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Ponder The Wonders, Part II

Updated on November 24, 2014

Ponder Master Stephen Hawking and His Visions of the Universe

The Youtube video "Stephen Hawking: Asking big questions about the universe", should appeal to both physicists and non-physicists alike. I like the way Hawking glazes over the math and science to focus more on the adventures of exploration and discovery. This frees the viewer to enjoy challenges to the imagination unencumbered by "geek speak". While the clip does delve into general physics, a touch of levity helps keep the subject matter within the recreational realm. In spite of using a digital speech synthesizer, Hawking seems to delight in taking a few comic pot-shots to break with formality. He jokes about cracking the code of the universe, and then patenting it to charge everyone royalties for their existence. And, on the subject of UFOs and alien encounters, he jovially scoffs these as accounts of "crackpots and weirdos", and that selling alien abduction insurance would be a pretty safe bet. In summary, between adventure and levity, Hawking delivers insightful perspectives on the origins of the universe, life on earth, the future of humanity, and extraterrestrial life.

Below please find a Youtube link to the Stephen Hawking video reviewed in this lens. In keeping with Hawking's added element of levity, an additional link is included for a very funny Quantum Mechanics video/jingle.

Click here for >>> Stephen Hawking on Youtube

Click here for >>> Quantum Mechanics Humor on Youtube

*** Links open another tab or window (depending on browser settings) so please click back here when done :-) ***

Origins of the Big Bang

On the origins of the universe, Hawking refers to a milestone discovery in the 1920s confirming the continuing outward expansion of galaxies. Using reverse extrapolation, a 15 billion year old center point was determined, now known as the "Big Bang". Hawking explains little was known of the Big Bang's initial state until a recent school of thought emerged claiming extreme conditions of general relativity and quantum theory could remove the distinction between time and space. This meant time can act as a dimension in space, and the universe's laws of evolution are thus applicable to its initial state -- a spontaneous creation from nothing. Interestigly, tracking the universe in various stages of evolution is corroborated by WMAP satelite images of cosmic microwave backgrounds, which are imprints of the early universe.

click here for >>> Journey To The Big Bang From WMAP on Youtube

*** Link open another tab or window (depending on browser settings) so please click back here when done :-) ***

Before the Big bang?

OK, so if the Big Bang combusts from nothing, and if infinity remains a viable concept, then shouldn't there be something prior to nothingness? Even Hawking ponders, "was there anything before the Big Bang?" Permit me here to play with some speculations from my original "Ponder the Wonders" lens: reciprocating mirror reflections, and indivisible numbers with never-ending decimals. Each of those cases consists of two distinct entities, neither of which can produce an infinite affect without the other. Face down mirrors are clearly distinct and finite entities, and yet, when facing each other, they yield an endless continuum eerily similar to an ever expanding universe. Hence, the case of mutually reflecting mirrors is both finite and infinite, and the same can be said of indivisible numbers with infinite decimals. There are enough common elements in these analogies to make comparisons to the relationship between time and space, but I yield to master physicists like Hawking to test the physics of that sort of thing.

"What If?" Riddles

For a new spin on an old paradox, permit me to make a plausible case for an apparently "impossible" scenario. Suppose you feel misunderstood by everyone and trust only yourself, but deem yourself too immature to handle a given issue. If only you could consult an older version of yourself. Impossible? Maybe not. You could clone yourself and take a trip into space at a speed approaching that of light. That would slow your aging relative to your earth based clone whom you intend to let mature well beyond your own years before you return. In theory you will then be able to consult an older version of yourself. This scenario brings to mind two old adages: "Putting the cart before the horse" and "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" If one considers the first in terms of the second, then one has a loose metaphorical context for describing the relationship between the Bing Bang's evolution and it's initial state. Perhaps the big bang's self-procreation is cyclical, where the past wraps around to co-exist with the future in a multi-dimensional (or infinite) context? Curiosity based speculation makes physics more fun no?

We need an open-mind to imagine infinity, black holes, the time/space continuum, etc, so why not stir up the recipes of related physics conundrums to see where that leads? Doing so might just introduce new ideas about which ingredients work best in the medley of scientific inquiry and research. Cloning is already being practised, possibly on humans too (quietly to avoid public alienation), and approaching light speed travel is not inconcievable either. Science may eventually develop some sort of conversion workaround for the problem of transporting mass at or near light speed. Such a workaround could already exist within blackholes, where known physics takes a nosedive into the ethereal anyway. It takes a maverick from convention to hunger after breaching the limits of established wisdom. Research and perseverance reveals all...

As regards the origins of life on earth, the existence of extraterrestial life, and the future of humanity, I agree with Hawking. The algae fossil record proves life emerged within 1 billion years of earth's 10 billion year expected life cycle. Given life developed relatively early on in earth's lifespan, this suggests life emerges fairly easilly under favorable conditions. Whether or not this confirms life exists beyond earth is debatable. Hawking jokes that the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestial Intelligence) radio telescopes have yet to pick up on "alien game shows". Though spun humorously, the point is valid. He thus postulates it is unlikely life exists at our stage of development within a radius of a few hundred light years from earth, or we would likely have heard something already. A quite reasonable conclusion. He also states that humanity's quest for knowledge and resource consumption is growing exponentially. Furthermore, if humanity is to survive as a species, it is highly advisable that human space colonization be well underway within 100 years. Almost without question within the next 1000 years. Also quite reasonable.

Click here for >>> Alien Makes Contact!! (The S.E.T.I. Song featuring Billy Reid) on Youtube

*** Links open another tab or window (depending on browser settings) so please click back here when done :-) ***

Elements of "Genius"

In summary, there is wiggle room for subjectivity and interpretation, even as regards the ingenious visions of ponder master Stephen Hawking. Hence my mantra:

"Genius is a rare combination of high intelligence and active passion for discovery. The former clearly helps, but, without the later, the former is but an idle rarity"

Interestingly, Hawking comments that his disability may actually have benefited his intelectual prowess in that it provided him with lots of time to engage his mind in pursuit of big questions. Consequently, Hawking is certainly no idle genius. His genius is that of the highest caliber. It is both rare and actively passionate in its quest for knowledge.

Guestbook Comments

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    • charlenedelfin lm profile image

      Charlene Delfin 

      6 years ago from Manila

      Great Lens! I love the topic and the images!

    • AishwaryaTiwari1 profile image


      6 years ago

      A Brief History of Time was my inspiration!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Hawking goes beyond genius in my book.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens, great job! Squidlike


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