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#ScienceSunday  

+stephen hawking 


EDIT:  I can't even believe that of all the stuff I post, this one became as popular as it did!  This is the first post of mine to make it to the What's Hot Explore section.  It's a little crazy what happens in there...
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116 comments
 
"Illusion of knowledge..." That must refer to Al Gore.
 
Life is hard sometime, and that's why we should keep on fighting, the harder the battle the sweeter the victory. 
 
Not a bad quote. I like this one.
 
Ugh, not the Right-Libertarians again.
 
The most annoying political sect ever.
 
Because we really know nothing compared to the infintum of what we could know. 
 
How ironically posted to a social media site. :)
 
uh, ever heard of mutation? That should answer your drawn out and confusing question of how we evolved.
 
Evolution is not a question, it is a known fact. It is the way of Nature.
 
i agree,with Stephen; to have an illusion of knowledge and to begin to share that illusion with others one would do great damage to themselves and others.
also ignorance is a knowledge.
ignorance and arrogance seem to me to be dark twins.
Dennis Gordon.

 
 
being closed minded never helped anyone get a grasp on a single thing they could not understand, so yeah I think that falls under ignorance, broaden your horizons just a tad be open to the possibilities and entitlement of individual opinions, if not don't be such a douche and have respect simply agree to disagree with respect.
in other words, don't spit on someone if your not prepared to be spat on!!!
 
we used to have corollary, the worst manager/executive was somebody that thought they knew what they were doing.
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...but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn last night.
 
with every statement made we have the right to reply.
while some scientists believe in God others find God through science, while to many god would be science.
each must make his or her own way.
Dennis Gordon Bth.
Reaching Hearts Ministry. 
 
Mutation doesn't mean inferior, it means something changed. The good goes on to create new species and the bad dies off. That's how evolution works.
 
One does not believe in Science. One knows the facts that science uncovers. It is not a religion. You don't need to have faith in it because it is provable.
 
I've never understood why scientifically illiterate (and often very religious people) can't form basic sentences or use basic grammar, any linguistic/sociology <relevant title> who look into this will receive chocolate and pictures of kittens.

And yeah, Hawkins got that one right.
 
+Amanda Johnson Check out the Dunning-Kruger Effect, explains the "stupid people can't understand that they're stupid" beautifully.
 
I haven't chimed in here much because I haven't been able to make a whole lot of sense out a lot of these comments, but science is not this huge monolithic entity standing in opposition to religion. Science just is. It is not a belief, it is knowledge. It is not faith, it is tangible.
 
+Samya Ahsan: if you plan to be a scientist, at some point you will probably have to at least tolerate atheism since a lot of scientists are atheists, at least compared to the general public.  This is dependant on what field you're in, but the trend tends to increase the higher up the publishing trail; the more successful the scientist, the less they tend to believe in god.  This is a good link for criticism and discussion of these ideas: http://ncse.com/rncse/18/2/do-scientists-really-reject-god

I am in no way saying you need to change your faith at all; as an atheist I believe that choosing your faith is a fundamental human right.  But you cannot reject the above quote and expect to be a successful scientist; science at it's heart is about questioning everything possible in the pursuit of knowledge.
 
+John Biaggio I don't think he qualifies, he'll actually have to break the 9th commandment and I don't think he have.
 
"We will never know all, but all is known".

 
"The greatest enemy to Truth is not blind-faith, it is the illusion of truth."
 
+robert john sykes you realize that those of us without delusion, see your tortured logic and just laugh and laugh.  You're baseless assumptions are so sweetly naive.  
And why is your magic book more correct then the other magic books?  
 
+robert john sykes If your god is so perfect, why did he create us with obvious technical flaws that make us look like the product of random cumulative processes; for example a breathing and digestive system that share the same plumbing resulting in the deaths of thousands of people for eating wrong?
And who said there has to be a purpose to anything? And what, then, is god's purpose?
 
OH MY GOD!!!! steve rem, whoever you are, you have problems.
 
right... so do most of us.
 
And what's the enemy of illusion? To dream? Perhaps to sleep? Or to fall like an autumn leaf? Age, eras, separate sometimes more than illusions and knowledge. Perspectives force to accept limitations. Remember when you told many years ago: "Our time and space puts doubt on UNIVERSAL TRUTH", or to put it differently ILLUSION OF KNOWLEDGE.
 
WOW I think I need to beat the heck out of this enemy!!!:(
 
I love you Stephen Hawking! You're flipping brilliant!
 
+Amanda Johnson I don't mean to suggest it is a way of life. Just that it deals only in finding the facts of our universe. Science seeks to discover what is true about the natural world and to prove it.
 
Love those prototype Google glasses
 
So why do we ask why?  We don't need to know, but we still ask.  And if the answer is not there we find it.  We humans just want to know everything.  Did God create us this way?  We lust for knowledge.  So our goal is to prove that God is real.  Those who fail stop believing, but those who don't have to prove it he is are those who make it to the kingdom of God.
 
The greatest enemies of knowledge are religion and tyranny.  The illusion of knowledge is not its greatest enemy and I don't know one person that said ignorance is.  Seems like Hawking likes to setup strawmen to knock down.
 
+Thomas Geiger What sort of knowledge do religion and tyranny bring about? False knowledge that is believed by the masses. Or the illusion of knowledge. Seems like you and Hawking are saying the same thing.
 
I personally believe one of the greatest enemies of knowledge are those who use it to defraud and deceive others.
 
+carolyn pluff because
when someone believes that the earth was created 6000 years ago, they think they are right.
And when someone knows that the earth is 4.54 billion years old, they still think they are right.
And one of those is true knowledge, and one is the illusion of knowledge.
 
I don't think this quote has anything to do with religion.
In my opinion, it's more about the superficial treatment of information as if it was knowledge. You can read thousands of articles about a subject and still don't have a grasp of it. I can see it here on G+ everyday in the stream of so many science posts (and of other disciplines), yet they offer very little knowledge to their readers.
Real knowledge allows you to make predictions, to know why things happen, to obtain relevant information and use it on your advantage.
 
your comment is attractive to all visitors. i also support this song.
 
+Steve Rem I'd say both 6000 years and 4,54 billion years are wrong, it's a matter of degree rather than one being true and the other false. In this case 4,54 billion is wrong due to statistics and inaccurate measurement, 6000 is wrong due to a faulty source. You Have No Idea How Wrong You Are <- I linked this earlier but you can't link something too many times.
 
Nobody has been here for either amount of time and the answer is moot.. The greatest lie the devil ever told was that he did not exist.. The anti-religious are not atheists.. They are religionists... Though dost protest too much and it unmasks you.. God is the all powerful and all knowing, if he doesn't want to be found he wont
 
Try reading "evidence that demands a verdict".
 
G+ really should include a "theist/atheist cock measuring contest" filter. I'd sign up for the early beta.
 
Does anyone think for 4000 years the best people in history knowingly gave their lives(most got tortured). Gods Prophets walked to their deaths with eyes wide open , more then I can say for rest of the zombies . Read Isaiah or Jeremiah and tell me they did not know what they were talking about. Many will be called,few chosen !  O:(
 
+Kristian Lundkvist you're right of course,I should have used a better analogy. You get the idea though.
 
+Steve Rem Yes (and generally I do agree that one is slightly wrong and the other demonstrably false but it seemed appropriate in a discussion about knowledge).
Mark G
 
Maybe they could just get shotguns like they used to do!
 
+Kristian Lundkvist I think Grayson was giving knowledge...which most of us think is illusion..i mean the existence of heaven and hell and even the Lord.
 
look at his glasses ,he has a tiny script he is ready from lol or maybe its a tiny tv with porno he is watching lol
 
When you think you know all the answers, you close yourself off from any other possibilities. 
 
No body knws it all and whom ever may believe the opposite and dares to look down on others rendering them lesser to his or her eye a great disappointment to his/her illusive ego will be cast.
 
+sajeev n Eh, no. Belief in hell, heaven and "the Lord" is just that, belief based on faith. +Grayson Bennett even admitted it was an argument from ignorance, that is "I don't know, therefore I know" and thus can't be regarded as knowledge.
 
+glenda hill You do know that he communicates completely through a computer and it's probably that screen that reflects in his glasses?
 
+Glenda Hill If I'm not mistaken, the little gadget on his glasses is actually a camera that monitors his eye movement in conjunction with his computer which work together so he can speak in that classic Stephen Hawking computer voice.
 
+Anthony Zul actually no nothing is ever provable, we can only make logical conclusions based on reference points, we don't have a reference point for what we perceive as reality, we don't KNOW if there are other dimensions or realms, or things that we don't experience, until we do, and even if we do, saying that ANYTHING can be proven is ignorant, closed minded, and arrogant.
 
You are retarded.  When a hypothesis is developed, an expectation given, an experiment successful, it has been proven.  Get your head out of the clouds and come back down to earth buddy.
 
For some reason I believe that he also has some sort of delusion of knowing 
 
+Emrys Jay Assuming that the universe exists and that we perceive it somewhat accurately I'd say: Nothing is true and everything is permitted. Disregarding the self-refutation and the second half this is a quite accurate observation of reality. Without knowing everything nothing can be true because something you don't know might affect the statement but something can be false if it violates evidence (then it's a question of "how wrong is it?") or the statement violates logic (in which case it's false).

The problem you bring up is basically the "brain in a vat" and it is a valid one. However all people, whether they know it or not, makes the basic assumptions that the universe exists, we can perceive it to a degree and we can learn something about it.
 
I'm seriously doubting that people understood what the part "illusion of knowledge" means....
Saad M
 
Hawking is right about that, he himself has the "illusion of knowledge."
 
Magic is also illusion not truth and we shouldn't be amazed or interested in movies like Harry Porter, we should focus towards truth.
 
Life passes through illusion. We love science fiction, magic, myth-all are illusory. Without illusion life would become disgusting. We find peace in imagination that has a touch of illusion. The world is an illusion.
 
+Samya Ahsan note you said scientists don't believe in religion but you believe in G-d. I would argue that many scientists believe in G-d but find religion a little harder to swallow.
 
Stephen Hawking should get a special Google Glass. :)
 
Had we stopped upon discovery of the atom, or at e=m(c*c) that would have been the illusion of knowledge. But we figure out what questions need to be asked and pursue their answers leading us to more questions that sometimes will be beyond our capability to comprehend or pursue, for now. To ever presume that there's nothing more is the illusion of knowledge.
 
There are a lot of people who want to read this as a criticism of religion but I really can't see that being true. The Bible is largely an historical document that has nothing to do with science at all (the only exception being Genesis, which most Christians consider a parable and not literal).

Much more dangerous in terms of "illusion of knowledge" is bad science. Believe it or not, the scientific community is no more open to radically changing established facts than the religious one. Stuff like the earth not being flat, the sun being the centre of the solar system and evolution were not instantly embraced by scientists at the time at all. It was many of these scientists' jobs to teach people that the sun revolved around the earth, they didn't want someone suddenly undermining years of their work.

These are extreme examples but I'm sure this is what Hawking means. It's important to keep an open mind and not just disregard new discoveries and theories because they seem crazy to you.
 
yup +Cian McIntyre i totally agree with you. i just want to add that false and incomplete knowledge are very disruptive to the development of science and the seeking of truth. we must recognize the fact that we do not know everything so let us continue to explore what the god has created for us. (im a free-thinker)
 
When someone decides that Faith is a display of ignorance, they prove themselves to be void of both, real intellect and imagination.  
 
This is especially true for complex systems where the illusion of knowledge is a common mistake. Everybody thinks that they understand economics, the repercussions of everyday politics, in retrospective what caused what effects, why one team lost and other won etc.
The truth is you're just guessing.
 
+Cian McIntyre First off it is only a historical in the sense it was written a long time ago, not in facts. It is in fact mostly copy and pasted from older religions with a few minor name changes. Second maybe in Scotland people realize the creation story is nonsense, but in America sadly 45% think it is true.
 
+Cian McIntyre You confuse religion with science, no-one with the knowledge to understand the evidence would deny that the earth was round and the like, religion however denies it.

Scientists are slow to change but do follow the evidence, for example the evidence for evolution was kind of weak at the time of its proposal and there were good reasons to doubt it (not so much now a days).

What he means (I think) is that people assert knowledge without evidence rather than doing some actual science.
 
But but but, his mommy told him he's special!!!   And he has a special relationship with the creator of the universe!!!  Imagine, the creator of the universe knows him.  He just feels it...like tingly little unicorn kisses.
 
Let me reply to this post with another quote more of my liking, in this case correctly attributed:

“The fatal misstep of intellectuals is assuming that superior ability within a particular realm can be generalized to superior wisdom or morality overall. Chess grand masters, musical prodigies and others who are as remarkable within their respected specialties as intellectuals within theirs, seldom make that mistake.”
— Thomas Sowell in "Intellectuals and Society".

Reference:
- Sowell, Thomas (2009). Intellectuals and Society. Basic Books, New York, NY.  ISBN-13: 978-0465019489

- Video interview to Thomas Sowell on "Intellectuals and Society":
Thomas Sowell on Intellectuals and Society (quote: 2:14 - 2:37)
- Transcript of the interview: media.hoover.org/sites/default/files/documents/Thomas-Sowell-12-11-09.pdf 

About the book:
1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectuals_and_Society
2. nationalreview.com/articles/228901/intellectuals-and-society/thomas-sowell
3. amazon.com/Intellectuals-Society-Thomas-Sowell/dp/046501948X 
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OMG! I'm going to start posting this in every post with some quote by Einstein or any other celeb. 

BTW, the quote of this post has been misattributed:

"The history of Western science confirms the aphorism that the great menace to progress is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge."
— Daniel J. Boorstin, in
Cleopatra's Nose: Essays on the Unexpected (1994)
en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Daniel_J._Boorstin 
_________________
 
A bit hypocritical from someone like Hawkins...
 
Uuh, no. Hawkins was a pretty smart guy, kids.
 
Then he....is his own worst enemy....
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