Even super-smart scientists suffer lapses in logic
Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking recently gave an interview where he talked about humanity’s prospects for the future. He addressed a couple of serious concerns.
The first is whether humanity, because of our aggression, will destroy ourselves before we achieve world peace. The second is whether robots and algorithms will overtake the human race in an apocalyptic nightmare, similar to what is portrayed in movies like The Terminator and The Matrix.
My question is this: why does he care?
Hawking, who recently turned 75, is a Darwinian evolutionist. He believes life evolved from non-life, and that humanity is now sitting on top of the cosmic mush pile. Evolution is all about “survival of the fittest.” If humans want to survive in the future, he says, then we need to check our aggression:
“Since civilisation began, aggression has been useful inasmuch as it has definite survival advantages,” he said. “It is hard-wired into our genes by Darwinian evolution. Now, however, technology has advanced at such a pace that this aggression may destroy us all by nuclear or biological war. We need to control this inherited instinct by our logic and reason.”
NO LOGIC IN EVOLUTION
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According to evolution, what we call our “mind” and “thought process” is really just a bunch of atoms and molecules, randomly bumping around. Their paths are random, and the effects they produce show up as our movements, our actions, and the words that come out of our mouths. Here, Hawking is saying we need to control our “aggression” by using our “logic and reason.”
But to an evolutionist, “aggression” is just random interactions of chemical compounds. An electron randomly escapes some atom and jumps to a nearby atom, producing an electric current. This current travels down our nerves and makes a finger twitch.
To be a logically consistent evolutionist (ha ha), there can ultimately be no distinction between what we might call “aggression,” or “logic,” or “reasoning.” They’re all the same thing: uncontrollable events governed by the forces of nature.
Our “mind,” our sense of agency — meaning our capacity to act independently and make our own free choices — is really just an illusion. We don’t actually have free will, only the illusion of free will.
We’re just meat sacks.
If he were trying to be consistent, in other words, Hawking would have said something like this:
“We need to control this random effect by another random effect and another random effect.”
NO FREE WILL, EITHER
I know. It makes no sense. But Darwinists aren’t logically consistent. Their actions don’t line up with their beliefs. They say they believe one way, but behave as if they actually believe something else. They behave as if they actually believe people have hearts, minds, and souls, though logically those things cannot exist in a purely materialistic world.
Of course, that’s not to say all Darwinists don’t try to at least attempt to articulate with their words what they really are. There’s one Harvard-educated physicist who does try to be consistent.
And what he claims is that we’re just dumb meat bags.
In a blog post about the execution of a convicted murderer named Cecil Clayton, atheist Jerry Coyne wrote this:
In fact, science tells us that Clayton had no such choice [to commit murder], whatever the prosecutors say. Our brains are computers made of meat, and run programs based on their wiring, which comes from the genes we inherited and the environments we experienced. There is no ghostly “we” that can override the output of those programs…But even criminals who sense that their own actions are “wrong” still have no choice in what they do.
Coyne’s argument that we have no free will is pretty simple. It goes like this:
- We’re made of molecules.
- Molecules obey the laws of physics.
- Therefore, everything in us including the brains that make our decisions have to obey the laws of physics.
- The laws of physics are by-and-large ultimately determined by external causes, except with maybe a little quantum uncertainty thrown in. But neither of those means you can affect the workings of your brain by thinking about it.
To affect the workings of our brain, in other words, would require that we be able to bend the laws of physics. That’s because the laws of physics are governing how the molecules flying around in our brains are moving, not us.
NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE IT
To a consistent evolutionist, we really have no free will. There is no good or evil, just stuff happening. I may label an event “evil” in my own mind, but who cares? What’s going on in my mind is just random chemical and physical interactions, governed by the laws of nature. Same thing with your mind.
There’s really no way for you or I to relate to each other. My “thoughts” are just illusions of thoughts. Your thoughts are the same. And my emotions, like aggression or love? Same thing: chemical reactions releasing and absorbing heat. Maybe a stray electron or two jumping around and producing an electrical current that stimulates a muscle twitch.
Under the influence of the random atomic effervescence powering these movable meat sacks, what else can two people do but babble and twitch at each other?
This is the hopelessness of the Darwinian worldview. There can be no hope, no human dignity. No good or evil. In the face of this meaninglessness, Hawking claims to have optimism:
All this may sound a bit doom-laden but I am an optimist. I think the human race will rise to meet these challenges.
Of course, by “I think,” we now know he actually means “kjhdgiuh idsuhfu.”
WHEN OPTIMISM BECOMES LEGITIMATE
What Hawking says makes no sense if we are to take his worldview seriously. Everything’s going to die in the great heat-death of the universe anyway. Why bother doing anything at all, except to give in to the impulses that would satisfy the illusions that we call pleasure?
In contrast, Christianity makes perfect sense of concepts like personal freedom and human dignity. These are concepts that God affirms and reveals to his people through the Bible. Scripture affirms the importance of our name and reputation: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1)
God made man “a little lower than God” (Psalm 8:5).
Man was made in God’s own image (Genesis 1:26).
God’s Bible-revealed law affirms man’s dignity: “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13).
And of course, God took on the form of man. He emptied himself and took on the human form of Jesus Christ to suffer all of the afflictions common to man, and more, by dying for our sins — even though He, himself, was sinless.
As a Darwinist, Hawking has no hope. His optimism is absurd. Nothing and nobody cares what becomes of humanity.
But if he were a Christian, his optimism would be rational. He would have a legitimate hope in the future survival of mankind.
To read the original interview, click here to go to The Times.