What it is to be a Substance? and What it is to Exist? We need to establish knowledge about the man and the world on a firm basis and the information it provides must be tested for its accuracy and consistency with an external reality. We have to make the fundamental distinction between the living and the non-living matter. The scientific advances of the 19th and 20th centuries reinforced the materialistic position concerning the basic similarity of organic living and inorganic physical matter. The man is viewed as a product of natural evolution and is thought to be subject to the same laws of Physics and Chemistry or mechanistic principles.
We need a methodology to study philosophy and to understand philosophical statements. Logical Positivism, also known as Scientific Empiricism aims to clarify concepts in both everyday and scientific language. It describes analysis of language as the function of philosophy. This analysis of language and of concepts is important to understand questions of belief and ideology which affect what we think we ought to do individually and socially. I would use this method of ‘Applied Philosophy’ to analyze the concept of Spiritual Optics, the Spiritual dimension of designing the Solar System and the designing of the Living Systems.
“The Grand Design” by Stephen Hawking – A Fundamentally Flawed Argument:
Science is knowledge derived from verifiable evidence. An important characteristic of the scientific method is that if a claim is made, it must be verifiable by other people. The word ‘DESIGN’ means to make a plan, or to form a plan in the mind, a purpose, intention, aim for an outcome; a preliminary sketch to work from to produce a thing planned for. Any action, or activity which is spontaneous in nature cannot be a product of ‘Design’. The word ‘CREATION’ means an act that is inspired by a creative thought or influence. Creation cannot be a spontaneous act. Creation is driven by inspiration. Stephen Hawking has not chosen his words carefully and his claims would only add confusion and could be misinterpreted. As a Physicist, and to present a scientific thought or concept, he must present his views not as a matter of faith or belief but that of reason supported by accepted body of information that can withstand verification. The concept of ‘Logical Positivism’ states that, “Something could be said to be true if and only if it could be verified by logical or scientific procedures.” If a ‘Designer’ described as ‘God’ is not known by scientific methods or procedures, it may not mean that the ‘Designer’ or ‘God’ does not exist. Science may provide some understanding of natural principles and Physical Laws that could explain what individuals know and experience about the world around them and inside them. Could we extend scientific methodology of investigation into every field of inquiry? Could we find Truth and Reality as an external experience? Is it possible to visualize Truth and Reality if the Object of our inquiry is not dependent on us for its existence? If I am the subject identified as the ‘Knower’, I can know about the existence of an ‘Object’, if my existence is dependent upon the existence of that unknown ‘Object’. The ‘Designer’ called ‘God’ is not dependent upon me for His existence in the Universe. On the contrary, I recognize that my existence is not truly independent by its nature. I may not gain direct sensory experience of ‘God’ or the ‘Designer’, but the nature of my dependent existence points towards the direction of an entity that may sustain my existence. The Mechanistic Concept described by Dr. Stephen Hawking fails to account for the apparent purpose with which Universe exists and the function of Living systems that populate this Universe.
The Redwoods represent the oldest living systems on planet Earth. Some trees have the estimated age of 3,500 years. The Mechanistic concept cannot explain the living functions like water transportation. The Laws of Physics and Chemistry are not adequate. The tree actively uses the chemical energy it generates and pumps up water to an amazing height. If the soil is dry and the atmospheric pressure drops at the base of the tree to a level like 10 atmospheres, this tree maintains the pressure gradient; the pressure at the top drops to minus 25 atmospheres. The tree is conscious of its own state of living and the environment in which it exists and has the ability to exploit Laws of Physics to sustain its own existence.
The Redwoods display the characteristics of intelligence, design, purpose, and ability to function in this Universe as a Living System. The shoot displays the phenomenon called ‘phototropism’ and literally grows towards heavens and the roots grow in a direction away from light and firmly establish the existence of the tree apart from nourishing its growth with water. Mechanistic Laws and principles cannot explain the Living Functions.
THE ‘FINITE’ AND THE ‘INFINITE’:
St Thomas Aquinas suggests that we need to recognize the existence of things that might be objects of everyday experience. Reflection on everyday things and the everyday world reveals it as pointing beyond itself to God as its sustaining cause. The human beings are in a process of constant change and the change is not the result of their own efforts, and even when it is, it does not depend on them exclusively. No object in the familiar world can fully account for its own act of existing, nor is it wholly self-sufficient; all are affected from without, operate in an environment that is not their own making. Living Organisms are Finite. The Finite points beyond itself to the Infinite. The system of limited beings, each dependent for its activity on something else of the same kind demands for its completion the existence of a ‘Unlimited Being’, one that is the source of change in other things but is not subject to change itself. Such a ‘Unlimited Being’ would be the ‘First Cause’ or ‘Ultimate Cause’ – it would be the ‘Unconditioned Condition’ of the existence of all other things. St Thomas Aquinas believes that the human reason can produce the definitive proofs of the existence of an Infinite Being.
THE PURPOSE OF UNIVERSE:
The Greek word for Universe is ‘COSMOS’ which stands for Beauty and Order. The Universe is everything that exists; all matter and energy; all living, nonliving matter, and all forms of energy including the chemical energy that living entities use to establish, and to sustain their existence in support of various living functions. The Universe is immense and could be of unknown proportions. Earth is nearly 13,000 km across, a tiny speck among myriads of larger and smaller specks in the Universe. I seek the Knowledge of the Universe as it exists with a purpose. The purpose of the Universe is to provide me and other life forms a place to live in it.
The Planets of the Solar System:
Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are known as the terrestrial planets. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are planets of the Outer Solar System. Pluto could be viewed as an Interplanetary Object if not as the ninth planet of Solar System. Earth is the only planet with vast expanses of liquid water. Earth has a Nitrogen-Oxygen atmosphere filled with water vapor. Earth has a magnetic field indicative of a liquid metal core with electric currents in the metal.
The Rotational Spin of Planets:
Explanation: How does your favorite planet spin? Does it spin rapidly around a nearly vertical axis, or horizontally, or backwards? The featured video animates NASA images of all eight planets in our Solar System to show them spinning side-by-side for an easy comparison. In the time-lapse video, a day on Earth — one Earth rotation — takes just a few seconds. Jupiter rotates the fastest, while Venus spins not only the slowest (can you see it?), but backwards. The inner rocky planets, across the top, most certainly underwent dramatic spin-altering collisions during the early days of the Solar System. The reasons why planets spin and tilt as they do remains a topic of research with much insight gained from modern computer modeling and the recent discovery and analysis of hundreds of exoplanets: planets orbiting other stars.
Different planets have different rates of rotation. We use Earth’s spin to define coordinate systems for locating objects both on the ground and the sky. The timekeeping system that we use is related to the rotation of the Earth. My human existence in this Universe is synchronized with the rotational spin of the Earth. The spin gives me alternating periods of light and darkness known as Day and Night while the Sun is shining all the time. The material energy that imparted the necessary momentum to initiate the rotational spin could be described as “MAYA”; a Fundamental Force that causes Illusion. The illusion of Sunrise and Sunset governs my Biological Rhythm which is named as Solar Rhythm, Diurnal Rhythm, and Circadian Rhythm. The Laws of Physics may give an explanation for the rotational spin of planet Earth. However, I claim that the rotational spin has a purpose. The purpose of the rotational spin of planet Earth is to transform my “FUTURE” into “PAST” and my “PRESENT” is a mere instant in this Future-Past Continuum. My body experiences aging using an internal timing mechanism which measures the length of my days and nights that I spend on planet Earth. This timing mechanism known as ‘Biological Clock’ has a plan for my dissolution as an Individual at the end of a predetermined time. My life span is governed by the rotational spin of Earth, a product of ILLUSION called ‘MAYA’. If in Truth and Reality, I exist as an Eternal Entity; an Entity that is never born, Unborn, which has no Beginning, no Middle, and no End; the rotational spin generates the ILLUSION of my Dissolution. The methodologies used by Science may not have the ability to refute or establish the Truth and Reality of the Human Existence with a Past, Present, and a Future.
London: British physicist Stephen Hawking has said that the creation of the universe was a result of the inevitable laws of physics and it did not need God’s help.
In his latest book titled “The Grand Design”, Hawking writes: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.”
He rejects Isaac Newton’s theory that the universe did not spontaneously begin to form but was set in motion by God. He wrote in the 1988 book: “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God.”
“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch-paper and set the universe going,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Hawking as writing in his current book.
Hawking argues that the Big Bang which resulted in the creation of the Solar System and planets, including the earth, was the result of the inevitable laws of physics and God was nowhere in the picture. Earlier, a few scientists, including Hawking himself, had said that the spark plug that kick-started the universe through the Big Bang was probably provided by God.
Extracts of The Grand Design was published in Eureka magazine in The Times. And in that Hawking is quoted as saying: “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch-paper and set the Universe going.”
Hawking had been putting forward the `no-God’ theory for quite some time. In June, he had told a Channel 4 series that a “personal” God did not exist.
“The question is: is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can’t understand, or was it determined by a law of science? I believe the second. If you like, you can call the laws of science ‘God’, but it wouldn’t be a personal God that you could meet, and ask questions.”
However, there are unexplained phenomena in astrophysics. For example, researchers are yet to identify the `dark matter’ that comprise over 75 per cent of the universe. Black holes, dark energy and God’s particle — phenomena that resulted either in the formation of the universe or in its death, have not been conclusively explained by science.
The Grand Design, co-written by American physicist Leonard Mlodinow, is published on September 9, 2010.