Earth to Stephen Hawking and co-author Leonard Mlodinow: Philosophy always buries its undertakers.
Neuroscientist Raymond Tallis agrees: “Far from having replaced metaphysics, science is in a mess and needs help. Einstein saw it coming.”
… there could not be a worse time for philosophers to surrender the baton of metaphysical inquiry to physicists. Fundamental physics is in a metaphysical mess and needs help. The attempt to reconcile its two big theories, general relativity and quantum mechanics, has stalled for nearly 40 years. Endeavours to unite them, such as string theory, are mathematically ingenious but incomprehensible even to many who work with them. This is well known. A better-kept secret is that at the heart of quantum mechanics is a disturbing paradox – the so-called measurement problem, arising ultimately out of the Uncertainty Principle – which apparently demonstrates that the very measurements that have established and confirmed quantum theory should be impossible. Oxford philosopher of physics David Wallace has argued that this threatens to make quantum mechanics incoherent which can be remedied only by vastly multiplying worlds.
Tallis is, of course, best known for his recent book, Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis, and the Misrepresentation of Humanity so he adds,
Beyond these domestic problems there is the failure of physics to accommodate conscious beings. The attempt to fit consciousness into the material world, usually by identifying it with activity in the brain, has failed dismally, if only because there is no way of accounting for the fact that certain nerve impulses are supposed to be conscious (of themselves or of the world) while the overwhelming majority (physically essentially the same) are not. In short, physics does not allow for the strange fact that matter reveals itself to material objects (such as physicists).
Actually, there is also the endless paper war about the origin of life and of humans* and the cacophony that is current cosmology.
And interesting indeed that so many new voices are beginning to recognize that science without philosophy is increasingly ridiculous.
* See, for example, the bipedalism blues.