陪你讀霍金:《大設計》The Grand Design

陳以聖 / 原載:κrazian

霍金(Stephen Hawking)的書一向有個怪譽:最少人讀的暢銷書。這說的是1988年出版,狂賣千萬冊的《時間簡史》。人們都很景仰這位傳奇科學家,也感佩他為大眾科普所做的努力。但是,薄薄的一冊書,卻承載著太多的重量。如果連理工背景的人都讀得很辛苦,那麼,純人文背景的人將更只是「雖不能懂,心嚮往之」。

《陪你讀霍金》希望延伸霍金科普努力的初衷,為華文世界無科技背景的讀者伴讀。如導覽般帶領讀者,順著霍金原書的主軸而行,多方譬喻、解說,並轉化為人生哲學的洞見。若您覺得如此就夠了,收獲已裝滿行囊,不妨;若因而想要進一步親炙原書的智慧,自然更加可喜。

The Grand Design 中文直譯是《大設計》,聽起來不太抓得住那味道,也許可稱《天工》或《天之工》:「天工開物」、「巧奪天工」。「天之工」乃宇宙終極的設計。「天」可以是一個萬能的神,也可以是完全非神的自然法則。如此意涵,更接近霍金此書的旨趣。

《時代雜誌》訪談中,讀者問:「如果沒有上帝,為什麼絕大多數人都認定有呢?」霍金回答:「我並未宣稱上帝不存在。人們將自身存在的根由,賦予一個上帝的名稱,而這個根由,我認為就是物理定律,而不是一個任何人能夠和他產生關係的個體。這樣的上帝可說是『沒有人性』的(An impersonal God)。」換句話說,霍金的意思是:上帝存在,物理定律就是上帝,上帝就是物理定律。

霍金(Stephen Hawking)的這本新書, 2010 年九月甫一出版,便充滿新聞性,原因是宗教界領袖高分貝的撻伐聲討。我們選書來看,不該是因為行銷手法高明或媒體的追逐炒作,也不應看在許多名流應酬式的推薦上。自己這麼少少的讀書時間,豈可不慎選能增長智慧,提升境界的書?這麼多宗教領袖一致以無比的熱情批判,自然是一個很好的選書指標!

歷史上宗教的神話一個個破滅,持續威脅著神職人員的地位與工作保障。每一個破滅的神話,都標誌著一次科學人文的重大勝利。我們何其有幸,躬逢「霍將軍」此番「挺身」單挑多數宗教的「終極神話」:有個全能的神,創造了這一切。

能夠對人生觀、宇宙觀產生深遠影響的機會,並不多。飽經世事的人都能體會得:當意念轉變,許多原先覺得非常重要、投入大量時間精力的事情,霎那間都變得微不足道。這時你會感嘆,若早些看透,豈不省了青春無謂的浪擲?若你撥不出空,或提不起勁,覺得太傷腦筋,這本較輕鬆的小書可以陪著你,一路試著看下去...

PS.
Discovery 頻道出的影片,一套三集:《霍金的宇宙大探索-接觸外星人》、《霍金的宇宙大探索-穿梭時空》、《霍金構思的宇宙》(Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking-Aliens, Time Travel, The Story of Everything),更是淺白又聳動、精彩又過癮。當霍金在絢麗的開場,透過平緩的合成語音,說出:「Check it out!」時,你卻能奇妙的感受到血脈賁張的震撼與興奮。

Comments

In "The Grand Design" Hawking says that we are somewhat like goldfish in a curved fishbowl. Our perceptions are limited and warped by the kind of lenses we see through, “the interpretive structure of our human brains.” Albert Einstein rejected this subjective approach, common to much of quantum mechanics, but did admit that our view of reality is distorted.

Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity has the surprising consequences that “the same event, when viewed from inertial systems in motion with respect to each other, will seem to occur at different times, bodies will measure out at different lengths, and clocks will run at different speeds.” Light does travel in a curve, due to the gravity of matter, thereby distorting views from each perspective in this Universe. Similarly, mystics’ experience in divine oneness, which might be considered the same "eternal" event, viewed from various historical, cultural and personal perspectives, have occurred with different frequencies, degrees of realization and durations. This might help to explain the diversity in the expressions or reports of that spiritual awareness. What is seen is the same; it is the "seeing" which differs.

In some sciences, all existence is described as matter or energy. In some of mysticism, only consciousness exists. Dark matter is 25%, and dark energy about 70%, of the critical density of this Universe. Divine essence, also not visible, emanates and sustains universal matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and cosmic consciousness (f(x) raised to its greatest power). During suprarational consciousness, and beyond, mystics share in that essence to varying extents. [quoted from my ebook on comparative mysticism at suprarational.org ]

We've seen trucks and trucks (台語叫做「幾拖拉庫」) of fruitless debates about/from religious and scientific views of this world we live in. Philosophers have much to say, too. Deep in humanity, people don't just believe, they also want others to believe the same thing, sometimes through persuasion, sometimes via brutal force. My belief is that don't waste precious life arguing something that would be revealed to us in the future, study what we can study at hand is the best bet.

台灣中文版本月(2011-03)已由大塊文化出版,號稱「霍金十年首見鉅著,為生命終極問題提供最新答案」。其他四處可見的聳動標題,則包括:霍金斷言「哲學已死」、「霍金《大設計》中文版面世:否定上帝創造宇宙」。不知您對重口味的標題感覺如何?在下忙著「陪你讀霍金」,還沒空瞧見內容,您讀過了嗎?中國簡體中文版早在今年一月,便由湖南科技出版社出了,被罵得很慘。台灣的版本晚了兩個多月,品質應該要好很多才是。(金石堂網路書店博客來時報悅讀網誠品網路書店)

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