Global warming is not one of them — there are not two sides to these issues.

Nuclear Weaponry

Lundborg: For you, Deepak, how does spirituality help?

Chopra: Science can give us better lives, okay, but science devoid of values will create nuclear weaponry, will destroy the planet, will cause global warming.

That, linked to very primitive identity, tribal identity, ethnic identity, fundamental religious identity, is everything that’s wrong with the world right now.

Spirituality provides some sense of connection to the cosmos. It’s the emergence of a morality that comes from that feeling of — whether we call it platonic values, truth, goodness, beauty, harmony, love, compassion, joy, equanimity, peace of mind — all of that is the essential religious experience.

Lundborg: Leonard’s mother said she couldn’t believe in God because of the Holocaust. Where does evil fit into these world views?

Chopra: Maximum diversity. The infinite contains everything; otherwise, it’s not infinite.

No child comes into the world evil, even Adolf Hitler. I think there was some abuse that happened in the very early stages of development that programmed the nervous system into that.

Blaming God

Mlodinow: I’m perturbed a little bit when I see people interviewed after a tragic event. They’ll say, “The tornado came and destroyed my house and killed my daughter, but at least God was watching over us so the rest of my kids survived.”

They’ll always take the death or the horrible thing as given. They credit God for what’s good.

When they get a horrible cancer, they thank God for healing it, but don’t blame God for giving them the cancer in the first place.

“War of the Worldviews” is published by Harmony (315 pages, $26). To buy this book in North America, click here.

(Zinta Lundborg is an editor for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own. This interview was adapted from a longer conversation.)

–Editors: Manuela Hoelterhoff, Laurie Muchnick.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zinta Lundborg at zlundborg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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Are the Visitors About to Land, and if so Should We be Afraid…Maybe VERY Afraid?

Posted by Admin on June 11, 2011

http://www.unknowncountry.com/journal/are-visitors-about-land-and-if-so-shou

Thursday, June 2, 2011
Whitley Streiber
On April 25, famed physicist Stephen Hawking warned that aliens, if they came here, might prove to be dangerous. He said, “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

Then, on June 6 the National Geographic Channel aired a special on alien invasion that essentially repeated this warning. It assembled a team of experts who were uniformly of the opinion that aliens, if they come here, are going to be dangerous and difficult to handle–assuming, that is, that they don’t simply kill or enslave us all.

Meanwhile, warnings are appearing all over the internet about a ‘false-flag’ alien attack that is supposedly going to be faked by parties unknown, presumably the government. Last week, the online prankster group Anonymous was supposed to flood UFO sites with reports of an invasion by triangular craft, but it never materialized due to the fact that we and others were tipped off about it and published warnings.

I have always wondered if the visitors might show up in a more obvious way just before or during the early stages of some great planetary catastrophe, and since we’re at that point right now, it’s worth asking what it might actually be like if they did.

I don’t agree with uninformed doomsayers like Hawking and the National Geographic Channel. They come at this from the standpoint of an intellectual and cultural establishment that is going to be devastatingly challenged by the appearance of aliens with superior science and technology. In fact, they’re going to be undercut almost to irrelevance. Think how Stephen Hawking would feel if somebody came along who could instantly and decisively close all the questions he has spent his lifetime studying? He would feel emasculated, that’s how he would feel. It would be devastating.

However, that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily evil. I spent years involved with them, and when you do that, you find out that they are extremely complex, that their ancient ways are very, very subtle and their approach to reality is very definitely different from ours. They deal with us in much the same way we might deal with primitive tribesmen whose fear makes them dangerous, or lab animals. They are wary, rough and dangerous if threatened. But if you try to engage with them, what you find is a glorious, astonishing presence, filled with wisdom and knowledge and humor, and intellectually far, far beyond our norm.

The true reason that paragons of the existing cultural establishment like Stephen Hawking and the National Georgraphioc Channel fear the visitors is that they sense that, if they do make themselves known, then their cherished world view is going to implode. And they’re right. If that happens, the cultures of science and the intellect are going to be challenged in ways as yet undreamed of.

I can see where the powers that run this struggling old world of ours would be appalled by that prospect. But I can also see that a lot of ordinary folks are going to welcome them–as they should, and precisely for the reason that Hawking and his contemporaries and colleagues fear them: they are going to bring profound and powerful change.

From my own experience, I can say that it is going to be as difficult an experience as we have ever known. But it will also be transformative. The chains draped over our shoulders by the establishment that now dominates human life are going to fall away like so much dust.

And perhaps that, more than anything, is what our leaders fear.

Read the original source: http://www.unknowncountry.com/journal/are-visitors-about-land-and-if-so-shou#ixzz1Ou0lP8nc

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Aliens may exist but contact would hurt humans: Stephen Hawking

Posted by Admin on April 26, 2010

Aliens may exist but contact would hurt humans: Stephen Hawking

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/space/article7107207.ece

Sun Apr 25, 6:56 pm ET

Hawking

LONDON (AFP) – Aliens may exist but mankind should avoid contact with them as the consequences could be devastating, British scientistStephen Hawking warned Sunday.

“If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,” said the astrophysicist in a new television series, according to British media reports.

The programmes depict an imagined universe featuring alien life forms in huge spaceships on the hunt for resources after draining their own planet dry.

“Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach,” warned Hawking.

The doomsday scenario is suggested in the series “Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking” on the Discovery Channel, which began airing in the United States on Sunday.

On the probability of alien life existing, he says: “To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational.

“The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like.”

Glowing squid-like creatures, herds of herbivores that can hang onto a cliff face and bright yellow predators that kill their prey with stinging tails are among the creatures that stalk the scientist’s fantastical cosmos.

Mankind has already made a number of attempts to contact extraterrestrial civilisations.

In 2008, American space agency NASA beamed the Beatles song “Across the Universe” into deep space to send a message of peace to any alien that happens to be in the region of Polaris — also known as the North Star — in 2439.

But the history of humanity’s efforts to contact aliens stretches back some years.

The US probes Pioneer 10 and 11 were launched in 1972 and 1973 bearing plaques of a naked man and woman and symbols seeking to convey the positions of the Earth and the Sun.

Voyager 1 and 2, launched in 1977, each carry a gold-plated copper phonogram disk with recordings of sounds and images on Earth.

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