I. Into the mind of God
The Statesman, March 21, 2018 writes the following under the caption “Into the mind of
God” as follows.
A week after his demise at the age of 76, here’s the foreword to Stephen Hawking’s ‘A
Brief History of Time’, written by another celebrated astronomer, Carl Sagan.
[Professor Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA, was in the Department of
Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge.]
We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of the world. We give little
thought to the machinery that generates the sunlight that makes life possible, to the gravity that glues us to an Earth that would otherwise send us spinning off into space, or to the atoms of which we are made and on whose stability we fundamentally depend.
Except for children (who don’t know enough not to ask the important questions), few of us spend much time wondering why nature is the way it is; where the cosmos came from, or whether it was always here; if time will one day flow backward and effects precede causes; or whether there are ultimate limits to what humans can know.
There are even children, and I have met some of them, who want to know what a black hole looks like; what is the smallest piece of matter; why we remember the past and not the future; how it is, if there was chaos early, that there is, apparently, order today; and why there is a universe.
In our society it is still customary for parents and teachers to answer most of these questions with a shrug, or with an appeal to vaguely recalled religious precepts.Some are uncomfortable with issues like these, because they so vividly expose the limitations of human understanding. But much of philosophy and science has been driven by
An increasing number of adults are willing to ask questions of this sort, and occasionally they get some astonishing answers. Equidistant from the atoms and the stars, we are expanding our exploratory horizons to embrace both the very small and the very large.In the spring of 1974, about two years before the Viking spacecraft landed on Mars, I was at a meeting in England sponsored by the Royal Society… to explore the question of how to search for extra-terrestrial life. During a coffee break, I noticed that a much large meeting was being held in an adjacent hall, which out of curiosity I entered.
I soon realised that I was witnessing an ancient rite, the investiture of new fellows into
the Royal Society, one of the most ancient scholarly organisations on the planet. In the front row a young man in a wheelchair was, very slowly, signing his name in a book
that bore on its earliest pages the signature of Isaac Newton. When at last he finished, there was a stirring ovation. Stephen Hawking was a legend even then Hawking is now the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, a post once held by Newton and later by Paul Dirac, two celebrated explorers of the very large and
the very small. He is their worthy successor.
Carl Sagan (1934-1996) wrote this introduction for the first edition of ‘A Brief
History of Time’ in 1988. (Reprinted with permission of the Carl Sagan Estate)
1. It is very interesting to observe that the frequently asked questions mentioned
by Carl Sagan and many more, find copious answers into the Vedas and Hindu
scriptures which have earned the admiration of the whole world. This is discussed in the end of this article.
II. Sofia Lotto Persio writes on 14/3/18 that Professor Stephen Hawking made it
his life’s mission to explain the great mysteries of the universe– and perhaps no
mystery is greater than how the universe came into being. Hawking died at 76 on Wednesday, after spending most of his life living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a condition he was diagnosed with when he was 21. Given only a few years to live at the time, Hawking’s longevity was considered somewhat of a miracle– if only one of modern medicine, as his first wife Jane Hawking, a Christian, told The Telegraph in 2015.
“When I think that it has been 52 years since Stephen was first diagnosed, that to me is a
miracle. OK, it may be a miracle of modern medicine and Stephen’s own courage and
perseverance but it is also quite simply a miracle,” she said. Hawking, however, did not believe in miracles of any kind and described himself as an atheist, most notably in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo in 2014. “I am an atheist. Religion believes in miracles, but these are not compatible with science,” he said.*As a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Hawking presented his ideas on the origin of the universe at various scientific conferences organized at the Vatican over the years, where he met Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis on various occasions.
“Asking what came before the Big Bang is meaningless because there is no notion of
time available to refer to,” he said at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2016.
– Did Stephen hawking believe in God ? What physicist said about the creation of the