The Death of Science
by Stephen J.M. Bray
[Biodata and picture of contributor will be found by clicking here]
the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the
structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation. Concise
the branch of philosophy concerned with the first principles of things,
including abstract concepts such as being and knowing. Concise Oxford
Professor Stephen Hawking met with Pope John Paul II the Pope said that it was
all right to study the evolution of the universe after the big bang, but we
should not inquire into the bang itself because that was the moment of creation
and therefore the work of God.[i]
is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University. Sir Isaac
Newton a fierce opponent of the Catholic Church held this chair in the past.
Big Bang Theory, which Hawking helped to develop, holds that the Universe arose
from a point in space-time with similar properties to a collapsed star where the
known and normal rules of nature cannot be applied.
was born on the anniversary of Galileo’s death exactly 500 years later.
Galileo also was warned by a Pope not to inquire too deeply into the nature of
God’s creation. Using a telescope, which he had constructed, Galileo had been
able to confirm by observation that Copernicus had concluded correctly that the
earth orbits the sun, and not the opposite as had been assumed during the dark
the Church had difficulty in accepting pluralism in Galileo’s time. In 1542
Pope Paul III created The Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition. This institution
was authorised to interrogate, if necessary by torture, and prosecute people for
heresy. Galileo was never tortured, but in 1633 he was shown the instruments of
a result of his treatment Galileo recanted his support for Copernicus, and so
avoided such torture on the rack, which might well have physically disconnected
his mind and brain from his body. He was allowed to retire to his villa where he
died a virtual prisoner in 1642. Sir Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day the
trial and conviction of Galileo sent a warning to scholars across Europe. It was
unsafe to study the handiwork of God by direct observation, and doubly unsafe to
draw inferences from such observations.
this background René Descartes, a contemporary of Galileo, developed the
philosophy of dualism. This opened a path for Newton and others to investigate
the fabric of nature without reference to the handiwork of God. Dualism is the
basis of modern science. When Galileo was put on trial Descartes fled Catholic
France, and eventually settled in Lutheran Sweden.[iii]
Descartes separated the body from the mind. When he says, ‘I am angry’, he is referring to his mind as the bearer of his anger. His body by contrast is something like an ‘automaton’ that he owns. So each of us identifies with a mind and possesses a body.[iv]
the body and mind are mutually dependent, for example the mind must find ways to
obtain food and drink to sustain the body, the body is needed as a space in
which to locate the mind. Such a separation of body from mind made possible the
scientific paradigm that separates spirit from matter, enabling a study of
matter, (science), without reference to a study of spirit, (metaphysics).[v]
brilliant, irascible and vindictive mathematician Sir Isaac Newton became a
model for scientific thought for generations. Safe in England from the
interference of the Inquisition this radical scholar pursued scientific method
with rigour. His work on optics and gravitation continue to be applied, indeed
NASA calculates its space trajectories according to Newton’s laws rather than
Einstein’s later and more precise theories of relativity.[vi]
Incredibly in private Newton practiced alchemy and wrote extensively on the
Biblical messages of The Book of Revelations.[vii]
of us have been educated to consider spirit and matter as separate. We believe
our bodies to be similar to machines and separate from our minds. Importantly we
hold that what we see, hear, touch, taste and smell are true representations of
an objective world that is ever present and external to us.
We cannot practise science, as it has been commonly understood, unless we can believe this.
Newton’s objective universe began to get slippery when in 1881 Albert
Michelson an American scientist discovered the speed of light is constant even
when its source and recipient are moving toward or away from each other. This
finding makes it impossible for Newton’s clockwork universe to be an accurate
way of understanding. Space and time are relative; the speed of light is the
sole constant. Incredibly from his meditations upon the uniformity of the speed
of light in 1905 Einstein concluded that energy and mass are equivalent. In
doing so he presaged atomic power, and hinted at the wave/particle problem.
wave may be considered as energy, and a particle as something possessed of mass.
We are constantly surrounded by and penetrated by radio waves, some of them
transmitted from broadcast stations, others the result of stellar activity. Some
of these waves can harm us if we are overexposed to them, for example X rays,
sunlight, ultraviolet light and gamma radiation. This damage arises as a result
of the effect of the specific wavelength of the energy upon our cellular
waves and particles may best be understood as wavicles.[xviii]
Until they are detected through either a wave detector, or particle
detector, and this detection has been observed by a sentient being we cannot
determine in which mode they will precipitate into the apparent reality of a
space/t ime universe.
held that no physical effect might be transmitted with a velocity faster than
light. This means that all physical effects must decrease as the distance
between the source of an effect and an observer increases. He also believed that
an objective reality exists whether or not it is observed. In 1935 together with
Podolsky and Rosen he set out to show that the branch of science known as
quantum mechanics is incomplete because it cannot describe a reality that is
both local and definite.[viii]
Einstein was wrong for scientific experimentation shows that reality transcends
the speed of light, and is described by quantum theory.[ix]
conceived the idea of gravitation by reasoning that the moon was like a ball
that had been thrown very hard and is falling toward earth. The ball keeps
missing it and goes around, because the earth is round. Einstein was able to
intuit the General and Special Theories of Relativity from his thought
experiment of riding upon a beam of light.[xi]
what thought experiment might adequately describe transcending the speed of
light, or non-locality as physicists refer to it?
and Wilson discovered evidence supporting the Big Bang Theory in 1965. They
detected radiation from the Big Bang using special equipment at the Bell
Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey. Pope John-Paul II refers to the Big Bang
as the moment of creation. To attempt to examine what occurs within the quantum
singularity from which the Big Bang occurred must have seemed to the Pope the
equivalent of looking inside God’s undergarments.
need not have worried about this because within a singularity mathematical
models are impossible because the numbers become infinite.[xii]
Also within a singularity we are dealing with very small objects so we cannot
make calculations based upon Newton’s, or Einstein’s laws of gravity. We
must consider quantum mechanics. Currently no coherent theory of quantum gravity
exists. It has been suggested that the universe has no finite beginning, but
instead arcs back upon itself. This idea relies on the mathematics of imaginary
numbers that may be used to create imaginary space-time.
imaginary number is the square root of a negative number. It is like calculating
the square root of your bank overdraft. An imaginary number is created by
multiplying any number by the square root of –1. Muslim scholars and later
Descartes were aware that imaginary numbers must theoretically exist, but
dismissed them as impractical or nonsensical.[xiii]
numbers are used as one component in the computer generation of fractal
geometry. Fractals are beautiful constructions wherein irregular shapes are
self-similar, meaning that any subsystem of a fractal system is equivalent to
the whole system.[xiv]
may live in a Fractal Universe. The Russian physicist Alexander Friedmann
assumed in 1922 that the Universe looks identical in whatever direction we look,
and that this would also be true if we were looking from any other location.[xv]
Whilst on a small scale this is nonsense, or our familiar night sky would look
geometrically uniform, on a large scale it seems that Friedmann’s predication
time curves back upon itself in the way that a fractal pattern is repetitive,
then it can have no beginning. It follows then that the past is a product of
perception and so we can take the present as a reference point from which to
calculate the beginning of creation.
Scientists, to explain our experience of the universe, sometimes invoke the anthropic principle. Hawking describes the principle thus: “We see the universe the way it is, at least in part, because we exist. It is a perspective that is diametrically opposed to the dream of a fully predictive unified theory in which the laws of nature are complete and the world is the way it is because it could not be otherwise.
principle holds that the universe must be suitable for intelligent life: if
atoms weren’t stable, we wouldn’t be here to observe the universe and ask
why it appears as it does”. [xvii]
is necessary in order that the universe, including what you are reading
precipitates into being. Until this article, or the universe is observed it
exists only as a probability within the mind of God.
ago the C17 idealist philosopher Bishop Berkeley pondered, ‘If a tree falls
and no one sees or hears it, what has happened’. Berkeley concluded, ‘The
tree fell in the mind of God’. But according to physicist Amit Goswami this is
inaccurate, because objects in the mind of God are transcendent, archetypal,
probability forms. An event occurs not because we do something to a ‘real’
object as a result of observing it, but because a choice is made and we
recognise the result of that choice.[xviii]
choice is made not by us, as the individual perceivers of creation[xix]
with whom we identify our mind, which seems to possess of our bodies, but by the
non-local consciousness that quantum theory identifies ultimately as reality.[xxii]
the beginning of the 20th Century many scientists thought that most
of the scientific problems of the world had been solved, or would shortly be
solved. David Hilbert a German mathematician argued in 1900 that every
mathematical problem has a solution.[xxv]
Relativity and Quantum Theories overturned the certainties of physics, and in
1931 Kurt Gödel proved that mathematics is incomplete. There are some true
statements that cannot be proved within any logical system.[xxvi]
essential axiom of mathematics is: “Whatever involves all of a collection must
not be one of the collection”.[xxvii]
On this basis it is possible to establish that you have at least two heads.
if we assume that the world you see is objective, in the sense that there
something outside of you that is represented within your perception[xxviii]
it follows that you can see your world, including your body, but not your head.
But what you see is a coded representation of what is actually present and this
representation is occurring inside of your head. Since we may infer that your
head is connected to your body, the head from which you perceive yourself as
looking out upon the objective world is not the true head that is connected to
your shoulders, but its representation within the ‘real’ head, which
contains your body and the material universe.[xxxii]
It follows that each of us has two heads.
course this is nonsense and it is simpler to take Douglas Harding’s view that
we have no heads.[xxxiii]
What Harding really says is that we are awareness within consciousness that
identifies with itself as a life from moment to moment. Most of us identify
ourselves with our minds, and our bodies, rather than our true nature, which is
such a model our body-mind experiences perception as local, but the images that
we make in our brains and within which we live are non-local. Whilst such a
proposition may seem incredible, brain processes involve the exchange of
information at particle level. There is speculation that the brain operates as a
a recent lecture during the Dirac centennial celebration at the University of
Cambridge Stephen Hawking stated: “We and our models are both part of the
Universe we are describing, we are not angels who view the universe from
this is the case then an ‘objective’ universe cannot exist, and without such
objectivity ‘science’ as we have been trained to appreciate it, is dead. The
study of non-objective first causes is a study of ‘metaphysics’.
thought experiment that describes non-locality is our every day life.
It is an experiment without a doer. A non-local consciousness
misidentifies with a local point of observation giving rise to a personal ego,
with an apparent story and history.
Science has come full circle. This story began with a man who in pursuing understanding of the natural world infuriated a pope and only avoided the forced separation of his body from his head by recantation of the evidence of his senses. Since then many great scientists and thinkers have added to the story. It ends with a statement from the man who lost the use of his body through disease, but continues to find God in his head using the telescope of science. Through his quest, and with the help of other great scientists we may discover that God, the universe, the actors in this story, the story itself, the writer, and you dear reader, are all self-reflections of a non-local consciousness ;-))
[i] Hawking S., and Stone G., (1992) A Brief History of Time Readers’s Companion. London: Bantam Press.
[ii] Bronowski J., (1973) The Ascent of Man. London: BBC.
[iv] Dilman I., (1999) Free Will. London: Routledge.
[v] Mindell A., (2000) Quantum Mind, The Edge Between Physics and Psychology. Oregon: LaoTse Press
[vi] Stamp H., (2000) Review of The Visionary Window by Amit Goswami in: Science Within Consciousness www.swcp.com/swc/Essays/swift-bkrev.htm
[vii] Bronowski (op. cit.)
[viii] Einstein A., Podolsky B., and Rosen N., (1935) Can quantum mechanical descriptions of physical reality be considered complete? Physical Review 47:777-780
[ix] Aspect A, Dalibrand P., and Roger G., (1982) Physics Review 49:1804 (letter).
[x] Wheeler J., (1982) The Computer and the Universe. International Journal of Theoretical Physics 21: 557-92
[xi] Bronowski (op. cit.)
[xii] Hawking S., (1988) A Brief History of Time. London: Guild Publishing
[xiii] Sardar Z., Ravetz J., Van Loon B., (1999) Introducing Mathematics. Cambridge: Icon Books.
[xv] Hawking S., (1988) A Brief History of Time. London: Guild Publishing
[xvii] Hawking S., (2001) The Universe in a Nutshell. London: Bantam Press.
[xviii] Goswami A., Reed R., Goswami M., (1993) The Self Aware Universe. New York: Tarcher Putnam
[xix] Schrödinger E., (1969) What is Life? And Mind and Matter. London: Cambridge University Press
[xx] Wigner E., (1962) Symmetries and Reflections. Bloomington: Indiana University Press
[xxi] Goswami et. al. (1993) Ibid.
[xxii] Aspect et. al., op. cit.
[xxiii] Wheeler op. cit.
[xxiv] Goswami et. al. (1993) Ibid.
[xxv] Brooks M., (2003) The Impossibel Puzzle. New Scientist 5th April p. 34-35
[xxvi] Gödel K., (1962) On Formally Undecidable Proposition: (A translation of Gödel’s 1931 paper, together with some discussion). New York. Basic Books
[xxvii] Whitehead A., Russell B., (1910-13) Principia Mathematica 2nd Ed. 3 vol. Cambridge University Press.
[xxviii] Checkland P., (1981) Systems Thinking: Systems Practice. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons
[xxix] Dilts R., Grinder J., Bandler R., and DeLozier J., (1980) Neuro-linguistic Programming Volume 1. Capertino: Meta Publications.
[xxx] Trevarther C., (1989) Development of Early Social Interactions and Affective Regulation of Brain Growth; in Eds. Von Eníer C., Forsberg H., and Lagercrantz H., Neurobiology in Early Infant Behaviour. London: Macmillan
[xxxi] Denkel A., (1995) Reality and Meaning. Istanbul: Bosphorus University
[xxxii] Wilson R. (1990) Quantum Psychology. Tempe: New Falcon Publications
[xxxiii] Harding D., and Lang D., (2000) Face to No Face. Carlsbad: Inner Directions Publishing
[xxxiv] Fröhlich H., (1980) Coherent Excitations in Active Biological Systems, in Gutman F. and Keyzer H. (eds), Modern Bioelectrochemistry. New York: Plenium Press
[xxxv] Popp F-A., (1986) On the Coherence of Ultra-Weak Photo-emission from Living Tissue, in Kilmister C. (ed.) Disequilibrium and Self-Organization. Reidel Publishing Company
[xxxvi] Brooks M., op. cit.
Bray was born in Dorset and educated at Blandford Grammar School, and
Universities in Plymouth, Manchester, Santa Cruz and London. He currently lives
in Istanbul. Trained in the arts of dynamic therapy, family therapy, gestalt,
process oriented psychology and NLP, he now spends his time supporting those who
wish to help others. Details of his work and his contact information may be
found at www.quietquality.com