Just before his death, Stephen Hawking predicted 'the end of the universe' in a new paper

From news reports.

The world-famous physicist, who died last Wednesday aged 76, was a co-author to a mathematical paper in which he sought to prove the so-called “multiverse” theory, according to a report by U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times. This theory imagines the existence of many separate universes other than our own.

The research, submitted two weeks ago, sets out the maths needed for a space probe to find experimental evidence for the existence of a “multiverse”. This is the idea that our cosmos is only one of many universes. If such evidence had been found while he was alive, it might have put Hawking in line for the Nobel prize he had desired for so long.

Hawking’s final work — titled “A Smooth Exit From Eternal Inflation” — is being reviewed by a leading scientific journal. In it, he predicted how our universe would eventually fade to darkness as the stars run out of energy.

Hawking, had previously warned that Earth would turn into a giant ball of fire by 2600. Therefore, humans would eventually need to colonize another planet or face extinction, he said.

Hawking claimed at the 2017 Tencent WE Summit in Beijing that “humans will turn the planet into a giant ball of fire by the year 2600”

Overcrowding and energy consumption will render Earth uninhabitable in just a few centuries, Hawking said via video:


Shades of John Ehrlich. Perhaps the proverbial “grain of salt” is in order on Hawking’s Earth prediction.

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John Bell
March 19, 2018 3:28 pm

Why was he so celebrated? Seems like a maroon.

Joe Wagner
Reply to  John Bell
March 19, 2018 3:48 pm

Once upon a time, he did some good science.
I think his last few years have been a little less good.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Joe Wagner
March 19, 2018 4:50 pm

Who knows how much of what he “said” was really from him? His disabilities left him open to being used as a puppet, particularly if he was too ill to know or object. When you see a solid scientist start making shakey claims, it does make you wonder…

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Joe Wagner
March 19, 2018 7:24 pm

I tend to agree that “he” did not say much of anything these last few years. So sad.

Reply to  Joe Wagner
March 19, 2018 8:12 pm

Pop –
I was thinking similar:
he could only make observations based on the information and data that his “handlers” were providing. Why else would he make a supportive statement regarding “climate change” rather than an “we don’t know a lot about the climate and what effects it” science based statement?

Reply to  Joe Wagner
March 19, 2018 8:58 pm

Legacy fluffing.
“Here be a gravvy-train”.

Reply to  Joe Wagner
March 20, 2018 3:00 am

Pop and Paul.
He is cited as an actor at imdb.com as late as 2017. It seems that his career as an actor was more prolific during his last years.

Reply to  Joe Wagner
March 20, 2018 3:57 am

Pop – I share your suspicions. His latest “green” and “anti-Israel” statements didn’t sound at all as something he would say early in his career.

Reply to  Joe Wagner
March 21, 2018 5:06 am

Theories that are elegant and so mathematically complex that most of us can’t understand them don’t make the theories anything more than just… theories. My guess is that Hawking’s theories will not be the final word in the ages to come.

Reply to  John Bell
March 19, 2018 3:55 pm

The other question might be why he didn’t win the Nobel Prize.

The prize is given to discoveries proven by experiments, or for pioneering theoretical methodological developments which then led to results proven through experiment … link

His most celebrated work was on black holes. link The detection of gravity waves resulting from the collision of two black holes could be seen as a vindication of his work.
It’s very possible to be a genius and still believe in crazy stuff. Newton also predicted the end of the world (among other crazy stuff).

Reply to  commieBob
March 19, 2018 6:29 pm

CommieBob – that is a misrepresentation of Newton.
Unlike Hawking, Newton believed in the God of the Bible. Including believing Revelation. Your link notes this. Newton merely engaged in some interpretative speculation about when the End of Days / End Times / Day of Judgment might occur, based on what is in the Bible.
Here is what Hawking, and many other proud cosmologists believe. The argument for God, as creator of the universe, has been made by this: noting how unlikely / improbable it is that our planet supports life. An amazing set of parameters must all coincidently be in narrow range in order for our planet to support life. The argument is that this is so improbable, even considering how many stars there are, and how many similar-range planets there might be, that the near-impossibility holds persuasive power for a God who intentionally set it up this way.
The atheistic, proud Naturalism/Scientism-believing cosmologists desired to counter this argument. A good counter-argument is a speculative one: that there COULD be many, or maybe an infinite, number of universes, and so one with the unlikely characteristics to have a planet supporting life becomes far more likely. At that, the search for evidence of the multiverse began.
The progression of science is never presented this way, but the historical case is very strong that this is how the intellectual idea and efforts developed across time. [There is a similar historical line of thought and action regarding evolution – intellectuals were already searching for a natural-world explanation accounting for all of the species we see, and this made the intellectual community a very fertile ground for Darwin’s explanation – this idea caught on VERY fast – and all of this is well-documented. Similar lines of thought and scholarship regarding deep time.]
In short, Newton was not so proud as to develop an argument that the world would eventually burn up, or whatever Hawking has dreamed up. Newton merely pondered what God has laid down.

Reply to  commieBob
March 19, 2018 7:40 pm

TheLastDemocrat March 19, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Newton merely pondered what God has laid down.

Thanks, Last. To be precise, Newton merely pondered what the Bible has laid down …

Gary Pearse
Reply to  commieBob
March 19, 2018 7:57 pm

Newton can be excused given the times. Alchemy mixed with spirituality. Hey, witches and black cats were abroad to bring you to grief. It is remarkable what he achieved in this backdrop.
Newton was alleged to have invented calculus (which he called fluxions) but kept it a secret. Leibnitz and his students independently discovered calculus and to put Newton to the test, he sent out a problem to all noted mathematicians which he believed required calculus to solve and gave a year to solve it. Newton apparently solved the problem the day he received it and sent it to the head of the Royal Society (Montague). I don’t know who else I would judge to be number one!

Gary Pearse
Reply to  commieBob
March 19, 2018 8:03 pm
Pop Piasa
Reply to  commieBob
March 19, 2018 8:36 pm

Perhaps calculus should have been called Fignewtonology?
(rimshot/high hat crash)

Reply to  commieBob
March 19, 2018 11:49 pm

A better counter argument is that we have no way of deciding how improbable the current universe is.
Proportion of population?
If we try to count the number of universes that are like this one, and compare them with the total number of universes, we run into the problem that this is the only universe we know about. That would make it’s probability 1.0.
Outcome of process.
We know the process of rolling a die, and so we can calculate the probabilities of six coming up. But if we proceed by looking at the process by which universes are made, and seeing what the various outcomes of that process are, then we run into the problem that we don’t know the process. (Cosmologist’s claims notwithstanding.)
We have no basis for saying that this universe is improbable. It might be the only one possible.

Reply to  commieBob
March 20, 2018 12:07 am

I think an easier way of saying all of that is to simply point out that all this multi-universe crap is 100% pure Grade A made up crappola, from start to finish.
To call this science, or to call those making these speculations scientists, is idiotic.
It is nothing more than fantasizing or imagining things.

Reply to  commieBob
March 20, 2018 11:57 am

As I think I remember Big Bang cosmology was basically a church oriented attempt to marry with the creation stories. BB has been stuffed with black holes and dark matter and dark energy and inflation enough that I believe it as much as CAGW. I conflate intelligent design and evolution as basically the same thing substituting time for deity(or whatever). Irreducible complexity is a strong argument. Most things don’t work halfway built. That a heart mutates into a folded helix and that mutation manages not to get eaten by something….
Short of a backward time machine, I don’t think we’re going to see an answer. I will always be wary of anyone who believes their hypothesis is absolutely correct and then is unwilling to debate.

Reply to  commieBob
March 20, 2018 9:24 pm

@commieBob I got a laugh at the statement

The detection of gravity waves resulting from the collision of two black holes could be seen as a vindication of his work.

Let me explain his worked started with the premise that Einsteins theory of gravity was right which predicted gravity waves exist. The discovery of Gravity Waves was therefore compatible with some of his theories nothing more.
The only thing he might have got a Nobel prize for would have been Hawking radiation but it hasn’t been observed yet and now he has died he can’t be given the award.

Reply to  John Bell
March 19, 2018 4:57 pm

My sentiments exacty

Reply to  John Bell
March 19, 2018 5:44 pm

The key problem was that he bought into the Big Bang, which was based on Hubbel’s red-shift observations, which was then assumed to mean receding speed of galactic objects. The problem is that gravity also causes red-shift and a nearby high mass item can cause red-shift that Big Bang adherents would assume means on object receding at great speed, being the high speed fragments from a Big Bang. It appealed to the religious idea of an origin.
Prior to the Hubbel observation of the red-shifts, the model was a steady-state universe. The idea that a Big Bang would imply a beginning also suggested that there might be an end. Also. the idea of a Big Bang, in whatever medium they want to imagine, like a “quantum foam”, is within their realm. If a Big Bang can happen, then it follows that other Big Bangs can happen. Suddenly we are taking about a Multiverse of Universes and how to cause a Big Bang in your own backyard. Elvis had left the building at this point. We are now stoned on the BS of the Big Bang misguided fallout.

Reply to  higley7
March 19, 2018 7:29 pm

“The problem is that gravity also causes red-shift and a nearby high mass item can cause red-shift…”
That doesn’t work as an explanation as the red shift increases the farther away the source.

Reply to  higley7
March 19, 2018 7:50 pm

I agree with Bartemis.
The real bugaboo for current cosmology is Cosmic Inflation theory in the first few 1/10^-30 seconds after the Big Bang.
Cosmic Inflation almost certainly is wrong, but no one knows what to replace it with.

Reply to  higley7
March 19, 2018 10:18 pm

Multi-verse – Is it testable?
If no, toss it in the dumpster, as it isn’t within the domain of science.
Stop fishing ‘Mutiverse theory’ BS out of the dumpster for another wave about to uselessly stink-up the place, for nix (mostly done for hand-waving, grandstanding, lobbying for money, moovies, and for cheezy media-drivel making).
When I see a person promoting the untestable multiverse hypothesis they just auto-classified themselves as time-wastng fruitcakes.
If I were to give my children a book about the cosmos Stephen Hawking would not be the author. And it’s quite repellant to hear media-hacks comparing Hawking to the genuinely great scientists, as their ‘equal’.
And Hawking just lapped it up, but was any of it true? Of course not. But it’s what got him through life–you do what you must. Whatever.
His ‘legend’ is hollow sycophantic media-fiction.

Reply to  higley7
March 20, 2018 1:50 am

I love the Einstiens.
Black holes, quantum theory, and origins of everything cause some acute brain fever.

Reply to  higley7
March 20, 2018 2:10 am

No, expanding universe predates Hubble and objects appear to be moving apart more quickly over time, so gravity does not explain the observations.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  higley7
March 20, 2018 2:38 am

Big Bang, Black Holes?????
Its because we’re measuring the wrong thing. Or measuring a ‘thing’ wrong.
That ‘thing’ being ‘time’
It is supposedly possible to ‘fall into’ a Black Hole without realising – you can cross the Event Horizon of a mahooooosive hole without being stretched into spaghetti and getting totally wasted.
But surely by definition you cannot re-trace your steps/fall. You will still be able to move left/right, forward/back BUT would only be able to move down (towards the hole). You would lose the ability to move upwards and hence leave the hole.
No, you would not be able to climb up a ladder and escape. Ain’t that a wonderation?
Patently we are not in a black hole like that right now- or are we?
What about time (and gravity)
Time only moves in one direction.
Hence: Peta proposes that Black Holes are time dependant things, not space and mass.
This is where we go wrong – time is the variable.
It moves at different speeds at different distances but we assume time always progresses at the same (or a constant) speed.
Ain’t that beautiful – it explains so many things.
A black hole is a place where times moves really fast, hence why objects crossing the event horizon appear to freeze as they do so but we assume its still moving at the same speed.
Likewise White Holes or the Big Bang
Big Bang was a time when time moved painfully slowly. So, inside the Big Bang, you would be able to access all parts of the universe in what we perceive to be a short amount of time – everywhere seems close together and in the limit, infinitesimally small. In fact, all at the same distance as ‘now’ but time just moving very slowly.
Hence why we don’t need a Big Bang.
By varying time, you can have an infinite universe. Objects that appear a long way away are actually just moving through slower time than we are. That’s how we ‘think’ they are a long way away, because we think it takes along time to get to them.
And it gives you red shifts as well. The objects are not actually moving through space, time is moving slower for them but because we assume one second for them is the same as one second for us, it appears that they’re moving.
Then we don’t need parallel universes and some sort of ‘end’ or ‘start’ We already have everything and are in an infinite universe – it just seems big because we imagine it takes a long time to get there. But it doesn’t if you adjust for the different speed-of-time.
Everywhere and everything is just as close as it was as during/inside the Big Bang.
So what is the final the limit – you can keep dividing ‘one’ by larger and larger numbers to get slower and slower time but never reach an end. You just get a smaller and smaller number representing slower and slower time. And what we perceive that to be is an ever expanding universe because we assume that seconds/minutes/hours are the same size wherever you are. They ain’t.
Is that why Einstein needed his Universal Constant.
He didn’t think that we are inside a Black Hole, but one powered by time rather than mass and/or space.
Have they bollox detected Gravity Waves!!!
It is taken that GWs moves at light speed.
If you swallow that, it actually means they are an electromagnetic phenomenon.
(It is possible to calculate the speed of light from simple laboratory measurements, you don’t need to go out and measure it)
So, if gravity is either electric or magnetic, where is the anti-gravity? Huh.
You get North poles and South poles, you get positive and negatives charges/voltage.
Where is the negative gravity – assuming what we see now is ‘positive’ gravity?
What those gravity wave muppets saw was a magnetic collapse of some sort – perfectly reasonable as the end for most material in the current universe to be fused or fissiled into iron.= magnetic
They saw a large lump of (magnetised) iron cease to be a lump of (magnetised) iron. An old planet, like Earth, fell into a hot place and was vaporised, ceasing to be magnetic in the course of the event.
Hardly a rare occurrence all things considered, esp the amount of iron there must be out there.
And what have we on Planet Earth, what is Planet Earth if not a huge lump of iron?
Basically, Earth is a compass needle capable of picking up magnetic anomalies as they propagate out from where they happened, at guess what, The Speed of Light
That’s what the Gravity Wave muppets saw – a compass needle twitching as a distant magnet moved/changed.
Just like climate change – cause and effect all mangled up. Feedback systems really are pigs.

Reply to  higley7
March 20, 2018 4:03 am

There are viable altenative to Big Bang and universal expansion: Hoyle-Narlikar theory, 3-sphere Universe… “Dark energy” is a concept of the New Dark Age.

Reply to  higley7
March 20, 2018 7:07 am

There are a lot of theories that weren’t testable when they were first proposed.
I read an article once many years ago that claimed that interactions with free electrons can cause a red shift.

Reply to  higley7
March 20, 2018 12:12 pm

Peta of Newark
I really appreciate your comment. I don’t happen to believe all the black, white, green whatever holes but I have thought about the “why don’t we know why” about the speed of light. First I don’t believe we ever really measure time but simply count some form of oscillations. Pendulum, quartz, wavelengths. If time really works like a movie,( we in the movie) wouldn’t be able to detect the pause between frames or variable frame speeds. Currently the speed of light is recursively defined as speed of light.

Reply to  higley7
March 21, 2018 12:31 am

Correct me if I am wrong, but I understood (not always I might add) that the Universe was the sum total of all things that exist. If something exists, it is in the universe. If it exists, it is also knowable although it may be unknown. In this regard, multiverses make no sense. You may as well believe in heaven and hell.
Language and definitions are important especially in science, otherwise anything goes.

Reply to  John Bell
March 19, 2018 5:59 pm

When one realizes that the Big Bang model has morphed into a highly complicated and out of the barn model of multiple universes, calculations of how far it is to another universe like ours that exists in which one person is wearing a white shirt and not a blue shirt. How far out is it to posit an infinite number of Big Bangs and Universes? It’s truly wacko.
Instead, a steady state universe, in which it is recognized that the electromagnetic force is a billion, billion, billion, billion stronger than gravity and the fact that the assumption by the Big Band squad is that there are no charge differentials the universe, completely ignoring that static charge is all over our solar system, leads us to realize that we live in an electric universe, in which the galaxies are designed and controlled by EM forces and not the fantasy dark matter of the Big Bang model (dark matter was fabricated out of nothing as there is not enough observable mass to explain what they see).
The Big Bang model has demanded and been bandaged with a fantasy black physics, dark matter, dark energy, dark forces, etc. It’s truly a joke to pretend that 95%+ of the universe is dark stuff that no one can detect. They want us to give them billions of dollars so that they can continue trying to find something that does not exist. Talk about job security, they will never find that they seek, but it’s so noble to keep on (with high funding) tilting at windmills to find something not there. It’s a truly cosmic joke that Dr. Hawking was raised in the Big Bang mindset.

G. Franke
Reply to  higley7
March 21, 2018 6:50 pm

Physicist Fred Hoyle coined the term ‘Big Bang’ in scoffing at the theory. He attempted to explain why the observed expansion could exist in steady-state universe. His work related to nucleosynthesis should have earned him a Nobel prize. His ventures into other areas of science were not beneficial to his reputation as a physicist. He also wrote some fair science fiction. I place him a notch above S. Hawking.

Reply to  John Bell
March 19, 2018 6:02 pm

No John, he was definitely a genius. However, IQ

Reply to  John Bell
March 19, 2018 6:09 pm

No John, he was definitely a genius. However, IQ and Common Sense, i.e. wisdom, are not the same thing. He was definitely not a very wise person. That’s why he allowed his feelings to rule over his logic. A typical Progressive attitude, where they are smarter than everybody else, and need to tell us how we should run our lives.

Alan Ranger
Reply to  John Bell
March 19, 2018 6:21 pm

Like can be said of many experts/ geniuses in their own field …
For a physicist, Hawking is an excellent physicist.

Reply to  John Bell
March 19, 2018 6:26 pm

John- I think you meant moron, unless you were talking about his color?

Reply to  Russ
March 19, 2018 9:03 pm

Bugs Bunny used the term “what a maroon.” It has kind of stuck – though I like to tease people who use it by facetiusly pointing out the Maroon people (escaped slaves) and pretend it is racist.

Reply to  John Bell
March 19, 2018 8:31 pm

progressive posture child
got a lot of mileage out of him in the campaign for ‘accessibility’ that loosed so many purse strings and leaked so much opm for the activists and the public works.

J Hope
Reply to  John Bell
March 21, 2018 2:04 am

A good question, John. I’ve often thought it myself.

Jimmy Haigh
March 19, 2018 3:28 pm

Don’t tell me – it will be global warming wot does it.

Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
March 19, 2018 3:52 pm

Sounds like he was doing a linear extrapolation of the growth of energy usage. Equally idiotic.

Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
March 19, 2018 4:43 pm

No actually ” how our universe would eventually fade to darkness as the stars run out of energy” is another way of saying “global cooling”

Pop Piasa
Reply to  JaneHM
March 19, 2018 5:04 pm

I have to go with the “Sol becomes a red giant and Gaia becomes a cinder” theory. It gives the planet a much longer usable life. Maybe way down the road it will be a frozen cinder, though. I wish Steven Hawking full use of whatever body he has in the next universe, though, he has endured enough torture, to be sure.

Reply to  JaneHM
March 19, 2018 5:10 pm

Pop, you don’t know that you just stepped over the PC line … see what happened to poor Gal Gadot for saying exactly what you said.

Reply to  JaneHM
March 19, 2018 6:17 pm

Hi Pop.
I for one applaud your sentiments – notwithstanding that you and the beautiful Gal Godot are now labelled “ableist”, the latest epithet in politically-correct delusional paranoia from the snowflake generation.
The snowflakes are finding more and more dubious excuses to take real or false offence at the slightest of slights.
I suggest that people who are this uber-sensitive are far too fragile for their own good, and should stay safely indoors and never communicate with anyone. This voluntary self-sequestration would also improve the functional intelligence of the planet.
This restriction especially applies to sugar-frosted snowflakes, the ultra-uber-fragile among us, who need to be completely protected – especially from themselves.
Best, Allan

Reply to  JaneHM
March 19, 2018 8:36 pm

Allan Macrae’s scathing words are utterly insufficient for the mindblowing destructive stupidity of the PC brigade. Sure, the wheelchair gives a freedom, but only relative to a highly constrained existence. If a pill with no side-effects allowed a person to ditch their wheelchair, what kind of selfish idiot would refuse to take it?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  JaneHM
March 19, 2018 8:54 pm

Guys, I’m a country boy who knew Gretchen Wilson when she sang for Baywolf at Granny’s Rocker in Alton, IL.
I personify “Politically Uncorrect”…

Gary Pearse
Reply to  JaneHM
March 19, 2018 8:59 pm

Pop, unhappy, angry progressives out there looking for offense are legion and growing in a de-education and world view environment that fosters this carp. The irony is that all this eggshell strewn society is created and refereed by guilt-ridden Whyte Progressive, neocolonial, subliminal гас¡sт, elites who know what’s best for all you diversity boffins out there.
Pop your kind remarks and best wishes for Hawking are jumped on by minions with rings in their noses.
I imagine it is now an affront to these outraged folk to research cures for these terrible afflictions. A get well card may even be breaking the hate crime laws in EU and LA. A maker of prosthetics is the lowest of the low. Should I put in my hearing aid or use my spectacles in secret?
Of course we applaud exceptional achievements of people with such disabilities and are inspired by them. To wish them an easier life in the next universe assumes they would have preferred to not have had such a disease. Probably using the word disease is an indictable offense now, too.

Reply to  JaneHM
March 19, 2018 10:46 pm

Pop – My first degree is in Mining Engineering, a profession that is not known for uber-sensitivity.
In my career I have managed two armed invasions where my people were held at gunpoint, and everybody got to go home unharmed. I have been through numerous police, army, border, and “other” armed checkpoints. About the only thing that offends me now is when someone points a gun at me – and that I still find offensive.
I was in a difficult meeting a while ago when someone started to shout at me – the first time that has happened in my long career. I suppose it was intended to intimidate me, but I felt severely under-motivated – I kept thinking “this guy is really lame – where’s his gun?” 🙂
I recently took a highly public stand to shut down a dangerous critical sour gas project that could have killed up to 50,000 people or more – a potential Hiroshima-scale disaster. I did find the criminal conduct of the thugs who ran this project to be offensive – so maybe I am becoming a bit over-sensitive.
One of my buddy’s is a quadriplegic, in a wheelchair now for about 30 years from a car accident, and the challenges he faces daily to just survive are daunting. His bones are brittle and he suffers frequent fractures – also painful muscle seizures for which he takes powerful meds. When he is not in pain, and even when he is, he cracks “crip” jokes about his afflictions. He makes even you and I look PC.
I think that the only proper response to these politically correct snowflakes is to dismiss them with scorn. I do not support rudeness or abuse, but those uber-snowflakes who seek to find offence where none exists are not worthy of respect or consideration – at best, they should be ignored as irrelevant cringing imbeciles.
Best personal regards, Allan

Reply to  JaneHM
March 20, 2018 7:13 am

My daughter learned sign language as her second language.
She told me that there are activists in the deaf community that fight against any research into curing deafness. They feel that a deaf person who seeks to regain their hearing has betrayed the deaf community.

March 19, 2018 3:29 pm

Didn’t Leonard Susskind theorize a multiverse before Stephen Hawking? It seems to me that Susskind had a rather strong rivalry with Hawking about idea, along with the nature of black holes and the like.

Reply to  PaulH
March 20, 2018 7:22 am

No one’s suggested that the multiverse was originally Hawking’s idea.
It’s due to Hugh Everett in 1954

March 19, 2018 3:30 pm

Sadly, even tragically, for the last year Dr. Hawking’s pronunciamentos have grown increasingly bizarre … perhaps an effect of the deterioration of his body. In any case, I’ve had to pay no attention to his statements in order to maintain my high regard for his earlier work.
The most amazing thing he did in my view wasn’t the black hole work. It was the fact that he survived, maintained his sense of humor, and perhaps even thrived, despite having ALS. That puts him in the rank of the stars for me …

R. Shearer
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 19, 2018 4:11 pm

Maybe his cheek muscle sensor was misplaced.

John Bell
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 19, 2018 4:38 pm

Well, maybe now he can go figure out how to angle park in a parallel universe.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  John Bell
March 19, 2018 9:21 pm

Surely he’ll receive citations in the offing.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 19, 2018 5:34 pm


Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 19, 2018 6:34 pm

@willis: “…Dr. Hawking’s pronunciamentos have grown increasingly bizarre “
It seems that he has turned into Visionary Prophet for the IPCC (Intergovernmental Plenipotentiary Church of Climate).

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 19, 2018 7:33 pm

Willis, yours is a very kind and generous statement. +1. How Stephen Hawking achieved anything defies imagination.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 19, 2018 8:46 pm

For someone who was given only two years to live and having to survive in a body that became a prison I can only stand in awe. And then to manage the work that he did shows an almost super human will.
Dr. Hawking would not be the first to delve into other fields when he’s reached the acme of his career in his chosen field. Bertrand Russell was a great mathematician but went into philosophy and then into anti-war protests without achieving much except for the use of his notoriety to promote it. Look at Neil deGrasse Tyson for a contemporary example.
Of course that shouldn’t reflect on their achievements in the fields they were actually in.

Reply to  Bear
March 20, 2018 7:17 am

The difference is that Tyson never achieved anything in his chosen profession. He went straight from mediocrity to stardom.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 19, 2018 9:41 pm

Willis, I come from people who make jokes about the folks we loved at their funerals. it doesn’t take away from our respect for them, though.
Steven Hawking was a beautifully enigmatic person, who we hope still exists as a ‘soul’ or ‘essence’ somewhere in the ether of space, time, and infinity.
He will never be forgotten as a scientist, so he has achieved a sort of immortality along with Newton, Galileo, Einstein, et al.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
March 19, 2018 9:57 pm

Dear heavens, Pop, I thought both you and Gal Gadot were perfectly kind and sincere in your wishes. I also am the least Politically Correct person I know. I think that the attack on Gadot by the “ableists” was total BS. I say that because if someone invented a medicine that would allow everyone in wheelchairs to stand up and walk, the wheelchair manufacturers would immediately be out of business …
Best regards,

Reply to  Pop Piasa
March 20, 2018 1:01 am

Science moves forward when old poops kark.
“Please Sir, can I have more?”

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 20, 2018 7:34 am

Let us agree with Willis to ignore Hawking’s recent bizarre statements and celebrate his earlier work, and his survival in the face of debilitating illness. For me, his 1998 “A Brief History of Time” was quite understandable and opened my eyes and mind to modern physics.
Regarding the future of the Earth and our human race, Hawking’s 2001 statement:
“I don’t think the human race will survive the next thousand years. Unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I’m an optimist. We will reach out to the stars.”
was the starting point for 2052-The Hawking Plan (http://2052hp.blogspot.com/) my free online novel on how human life will spread into space.
Hawking, in his best years, wrote about deep scientific topics succinctly and even humorously, quoting poetry:
“There was a young lady of Wight / Who traveled much faster than light / She departed one day / In a relative way / And arrived on the previous night.”
He even speculated about God designing a warped Universe:
“So all we need for time travel is a spaceship that will go faster than light. Unfortunately, Einstein showed that the rocket power needed to accelerate a spaceship got greater and greater the nearer it got to the speed of light. So it would take an infinite amount of power to accelerate past the speed of light. …
“So writers of science fiction had to look for ways to get round this difficulty. In his 1915 paper, Einstein showed that the effects of gravity could be described by supposing that space-time is warped or distorted by the matter and energy in it. We can actually observe this warping of space-time, produced by the mass of the Sun, in the slight bending of light or radio waves, passing close to the Sun…
“God might have created such a warped universe, but we have no reason to think that He did. All the evidence is that the universe started out in the Big Bang without the kind of warping needed to allow travel into the past. Since we can’t change the way the universe began, the question of whether time travel is possible is one of whether we can subsequently make space-time so warped, that one can go back to the past. I think this is an important subject for research, but one has to be careful not to be labeled a crank.”
Farewell Stephen Hawking!!!
Perhaps we’ll all meet again at some Proper Time and Particular Place in SPACE-TIME

Reply to  Ira Glickstein, PhD
March 20, 2018 7:38 am

Correction: “A Brief History of Time” was published in 1988.

March 19, 2018 3:34 pm

Didn’t he recently also endorse the idea that earth could become like Venus due to increasing CO2 levels? Much as I respect his intellect and contributions to science, I think he was having issues the last few years.

peanut gallery
Reply to  DC Cowboy
March 19, 2018 4:19 pm

Wheel him out, feed your own text into his voice box. Instant celebrated spokesman saying what you want.

R. Shearer
Reply to  peanut gallery
March 19, 2018 7:05 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised if he communicated from the grave. “My it’s hotter on Venus than I thought.”

Ben Gunn
March 19, 2018 3:43 pm

Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice.

Reply to  Ben Gunn
March 19, 2018 3:44 pm

While others say it will go out with a wimper, not a bang …

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  DC Cowboy
March 19, 2018 9:14 pm

The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot
* * *
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
Too long for the whole poem.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Ben Gunn
March 19, 2018 9:08 pm

Fire and Ice by Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
One might think that a man named Frost would say something like that.

March 19, 2018 3:47 pm

While I respect Dr. Hawking as an astrophysicist, his pronouncements as a ‘futurist’ are full of crap because they make no account of the adaptability of Homo sapiens, the most distinctive trait of the species. His views on black holes and dark matter are thought-provoking, but his comments on time travel were contradictory (and often in compete disregard of the truth of Entropy and the Second Law), and his pipe dreams of multiverses are irrelevant.
The Universe is comprised of everything that can be observed either directly or indirectly through its influence on other things that can be observed. For any object to physically exist in some *other* universe, it must be *UN*observable in this universe, either directly or indirectly. Without such empirical verifiability, any other universe of things is irrevocably indistinguishable from nonexistent.
Granted he was smart – within his limited field – but not as smart as Einstein and not wise enough to not pretend to be an expert on areas outside of his expertise.

March 19, 2018 4:00 pm

As far as he’s concerned, the universe HAS ended….

Tom in Denver
March 19, 2018 4:02 pm

I remember reading about Hawking in the 80s in his race against time to solve the theory of everything (bridging Quantum physics with relativity), before his aliment claimed his life. He defied the odds and lived decades longer than the doctors predicted, but he never solved the theory of everything. But his book “The Brief History of Time” was a good read at the time. He lost it when he went all climate alarmist. It seemed like a sad struggle to regain relevance.
But he did make it on a Star Trek episode by playing himself on the holodeck.

Reply to  Tom in Denver
March 19, 2018 6:36 pm

He was also an important recurring character on “The Big Bang”.

Reply to  Sheri
March 21, 2018 3:12 am

the “wheelchair guy who invented time”

Tom Gelsthorpe
March 19, 2018 4:03 pm

It’s not unusual for people on their deathbed to turn gloomy and believe that because they’re going down, the whole world is going down. Or to blame things on the Jews. In those respects, Stephen Hawking was commonplace and tragic, not a genius at all.

March 19, 2018 4:17 pm

“The world-famous physicist”
Definitely world famous.

Ron Long
March 19, 2018 4:23 pm

Doesn’t Dr. Hawking’s theory of multiple Universes arise from his belief that the accelerating Big Bang separation is due to external force? IE, something is attracting mass to accelerate outward? What if instead it is a repulsion from the center of the Big Bang event pushing mass outward? Anti-Gravity anyone?

Reply to  Ron Long
March 20, 2018 6:16 pm

Above, I give an account of the reason for the invention of the multiverse idea.
I cannot recall anyone suggesting gravity of one universe pulling on the next.

March 19, 2018 4:26 pm

I predict that the universe will end in fire. Or ice. Since I won’t be around to see it, my prediction is as scientific as Hawking’s. Or Robert Frost’s.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
—Robert Frost

Reply to  stinkerp
March 19, 2018 4:59 pm

I thought I had heard that somewhere before!

Pop Piasa
Reply to  stinkerp
March 19, 2018 5:30 pm

In contrast, there is always Jerry Garcia’s approach to the certainty of oblivion…

Christopher Paino
Reply to  Pop Piasa
March 20, 2018 11:49 am

Bob Weir’s approach.

Bruce Cobb
March 19, 2018 4:43 pm

Maybe he secretly wanted to write science fiction, and no longer knew the difference between fact and fancy.

March 19, 2018 4:57 pm

Mathematical physicists write some of the most farfetched science fiction available. Imagine what I could do with that sort of mathematical training. Scary thought? (^_^)

March 19, 2018 5:01 pm

Like Hollywood celebrities if you surround yourself with like-thinking toadies, you become a believer of your own importance.

March 19, 2018 5:03 pm

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Max Photon
March 19, 2018 5:16 pm

The end of the universe as we knew it. 😉

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
March 19, 2018 5:17 pm

(that version is no longer supported)

Reply to  Pop Piasa
March 20, 2018 3:52 am

Please upgrade your universe.

Linda Goodman
March 19, 2018 5:10 pm

Obviously psychological projection.

March 19, 2018 5:12 pm

His black hole theory is respected and his claim to fame. The rest of his theories/prognostications meh. I think he was put on a pedestal because of his physical condition which is unfortunate because his contribution to science is immense. Count me in for one that believes he was used in his last years for political purposes.

March 19, 2018 5:14 pm

odd isn’t it…..people that claim to have no traditional religion…always seem to be seeking it..at least some substitution
..it’s out there somewhere in the cosmos

Reply to  Latitude
March 19, 2018 5:30 pm

“I’m not religious; I’m spiritual.”
Even this climate change business is yet another in a long line of doomsday cults.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Max Photon
March 19, 2018 9:56 pm

Max, It’s the Model Fellowship of Mann, parish of the Church of Omnipotent Greenhouse In Carbon.
(aka: Gaia-COGIC) The first state-sponsored religion in US history.
The pope found it irresistible.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Latitude
March 19, 2018 6:08 pm

Lat, you’ve touched a nerve of humanity. The need for something to believe in.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
March 20, 2018 6:39 pm

Or, the drive to take over God’s job. As in the Tower of Babel.

March 19, 2018 5:40 pm

Who am I not to give this man his due; however, IMO: if indeed true, regarding his desires, beware of the Scientist in pursuit of a prize.
Excerpted from the article above: “If such evidence had been found while he was alive, it might have put Hawking in line for the Nobel prize he had desired for so long.”

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Johnny Cuyana
March 19, 2018 9:33 pm

Hawking will get a Nobel Prize. I just know it. Diversity is a bigger qualification than merit and this guy had both in spades. I’m sure there are things in the works.
Obama got one just for being elected (talk about Whyte elitist “Progressive” subliminal гас¡зм) and, of course, as a bribe to deliver the US into the global gov plan to fulfill the only real mandate of the UN.
Al Gore got the Prize, Choo Choo Pachauri got It, Kofi Annan got it for presiding over a genocide in E Africa and Yasser Arafat for? Crackerjack(TM) prizes in their boxes of fine caramel corn and peanut confection have come to be neck and neck with the Nobel product of late.
It would be an enormous snub for the Nobel Committee to fail to grant it. It might elevate their game back out of the bog.

anna vayaki
Reply to  Gary Pearse
March 19, 2018 10:23 pm

The peace Nobel prize is given by a different committee than the scientific one, and in another country : https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/prize_awarder/
From http://time.com/5198933/why-stephen-hawking-never-won-nobel/
“Theoretical scientific discoveries have to be confirmed by observational data before there’s a possibility of winning a Nobel. And it’s somewhat difficult to observe a black hole
It takes decades to build the scientific equipment to test theoretical discoveries; to put this into context, Einstein’s theory of gravitational waves in space, which he first proposed in the 1920s, was only recently proven in 2016.”
The prize goes only to living scientists.
We have just started with the last LIGO data to have hard numbers for black holes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LIGO

Fred Harwood
March 19, 2018 5:56 pm

Even theory has a timeline finite.

Bill Illis
March 19, 2018 6:07 pm

If Dark Energy keeps pushing the galaxies apart and we wait for another 200 billion years for all the stars to run out of nuclear fusion fuel, well yeah it will be a dark universe afterward.
But there is some evidence that Dark Energy has varied over time. Initially we had faster than light inflation/acceleration (first few seconds after the Big Bang), then the force slowed down considerably (next 100 million years) and then it started to accelerate again (last 14.7 billion years).
Who knows, maybe it will slow down and reverse in the future. Resulting in all the mass in the universe coming back to a central point and falling into a singularity monster black hole (which exceeds some other force limit of the universe which then results in another Big Bang).
We need to understand what exists in a singularity and what the physical forces are in a singularity to determine if a monster black hole could actually throw matter out at more than the speed of light (a big bang in other words and an answer to the initial inflation of the young universe). The speed of light is actually not a real limit. Mass and Light inside a black hole event horizon is actually falling inward faster than the speed of light so it could also be blown out faster than the speed of light if other physical limits are reached.

March 19, 2018 6:11 pm

Hawking was brilliant on black holes. His greatest error was claiming everything sprang out of nothing – violating the scientific foundations of cause and effect.

Leo Smith
Reply to  David L. Hagen
March 20, 2018 12:02 am

There is no ‘scientific foundation’ of ’cause’ and ‘effect’.
That is a metaphysical principle we assume to be universally correct in our physical model of the world.
What is, is.
How we look at it and split it up into causes, effects and objects, creating phenomena in space time, is our business.
If we dont so split it up, science can’t be done.
Hawking’s great failing was that he never realised that the universe as we – as he – understood it, is a story we/he tell ourselves every waking day of our lives, to explain why we have an experience of it. Its out there all right, but not as we know it.
Therefore he needed to go to yet more arcane descriptions in order to ‘save’ the rational materialistic world view that underpins science, instead of accepting that materialism per se is in fact just a way of looking at things. And starts to get increasingly unwieldy when faced with what appears to be the reality of the quantum world.
What ’causes’ the radioactive nucleus that kills Schrödinger’s cat, to actually decay? Why that nucleus? Why then?
We can ‘invent’ yet deeper and more noumenous ‘layers of reality’ ‘behind the scenes ‘ to save causality and inviolate determinacy, or not.
In the end what we know, and the only thing we know, is our sense of existence and our sense of being in a world of experience.,. What we map that experience into is a matter of what works for us, not necessarily what is true.
Korzybski said only one thing of importance.
“The map, is not the territory”
Nearly all human social problems are caused by people who confuse their own ideas about the world, with the world itself.
This is anthropocentrisim on a cosmic scale.

Scott Wilmot Bennett
Reply to  Leo Smith
March 20, 2018 3:08 am

I really want to believe in Schrödinger’s “cat” but I just can’t get past the zen in his koan!
I can see the large pachyderm* in the box but what is this “cat” he speaks of! 😉
*Empirical elephants, they are a necessary condition of thought experiments!
** I actually do believe in the experiment but it is a faith based!

Reply to  Leo Smith
March 21, 2018 8:38 am

Leo Smith Try the Second Law of Thermodynamics (SLOT) for macro systems, aka “Time’s Arrow”.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
March 21, 2018 2:54 am

The centre of the universe is impenetrable to telescopes as it is so cluttered, if we had a big bang there would be an ever increasing big hole in the middle. That there is not would suggest a different explanation.
Hawking may have been closer to the truth by saying it came out of nothing, from the way everything swirls out from the centre something is sure going on in the middle.
Matter factory perhaps something coming out of nothing, except we only assume with our limited knowledge of science that it is nothing. Dark matter is surely only the imaginings of science, their idea of dark energy is wrong there is energy unseen that makes the universe,galaxies and solar systems work or we would not exist
but it is demonstrable and measurable, they tend to not look for the right thing. Just saying.

March 19, 2018 6:16 pm

First there was nothing. Then it exploded.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Max Photon
March 20, 2018 12:04 am

A reasonably succinct way of looking at it.
Or “And God said ‘let there be light'”
In terms of unprovable assertions, they are pretty much on a par.

Scott Wilmot Bennett
Reply to  Max Photon
March 20, 2018 7:35 am

Love that! 😉

Scott Wilmot Bennett
Reply to  Scott Wilmot Bennett
March 20, 2018 7:43 am

Love this:

First there was nothing. Then it exploded. – Max Photon

Despite the fact that I think I understand inflation theory, this makes me laugh! 😉

March 19, 2018 6:16 pm

When I divided by zero, I got points taken off.

Reply to  Max Photon
March 19, 2018 6:42 pm

Poor Max, you must have gone to school when accuracy was valued above self esteem. You have my sincerest condolences. (I, too, had the misfortune of living before 2+2=7 was a fine answer and participation trophies were the name of the game. It made math and science so much harder that way.)

Reply to  Sheri
March 19, 2018 7:21 pm

And now if you say 7+7 = 2 mod 3, you get a timeout mod 12, because it hurts the feeling of those who don’t have mommies (or legs, or privilege, or … I can’t remember exactly what …).

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Sheri
March 19, 2018 10:06 pm

See Max, you’re way better at math than me.
Or is that comprehension?

March 19, 2018 6:52 pm

Hawking’s disease destroyed his brain. His celebrity was not much for his physics work. IMO Dyson, Penrose, Weinberg, Glashow, Gell-Man are better physicists. I find his black hole theory speculative and dubious.

Reply to  Dr. Strangelove
March 19, 2018 7:03 pm


Reply to  Dr. Strangelove
March 19, 2018 8:01 pm

What amazes me is that Cambridge made him Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at all.

Reply to  joelobryan
March 19, 2018 9:09 pm

Not the same caliber as Newton, Babbage, Stokes, Dirac
His best work is on black holes, which I think is a misunderstanding. I challenge physicists who follow Hawking to show me physics equations that include “information” (aside from Hawking). “Information” is not a physical quantity. He got that concept from Shanon’s information theory. But Shanon was not physicist, he was an electrical engineer working on how to store information in computers and transmit them in telephone wires. Shanon’s theory was not about black holes and heat engines.
Hawking applied Shanon’s information theory to black holes and that’s how the confusion began. Then physicists started talking about Hawking’s theory as if it were true. Then they hit upon the information paradox, which is a non-problem, so they are trying to solve a non-problem. Clausius’ formulation of entropy based on thermodynamics and statistical mechanics is more sensible.

Reply to  joelobryan
March 19, 2018 9:49 pm

Dr. Strangelove March 19, 2018 at 9:09 pm Edit

Not the same caliber as Newton, Babbage, Stokes, Dirac

I do enjoy the irony of being lectured on the relative merits of scientific giants by someone hiding behind the alias “Dr. Strangelove” …
In addition, you sneer that “Shanon” (whose name you are not fit to spell … by which I mean that you repeatedly spelled it incorrectly) among his other failings “was not physicist [sic]”.
So what? Fundamental discoveries like those of Shannon often find application in field far removed from their initial use, viz:

The field [information theory] is at the intersection of mathematics, statistics, computer science, physics, neurobiology, and electrical engineering. The theory has also found applications in other areas, including statistical inference, natural language processing, cryptography, neurobiology, human vision, the evolution and function of molecular codes (bioinformatics), model selection in statistics, thermal physics, quantum computing, linguistics, plagiarism detection, pattern recognition, and anomaly detection. Important sub-fields of information theory include source coding, channel coding, algorithmic complexity theory, algorithmic information theory, information-theoretic security, and measures of information.

What’s next, You going to point out disparagingly that “Shanon” was not a neurobiologist either? Funny … despite that, his information theory has found applications in neurobiology …
Was Hawking right about information? Is the “information paradox” real? I don’t know … but I do know that you anonymously rubbishing the entire field as being worthless is quite humorous …

Reply to  joelobryan
March 19, 2018 11:46 pm

Spare me your ad hominem Willis.
Correction: Aside from Shannon’s name, I was thinking of Boltzmann’s entropy not Clausius. Hawking should have followed Boltzmann rather than Shannon. I don’t criticize Shannon. His theory is useful but Hawking misused it. Not to disrespect Hawking, but his theory concerns me because I also write theories on black hole and quantum mechanics.

Reply to  joelobryan
March 20, 2018 2:20 am

“Rubbishing the entire field as being worthless” is not quite right. My view is local realism. It is as old as Aristotle and the general view of science as we know it. The moon exists whether anybody is looking at it or not. Amazingly this common sense view is now the minority view among theoretical physicists. This is because quantum mechanics particularly the Copenhagen Interpretation seems to contradict local realism. I don’t mind being in the minority. I’m in good company with Einstein, Schrodinger, Bohm, Penrose and a few others.
I see Hawking’s black hole information theory as the modern reincarnation of the ancient Idealism of Plato who invented the world of ideas. To Plato, ideas are the ultimate reality. The rocks and the moon are just illusions. Hawking just replaced Plato’s ideas with Shannon’s information, and we have the quantum version of Plato’s idealism. Information is the ultimate reality. If we lose the information, it’s like violating the laws of physics and making the particles disappear. I find it a bit silly but many physicists take it seriously. This is just to give a flavor of it without going to technical details.
As the great Feynman said, it’s safe to say nobody understands quantum mechanics, and that includes himself. I guess that’s why we have these silly theories.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  joelobryan
March 20, 2018 8:11 am

Willis, that is ad hominum, and kind of a cheap shot. I don’t see how how Stranglove’s post was a lecture to you
As a historian, I doubt that anyone will ever think that Hawking’s scientific work was more fundamental, or more original than that of Newton, Dirac, or Stokes. As for Babbage, he was certainly quite original, but his work was not fundamental to computer science. Those honors must be reserved for another Cambridge Man, Alan Turing. Turing could not become Lucasian Professor as the seat was then held by Dirac.

Reply to  joelobryan
March 21, 2018 3:23 am

Babbage designed the Analytical Engine, the first Turing-equivalent machine, exactly 100 years before Turing conceptualized the Turing machine. The Analytical Engine was a true computer had it been completed. Ada Lovelace is regarded as the first computer programmer. It was Babbage who taught Ada computer programming. Babbage should have gotten the honor but he didn’t publish his work. (Some believe the computer program that Ada published was written by Babbage for her)
BTW that multiverse paper by Hawking is all hype and no substance. To quote my favorite female physicist, Sabine Hossenfelder:
“The claim that the detection of CMB polarization would mean the multiverse exists makes as much sense as claiming that if I find a coin on the street then Bill Gates must have walked by. And a swarm of invisible angels floated around him playing harp and singing “Ode To Joy.”
In case that was too metaphorical, let me say it once again but plainly. Hawking has not found a new way to measure the existence of other universes.”

March 19, 2018 6:52 pm

I thought that the end of the world and the resurrection of the dead wouldn’t happen until the UK left the EU

Leo Smith
Reply to  zemlik
March 20, 2018 12:07 am

Well that ain’t about to happen, in reality.
Theresa the Appeaser has said that although we are in fact leaving, nothing at all is going to change!
Superb! You couldn’t make it up.
But she did,

NW sage
March 19, 2018 6:56 pm

Perhaps, if he was correct about parallel universes, Hawking will, in time, experience a full(er) life without the handicap of ALS. RIP!

Pop Piasa
Reply to  NW sage
March 19, 2018 10:15 pm

Cool! I have a politically uncorrect accomplice (see top of thread). Welcome to the club!

March 19, 2018 7:07 pm

The likelihood of the Earth turning into a ball of fire within 600 years of the life of the prophet who spouts the prophesy is extremely small, seeing that the Earth has existed more and less unscathed for at least 4,000,000,000 years. The co-incidence is too far-fetched. His IQ may have been high – but on this occasion it let him down (which happens to all us bright guys now and again, let’s us face it!!). I might have taken him serious if he had come out with a more likely time-span.

Reply to  AndyE
March 20, 2018 5:46 am

Hawking says: “humans will turn the planet into a giant ball of fire by the year 2600”
What is unique about the year 2600, I wonder. Why not 2100? According to the IPCC, civilization will be destroyed by 2100 if humans don’t stop pumpig CO2 into the atmosphere.

March 19, 2018 7:28 pm

Should this be in the Darwin — We Have a Problem thread?
(Max, you’re terrible. Just terrible.)

charles nelson
March 19, 2018 7:46 pm

People cut Hawking a lot of slack because he was so severely disabled.
Had he been a normal, healthy individual, many of his fantasies and theorems would have been rapidly debunked.

Scott Wilmot Bennett
Reply to  charles nelson
March 20, 2018 5:20 am

Exactly! 10+

Reply to  charles nelson
March 20, 2018 8:04 am

Yeah that is probable.
It is so sad that he was ravaged by an ugly disease and early in his adult life.

March 19, 2018 7:55 pm

The multiverse idea is the only one that makes sense.
Humans argued for centuries for the existence of God because the earth, and humans, seemed unique and perfect. How could they just come into existence without a guiding hand.
The physical laws (attraction between subatomic particles) just happen to be just right to allow matter to exist.
Think about it.

Reply to  Joel
March 19, 2018 8:03 pm

M theory is still the best explanation of where all the anti-matter went at the Big Bang. And the tension between the two branes is the cosmological constant that Einstein fretted about.
2 universes. Not a multiverse.

Reply to  joelobryan
March 20, 2018 7:08 am

Where did the branes come from?

Reply to  joelobryan
March 20, 2018 8:08 am


J Mac
March 19, 2018 8:08 pm

Setting his physics contributions aside, Hawking’s continued efforts to contribute whilst imprisoned in an almost immobile body commands my deep respect. Factoring in the indignities of dependency on others for almost every body function requiring either inputs or outputs and the frustrations of a very limited communications capability, I find it more than amazing that the man remained relatively sane. Pray that we are never so severely tested!
‘Fair winds and following seas’, Stephan Hawking.

March 19, 2018 8:28 pm

With all due respect to the subject of this post and the comments in it. Can any one of us imagine the challenges that man faced, physically, and mentally in our world. When the passion of physics is the only passion you can chase, that is a handicap most would never survive. I can only imagine the psychological challenges that were faced in ever increasing intensity through his life as his health decayed. One would wonder if his brilliance was inate or a result of his challenges in life. That said, he lived much longer than most with his degenerative condition. I appreciated his contributions to all of us, even if he creeped me out (no disrespect).
May you rest in piece Stephen Hawking!

March 19, 2018 9:02 pm

IMO every thing in the universe is or is made of quantum units at the level of indivisibility. These are basic existential elements that are also indestructible as they all survived the ‘big bang’. At the big bang the temperatures are so high these quanta are accelerating away from a center of mass and each other and are so hot their individual characteristics cannot come into play to form structures such as protons, neutrons, atoms etc. When they’ve cooled enough they begin to dance together and the first, incredibly small, structures come into existence. Eventually what we call the first ‘matter’ is said to be about 74 to 75 percent hydrogen, 24 or 25 percent helium and 1 percent lithium plus leftover ‘background radiation.
It is all about temperature.
The state of the universe is determined by the state (or states) of its basic existential elements.
The state of the universe’s basic existential elements is determined by their temperature.
I have read that the object called a black hole has a temperature measured in billionths of a degree K. Since the black hole begins at its event horizon its temperature would depend on temperature of the infalling material that becomes part of the singularity that causes the black hole’s existence. So what is the temperature of a singularity? Probably absolute zero. When a star of sufficient size reaches the point of fusing iron and collapses because its internal temperature (energy) cannot support its mass those basic existential elements at its core are crushed to the extent that there is no empty space between them, The dance has ended for them. They have no temperature (energy) and no longer exist as individual quanta.
The background radiation from the big bang is said to have cooled to about 2.6 degrees K in 13.7 or so billion years.
It appears that eventually, in hundred of billions or even trillions of years, every quantum bit of the universe will achieve a temperature of absolute zero, with no energy and singularity will be the state of everything in the universe. I believe Hawking considered a universe composed of black holes that he said would radiate away to nothing.
A universe of singularities would have only one force – mass attraction. Each would be attached to all of the rest by the equivalent of infinitely elastic bungee cords. Inexorably they will begin to accelerate toward one another. They will merge with one another at relatively slow speeds while accelerating toward the universal center of mass. After a long period, probably similar to the cool down, this singular material travelling at 0.999999….(carry it out as far as you like) of light speed will be about 300,000 kilometers from center of mass. One second later (as we humans compute time) these singularities containing all the basic existential elements in the universe will arrive at center of mass in the greatest collider in existence, the universe itself. This is where our big bang came from and the next will come from, ad infinitum.
Evidence for this is mostly anecdotal. Statistically this means that it is inevitable that the same sperm and egg containing the same DNA will come together under the same circumstances that resulted in all of us. We are all reincarnate and universal physics is the culprit. Are you one of the 80 percent that are said to experience de ja vu? Have you had clairvoyant or prescient moments? When your DNA builds your brain in this iteration of the universe it is the same brain you previously had in other iterations. As your brain develops latent memories of your previous incarnations are installed resulting in you having these experiences. These experiences are not limited to humans. Consider the working group of Asian elephants during the 2004 Sumatran tsunami. Some of them suddenly trumpeted with a scream and ran to high ground. Those elephants could not have an academic understanding that anything they may have sensed meant the tsunami was coming. But with a brain 3 times larger than a human, latent stored information could evoke such a response. Essentially this is what the so called sixth sense is.
All DNA based organisms are programmed to do two basic things: 1) survive to reproductive maturity and 2) reproduce. Those that are not ready for survival at birth have additional programming to assist their offspring in achieving reproductive maturity. Thus you are focused on achieving this programming and usually don’t have access to this latent information, but usually only have glimpses.

Walter Sobchak
March 19, 2018 9:18 pm

Nothing that has been written or said has displaced this 2500 year old description of the end of the world:
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
And look upon the earth beneath:
For the heavens shall vanish away like smoke,
And the earth shall wear out like a garment,
And its inhabitants shall die with them: but
My salvation shall be for ever, and
My righteousness will never fail.
Is 51:6

Scott Wilmot Bennett
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
March 20, 2018 5:31 am

Yeah, except that God so loved the world that he – became incarnate – in order to save it! /Not sure how to “characterise” that “pronouncement” 😉 / ;-(

March 19, 2018 10:12 pm

Maybe this paper was mere projection by Stephen Hawking.

March 19, 2018 11:53 pm

So Hawking thought we’re doomed, as well.

Whats All This About
March 19, 2018 11:55 pm

The moment I realized he’d lost his marbles was when he suggested that Earth will become like Venus due to climate change.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Whats All This About
March 20, 2018 1:31 am

I agree.

Reply to  Whats All This About
March 20, 2018 9:52 am

… hey, but he read it in the peer-reviewd literature.

Reply to  philincalifornia
March 20, 2018 9:53 am

….. should have reviewed that before hitting the button !!

Ed Zuiderwijk
March 20, 2018 1:40 am

An idea like that our universe is ‘one of many’ is meaningless. It just reflects the fact that there are aspects of reality, or should I say existence, that we simply do not grasp, even are not at all aware of. Speculation about the universe or verses belongs firmly in Donald Rumsfeld’s ‘unknown unknowns’ category.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
March 20, 2018 7:06 am

As we make and reproduce near-observations, we reduce the unknowns, which is a necessary and sufficient condition for a scientific philosophy. Ideally, science is a utilitarian philosophy that characterizes a fitness function that normalizes Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Every other realization of “science” is merely speculation that is “consistent with”.

Martin A
March 20, 2018 1:47 am

Hawking was a True Believer (in the CAGW religion).
I imagine that the last actual physics he did was in his final year as an undergraduate student.

Reply to  Martin A
March 20, 2018 2:13 am

By Martin: I imagine that the last actual physics he did was in his final year as an undergraduate student.
We like to demonise all alarmists here, its what we do. No matter their genius, no matter they’ve forgotten more science than we’ll ever know, if they are any threat at all to BAU status quo they’re fair game for character assassination. Witness the misrepresentation of what he said at the Tencent WE Summit. Mocking it into “humans will turn the planet into a giant ball of fire by the year 2600” with quotation marks added no less, then bouncing it around the usual kook-infested echo-chambers.
This is just one tiny example, but for maroons here its now the fake truth. Despicable.

Reply to  zazove
March 20, 2018 8:22 am

“they’ve forgotten more science than we’ll ever know”
Not worth remembering?

Reply to  zazove
March 20, 2018 10:04 am

So who made the giant ball of fire segment just after the two minute mark? Are you saying someone faked this video zazove ?

Reply to  zazove
March 20, 2018 12:37 pm

“giant ball of fire”. This “quote” is not what he said but you’ve just repeated the faked headline, again.

Reply to  zazove
March 20, 2018 3:23 pm

zazove, I described it as a giant ball of fire myself, because that’s what it is, and that’s what I was pointing out to you. If it was his handlers who did it and he had no editorial control, which I believe people are suggesting on this thread, then shame on them, but I would be surprised if he had no editorial control. His video shows the earth as a giant ball of fire, right after he says 2600. Therefore he wanted to convey the message graphically that the earth would be a giant ball of fire in 2600.
….. and hey, that’s Nick Stokes’ job.

March 20, 2018 6:13 am

Late career grandstanding seems to be a common path and rather addictive in the case of Carl Sagan.

James Beaver
March 20, 2018 6:35 am

Well, everyone is wrong about something.

March 20, 2018 6:47 am

Do thoughts/ideas/knowledge have mass(energy)? Just wondering.

March 20, 2018 6:57 am

We have barely reached the edge of our solar system,let alone made close observation of anything beyond that seemingly hard limit. The belief in a universe is based on inference from signals that may or may not be true representations of their source(s). We want to believe. He wanted to believe, in something.

William Astley
March 20, 2018 7:01 am

“driver who, lost in rural Ireland, asks a passer-by how to get to Dublin. “I wouldn’t start from here,” comes the reply.”

Hawkins did not advance science as he was working on dead science.
Inflation, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Cosmic ‘Strings’, Multi-universes, Black Holes and so on are dead science.
Science gets its ‘life’ so to speak from its connect to the physical world.
We have made the most fundamental possible physical error which explains why there is a jump up and down breakthrough in the astronomical observations.
There are piles and piles of anomalies and paradoxes in the astronomical observations.

The Frenk Principle:
“If the Cold Dark Matter Model does not agree with observations, there must be physical processes, no matter how bizarre or unlikely, that can explain the discrepancy.”
The Strong Frenk Principle: (2 versions)
1: “The physical processes must be the most bizarre and unlikely…”
2: “If we are incapable of finding any physical processes to explain the discrepancy between CDM models and observations, then observations are wrong.”
– George Efstathiou


Mysterious dance of dwarf galaxies may force a cosmic rethink
The discovery that many small galaxies throughout the universe do not ‘swarm’ around larger ones like bees do but ‘dance’ in orderly disc-shaped orbits is a challenge to our understanding of how the universe formed and evolved. The researchers believe the answer may be hidden in some currently unknown physical process that governs how gas flows in the universe, although, as yet, there is no obvious mechanism that can guide dwarf galaxies into narrow planes.


Spooky Alignment of Quasars Across Billions of Light-years
“The first odd thing we noticed was that some of the quasars’ rotation axes were aligned with each other — despite the fact that these quasars are separated by billions of light-years,” said Hutsemékers.
The team then went further and looked to see if the rotation axes were linked, not just to each other, but also to the structure of the Universe on large scales at that time.
When astronomers look at the distribution of galaxies on scales of billions of light-years they find that they are not evenly distributed.
They form a cosmic web of filaments and clumps around huge voids where galaxies are scarce. This intriguing and beautiful arrangement of material is known as large-scale structure.
Alignment of quasar polarizations with large-scale structures, September 23, 2014


Walter Sobchak
Reply to  William Astley
March 20, 2018 7:49 am

“With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.”
The pillars of modern cosmology include black holes, dark matter, and dark energy. Modern cosmology also includes a history of the universe that posits the Cosmic Background Radiation is a veil behind which we cannot see the first 377,000 years of the universe. It was followed by the “Dark Ages” during which there was no starlight to illuminate anything. Some modern cosmologies include multiple other universes that cannot, in principle, be observed.
We may have enough parameters for a whole herd of elephants.

Hiro Kawabata
March 20, 2018 7:36 am

A bit of perspective on the Hawking and Hertog paper by a theoretical physicist specializing in general relativity:
“In case that was too metaphorical, let me say it once again but plainly. Hawking has not found a new way to measure the existence of other universes.”

March 20, 2018 8:02 am

The overrated guessing scientist made this poorly thought out claim,
“Overcrowding and energy consumption will render Earth uninhabitable in just a few centuries, Hawking said via video:”
Already the latest on population growth is to PEAK around mid to late century, just a few decades from now.
Energy supplies from Nuclear alone can last for a few THOUSAND years, Fusion may still happen in a decade or two.
He is being laughable on this.

March 20, 2018 8:35 am

Hopefully the James Webb telescope gets up and functions as it should next year. Fielding the technology to see more and further back in time is a big part of the answer to separating the theoretical chaff from the factual grain. If as many here profess, much of current Cosmology theory is utter BS sustained only by new hypotheses unverified by observations and falsified by others, then eventually that will be revealed.

Bill Yarber
March 20, 2018 8:37 am

I greatly admire Steven Hawking’s brilliant mind, vast body of work and constant fight to overcome his physical condition. What he accomplished is truly amazing, almost beyond belief for one so debilitated. BUT: he recently claimed that “time” does not exist! Yet, like all of us, he was born, lived, aged and died! This happened over a 76 year period, not in an instant of time. We claim our Universe is ~13.7 billion years old and the rate of expansion is increasing. Steven was brilliant but obviously didn’t know EVERYTHING! Maybe now that he is with our maker, he does know everything. Thanks for all you have contributed to our understanding of our universe.

Reply to  Bill Yarber
March 20, 2018 8:53 am

Time as a separate dimension may not exist. There may only be matter and momentum, and “time” is a logical construct fitting our perception.

Reply to  nn
March 20, 2018 10:00 am

Momentum is: “the quantity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity.”
“The velocity of an object is the rate of change of its position with respect to a frame of reference, and is a function of time.”
Thus without time there can be no measure of velocity and thus measure of momentum. The concepts cannot be separated from one another.

Reply to  nn
March 20, 2018 7:22 pm

As I read this, I get amazed that so many scientific-minded people can laugh at Christianity while stating exactly what the Bible says.
The first sentence of the Good Book, I would think, is known to all educated people. “In the beginning (time), God created the heavens (space) and the earth (matter).” He made them at the same time. He is outside of time, space, and matter.
How could matter come first, with no place to put it?
All that is required to say that the idea of God is possible/reasonable/entertainable is to accept the possibility that there could be something outside of the universe of time/space/matter.

Reply to  Bill Yarber
March 20, 2018 9:39 am

LOL! Probably his best known book is titled ‘A Brief History of Time’.
Time is a human fabricated metric but then again ALL metrics are human concepts. ALL math is a human fabrication and it is the language of science. To deny the existence of time is to deny the existence of science.

Reply to  RAH
March 20, 2018 3:13 pm

No, the point is that time may not be a separate dimension, which implies that it is neither measured nor traveled. Our physics and math are models and tools to facilitate their understanding and exploitation. For example, clocks measure motion, not time, unless you equate momentum with time. Does time exist where there is zero momentum, in stasis? How would you know without an external reference? Another implication is that time travel, forward and reverse, is possible only through rearrangement of all or sufficient (i.e. resolvable) matter and energy within a closed frame of reference.

Tom Schaefer
March 20, 2018 10:01 am

“A Smooth Exit From Eternal Inflation” Sounds like it could have been written in response to Friedrich Hayek’s warning regarding the end of monetary expansions.

March 20, 2018 10:17 am

Whilst Hawking was an incredible example of how not to let a disability limit one’s dreams, and a brilliant mathematician, he was also a great example of how being right about one thing doesn’t necessarily make you right about everything. He was a flat out lunatic regarding some of his pronouncements on climate change.

Rebecca Proudhon
March 20, 2018 11:36 am

As proof that anyone either critical of or not near worshipful, of Hawkings is not politically correct, I was given a one week, suspension from the World of Warcraft forum, for simply joking, “Can I have his stuff?”

March 20, 2018 1:40 pm

Hawking’s most important contributions to physics occurred before 1975. His theories regarding Black Holes, specifically his 1970 paper, The Second Law of Black Hole Dynamics, garnered Hawking world wide attention. He followed this up in 1973 with his Large Scale Structure of Space-Time. As one scientist noted, the growing interest in Black Holes by the public coincided with Hawking’s theories. By 1979, he was almost at celebrity status. He entered celebrity status after his layman’s book, A Brief History in Time in was published in 1984-85. His close friendship with American scientist, Kip Thorne, also helped in making him a household name in the US.
Hawking continued to dabble to varying degrees in theoretical physics. But, by 1990 his illness coupled with demands on his time, prevented him from doing anymore important work. Like Einstein, he did his most important work at a young age.

Frank Kotler
March 20, 2018 6:37 pm

“Shades of John Ehrlich.”
Is he related to Paul?

March 21, 2018 3:16 pm

Theory? Isn’t this yet another of a bazillion examples where “hypothesis” should be written?

March 23, 2018 9:49 am

physical time travel is NOT possible, the entire universe would have to be altered on a physical level……..

March 23, 2018 10:41 am

neither the past nor future EXIST now,only the present exists.

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