RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! (Pausing to look at the life of Steven Weinberg who was one of my favorite authors!) Part 169C Dr. Weinberg “The more the universe seems comprehensible,” he said, “the more it also seems pointless.” 6-26-14 letter I wrote to Dr. Weinberg about song DUST IN THE WIND!

Letter mailed 6-26-14

Sent 3rd letter

To Steven Weinberg, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C1600, Austin, TX78712-0264,  From everettehatcher@gmail.com,        6-26-14 Since you are a member of the   Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) I was really hoping to hear from you.        Just the other day I sent you the CD called “Dust in the Wind, Darwin and Disbelief.” I know you may not have time to listen to the CD but on the first 2 1/2 minutes of that CD is the hit song “Dust in the Wind” by the rock group KANSAS and was written by Kerry Ligren in 1978. Would you be kind enough to read these words of that song given below and refute the idea that accepting naturalistic evolution with the exclusion of God must lead to the nihilistic message of the song! Or maybe you agree with Richard Dawkins and other scholars below?

DUST IN THE WIND:

I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment’s gone

All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity

Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind

Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea

All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky

It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy

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Humans have always wondered about the meaning of life…life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA…life has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference. —Richard Dawkins

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The vast majority of people believe there is a design or force in the universe; that it works outside the ordinary mechanics of cause and effect; that it is somehow responsible for both the visible and the moral order of the world. Modern biology has undermined this assumption…But beginning with Darwin, biology has undermined that tradition. Darwin in effect asserted that all living organisms had been created by a combination of chance and necessity–natural selection… First, God has no role in the physical world…Second, except for the laws of probability and cause and effect, there is no organizing principle in the world, and no purpose.  (William B. Provine, “The End of Ethics?” in HARD CHOICES ( a magazine companion to the television series HARD CHOICES, Seattle: KCTS-TV, channel 9, University of Washington, 1980, pp. 2-3).

That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; …that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Bertrand Russell

The British humanist H. J. Blackham (1903-2009) put it very plainly: On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

In the 1986 debate on the John Ankerberg show between Paul Kurtz (1925-2012) and Norman Geisler, Kurtz reacted to the point Blackham was making by asserting:

I think you may be quoting Blackham out of context because I’ve heard Blackham speak, and read much of what he said, but Blackham has argued continuously that life is full of meaning; that there are points. The fact that one doesn’t believe in God does not deaden the appetite or the lust for living. On the contrary; great artists and scientists and poets and writers have affirmed the opposite.

I read the book FORBIDDEN FRUIT by Paul Kurtz and I had the opportunity to correspond with him but I still reject his view that optimistic humanism withstand the view of nihilism if one accepts there is no God. Christian philosopher R.C. Sproul put it best:

Nihilism has two traditional enemies–Theism and Naive Humanism. The theist contradicts the nihilist because the existence of God guarantees that ultimate meaning and significance of personal life and history. Naive Humanism is considered naive by the nihilist because it rhapsodizes–with no rational foundation–the dignity and significance of human life. The humanist declares that man is a cosmic accident whose origin was fortuitous and entrenched in meaningless insignificance. Yet in between the humanist mindlessly crusades for, defends, and celebrates the chimera of human dignity…Herein is the dilemma: Nihilism declares that nothing really matters ultimately…In my judgment, no philosophical treatise has ever surpassed or equaled the penetrating analysis of the ultimate question of meaning versus vanity that is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes. 

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Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Kerry Livgren is the writer of the song “Dust in the Wind” and he said concerning that song in 1981 and then in 2006:

 1981: “When I wrote “Dust in the Wind” I was  writing about a yearning emptiness that I felt which millions of people identified with because the song was very popular.” 2006:“Dust In the Wind” was certainly the most well-known song, and the message was out of Ecclesiastes. I never ceased to be amazed at how the message resonates with people, from the time it came out through now. The message is true and we have to deal with it, plus the melody is memorable and very powerful. It disturbs me that there’s only part of the [Christian] story told in that song. It’s about someone yearning for some solution, but if you look at the entire body of my work, there’s a solution to the dilemma.”

Ecclesiastes reasons that chance and time have determined the past and will determine the future (9:11-13), and power reigns in this life and the scales are not balanced(4:1). Is that how you see the world? Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment.”

Physicist Steven Weinberg in 2008. (Larry Murphy/University of Texas at Austin)

Steven Weinberg, who was acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost theoretical physicists and won the Nobel Prize for showing how to unify two of the principal forces of nature, died July 23 in Austin. He was 88.

Dr. Weinberg’s death was announced by the University of Texas, where he had been a professor for many years.

During a long career spent in the exploration of the most basic problems of physics and cosmology, he won lasting renown as a creator of an “electroweak” theory that unifies electromagnetism and the “weak” force that operates on the subatomic scale and is one of the four forces that govern the universe.

The electroweak theory lies at the core of what physicists know as the Standard Model, a framework that guides physics in accounting for all the particles from which the world is made, and for how they influence one another.

Over a long career, Dr. Weinberg produced many books and hundreds of scientific papers at the frontiers of his discipline. Ideas, according to the stories told in the literature of physics, came to him everywhere — seated on a park bench, driving to work, at home in his study with the television playing in the background.

In awarding him its Benjamin Franklin Medal in 2004, the American Philosophical Society said he was “considered by many to be the preeminent theoretical physicist alive in the world today.”

Not many years before Dr. Weinberg came upon the physics scene, in the years shortly after World War II, science had reduced to four the number of fundamental forces that acted in the world around us. These were the relatively familiar forces of electromagnetism and gravity as well as two forces that act on subatomic particles, the strong force and the weak force.

Years of pioneering work, along with the new availability of powerful atom-smashing machines, made it possible to split apart what had once seemed to be the irreducible constituents of matter. New particles appeared in profusion, intensifying the urgency of a search to explain this unseen world and its laws.

“Our job in physics is to see things simply, to understand a great many complicated phenomena in a unified way,” Dr. Weinberg said in the science lecture he delivered as part of the ceremonies connected to his Nobel Prize.

In a way, his own work provided a prime example of unification.

Electromagnetism is well known from everyday life and lies at the heart of so many of the devices that have revolutionized society, from computers to communications. It in itself represents a unification, of electricity and magnetism.

The weak force is one that is unseen in daily life and exists at the subatomic level, accounting for the radioactive decay of certain particles into certain others. It also underlies, although invisibly, the process that supplies the energy needed for life: It accounts for the initial step in the nuclear fusion reaction that powers the sun.

His work in showing how electromagnetism and the weak force could be jointly viewed as the electroweak force was made known to the world in a paper published in 1967 in Physical Review Letters.

Dr. Weinberg in 1979. (AP)

The 2 1/2-page submission became in time one of the most quoted papers in the world of particle physics.

Illuminated by a variety of earlier concepts, theories and suggestions, it offered a theory that required the existence of particles yet undiscovered.

Two were known as weak vector bosons and given the names of W and Z. In physical theory, bits of matter on the subatomic scale exert forces on one another through the exchange of particles. The Z particle is electrically neutral, and an exchange of such particles is known as a neutral current.

In time the particles and the neutral current were found. The discoveries of the W and the Z were regarded by science as a confirmation of Dr. Weinberg’s theory.

In announcing the award of the Nobel Prize in physics in 1979 for contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interactions, the prize committee specifically noted that the theory had predicted the weak neutral current.

The prize was shared by Dr. Weinberg and two other physicists, Sheldon Glashow and Abdus Salam. All three had worked independently of one another.

In Dr. Weinberg’s paper, a need was also implied for another particle, to provide mass. This particle was what in time became known as the Higgs boson. It became important to physics for many reasons beyond the scope of Dr. Weinberg’s work, and its ultimate discovery gained widespread attention.

In addition to his work in science, Dr. Weinberg was known as a cultured man fond of poetry and the theater, and he gave attention to the philosophical and metaphysical aspects of the scientific quest. Like many others who also sought to know nature at its essence, he speculated on the meaning of scientific discovery for human life and the human place in the universe.

Beyond the vast scholarly output, he was highly regarded as a popularizer of science and praised for his clarity of expression. One of several books addressed to a general audience, “The First Three Minutes” (1977), sought to describe the development of the universe in the first seconds after creation. Another of his books, on the history of science, was titled “To Explain the World” (2015).

“I think it’s very important not to write down to the public,” he told the publication Third Way. “You have to keep in mind that you’re writing for people who are not mathematically trained but are just as smart as you are.”

His popular works took their place alongside such more abstruse tomes that he also produced, such as “Gravitation and Cosmology” (1972) and “The Quantum Theory of Fields” (1995).

He weighed in on public controversies, opposing a state law that would permit the carrying of concealed handguns in his classroom.

Steven Weinberg was born in New York City on May 3, 1933, and recalled that his interest in science stemmed in part from the chemistry set he had as a child.

He graduated in 1950 from the Bronx High School of Science, a public high school renowned for training the children and grandchildren of immigrants and transforming many into Nobel winners. Glashow, with whom he shared the Nobel, also went there, at the same time.

Dr. Weinberg received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 1954, then spent a year in Copenhagen at what was then the Institute for Theoretical Physics. He obtained a doctorate in physics from Princeton University in 1957.

From 1959 to 1966, he worked at the Berkeley campus of the University of California. At Berkeley, in his 20s, he stood out among the many physics department luminaries merely by his physical appearance: He had a shock of hair of a color that was almost flame-red, and his expression conveyed a look of special urgency and intensity.

On leave from Berkeley in the late 1960s, he lectured at Harvard and served as a visiting professor at MIT. While at MIT in 1967, he published his celebrated paper on unification. He became a professor of physics at Harvard in 1973 and moved nine years later to the University of Texas as a professor of science.

In 1954, he married Louise Goldwasser, who became a legal scholar. In addition to his wife, survivors include their daughter, Elizabeth.

A statement Dr. Weinberg once made about the implications of seeing the universe at its deepest level created controversy. “The more the universe seems comprehensible,” he said, “the more it also seems pointless.”

He rejected any criticism that he was being nihilistic.

“If there is no point in the universe that we discover by the methods of science,” he told PBS, “there is a point that we can give the universe by the way we live, by loving each other, by discovering things about nature, by creating works of art.”

From left, Dr. Weinberg in 1980 with President Jimmy Carter, Swedish Ambassador Wilhelm H. Wachtmeister and Allan M. Cormack, 1979 Nobel Prize winner in physiology. (AP)

The Incredible Steven Weinberg (1933-2021) – Sixty Symbols

On the Shoulders of Giants: Steven Weinberg and the Quest to Explain the…

Steven Weinberg Discussion (1/8) – Richard Dawkins

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Whatever Happened To The Human Race? (2010) | Full Movie | Michael Hordern

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The Bill Moyers Interview – Steven Weinberg

How Should We Then Live (1977) | Full Movie | Francis Schaeffer | Edith …

Steven Weinberg Discussion (2/8) – Richard Dawkins

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!!

Steven Weinberg – Dreams of a Final Theory

Steven Weinberg Discussion (3/8) – Richard Dawkins

Steven Weinberg, Author

How Should We Then Live | Season 1 | Episode 6 | The Scientific Age

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Steven Weinberg Discussion (4/8) – Richard Dawkins

I am grieved to hear of the death of Dr. Steven Weinberg who I have been familiar with since reading about him in 1979 in WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Dr. C. Everett Koop and Francis Schaeffer. I have really enjoyed reading his books and DREAMS OF A FINAL REALITY and TO EXPLAIN THE WORLD were two of my favorite!

C. Everett Koop
C. Everett Koop, 1980s.jpg

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Steven Weinberg Discussion (5/8) – Richard Dawkins

Francis Schaeffer : Reclaiming the World part 1, 2

The Atheism Tapes – Steven Weinberg [2/6]

The Story of Francis and Edith Schaeffer

Steven Weinberg – What Makes the Universe Fascinating?

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

______________

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Patricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart EhrmanIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldAlan Guth, Jonathan HaidtHermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesShelly KaganStuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, Elizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaDouglas Osheroff,   Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Robert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

____________________________

In  the 1st video below in the 50th clip in this series are his words. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Steven Weinberg: To Explain the World

I have a friend — or had a friend, now dead — Abdus Salam, a very devout Muslim, who was trying to bring science into the universities in the Gulf states and he told me that he had a terrible time because, although they were very receptive to technology, they felt that science would be a corrosive to religious belief, and they were worried about it… and damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too.

Steven Weinberg

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