December 8th, 2013


Stephen Hawking

An apple falls from the tree and hits you on the head- I get that. Survival of the fittest- easy-peasy. Relativity? Yes, you can tell little stories about it. For example.

There was a young lady called Bright
Who travelled much faster than light.
She departed one day
In a relative way
And arrived on the previous night.

Great scientific theories have an elegance about them. They can be reduced to their essence and expressed in terms that the layperson can grasp.  There's something at the core of them that's memorable.  So, if Stephen Hawking's cosmology is true it should, I feel, be possible to express it in a catchphrase, a short story, a joke, a limerick. Since nobody seems able to do this I conclude that it's almost certainly false.

Hawking himself was narrating his life story on TV last night. He comes across as remarkably naive. And vain. And smug. He seems to want to be seen as a universal sage- on the Einsteinian model- but lacks Einstein's ability to come up with tremendous one-liners. You may have gathered that I don't much care for him. And you'd be right.