Cosmology Culture Intelligent Design

At Forbes: Science lessons Stephen Hawking never learned

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Following on the obit for Stephen Hawking, Nobelist (1942–2018), from Ethan Siegel offers an assessment at Forbes:

1.) We still don’t know whether black holes destroy information. A black hole, at its core, can be completely described by only three parameters: its mass, its angular momentum, and its charge. This no-hair theorem seems at odds with the fact that objects that can fall in — like, say, a book — contain a lot more information than that, and the laws of thermodynamics do not allow us to decrease information (or entropy) as time goes forward. While the information within a book may get imprinted on a black hole’s event horizon, eventually that black hole will decay to purely thermal radiation: Hawking radiation. What does this mean for the book’s information? Is it conserved, somehow, and entangled in the quantum morass of radiation that gets emitted? Or is it lost forever to the abyss of the black hole? Despite Hawking’s numerous grandiose claims, this question remains unanswered. The black hole information paradox has outlived the paradox’s creator. More.

See also: A Brief History of Stephen Hawking at New Scientist (homework help)

One of his books is available at an excellent, possibly memorial, price.

 

14 Replies to “At Forbes: Science lessons Stephen Hawking never learned

  1. 1
    Allan Keith says:

    I wasn’t aware that Forbes was known for their science reporting. Maybe I was wrong. 🙂

  2. 2
    Jon Garvey says:

    …the laws of thermodynamics do not allow us to decrease information (or entropy) as time goes forward.

    Something not right there, surely? Forget spooky black holes, and consider the same book and a bonfire. Don’t tell me Dostoyevsky’s characters and plot can be found among the ashes, or sublimate in smoke?

  3. 3
    Bob O'H says:

    Allan Keith – they do have some good bloggers there (including my wife, so I might be a bit biased).

  4. 4
    Eugene S says:

    Jon,

    Technically, I can see no paradox in your example: thermodynamic entropy (as defined by Boltzmann) is essentially information (under Shannon’s definition). In order to describe the universe after the destruction of the book in the bonfire, the observer will need to be given more information about the states of particles than before.

    However, I understand your concern. The problem is in the definitions 🙂 Shannon/thermodynamic information does not reflect meaning. All it is about is order vs. chaos. To describe ordered states an observer needs to be told less information than in the case of chaos.

    The problem that the semantic aspect is not captured in Shannon’s definition of information causes a lot of confusion. As an example, I recently listened to a dispute between Meyers and Atkins about ID (a record is available on youtube). Atkins fell victim to this confusion. Technically, he was right in saying information can be gained spontaneously. However, what kind of information? If he assumes that two identical copies of the same book contain more information than one of them, he is right. So the answer depends on the assumptions. But I was not entirely satisfied with how Meyers defended ID either. He should have started with the functional information and the ID hypothesis clearly defined. If he had done it, he would have avoided numerous points Atkins raised.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I notice Siegel’s: “the Universe does not compel us to believe that time itself necessarily had a beginning at all.” [–> the universe compels no beliefs!] This highlights just how hostile many are to the concept that the observed cosmos evidently had a beginning, or that time may be bounded in the past (the beginning can go beyond the “bang” or “inflation”). Of course, the fundamental issue as was recently discussed here at UD, is that the logic of a beginningless causal-temporal sequence is deeply questionable. I would go so far as to argue, incoherent on the import of the logic of structure and quantity. KF

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    1.) We still don’t know whether black holes destroy information. A black hole, at its core, can be completely described by only three parameters: its mass, its angular momentum, and its charge. This no-hair theorem seems at odds with the fact that objects that can fall in — like, say, a book — contain a lot more information than that, and the laws of thermodynamics do not allow us to decrease information (or entropy) as time goes forward. While the information within a book may get imprinted on a black hole’s event horizon, eventually that black hole will decay to purely thermal radiation: Hawking radiation. What does this mean for the book’s information? Is it conserved, somehow, and entangled in the quantum morass of radiation that gets emitted? Or is it lost forever to the abyss of the black hole? Despite Hawking’s numerous grandiose claims, this question remains unanswered. The black hole information paradox has outlived the paradox’s creator.

    Believe it or not this question of whether black holes destroy information or not is almost directly related to the age old debate between Theologians on whether Hell is everlasting or not. i.e. Annihilation or Eternal Punishment,,,

    Annihilation or Eternal Punishment? by Robert Peterson
    https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/annihilation-or-eternal-punishment/

    whereas, atheists have no compelling evidence for the various parallel universe and/or multiverse scenarios that they have put forth,,,

    Multiverse Mania vs Reality – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQJV4fH6kMo

    ,,, Christians, on the other hand, can appeal directly to the higher dimensional mathematics behind Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity and General Relativity to support their belief that God upholds this universe in its continual existence, as well as to support their belief in a heavenly dimension and in a hellish dimension.

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKggH8jO0pk

    The ‘scientific’ argument for Annihilation can be made by appealing to what happens to the atoms of a ‘hypothetical’ observer’s material body in or at a black hole:

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

    Whereas, the argument that Hell is everlasting can be made by appealing to the fact that, number 1, many recent experiments in quantum mechanics have now undermined the space-time of Einstein’s General Relativity as to being the absolute frame of reference for reality.

    LIVING IN A QUANTUM WORLD – Vlatko Vedral – 2011
    Excerpt: Thus, the fact that quantum mechanics applies on all scales forces us to confront the theory’s deepest mysteries. We cannot simply write them off as mere details that matter only on the very smallest scales. For instance, space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary. The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time. If there were a dividing line between the quantum and the classical worlds, we could use the space and time of the classical world to provide a framework for describing quantum processes. But without such a dividing line—and, indeed, with­out a truly classical world—we lose this framework. We must explain space and time (4D space-time) as somehow emerging from fundamentally spaceless and timeless physics.
    http://phy.ntnu.edu.tw/~chchan.....611038.pdf

    Albert Einstein vs. Quantum Mechanics and His Own Mind – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxFFtZ301j4

    ,, And, number 2, the argument that hell is everlasting can also be supported by the fact that the atoms of our material bodies are found to be held together by our immaterial ‘souls’. “Immaterial Souls” which are now found to be composed of, at the most fundamental level, ‘quantum information’. Quantum information which, according to basic precepts of quantum theory, is conserved and can therefore neither be created nor destroyed:

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video
    https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – 2011
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    Quantum no-deleting theorem
    Excerpt: A stronger version of the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem provide permanence to quantum information. To create a copy one must import the information from some part of the universe and to delete a state one needs to export it to another part of the universe where it will continue to exist.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....onsequence

    “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/jjpEc98o_Oo?t=300

    Thus, as you can see from the current debate on whether black holes destroy information or not, the age old Theological question of whether Hell is everlasting or not is not so easily resolvable by science,, (Though, as mentioned, I think the scientific evidence tends to support the traditional view that hell is everlasting)

    Verse:

    Matthew 10:28
    “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    2.) The Big Bang does not necessitate a singularity. If the Universe is expanding and cooling today, then it must have been hotter, denser, and smaller in the past. Extrapolate back far enough, and you can imagine all of the matter and energy in the Universe getting condensed into a single point: a singularity. But this completely ignores everything we’ve learned since 1979 about the conditions that set up the Big Bang. It completely ignores cosmic inflation, which tells us that before you ever reach that singular beginning, the Universe was described by a different physical state, one that may not have a singular beginning at all. The only theorem showing that an inflationary state can’t be eternal to the past can be circumvented in a number of ways, meaning the Universe may not have begun from a singularity at all. For all of Hawking’s talk of “what came before the beginning of time,” the Universe does not compel us to believe that time itself necessarily had a beginning at all.

    Hmmm, Ethan Siegel talks of cosmic inflation as if it is settled science, but neglects to mention that ‘cosmic inflation’ is now considered, by Paul J. Steinhardt himself, one of the founders of inflation theory, to be a non-testable pseudoscience. i.e. Inflation is a theory that, basically, predicts everything and therefore predicts nothing!

    Cosmic inflation is dead, long live cosmic inflation – 25 September 2014
    Excerpt: (Inflation) theory, the most widely held of cosmological ideas about the growth of our universe after the big bang, explains a number of mysteries, including why the universe is surprisingly flat and so smoothly distributed, or homogeneous (i.e. why the universe is ’round’).,,,
    Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University, who helped develop inflationary theory but is now scathing of it, says this is potentially a blow for the theory, but that it pales in significance with inflation’s other problems.
    Meet the multiverse
    Steinhardt says the idea that inflationary theory produces any observable predictions at all – even those potentially tested by BICEP2 – is based on a simplification of the theory that simply does not hold true.
    “The deeper problem is that once inflation starts, it doesn’t end the way these simplistic calculations suggest,” he says. “Instead, due to quantum physics it leads to a multiverse where the universe breaks up into an infinite number of patches. The patches explore all conceivable properties as you go from patch to patch. So that means it doesn’t make any sense to say what inflation predicts, except to say it predicts everything. If it’s physically possible, then it happens in the multiverse someplace
    Steinhardt says the point of inflation was to explain a remarkably simple universe. “So the last thing in the world you should be doing is introducing a multiverse of possibilities to explain such a simple thing,” he says. “I think it’s telling us in the clearest possible terms that we should be able to understand this and when we understand it it’s going to come in a model that is extremely simple and compelling. And we thought inflation was it – but it isn’t.”
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....CajrGl0y00

    Pop Goes The Universe – Scientific American – January 2017 – Anna Ijjas, Paul J. Steinhardt and Abraham Loeb
    Excerpt: “If anything, the Planck data disfavored the simplest inflation models and exacerbated long-standing foundational problems with the theory, providing new reasons to consider competing ideas about the origin and evolution of the universe… (i)n the years since, more precise data gathered by the Planck satellite and other instruments have made the case only stronger……The Planck satellite results—a combination of an unexpectedly small (few percent) deviation from perfect scale invariance in the pattern of hot and colds spots in the CMB and the failure to detect cosmic gravitational waves—are stunning. For the first time in more than 30 years, the simplest inflationary models, including those described in standard textbooks, are strongly disfavored by observations.”
    “Two improbable criteria have to be satisfied for inflation to start. First, shortly after the big bang, there has to be a patch of space where the quantum fluctuations of spacetime have died down and the space is well described by Einstein’s classical equations of general relativity; second, the patch of space must be flat enough and have a smooth enough distribution of energy that the inflation energy can grow to dominate all other forms of energy. Several theoretical estimates of the probability of finding a patch with these characteristics just after the big bang suggest that it is more difficult than finding a snowy mountain equipped with a ski lift and well-maintained ski slopes in the middle of a desert.”
    “More important, if it were easy to find a patch emerging from the big bang that is flat and smooth enough to start inflation, then inflation would not be needed in the first place. Recall that the entire motivation for introducing it was to explain how the visible universe came to have these properties; if starting inflation requires those same properties, with the only difference being that a smaller patch of space is needed, that is hardly progress.”
    “…inflation continues eternally, generating an infinite number of patches where inflation has ended, each creating a universe unto itself…(t)he worrisome implication is that the cosmological properties of each patch differ because of the inherent randomizing effect of quantum fluctuations…The result is what cosmologists call the multiverse. Because every patch can have any physically conceivable properties, the multiverse does not explain why our universe has the very special conditions that we observe—they are purely accidental features of our particular patch.”
    “We would like to suggest “multimess” as a more apt term to describe the unresolved outcome of eternal inflation, whether it consists of an infinite multitude of patches with randomly distributed properties or a quantum mess. From our perspective, it makes no difference which description is correct. Either way, the multimess does not predict the properties of our observable universe to be the likely outcome. A good scientific theory is supposed to explain why what we observe happens instead of something else. The multimess fails this fundamental test.”
    https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~loeb/sciam3.pdf

    A Matter of Considerable Gravity: On the Purported Detection of Gravitational Waves and Cosmic Inflation – Bruce Gordon – April 4, 2014
    Excerpt: Thirdly, at least two paradoxes result from the inflationary multiverse proposal that suggest our place in such a multiverse must be very special: the “Boltzmann Brain Paradox” and the “Youngness Paradox.” In brief, if the inflationary mechanism is autonomously operative in a way that generates a multiverse, then with probability indistinguishable from one (i.e., virtual necessity) the typical observer in such a multiverse is an evanescent thermal fluctuation with memories of a past that never existed (a Boltzmann brain) rather than an observer of the sort we take ourselves to be. Alternatively, by a second measure, post-inflationary universes should overwhelmingly have just been formed, which means that our existence in an old universe like our own has a probability that is effectively zero (i.e., it’s nigh impossible). So if our universe existed as part of such a multiverse, it would not be at all typical, but rather infinitely improbable (fine-tuned) with respect to its age and compatibility with stable life-forms.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....84001.html

    It is also interesting to note that Ethan Siegel references Alexander Vilenkin’s paper that shows “Inflationary spacetimes are not past-complete”, and then Siegel states that Vilenkin’s theorem is “circumvented in a number of ways” but Siegel neglects to mention, even briefly, exactly how that supposed circumvention of Vilenkin’s paper might take place. (My ‘all in’ bet is that he ‘circumvents’ the paper by relying more on imagination rather than relying on any hard science.)

    As far as hard science itself is concerned, to echo Vilenkin, “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”

    “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.” –
    Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston – in paper delivered at atheist Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday party (Characterized as ‘Worst Birthday Present Ever’) – January 2012
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....beginning/

    Evidence Supporting the Big Bang
    http://www.astronomynotes.com/cosmolgy/s7.htm

    Evidences For The Big Bang – Michael Strauss – video (4:50 – mark – main evidences) (14:30 mark – unscientific speculations involving quantum Planck time persist)
    https://vimeo.com/9195703

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    3.) Humans are not doomed to be destroyed by aliens, A.I., or ourselves. While it’s important to be cautious about the actions that we take as humans, imagining the worst possible outcome and lauding it as inevitable is not only fatalistic, it’s bad science. Sure, being circumspect about our actions and policies is important, but surely it’s equally important to be humble about the forces we do not yet understand, and to honestly examine all the aspects of what we do understand.
    Intelligent aliens may be hostile, or they may view humans as inconsequential ants, but there are compelling reasons to believe that — if they exist — they may be curious and peaceful. Furthermore, even if they are hostile, humanity may survive it, just as ants have survived us. Even with pollution and global warming, humanity is unlikely to go extinct, and the greatest danger from A.I. isn’t that the robots will become self-aware and try to kill us, but that a nefarious human will program them to turn on us. It’s up to humanity to carve our own, bold path in the Universe in the face of uncertainty, not to let our most base fears about annihilation deter us from our greatest ambitions.

    Might I suggest that Hawking was being a bit more honest with the Nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview than Siegel is being?

    My advice to Siegel, and his fellow atheists, if you are going to be an atheist then, by golly, man up and embrace the utter futility inherent in your worldview. According to your atheistic worldview, you Mr. Siegel, and everybody else, have no more intrinsic worth than ‘chemical scum’:

    “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit.,,,”
    – Stephen Hawking – 1995 TV show, Reality on the Rocks: Beyond Our Ken,

    Fortunately, and ironically for atheists who fancy themselves as being ‘scientific’, science itself now shows us that we are not nearly as insignificant as atheists have presupposed (i.e. the overturning of the Copernican principle, and/or the ‘principle of mediocrity’ by both general relativity and quantum mechanics):

    Humanity – Chemical Scum or Made in the Image of God? – video
    https://youtu.be/ElBWAwjPzyM

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:

    Verses:

    Hebrews 4:13
    “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account.”

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    Psalm 139:7-14
    Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

    Of related interest to God ‘watching over us’:

    “In the early days of the German advance into Eastern Europe, before the possibility of Soviet retribution even entered their untroubled imagination, Nazi extermination squads would sweep into villages, and after forcing villagers to dig their own graves, murder their victims with machine guns. On one such occasion somewhere in Eastern Europe, an SS officer watched languidly, his machine gun cradled, as an elderly and bearded Hasidic Jew laboriously dug what he knew to be his grave.
    Standing up straight, he addressed his executioner. “God is watching what you are doing,” he said.
    And then he was shot dead.
    What Hitler did not believe and what Stalin did not believe and what Mao did not believe and what the SS did not believe and what the Gestapo did not believe and what the NKVD did not believe and what the commissars, functionaries, swaggering executioners, Nazi doctors, Communist Party theoreticians, intellectuals, Brown Shirts, Black Shirts, gauleiters, and a thousand party hacks did not believe was that God was watching what they were doing.”
    [Berlinski]

  9. 9
    asauber says:

    I wasn’t aware that Forbes was known for their science reporting. Maybe I was wrong. ????

    Alan Keith,

    Here’s a little tidbit to help you grow in wisdom:

    Just because something has the word Science slapped on it, doesn’t necessarily make it scientific.

    Andrew

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    4.) Be humble about your own speculative, unproven ideas. This is a pitfall that has afflicted many of the greatest minds throughout scientific history: to fall in love with their own fringe scientific ideas so thoroughly that you tout them with the certainty normally reserved for verified, validated, robust theories. Hawking’s no-boundary proposal is speculative and unproven, yet Hawking will often (including in A Brief History Of Time) speak about it with the same certainty he’d speak about black holes. Ideas like baby Universes, a unifying theory of everything, and higher dimensions may be common, but they lack evidence. In many senses, they remain untested, while in others, the evidence that could support them has failed to materialize.

    This has never stopped Hawking from touting them, much to the chagrin of careful scientists everywhere. Unproven ideas should never be a substitute for legitimate facts, yet Hawking, in every book he ever wrote, never tells you when he strays from the confirmed-and-validated into this speculative realm, particularly where his own ideas are concerned. To an insider, it feels like the definition of selling out: using your fame and clout for self-promotion, rather than to educate and elucidate humanity’s knowledge and the limits of that knowledge.

    Hmmm, sounds like very sound advice that many, besides physicists, Darwinists would do very well to heed.

    Science is, and always has been, first and foremost, an endeavor to separate, using experimentation and logic, what is real from what is imaginary. (i.e. separating true hypothesis from false hypothesis),, Yet unconstrained imagination, unfettered by experimentation and logic, now threatens to overrun physics, (via unchecked multiverse scenarios and the sort, ie. string theory, m-theory), as it has already, with Darwinian evolution, overrun the study of biological origins.

    Multiverse Mania vs Reality – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQJV4fH6kMo

    Darwinian Evolution: A Pseudoscience based on Unrestrained Imagination and Bad Liberal Theology – video
    https://youtu.be/KeDi6gUMQJQ

    Anti-Science Irony
    Excerpt: In response to a letter from Asa Gray, professor of biology at Harvard University, Darwin declared: “I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.”
    When questioned further by Gray, Darwin confirmed Gray’s suspicions: “What you hint at generally is very, very true: that my work is grievously hypothetical, and large parts are by no means worthy of being called induction.” Darwin had turned against the use of scientific principles in developing his theory of evolution.
    http://www.darwinthenandnow.co.....nce-irony/

    “We have no idea how the molecules that compose living systems could have been devised such that they would work in concert to fulfill biology’s functions. We have no idea how the basic set of molecules, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins, were made and how they could have coupled into the proper sequences, and then transformed into the ordered assemblies until there was the construction of a complex biological system, and eventually to that first cell.
    Nobody has any idea how this was done when using our commonly understood mechanisms of chemical science. Those that say they understand are generally wholly uninformed regarding chemical synthesis. Those that say “Oh, this is well worked out,” they know nothing, nothing about chemical synthesis – Nothing!
    Further cluelessness – From a synthetic chemical perspective, neither I nor any of my colleagues can fathom a prebiotic molecular route to construction of a complex system. We cannot figure out the prebiotic routes to the basic building blocks of life: carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. Chemists are collectively bewildered. Hence I say that no chemist understands prebiotic synthesis of the requisite building blocks let alone their assembly into a complex system.
    That’s how clueless we are. I’ve asked all of my colleagues – National Academy members, Nobel Prize winners -I sit with them in offices; nobody understands this. So if your professors say it’s all worked out, your teachers say it’s all worked out, they don’t know what they’re talking about. It is not worked out. You cannot just refer this to somebody else; they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
    James Tour – one of the top ten leading chemists in the world
    The Origin of Life: An Inside Story – March 2016 Lecture with James Tour
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zQXgJ-dXM4

  11. 11
    Jon Garvey says:

    Eugene S

    There is indeed a distinction between “meaning” and Shannon information – just as there is some connection between the latter and entropy, if only because the same term is used.

    But the original example given us was of a book and its information – and I can’t see that anyone would seriously consider that Shannon information, whether in the form of the letter symbols or the structure of the book itself, would survive being thrown into a black hole.

    As for the “meaning”, it might survive in some immaterial platonic realm, or in someone’s mind – but I wouldn’t volunteer to test the survival of the information in my mind by jumping into a black hole.

    In other words, the book seems to be an entirely misleading example to use.

  12. 12
    Mung says:

    The black hole information paradox has outlived the paradox’s creator.

    There is no black hole information paradox. There is only confusion about information, entropy, thermodynamics, time, black holes and the universe.

    http://www.ariehbennaim.com/books/indexold.html

  13. 13
    Tom Robbins says:

    This kills me, Forbes should do more homework – They never mention the real battle in the black hole wars. The plumber physicist Leonard Susskind, a pro at quantum mechanics, and a string theory proponent, clearly showed that information CANNOT be destroyed. Has the author not heard of the Holographic Principle it is now considered to have “Won” this great debate between Susskind and Hawking??? Susskind always gets a raw deal here. It is such a robust thoery that it is in college textbooks – the short version, ANY OBJECT or space, if collapsed down until it formed a black hole – your toaster, the room you are sitting in and all the furniture, an be described perfectly by the information stored on the event horizon of a black hole in 2D Planck length units not in 3D – the conclusion is rather startling, and not “proven” – that in some way our universe is stored on the edges of space in one or many black holes,and “projected” into 3D – but Hawking admitted that Dr. Susskind had convinced him. But all articles talk about only Hawking, and that he somehow solved the problem, he did no such thing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holographic_principle If an observer sees someone or something falling into a black hole,they will never see their information dissapear, it will be retrivalbe on the event horizon. NOW – I am not saying it has been proven – but look at the statement – that hawking did not solve it, without even mentioning this rather well supported concept. As far as these two physicists were concerned, they both ended up agreeing that information cannot be destroyed. More and more physicists are looking at the implications of Quantum Mechanics and Quantum gravity, and realizing that INFORMATION is at the base of reality. Other Theories on Quantum gravity (Emergence Theory) http://www.quantumgravityresea.....s-overview take this a step further, and finally just come out and say it – NOTHING is anything, without a Conscious observer. Personally I think the main observer is outside spacetime and gravity, and our consciousness live in this same “dimension” – it would explain quite a bit.

  14. 14
    Battman says:

    Black Holes may be the original write-only memory.

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