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 169I On 4-14-16 in my letter to Dr Weinberg I asked about Jacques Monod, Nobel Prize winner from France and what he wrote in his book NECESSITY AND CHANCE that there is no way to tell the OUGHT from the IS. In other words, you live in a totally silent universe!!!

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

Architect of the Standard Model dies at 88.

August 20, 2021 | By Daniel Garisto

Steven Weinberg, a theorist who unified two fundamental forces and shaped the way physicists and the public thought about the universe, died July 23 in Austin at 88.

Weinberg shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow for contributions to the theory that unified the weak and electromagnetic forces. He continued to win academic honors and awards for the next half century, including the 2020 Breakthrough Prize. In addition to his academic research, Weinberg wrote prolifically about science in popular books and publications such as the New York Review of Books. He was also a Fellow of APS.

“Steve was one of the last figures from this heroic era of particle physics that culminated in the development of the Standard Model,” said Scott Aaronson, a theoretical computer scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, where Weinberg was a professor for forty years.

If he achieved mythic status through physics, it was from humble beginnings. Steven Weinberg was born in New York City to Frederick and Eva Weinberg, a court stenographer and homemaker respectively. Weinberg’s interest in science was cultivated at the Bronx High School of Science, where he was—famously—classmates with Glashow, who would also go on to attend Cornell.

Steven Weinberg
Credit: Larry Murphy, University of Texas at Austin

Steven Weinberg

After Cornell, Weinberg married Louise Goldwasser, and the newlyweds spent a year in Copenhagen. He then went back to America and finished his PhD with Sam Treiman at Princeton on weak decays and renormalization, the mathematical technique for wrangling annoying infinities. Over the next decade, he bounced from Columbia to Berkeley before landing in Cambridge, MA, where he held appointments at MIT and Harvard.

In the early 1960s, Glashow and Salam attempted to unify electromagnetism and the weak force by proposing massive W and Z bosons as force carriers. But giving the W and Z mass made the theory nonrenormalizable. Weinberg took the idea of spontaneous symmetry breaking and in three brisk pages showed how the mechanism could lead the W and Z to appear massive at lower energies. One of the most impactful papers in particle physics, “A Model of Leptons” went mostly unnoticed: for two years after it was published in Physical Review Letters, it garnered only two citations.

“Why doesn’t anybody quote his paper between 1967 and 1970? The reason is nobody could do that calculation,” said Helen Quinn, a professor emerita at SLAC. Weinberg knew that his model was “probably renormalizable,” but it wasn’t until a 1970 paper by Gerard t’Hooft that the dam burst and citations flooded in. When Quinn and her coauthors did the first one-loop calculation for Weinberg’s theory, “he was so happy he invited us to sherry at his house,” she said.

As a theorist, Weinberg was not particularly focused on model building. “It is ironic that his Nobel Prize was for a specific model, because he was really interested in the general picture and not in the specific models, no matter how beautiful,” Howard Georgi, a Harvard physicist, wrote in an email to APS News.

“He told me why once: Models are almost always wrong. But if you have general arguments that follow from general principles, that has a chance of being correct in the long run,” said John Preskill, a physicist at Caltech and one of Weinberg’s students.

Quinn recalls an argument between Julian Schwinger and Weinberg during a student’s thesis defense. “Julian’s position was effectively that that theory is best which is flexible enough to accommodate all new data and be adapted to it,” she said. “Steve’s position was that that theory is best which is very well defined, and thus can be tested and ruled out.”

Some of Weinberg’s colleagues argue that his real seminal contribution to particle physics was not electroweak unification but articulating how to think about effective quantum field theories (EQFTs). Though EQFTs had been in use for decades, Weinberg’s insight was that physics lurking at much higher energies would appear in terms suppressed by heavy masses. This perspective shaped the hunt for unknown particles and “underlies almost everything we do from LHC physics to string theory to dark matter,” Georgi wrote.

Beyond particle physics, Weinberg also made contributions to astrophysics and cosmology, in particular by reintroducing the cosmological constant as a problem—prior to the discovery of dark energy—and working on matter-antimatter asymmetry in the early universe. He expounded on his view that the very small and very large were connected in The First Three Minutes, a popular science text, which both introduced the public to cosmic microwave background radiation for the first time and inspired a generation of practicing physicists to hone their cosmological queries.

In 1981, Weinberg followed his wife Louise to UT Austin, where she was already a professor at the law school. He established a theoretical physics department where his Tuesday pre-colloquium lunches became de rigeur. “The discussion was basically led by him,” said Willy Fischler, a theorist at UT Austin. “Often, it was about history, poetry, and literature.”

Despite his laurels and seniority, Weinberg continued teaching. This fall, he was set to teach a course on thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. “I was amazed. I mean Steve is 88, and he’s going to teach a course that he has never taught,” said Fischler.

Colleagues noted Weinberg’s intensity and testified to his single-mindedness when attacking a physics problem. “He wasn’t going to come to your office and say, ‘How are you doing? How was your weekend?’ He wasn’t that kind of person,” said Sonia Paban, a theoretical physicist at UT Austin.

Weinberg was known for his solitary style, and he was frequently a sole author. When working from home, Weinberg kept a TV on his desk and enjoyed listening to old movies in the background to feel less isolated. But earlier in his career, Weinberg frequently collaborated with physicists like Quinn, Glashow, and Benjamin Lee.

When Quinn and Roberto Peccei published their approach to the strong CP problem, they did not predict an axion. “Weinberg actually called me up and asked me, ‘Did you notice that your theory has this property that there’s a pseudo-Goldstone boson?’ And I said, ‘Well, no, I didn’t. But you’re absolutely right. Obviously, it does.’ And he said, ‘Well, in that case, I’ll publish it myself.’” Quinn said. “So what he was doing was giving me the opportunity to be a co-author of the paper with the axion.”

Others also spoke to Weinberg’s sense of fairness. Paban recalls an incident when a visiting Nobel laureate dismissed a question by a student during a colloquium. “The speaker looked at [the student] and said, ‘I see you don’t understand’ and he proceeded,” she said. “Steve raised his hand and said, ‘I don’t understand that—and don’t give me that answer.’”

For Weinberg, the pursuit of understanding was not an idle matter. “Our mistake is not that we take our theories too seriously, but that we do not take them seriously enough,” he wrote in The First Three Minutes.

“Steve said, ‘I think we don’t take our theories seriously enough, because it’s so hard to believe that the squiggles that you make on a piece of paper are actually the way nature works.’” Preskill said. “In his case, and in a few spectacular examples, they were indeed.”

The author is a science writer based in Bellport, New York.


Harold J. Blackham (1903-2009)

Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984)

Jacques Monod (1910-1976), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1965)

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS was written and directed by Woody Allen

Judah has his mistress eliminated through his brother’s underworld connections

Anjelica Huston


April 14, 2016

Professor Steven Weinberg, The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Physics, 1 University Station C1600, Austin, TX 78712-0264

Dear Dr. Weinberg,

Back on January 14, 2015 I posted the blog post RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! (Dr. Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in Physics, University of Texas, “[Science] It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too!”) and it has got a lot of hits lately. You can access it by googling the phrase “Steven Weinberg responding.”

I know that you are active in the  AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION so I thought this short letter may interest you.

H. J. Blackham was the founder of the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION and he asserted:

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).

On John Ankerberg’s show in 1986 there was a debate between  Dr. Paul Kurtz, and Dr. Norman Geisler and when part of the above quote was read, Dr. Kurtz responded:

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;

With that in mind I wanted to ask you what  does the AMERICAN or BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION have to offer in the area of meaning and values? Francis Schaeffer two months before he died said if he was talking to a gentleman he was sitting next to on an airplane about Christ he wouldn’t start off quoting Bible verses. Schaeffer asserted:

I would go back rather to their dilemma if they hold the modern worldview of the final reality only being energy, etc., I would start with that. I would begin as I stress in the book THE GOD WHO IS THERE about their own [humanist] prophets who really show where their view goes. For instance, Jacques Monod, Nobel Prize winner from France, in his book NECESSITY AND CHANCE said there is no way to tell the OUGHT from the IS. In other words, you live in a totally silent universe. 

The men like Monod and Sartre or whoever the man might know that is his [humanist] prophet and they point out quite properly and conclusively what life is like, not just that there is no meaningfulness in life but everyone according to modern man is just living out some kind of game plan. It may be knocking 1/10th of a second off a downhill ski run or making one more million dollars. But all you are doing is making a game plan within the mix of a meaningless situation. WOODY ALLEN exploits this very strongly in his films. He really lives it. I feel for that man, and he has expressed it so thoroughly in ANNIE HALL and MANHATTAN and so on.

According to the Humanist worldview Jacques Monod the universe is silent about values and therefore his good friend Woody Allen  demonstrated this very fact so well in his 1989 movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS. In other words, if we can’t get our values from the Bible then  the answer is MIGHT MAKES RIGHT!!!!

I CHALLENGE YOU TO TAKE 90 MINUTES AND WATCH THE MOVIE “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS” AND THEN ANSWER THE QUESTION: “What reason is there that Judah should not have his mistress eliminated if there is no God and afterlife of judgment and rewards?”

King Solomon closed the Book of Ecclesiastes (Richard Dawkins’ favorite Book of the Bible) with these words, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with[d] every secret thing, whether good or evil.” With that in mind I have enclosed a short booklet called THIS WAS YOUR LIFE!

Thank you again for your time. I know how busy you are. 

Everette Hatcher,,, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002


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

Steven Weinberg Discussion (1/8) – Richard Dawkins


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


The Bill Moyers Interview – Steven Weinberg

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

Steven Weinberg Discussion (2/8) – Richard Dawkins


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


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


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

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)


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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