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Hawking, Stephen - A Brief History of Time - The Great Work

Identifier

014243

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

First a quote from Bill Bryson to set the scene:

Bill  Bryson

… Our moon is more than a quarter the diameter of the Earth.... Without the Moon's steadying influence, the Earth would wobble like a dying top …. The Moon's steady gravitational influence keeps the Earth spinning at the right speed and angle to provide the sort of stability necessary for the long and successful development of life...... The Moon is now believed to have been formed about 4.4 billion years ago when a Mars sized object slammed into the Earth

I suspect that the biologists and physicists at this point would say, ah but the change of environment simply enabled a different kind of life to flourish and this was simply chance, not planned.  But, each time an environment change has taken place it has been consistent with the strategy and the objectives, each time, for example, it has enabled the increase in functionality and via such strategic approaches as agglomeration and reuse.

A description of the experience

A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking

The laws of science as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron.  We cannot, at the moment at least, predict these values from theory – we have to find them by observation…..

The remarkable fact is that the values of these number seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life. 

For example if the electric charge of the electron had been only slightly different, stars either would have been unable to burn hydrogen and helium, or else they would not have exploded. 

Of course there might be other forms of intelligent life, not dreamed of even by writers of science fiction, that did not require the light of a star like the sun or the heavier chemical elements that are made in stars and are flung back into space when the stars explode. 

Nevertheless, it seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the numbers that would allow the development of any form of intelligent life.  Most sets of values would give rise to [worlds galaxies etc] that although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at their beauty. 

One can take this either as evidence of a divine purpose in creation and the choice of the laws of science, or as support for the ‘strong anthropic principle’.

The source of the experience

Hawking, Stephen

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Overloads

Motor neurone disease

Commonsteps

References