"A Man's a Man for all that!" - Rabbie Burns

"Religion? No thanks. I prefer not to outsource my brainwashing." - Bunc
Trying to get your average Joe creationist to understand the phrase scientific theory is as hard as getting a fish to enjoy mountaineering. Its an unimagined world for them - it requires a complete reversal of their normal modes of thinking and being. The fact that humans could explain the complexities of this world without a creating God is a world view they cannot grasp. It's like asking a tuna if it appreciates the view from the top of Mount Everest. Bunc

Sep 12, 2010

Hawking's God is a Dead Parrot

 Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow write in the last chapter of their new book, "The Grand Design" , that;

"Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist"
and assert that "It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

And with that they got themselves a shed -load of free publicity for their book as the media announced that Hawkins had proclaimed that creation is needless of a god - all is explained by M Theory apparently.

Now Ive never read M Theory but anyone who has followed the recent history of "Mathematical" Cosmology / Quantum Physics will be aware that as theories such a string theory, brane theory and so on have developed they have been characterised by two things. First is their often reported mathematical elegance but second is the reported disconnect between this theorising and real world evidential experimental proof.

A betting man would be forced to conclude that M Theory will in all probablity go some way towards a deeper explanation for existence but it will , probably sooner rather than later, be found to be incomplete.

Nevertheless there was much re-positioning evident from some senior clerics after the story broke claiming that their faith wasn't in a creating deity but rather in some form of personal deity - whatever that is.

It sounded to me like a bad case of panic.

But sleep easy my god-bothering friends. The chance is that M Theory as the Ultimate Theory of Everything is merely a further step on the path of our growing understanding and not the the final stop.

Our ever increasing  ability to measure the complexity of the universe together with the way that mathematics continues to develop will ensure that further twists and turns on the path to understanding will be uncovered. M Theory like other theories before it will probably take us around some of these bends before it loses it's way.

I was reading a review of  The Grand Design in The Guardian  today and came across a real gem in the comments section posted by one Keith Robertson.  This is the God is a Dead Parrot version of the famous Monty Python sketch. It  got me chuckling and so I decided to share it.

Now this only works probably if you are actually familiar with the Monty Python sketch " The Dead Parrot" - a sketch about a man who takes a dead parrot back to the shop where he bought it.  If you have seen that sketch then you will enjoy this version;

God is a Dead Parrot
"I wish to complain about this deity what I accepted not half an hour ago"
 "Oh yes, the, uh, the {insert name of deity }... What's,uh...What's wrong with it?"
"I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. It don't exist, that's what's wrong with it!
"No, no, 'e's uh,...he's invisible"
"Look, matey, I know a non-existent deity when I don't see one, and I'm not looking at one right now"
"No no he exists, he's, he's hidin'! Remarkable deity, isn'it, ay? Beautiful stigmata!"
"The stigmata don't enter into it. It's not there."
"Nononono, no, no! 'E's hiding!"
"All right then, if he's hidin', I'll tempt him out!
'Ello, Mister Wrathful Deity! I've got a lovely fresh sinner for you if you show...
"There, he moved!"
"No, he didn't, that was you saying he did!"
"I never!!"
"Yes, you did!"
"I never, never did anything..."
"'ELLO GOD!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your end-of-the-world o'clock alarm call!"
"Now that's what I call a non-existent deity."
"No, no.....No, 'e's stunned!"
"STUNNED?!?"
" Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! He stuns easily, major."
"Um...now look...now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this.
That god is definitely not there, and when I believed in it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of visibility was due to it being ethereal and movin' in a mysterious way."
"Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.
"PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did your reasoning fall flat on it's back the moment I used rational thought?"
"Religious reasoning prefers kippin' on it's back! Remarkable deity, isn't it, squire? Lovely stigmata!
"Look, I took the liberty of examining that deity when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting in its church in the first place was that it had been NAILED there."

(pause)

"Well, o'course it was nailed there! If they hadn't nailed that deity, it would not have been a symbol of ultimate sacrifice and ascension."
"ASCENSION"?!? Mate, this deity wouldn't "ascend" if you put four million volts through it! 'E's bleedin' not there!"
"No no! 'E's pining for the sins of mankind!"
"'E's not pinin'! 'E's gone! He has ceased to be credible!
Bereft of logic, 'e rests in nonsense!
THIS IS AN EX-GOD!!

(pause)

"Well, I'd better replace it, then. (he takes a quick peek behind the counter) Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of rational deities.
"I see. I see, I get the picture."
"I got science presented as faith".

(pause)

"Pray, does it demand belief without evidence or rational thought?"
"Nnnnot really."
"WELL IT'S HARDLY A BLOODY FAITH, IS IT?!!???!!?
"N-no, I guess not."
(gets ashamed, looks at his feet)


2 comments:

Delirious said...

Stephen Hawking is a perfect example that just because a person is intelligent, does not mean they know everything. ;)

Bunc said...

True D - but then he probably knows a great deal more about the nature of reality than either you or I.

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