2013年8月30日 星期五

霍金(Stephen Hawking):不要迷戀天堂,那只是個傳說

A belief that heaven or an afterlife awaits us is a "fairy story" for people afraid of death, Stephen Hawking has said.
In a dismissal that underlines his firm rejection of religious comforts, Britain's most eminent scientist said there was nothing beyond the moment when the brain flickers for the final time.
Hawking, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, shares his thoughts on death, human purpose and our chance existence in an exclusive interview with the Guardian today.
The incurable illness was expected to kill Hawking within a few years of its symptoms arising, an outlook that turned the young scientist to Wagner, but ultimately led him to enjoy life more, he has said, despite the cloud hanging over his future.
"I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first," he said.
"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," he added.
Hawking's latest comments go beyond those laid out in his 2010 book, The Grand Design, in which he asserted that there is no need for a creator to explain the existence of the universe. The book provoked a backlash from some religious leaders, including the chief rabbi, Lord Sacks, who accused Hawking of committing an "elementary fallacy" of logic.
霍金最近關於宗教的其他評論在他2010年出版的新書《偉大設計》(The Grand Design)中都能找到,在這本書中,霍金斷言,解釋宇宙的存在並不需要虛構什麼造物主。《偉大設計》一書激起了某些宗教領袖的強烈不滿,例如首席拉比薩克斯勳爵(Lord Sacks)就斥責霍金犯了一個邏輯上的“基本謬誤”。
The 69-year-old physicist fell seriously ill after a lecture tour in the US in 2009 and was taken to Addenbrookes hospital in an episode that sparked grave concerns for his health. He has since returned to his Cambridge department as director of research.
自2009年在美國舉行了巡迴演講之後,這位現年六十九歲的物理學家就大病了一場,其間被送到阿登布魯克醫院(Addenbrookes hospital)進行救治的消息還引發了公眾對其健康的嚴重關注。最近,霍金已經以研究主任的身份重返劍橋了。
The physicist's remarks draw a stark line between the use of God as a metaphor and the belief in an omniscient creator whose hands guide the workings of the cosmos.
In his bestselling 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, Hawking drew on the device so beloved of Einstein, when he described what it would mean for scientists to develop a "theory of everything" – a set of equations that described every particle and force in the entire universe. "It would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God," he wrote.
在1988年出版的暢銷書《時間簡史》(A Brief History of Time)中,當寫到“萬有理論”對於科學家來說意味著什麼時,霍金就耍了一回愛因斯坦最喜歡用的招數。“那將是人類理性的終極勝利——因為到那時,我們就能洞曉上帝的思維,”他在書中這樣寫到。
The book sold a reported 9 million copies and propelled the physicist to instant stardom. His fame has led to guest roles in The Simpsons, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Red Dwarf. One of his greatest achievements in physics is a theory that describes how black holes emit radiation.
這本書據說賣出了九百萬本,霍金頓時成為了物理界的頂級巨星。沖天的名望讓他在《辛普森一家》(The Simpsons)、《星際迷航:下一代》(Star Trek: The Next Generation)和《紅矮星號》(Red Dwarf)中都過了一把客串癮。而在老本行中,霍金亦建樹頗多,他最偉大的成就便是理論描繪了黑洞如何釋放輻射。
In the interview, Hawking rejected the notion of life beyond death and emphasised the need to fulfil our potential on Earth by making good use of our lives. In answer to a question on how we should live, he said, simply: "We should seek the greatest value of our action."
In answering another, he wrote of the beauty of science, such as the exquisite double helix of DNA in biology, or the fundamental equations of physics.
Hawking responded to questions posed by the Guardian and a rea​​der in advance of a lecture tomorrow at the Google Zeitgeist meeting in London, in which he will address the question: "Why are we here?"
對《衛報》所提出的問題,霍金都一一作了解答。此外,他還提前回答了一位讀者提出的問題:人類存在的目的是什麼?這個問題本來是預備拿到第二天在倫敦召開的Google Zeitgeist大會上進行討論的。
In the talk, he will argue that tiny quantum fluctuations in the very early universe became the seeds from which galaxies, stars, and ultimately human life emerged. "Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing. It is a matter of chance which we are in," he said.
Hawking suggests that with modern space-based instruments, such as the European Space Agency's Planck mission, it may be possible to spot ancient fingerprints in the light left over from the earliest moments of the universe and work out how our own place in space came to be.
His talk will focus on M-theory, a broad mathematical framework that encompasses string theory, which is regarded by many physicists as the best hope yet of developing a theory of everything.
M-theory demands a universe with 11 dimensions, including a dimension of time and the three familiar spatial dimensions. The rest are curled up too small for us to see.
Evidence in support of M-theory might also come from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cern, the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva.
One possibility predicted by M-theory is supersymmetry, an idea that says fundamental particles have heavy – and as yet undiscovered – twins, with curious names such as selectrons and squarks.
Confirmation of supersymmetry would be a shot in the arm for M-theory and help physicists explain how each forces at work in the universe arose from one super-force at the dawn of time.
Another potential discovery at the LHC, that of the elusive Higgs boson, which is thought to give mass to elementary particles, might be less welcome to Hawking, who has a long-standing bet that the long-sought entity will never be found at the laboratory.
大型強子對撞機的另一個潛在發現即希格斯波色子(Higgs boson)的存在,一些物理學家認為正是這種神秘的粒子將質量賦予了基本粒子。但霍金並不認可這項理論,他甚至打賭說物理學家們永遠也不可能在實驗室中找到希格斯波色子。
Hawking will join other speakers at the London event, including the chancellor, George Osborne, and the Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.
英國財政大臣喬治·奧斯本(George Osborne)和曾獲得諾貝爾獎的經濟學家約瑟夫·斯蒂格利茨(Joseph Stiglitz)也將在倫敦盛會上發表演說。
Science, truth and beauty: Hawking's answers
What is the value in knowing "Why are we here?"
The universe is governed by science. But science tells us that we can't solve the equations, directly in the abstract. We need to use the effective theory of Darwinian natural selection of those societies most likely to survive. We assign them higher value.
You've said there is no reason to invoke God to light the blue touchpaper. Is our existence all down to luck?
Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing. It is a matter of chance which we are in.
So here we are. What should we do?
We should seek the greatest value of our action.
You had a health scare and spent time in hospital in 2009. What, if anything, do you fear about death?
I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.
What are the things you find most beautiful in science?
Science is beautiful when it makes simple explanations of phenomena or connections between different observations. Examples include the double helix in biology, and the fundamental equations of physics."

原文標題:Stephen Hawking: \'There is no heaven; it's a fairy story\'