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Christianity, science, Theist Wackiness

Noted Cosmologist Kirk Cameron Demolishes Hawking

Child actor phenomenon and world-renowned theoretical physicist Kirk Cameron has unleashed a scathing scientific rebuttal to amateur astronomer and known crank Stephen Hawking’s bald-faced assertion that heaven is a “fairy story for people afraid of the dark.  Said Cameron, “To say anything negative about Stephen Hawking is like bullying a blind man.  He has an unfair disadvantage, and that gives him a free pass on some of his absurd ideas. Professor Hawking is heralded as ‘the genius of Britain,’ yet he believes in the scientific impossibility that nothing created everything and that life sprang from non-life.”

Cameron, whose CV includes such notable publications as “Oops… I meant God designed humans, who in turn designed the banana,” (Journal of Famous Examples of the Benefits of Doing Your Homework, Prague, 2008, pp 200-201.) has made innumerable contributions to the scientific literature over the years.  In honor of his three thousand plus public displays of unrivaled genius, he was recently granted an honorary PhD from the Intelligent Design Museum University, a think tank of elite scientists based in Kentucky.

Hawking, the hack armchair philosopher who recently shocked the world with unsupported claims of authority is noted for his tendency to spout unsupported platitudes off the cuff.  This reporter did some digging and discovered that his schooling consisted of the barest minimum of classes dealing with the subject of cosmology.

Take a moment… it’ll only take one or two… to look at just how few qualifications Hawking really has.  Contrast that with Cameron’s extensive history of peer reviewed publications, and I think you’ll be convinced.  Here’s a list of subjects Hawking studied at major universities:

  • Black hole thermodynamics
  • Classical mechanics
  • Condensed matter physics
  • Conservation of energy
  • Dynamics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Field theory
  • Fluid dynamics
  • General relativity
  • Molecular modeling
  • Particle physics
  • Physical cosmology
  • Quantum chromodynamics
  • Quantum computers
  • Quantum electrochemistry
  • Quantum electrodynamics
  • Quantum field theory
  • Quantum information theory
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Solid mechanics
  • Solid state physics or Condensed Matter Physics and the electronic structure of materials
  • Special relativity
  • Standard Model
  • Statistical mechanics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Causal Sets
  • Dark energy or Einstein’s Cosmological Constant
  • Einstein-Rosen Bridge
  • Emergence
  • Grand unification theory
  • Loop quantum gravity
  • M-theory
  • String theory
  • Supersymmetry
  • Theory of everything
  • Dynamic theory of gravity
  • Grand unification theory
  • Luminiferous aether
  • Scalar field theory
  • Orgone
  • Biefeld Brown ElectrogravityHistory of the Universe
  • Equations of motion
  • Friedmann-Lemaître-Robertson-Walker metric
  • General relativity
  • Positive cosmological constant
  • Gravitation
  • Radiation and matter content of the universe.
  • Particle physics in cosmology
  • Scattering processes and decay of unstable particles
  • Timeline of the Big Bang
  • Stars, quasars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies and superclusters
  • The cosmological principle
  • Magnetic monopoles
  • Quantum field theory
  • Brane cosmology
  • Antiparticles
  • X-rays and gamma rays
  • The baryon asymmetry and baryogenesis.
  • CP-symmetry
  • Nucleosynthesis
  • The equivalence principle
  • Neutrino physics.
  • Cosmic microwaves
  • Decoupling and Recombination
  • Thomson scattering
  • The thermal black-body spectrum.
  • Cosmological perturbation theory
  • COBE and WMAP
  • Degree Angular Scale Interferometrics
  • Cosmic Background Imaging
  • The Lambda-CDM model
  • The Sunyaev-Zel’dovich
  • The Sachs-Wolfe effect
  • Formation and evolution of large-scale structure
  • Structure formation
  • Galaxy formation and evolution
  • The Sloan Digital Sky Survey
  • The 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey
  • The Lyman alpha forest
  • Dark matter
  • Big Bang nucleosynthesis
  • Dark energy
  • Quantum field theory
  • The anthropic principle
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Discussion

23 thoughts on “Noted Cosmologist Kirk Cameron Demolishes Hawking

  1. The smartest amongst us occasionally says something retarded.Alex Hardman, March 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm”Yeah… Christians are Different than Muslims. Not.”

    Posted by CB | May 20, 2011, 11:45 am
  2. The smartest amongst us occasionally says something retarded.

    Alex Hardman, March 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm
    “Yeah… Christians are Different than Muslims. Not.”

    Posted by CB | May 20, 2011, 11:47 am
  3. {EDIT: I took the liberty of embedding. If you want to embed, here’s the code:

    img src=”http://whatever.url.it.is.jpg” alt=””

    You of course have to enclose the whole thing in hairpins.

    –HD}

    Posted by cptpineapple | May 20, 2011, 1:52 pm
  4. The smartest amongst us occasionally says something retarded.

    And by the same token, the most retarded of us occasionally says something smart.

    “To say anything negative about Stephen Hawking is like bullying a blind man. He has an unfair disadvantage, and that gives him a free pass on some of his absurd ideas.”

    –Kirk Cameron

    This is not one of those occasions.

    Posted by Ian | May 20, 2011, 4:01 pm
  5. Some of Hawking’s ideas are currently untestable, but they are far from absurd. They’re (VERY) well educated guesses based on a staggering knowledge of things that ARE testable, and have been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 20, 2011, 4:22 pm
  6. Some of Hawking’s ideas are currently untestable, but they are far from absurd.

    Oh I agree with you there. Kirk Cameron’s statement would be an example of one of the most retarded among us saying something…completely retarded. He’s an effective public relations rep for Christianity in the same way that Sasha Baron Cohen is an effective public relations rep for Kazakhstan.

    Cameron aside, some of the issues Hawking weighs in on are legitimately controversial enough that they’re effective as a defense of atheism more than as a challenge to theism. One can hardly blame theists for failing to apostatize over string theory when physicists like Richard Feynman, and more lately Lawrence Krauss, are critical of it.

    Posted by Ian | May 20, 2011, 5:56 pm
  7. Very good point, Ian. Personally, I think the cosmological argument and its kin fail on their own, so defending the atheist position doesn’t actually require much advanced cosmology training (if any). To put that another way, IF Christians are going to argue cosmology as a proof of god, they need to know cosmology. So they fail on two counts: They don’t know their material, AND their arguments fail before they even get to the material.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 20, 2011, 6:13 pm
  8. Some of Hawking’s ideas are currently untestable, but they are far from absurd.

    If they are currently not testable, if they are not falsifiable, then they are currently not within the realm of science.

    “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail,” said Hawking. “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

    At least Hawking has enough sense to qualify his statements as peronal opinion. People here could take a lesson from that.

    Posted by CB | May 21, 2011, 11:16 am
  9. Bill wrote:

    To put that another way, IF Christians are going to argue cosmology as a proof of god, they need to know cosmology.

    Take a look at this article: http://www.mathkb.com/Uwe/Forum.aspx/math/31074/Godel-s-Block-Universe-Paradox-Resloved-Quantum-Mechanics-Relativity

    Here’s a quote from it:

    “. . . I believe there is something basic we are all missing, some
    wrong assumption we are all making. If this is so, then we need to isolate the wrong assumption and replace it with a new idea. What could this wrong assumption be? My guess is that it involves two things: the foundations of quantum mechanics and the nature of time. More and more, I have the feeling that quantum theory and general
    relativity are both deeply wrong about the nature of time.”

    –Lee Smolin

    It also cites work by Chris Isham challenging the B-theory of time.

    To put this into perspective, there have always been three different, equally valid ontological interpretations of space and time under relativity, but physicists overwhelmingly preferred the spacetime interpretation over the others. Outside of relativity, however, support for the B-theory wasn’t nearly as unanimous. Phenomenology, chaos theory, and quantum mechanics, for instance, seem to favor the A-theory. To see prominent physicists challenging the theory of relativity’s support for the B-theory is a major coup for the A-theory.

    So I really don’t think we can dismiss the Kalam on the basis of the theory of time it’s dependent on, and to say that its proponents are ignorant of cosmology greatly underestimates them.

    Posted by Ian | May 21, 2011, 9:01 pm
  10. So I really don’t think we can dismiss the Kalam on the basis of the theory of time it’s dependent on, and to say that its proponents are ignorant of cosmology greatly underestimates them.

    If I were dismissing Kalam solely on the basis of time, I think this would be a valid criticism — of my position specifically. I admittedly don’t know enough about QM and spacetime to critique it from that perspective. However, I know enough about logic — and it is a logical argument — to know that its major premise is unfounded. “That which exists has a cause” is an assumption.

    Furthermore — and again, this doesn’t take cosmology, just logic — even if it were proven that within this universe the premise were true, it does not hold that it is true in any other universe or outside of any other universe. God is purported to be outside this universe — to transcend it. So… the major premise is presuming what it seeks to prove. It’s a circular argument. And in logic, that kind of argument is always invalid.

    To put it another way, if we took the wording out of the Kalam and reduced it to appropriate symbols, it would analyze as a circular argument. Therefore, it’s invalid. No cosmology needed.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 22, 2011, 11:42 am
  11. One more thing… Kirk Cameron, et al, get their panties in a twist over the “absurdity” of suggesting that something sprang from nothing. But it’s not a de facto absurdity. It’s only absurd because “common sense” tells us that everything we see in nature is cause/effect based.

    But even in this universe, C-E isn’t clearcut. Elements of QM incorporate principles that seem to defy the idea of C-E as some sort of underlying necessity of existence.

    AND… very important… even if in THIS universe, cause and effect are universal, there is no logical proof (and no scientific proof for sure) that cause and effect operate the same way outside this universe.

    So it’s just an emotional appeal. Anyone who HAS studied QM will tell you that common sense is worth next to nothing when it comes to the foundations of material existence.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 22, 2011, 11:47 am
  12. Hambys writes:
    One more thing… Kirk Cameron, et al, get their panties in a twist over the “absurdity” of suggesting that something sprang from nothing. But it’s not a de facto absurdity. It’s only absurd because “common sense” tells us that everything we see in nature is cause/effect based.

    But even in this universe, C-E isn’t clearcut. Elements of QM incorporate principles that seem to defy the idea of C-E as some sort of underlying necessity of existence.

    AND… very important… even if in THIS universe, cause and effect are universal, there is no logical proof (and no scientific proof for sure) that cause and effect operate the same way outside this universe.

    So it’s just an emotional appeal. Anyone who HAS studied QM will tell you that common sense is worth next to nothing when it comes to the foundations of material existence.

    PG after spewing his morning coffee:
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAOh my sides are starting to hurt HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHFucking hilarious Hamby HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHANAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    Oh the things Atheists write now adays to defend their religion
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….

    Posted by PG | May 22, 2011, 12:38 pm
  13. I think that the fact that the human brain is wired to see patterns is a big concern.

    We humans want to see patterns and design in everything and that’s a problem.

    That’s why if somebody wants to propose a cause and effect or a pattern, it’s absoulotly crucial that it gets past peer review, otherwise it’s simply the author’s conformation bias.

    Posted by cptpineapple | May 22, 2011, 2:29 pm
  14. even if in THIS universe, cause and effect are universal, there is no logical proof (and no scientific proof for sure) that cause and effect operate the same way outside this universe.

    That’s what I think we’re missing. I do think there’s some kind of cause and effect going on, I just think it’s very different from the causality we see from our tiny slice on the universe, where phenomena are essentially causally passive–things are either at rest, or get set in motion, and continue that way until something stops them. It may be that the explanation for quantum indeterminacy is that nature is causally active in some way that we haven’t observed. Not in the sense of adding energy to the system, but perhaps in creating energy systems, like we see when particle/antiparticle pairs briefly appear then annihilate with each other.

    Anyhow, I think the Kalam is more formidable than I at first took it for, and I think the reason for this is that we really do need to include in our model of the universe something which can act as a first cause.

    God is purported to be outside this universe — to transcend it. So… the major premise is presuming what it seeks to prove. It’s a circular argument.

    Maybe so, but that leaves us in the position of defending the proposition that the universe came into existence from nothing. I don’t disagree that that’s possible, as far as we know, but if that’s a live option then deism ought to be as well. And both of those options do, in a sense, represent giving up on finding an explanation for the universe. It could be that there isn’t one–that reality is fundamentally unknowable–but I think it’s too early to reach that conclusion.

    Posted by Ian | May 23, 2011, 6:05 am
  15. Maybe so, but that leaves us in the position of defending the proposition that the universe came into existence from nothing. I don’t disagree that that’s possible, as far as we know, but if that’s a live option then deism ought to be as well.

    Well, that’s just the thing…

    EITHER: something comes from nothing OR something comes from something.

    Problems:
    1. If something comes from something, where did the something come from? Infinite regress doesn’t solve this, but neither does a first cause. Either answer is just a placeholder for ?????. We can say “God” is a “first cause” but without understanding the nature of extra-universe cause/effect, we can say nothing of what God is. It might be a multidimensional ferret that shits singularities. It might be a “deistic” god. It might be that god destroyed itself at the big bang. It could be literally anything we can imagine, and a billion things we can’t imagine. Again… without understanding C/E outside of this universe, we can say nothing.

    2. If something comes from nothing (which I believe is plausible according to Hawking… at least in a layperson’s way of saying it) then there’s no problem in need of a solution. No first cause necessary.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 23, 2011, 8:07 am
  16. If something comes from something, where did the something come from? Infinite regress doesn’t solve this, but neither does a first cause.

    Think of an eternal existent which can act as a first cause as a categorical elimination of everything that we know doesn’t work–some properties of whatever the explanation is. In the same way that we can know some of the properties a quantum theory of gravity will have even if we don’t have the theory yet, it should be possible for us to know some of the properties the cause of the universe has even if we don’t know what it is yet.

    But yes, in way it IS a placeholder for ????, only with an asterisk and a fairly lengthy footnote.

    If something comes from nothing (which I believe is plausible according to Hawking… at least in a layperson’s way of saying it) then there’s no problem in need of a solution. No first cause necessary.

    If you have a theory of the origin of the universe which does NOT involve the universe popping into existence from complete non-being, sans any properties which have efficacy for causing anything, but you explain it as “something coming from nothing,” then your explanation is counterproductive to communicating your idea.

    Posted by Ian | May 23, 2011, 2:59 pm
  17. If you have a theory of the origin of the universe which does NOT involve the universe popping into existence from complete non-being, sans any properties which have efficacy for causing anything, but you explain it as “something coming from nothing,” then your explanation is counterproductive to communicating your idea.

    *I* don’t have a theory of the origin of the universe at all. 🙂

    I find myself relatively incapable of recounting Hawking, et al, with anything approaching scientific accuracy when it comes to Planck time, predictive theoretical physics, or “extra-universe” constants. So I use lay-language like this: “Hawking’s suggestion that in a sense, something did come from nothing is not as absurd as it sounds in the vernacular.”

    That’s as far as I can go.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 23, 2011, 4:54 pm
  18. I should have said if “one” has a theory of the origin of the universe. Even Hawking’s theory requires a kind of Platonism to be true, in order to get his spontaneously formed universe.

    Posted by Ian | May 24, 2011, 5:28 am
  19. The case for the existence of Irony in America is proven. QED

    Posted by DavidJWBailey | May 26, 2011, 2:27 am
  20. if stephen hawking claims that something can
    come from nothing than in fact he is supporting that the God exists, because Quran says that God created the whole universe from nothing!Quran 2:117.
    Therfore his deduction that there is no God
    or hell falls flat on the its face.

    Posted by jaweed | May 30, 2011, 3:20 am
  21. @Jaweed, That makes no sense. Thank you for playing though.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 31, 2011, 2:28 pm
  22. “if stephen hawking claims that something can
    come from nothing than in fact he is supporting that the God exists, because Quran says that God created the whole universe from nothing!Quran 2:117.
    Therfore his deduction that there is no God
    or hell falls flat on the its face.”

    And if you claim God can come from nothing you are supporting the idea that God came from a Giant Hyperactive Giraffe in the sky.

    Posted by The Evilator | June 20, 2011, 10:18 am
  23. When I first read this article, I thought it was a joke article from The Onion. Then I realized in horror how legitimate this is. How can Kirk Cameron call out Stephen Hawking for his beliefs, when Cameron is pushing a mystical being in the sky who just zapped humans on earth for shits and giggles and has a zombie for a son with a knack for party tricks? Un-fucking-real. Hawking scientfically makes more sense. He has real Ph.Ds from real accredited universities unlike Cameron whose “honorary Ph.D” from some faux-university in Nowheresville, Kentucky somehow gives him grounds to try to discredit one of the era’s greatest living minds? You know where else you can get an “honorary Ph.D”? When you sign up online to be a reverend. It takes about 15 minutes to do.

    Posted by Ginny | October 21, 2011, 10:45 am

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