Re: That idiot Darwin

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Sun Jan 14 2001 - 06:45:12 MST

At 08:25 AM 14/01/01 -0800, Daniel Ust wrote, but I couldn't quite believe

>Stephen Hawking tells me his (Theory of Everything), I'm likely to listen,
BUT I'm not going to
>think Hawking's must be true because he holds the Lucasian chair at Oxford
>(the chair does not guarantee truth or wisdom), is considered a genius
>(genius status does not ditto), and an expert in physics (expertise does not
>ditto). (In fact, I disagree with a lot of Stephen Hawking's ideas.:)

Is that right? *Obviously* those are not reasons for thinking that his
claims are *true*, but that isn't the point (since there are *no* reasons
for thinking *anyone's* claims are *true*--just, at best, as good as it
gets at the moment). But what, other than his hard-won reputation and the
esteem of his critical peers (emblematized in his Oxford chair), impels you
to prefer to listen to Hawking's views over those of some random claimant?
You just kinda... *intuit*... that he might have something interesting to
say (it's that sexy robot voice)? Or better yet, you just happened to
stumble over his recent papers and, without the least skerrick of
aprioristic pre-selection, you found them really convincing and morish?
(True, I hope that you would only endorse them, should you do so after
careful scrutiny, in the extent to which you *did* find them really
convincing and morish, in their own terms; but I really really doubt that's
why you read them by preference to, say, the latest aether theory on the web.)

Damien Broderick

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