UK astrophysicist wins $1.6 million religion prize

I most certainly agree with the statement made by the scientist pictured below that the discovery of extraterrestrial life would probably “put some theologians into contortions.” These frauds (theologians) who make a living talking about that which they know nothing about would no doubt have fits if extra-terrestrial life was discovered. But not to worry, governments throughout the world will make certain that if in fact other forms of life are discovered elsewhere in this vast universe that this is kept from the masses. Knowledge of alien life would create worldwide chaos among the billions of religious zealots who believe the universe was specially designed and created for us; fools that they are. This kind of information would more than likely create uncontrolled hysteria; not a good thing for keeping people in check, which is one of the goals of political leaders worldwide.

Finally, kudos to the John Templeton Foundation for recognizing this brilliant scientist; regardless of what their motivation may have been. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

By RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press

LONDON – A British astrophysicist known for his theories on the origin and the destiny of the universe has been honored with one of the world’s leading religion prizes.

Martin Rees, a 68-year-old expert on the extreme physics of black holes and the Big Bang, is the recipient of the 2011 Templeton Prize, the John Templeton Foundation announced Wednesday. The 1 million pound ($1.6 million) award is among the world’s most lucrative.

Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr. said that Rees — who professes no religious belief — was chosen because of the nature of his research, which he said invites everyone “to wrestle with the most fundamental questions of our nature and existence.”

Rees tried to tackle many of those fundamental questions during his just-finished tenure at the head of Britain’s Royal Society, which saw the 350-year-old body discuss issues ranging from the disputed origins of life on Earth to the possibility of eventually discovering life elsewhere.

In an interview at a London hotel ahead of the prize announcement, Rees told The Associated Press that he was attracted to “big questions which we can’t answer.”

One of the biggest has been posed by scientists who wonder why it is that the physical laws of the universe seemed perfectly calibrated to support human life. Even a slight tweaking of what scientists call universal constants could so alter the cosmos as to make it uninhabitable.

In one of his books, “Just Six Numbers,” Rees argued that the perfect tuning was neither a mere accident nor the act of a benign creator. Instead, he said, “an infinity of other universes may well exist” where the constants are set differently. Some would be too sterile to support life, others too short-lived. Ours happens to be just right.

“It is still a conjecture,” Rees cautioned, albeit one he said was being taken increasingly seriously.

Because of the Templeton Prize’s focus on spirituality, recipients are often quizzed about their personal faith. In a statement and in his prepared remarks, Rees said he had no religious beliefs and during the interview he joked that the discovery of extraterrestrial life would probably “put some theologians into contortions.”

But he acknowledged that theorizing on the possibility of aliens and a multiverse did tend to leave humanity isolated on what he often calls a “pale blue dot” buried in a far corner of the multiverse.

“These thoughts do make it hard to believe in the centrality of human beings,” Rees acknowledged, although he didn’t seem worried.

“Being human beings ourselves, it’s hard to give ourselves less consideration.”



About The Great One

Am interested in science and philosophy as well as sports; cycling and tennis. Enjoy reading, writing, playing chess, collecting Spyderco knives and fountain pens.
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5 Responses to UK astrophysicist wins $1.6 million religion prize

  1. Udaybhanu Chitrakar says:

    Does the universe need a God?

    Does the universe need God? Yes, the universe needs God if it can be shown that everything in the universe cannot be explained naturally. Scientists claim that there is no fact, no event in the universe for which they cannot provide a natural scientific explanation. But this claim is untrue. We can show that there is at least one fact in the universe for which they will never be able to give any natural explanation. This fact is that light has got some very peculiar properties if we are to believe that the following two equations of special theory of relativity are not giving us bluff in any way:
    t1 = t(1-v2/c2)1/2
    l1 = l(1-v2/c2)1/2
    The first equation shows that for light time totally stops, and the second equation shows that for light any distance it has to travel is reduced to zero. For light even infinite distance is reduced to zero. These two equations together show that as if light has no space as well as no time to move. But light cannot have these two properties naturally. Or, these two properties cannot naturally arise in light. Because like everything else light was also created after the big bang. Like everything else light was also placed in a universe full of space and time. And light has in no way been artificially deprived of space and time. A thing may naturally have the two properties of spacelessness and timelessness in following two cases only:
    1) if it is placed in a world where there is no space, no time;
    2) if placed in a world full of space and time it is artificially deprived of space and time.
    But light is neither placed in a world having no space, no time, nor is it artificially deprived of space and time. So there is no apparent reason as to why light will have these two properties. In spite of these facts we find that light is having these properties. So if it is having these properties, then it is having them not naturally, but by some unnatural means. Anything being placed in space and time cannot naturally lack space and time until and unless it is artificially deprived of space and time. So it is an enigma that light in spite of its being placed in space and time will still be having no space and no time. At least the above two equations of STR are saying so. And here I am challenging the whole scientific community all over the world: let them bring any damn scientific theory here – relativity theory, quantum theory, string theory, M-theory, multiverse theory, parallel universe theory, or any other theory that they can think of – and let them show with their theory how there can naturally arise in light those two properties of spacelessness and timelessness. And I am saying with full confidence here that they will never be able to do that. This is only because there will always be two constraints due to which the properties of light can never have any natural explanation, and these two constraints can never be overcome by any scientific theory. I have already mentioned what are those two constraints: a) light is placed in a universe full of space and time, and b) light is not artificially deprived of space and time. This is the only gap that can never be bridged by any scientific explanation. This is the only gap that will require a supernatural explanation.
    Was it predetermined that space and time in our universe would be relative? Was it predetermined that light being placed in a universe full of space and time would still display such peculiar characteristics as if it were having no space, no time? If not, then scientists will have to explain how in light there can naturally arise those two properties of spacelessness and timelessness. Here multiverse theory will also not help, because even if there are an infinite number of universes, still then there will be not a single universe in which light will not be placed in space and time.

    • GhostRider says:

      Dude… You need to get a short nickname because it is too long to spend time writing as I, being a being, do not have an eternity. You see, when v = c, then for any value of t, value of t1 will always be zero. But none of the values = a being. Even if value of t is an eternity, eternity is not a being, and if then the value of t1 will be zero, zero is not a being either. 5 hundred years ago, you could not post this by saying that relativity theory, quantum theory, string theory, M-theory, multiverse theory, parallel universe theory, or any other theory does not explain the argument, simply because those concepts did not exist in the consciousness of being and likewise, you will not be able to post a similar argument 5 hundred years from now due to an equivalent consciousness ignorance and to the fact that you are a being and will not be here in this space and time. The truth obviously does not lie in a known theory but in an unknown realm. There is proof that light is immortal and likewise that immortality exists and if we stretch it to say that it proves that God is immortal, mathematically it does not tells us that God is a being.

    • TGO says:

      I must say, you gave a very long dissertation on the peculiar properties of light, as if somehow this translates to the existence or “need” (as you put it) for a God.

      First of all, just because unexplainable phenomena currently exist, this doesn’t mean that these cannot someday be explained. The authors of the Bible believed the world was flat, and that was later proven false by science. Prior to Copernicus and later Galileo, it was believed that the Earth was the center of our Solar System; not the Sun, and that was later proven false as well. Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein were no doubt men of incredible genius, and yet some of their concepts and theories have been proven incomplete and/or in need of revision based on later discoveries made by modern-day scientists. The point being that scientific knowledge is ever-increasing, and in this day and age, with advances in technology in the form of computers, satellites, particle accelerators, etc. our knowledge of the universe is increasing at an incredibly unbelievable rate. Therefore, to make these absolute claims that you make is quite a close-minded approach, particularly for someone who apparently is quite bright.

      In closing, assigning yet unknown and/or unexplainable “facts” to the work of a Creator or God is quite a reach. As the great physicist Richard Feynman stated: “God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now, when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you’re taking away from God; you don’t need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we haven’t figured that out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you don’t believe the laws will explain…”

      What you are doing with your analogy of light is exactly what Richard Feynman described that people do.

  2. GhostRider says:

    I certainly agree with you, oh Great One, as I myself go thru uncontrolled hysteria just by reading on your reality’s insight.

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