For a good long while, one of my personal heroes has been Dr. Stephen Hawking.
Not only has he outlived the hideous effects of motor neuron disease, but in doing so has established himself as a cosmologist and theoretical physicist of the highest order. He is the most important single scientist since Albert Einstein, and possibly since Sir Issac Newton. (Time will tell, of course. Such things require much evaluation to determine.)
However, as smart as Dr. Hawking shows himself, he shows a serious lack of intellectual ability in other matters. First, he is an atheist. The lack of intellectual ability demonstrates in that he recently published a theory – based largely on conjecture – which argues against the existence of God by ignoring some basic principles of physics (primarily the first and second laws of thermodynamics – conservation of matter/energy and entropy). The theory also postulates the existence of an eternal (which ignores entropy) ‘mega-universe’ which is uncreated and infinite. All this is to justify his denial of Almighty God. That’s a serious intellectual faux pas.
The second is more concrete: He has refused to travel to Israel under the willfully ignorant belief that the Islamic terrorists and hate-mongers firing explosives at Israeli schools, shopping malls and hospitals is on the same level as the Israeli government blowing up those Islamist terror bases from which the explosives are launched.
The formal excuse is the Israeli government ‘occupies’ land belonging to the Palestinians. This is silly on several grounds. Not the least reason is there are no such thing as ‘Palestinians’; no such country has ever existed. The modern area known as “Palestine” was created by the United Nations simultaneously with the nation of Israel in 1948. Since then, Israel has become a wealthy and productive state while ‘Palestine’ remains a pest hole who depend on Israel for all their electricity and clean water. The land ‘occupied’ by Israel is land ‘Palestine’ lost in warfare attempting to destroy Israel. Not to mention Israel has given much of that land back to ‘Palestine’
Back to Dr. Hawking. The inability to see the simple facts of what goes on in the middle east is a scary demonstration of willful ignorance. Much the same as the inability to recognize the existence of God.
I will probably continue to read Dr. Hawking’s books and articles. He is a reliable and well thinking scientist. But his monstrous inability to deal with reality cast doubt on his conclusions. He is no longer a hero.
Which actually makes me rather sad.