Friday, July 16, 2004

Stephen Hawking is a Waffling Flip-Flopper

After almost 30 years of arguing that a black hole swallows up everything that falls into it, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking backpedaled Thursday. In doing so, he lost one of the most famous bets in recent scientific history.


Hey, if it is good enough for Hawking, it is good enough for John Kerry. So there.

11 comments:

The Moody Minstrel said...

Oh, well. Mr. Hawking is just joining a long line of high-profile scientists and other experts who have had the guts to declare that their long-held notions may have been wrong. Such declarations rarely amount to anything, as people continue to have the long-held notions ingrained in their minds.

After all, look at the famous child-care expert, Dr. Spock. After his daughter became a problem child and wound up killing herself, he stated publicly that his theories were probably mistaken. That hasn't stopped die-hard disciples of those same theories from making a complete mess of everything from "acceptable" child discipline to institutionalized education.

Noam Chomsky refuted his own "sentence structure theory" of language after languages such as Navajo blew it completely to shreds. Even so, the overwhelming majority of grammar teachers in secondary and higher education continue to swear by it.

So you see, just because a famous figure admits he's wrong doesn't mean everyone else won't continue to claim he's right. With this in mind, can you really call it "waffling"?

Don Snabulus said...

Oh, the waffling thing was only an offhand illustration of how the Republicans misrepresent John Kerry. I think Stephen Hawking is committed to truth in science and if he is changing his outlook, that is fine by me.

Heck, I've even changed my outlook in the course of the last couple of years. It is what most people do when confronted with new reality. It is to their detriment that Republicans would use a sign of intelligence and call it something else.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Spock, eh? Well one must be sure what one wished for, doesn't one!
It's acutally the grandson who killed himself, but they don't know why.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/medical/doctor/drspock.htm
AAAAhhhh, the waves of schadenfraude lap over me with soft fingers!
The moody minstral will be even moodier!

The Moody Minstrel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Moody Minstrel said...

Alright, alright, alright...
Speaking of moody...

I guess that's what I get for responding to a "sniper" after dealing with a pair of cranky kids and an even crankier wife...

Anyway, what I should have said in the second paragraph of the above comment (which I tried to delete, but for some reason all I got was yet another request for my password) was something like this:

Well, mr./ms. "anonymous", since you no doubt read through all those threads on this site to find that one point (not even central to the topic at hand) that you were able to attack with any degree of confidence, thus allowing you to wallow in it as if it were your only measure of self-worth, allow me to stoop to your level and play your game. Pride goeth before a downfall, and you have made your own ignorance only too plain. You see, the correct spelling of the word is "Schadenfreude". It comes from the German root words "schaden" (to damage/injure/cause grief) and "Freude" (joy/pleasure). Deshalb muß du Krähefleisch essen!

Okay, whatever. Stephen Hawking has every right to change his opinion as his bank of knowledge increases, just like any other scientist or expert, including Dr. Spock. That goes for politicians as well.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Oops...I DID delete that comment. (So WHY did the stupid thing keep asking me for my password and then not do anything???!?!?!?? AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!)

Okay, what I said in the FIRST paragraph of that comment was basically that what I heard about Dr. Spock came not from the "misinformation superhighway", as the link "anonymous" directed me to attests, but a "respected" newspaper. The same article I read, which actually seemed to be trying to defend Dr. Spock despite everything, also went on to say that he said not long before dying that he was really worried his theories might have been mistaken.

It also said that Dr. Spock, in his original argument, urged parents to trust their own instincts rather than just suck up to everything he said. Guess what? An awful lot of people in positions of power in the child welfare and educational departments just suck up to everything Dr. Spock said...or at least the more "feel-good" elements of it. So do a lot of parents. Heck, the father of one of the brattiest kids I've ever seen was the one who gave me a copy of Dr. Spock's book!

Oh, and by the way, "anonymous", it's "minstrEl".

Whatever. Back to our talk on waffling.

Anonymous said...

From other anonymous:

The Moab Mistrial:

Screw the friggin' spell checker.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Sorry, I'm happily married.

ElTigris said...

did he find out we had one much closer to home? like the 2005-6 deficit? growing faster than any black hole I know of *chuckles* ...I jsut want to hear that "no new taxes" once agian ... no government is smaller government. BTW everybody empty your pockets.

Seymour said...

If I may 'zero-in' to a point here, it may be that intelligent beings often reconsider past actions and statements in leiu of new information. That's kinda the whole point of science, its a L-E-A-R-N-I-N-G environment. Of course, this isn't always the case; sometimes political entities force a certain conformity of knowledge. But this is an unnatural occurance, and therefore, doomed and despised by all true thinkers.

ElTigris said...

learning?.... now that will get you banned from idealogically correct conservative science council... any more comments in that vein may get you burned at the stake as a heretic :)