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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by abracadabraone, Feb 16, 2012.
Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. - stephen hawking
Thou must be like a promontory of the sea, against which, though the waves beat continually, yet it both itself stands, and about it are those swelling waves stilled and quieted. Marcus Aurelius.
I really don't understand what makes this guy such a celebrity.
He's made a bunch of theories about black holes that haven't helped mankind in any particular meaningful way. Just because he has a high IQ and is in a wheelchair doesn't make him the next Watson and Crick.
No, his focus is on black holes. But he contributes a lot of basic theoretical research. That is frankly more than W&C did tbh, all they did really was wait for everyone else to discover everything and then piece it all together and say me first.
probably a combination of being an renowned expert in a very challenging field and the perceived novelty of simultaneously being quadriplegic who everyone expected to be dead decades ago
also, it is a little amusing that it boggles your mind that someone is famous without having helped mankind
that's not one of the big criteria for celebrity status, as far as i know
Give me a few examples on some of his meaningful theories. I just don't see how he's any "better" then your run of the mill research professor at a top university.
"I'm a slaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave for you"
-Britney Jean Spears
We've come a long way.
It's the type of celebrity status he has. When you have someone who is synonymous with scientific research you expect him to have helped mankind in some very meaningful way.
I'm sure they said the same thing about evolution 200 years ago until we figured out that it has major applications in microbiology and medicine. It's called building a foundation, if you stop thinking today, you'll stay in today.
state your opinion...
I'm sure he has made a lot of interesting theories and we need that.
However I'm asking with JUST his credentials what sets him apart from your average top research professor. I get this feeling that all his fame comes from being in a wheelchair.
Hawking radiation is neat, but don't compare it to evolution or the discovery of DNA's structure (or, for that matter, esoteric but far more important ideas in physics like renormalization group theory).
No offense, but you probably couldn't have picked a worse counter-example than Watson and Crick.
Yes yes, I know Watson and Crick's stole data and were jerks : P. How about Charles Darwin? I think what I was trying to get at makes sense. Watson and Crick/ DNA structure)
You have the actual song? I remember it being pretty catchy
A neurological disorder + many other physicists are really bothersome and annoying like Michael Kaku.
Making lots of interesting theories (IE theoretical publications that other top research professors find interesting) is exactly what sets someone apart. I am not a follower of Hawking's physics, but I will merely say: if he is sufficiently interesting to other physicists through his publications, then this is enough to secure him.
(Obviously, his public popularity has a lot more to do with his popular science publications and his neurological disorder than to his theoretical research)
From a neuroscientific standpoint, I'd argue that intelligence is the extent to which the brain can categorize information/data for access and analysis.
is ability to construct a knowledge base form observations, and then apply that knowledge base to predict the results under circumstances other than the circumstances during the observations.
Yes, and this is key, QUICKLY.
Fixed it for ya
He also has a great sense of humor. Remember when he was The Simpsons. He's simply a like-able guy.
You sir. I owe you a beer next time you're in my neck of the woods
It boggles my mind that you don't realize that this isn't a celebrity like Snooki or K-Fed.
He's a world renowned scientist. Probably the most famous living researcher. He should be known for helping mankind in some major way with the amount of fame he has. I already explained this.
G H Hardy said that he will be dissappointed if any of his work ever becomes useful. Reiman's Zeta Function was mostly of academic interset, but now has been useful in physics. Fermat's last theorem was another useless stuff for a long time, but generalization of it has been useful in models of quasicrystalls. Some of the Hawking's work has advanced differntial geometry which is usefull in many other fields. We, here, are ill equipped to judge Hawking.
I don't give that much imporatnce to "quickly". Most of deep results need long and sustaianed attention. Most of the quick answers come when people just recollect a problem they already have solved some time in the past or close analog to it. Real intelligence is in solving some problem no one has solved before.
I'm sure lots of things boggle your mind
Great response. At least a few other posters tried to give their insight instead of posting nonsense.
That's the feeling that I get also. I think I'd have to talk to a research professor before truly getting a feel to whether Hawking is deserving of his fame. (I was hoping someone here might be able to give me a groundbreaking experiment he did of some sort. Like he invented the internet : P) Somewhere he particularly excels at.
I'm sure he has helped science ... But to what extent is where I start to raise my eyebrow.
All I did was +1 the notion that it is absurd we are worried about his relative level of celebrity when discussing why he is known as if worth to humanity is at all a common denominator when assessing fame.
He is not experimental physicist. If he has helped science that is good enough. I am sure people will be talking about Hawking-Israel radiation from blackhole for hundreds of years. Concept that black holes have entropy, proportional to the surface area, was totally new at the time.
Also he has survived decades longer than he was supposed to. Enough cause for plenty of other people to reach fame without the doctorate and groundbreaking theories. I just find it amusing that he is being criticized for being known in this way lol. It's like wondering how a car could be so fast if it isn't the proper shade of green. A point or three has been missed just to get here.
U wanna know why he is famous? Overcoming odds. It's the wheelchair. Without it his name would likely not be known by random cashiers, reporters, uh..... Pro wrestlers? I dunno... Just digging for obscure job titles. However even if the late macho man randy savage had never heard of hawking, his work is still as important
Anyone know who Susskind is? Some schmooze without a schnazzy chair. That's who
Well, you have to keep in mind that this is relative. Given 150 years to solve a problem, many more people would be able when compared to those given, say, 20 years. Now, what if you only had 5?
You need to be able to work quickly not so that you can be faster than anybody else, but so that you can figure things out in a reasonable time frame.
I agree heavily here. The genius of the founding fathers of the United States inventing a totally unknown political system with so much order and in so little time to the joint effort in discovering how to build the first nuclear bomb from an enriched form of a common mineral is proof of immense intelligence.
Leonardo Da Vinci's works are admirable even 500 years after he was long gone.
To give credit to Hawking he was one of the first scientists to popularize string theory which is like the official dogma of astro and theoretic physics and his books about physics are so entertaining and easy to read even for a layman person that isn't a scientist.
Well. Von Neuman said that if you give a monkey a typewriter and enough time the monkey will produce all the works of Shakespear in exact order Shakespear did. To that extent I will go with "quickly".
But there are people who don't just get interested in problems that are too easy that can be quickly solved. Once a physicist boasted that he published so many papers in one year. I said, "That is more than Feynman published in his whole life", to affect a deep silence.
Collected works of Reiman is so thin but every paper is ground breaking.
I usually don't get interested in MENSA type problems. I am not fond of multiple choice "objective" problems.
Not everyone does applied science, most professors do basic science. The mark of good science isn't necessarily helping mankind, a lot of times it's knowledge just for knowledge sake and the benefit to mankind may not come for a long time later.
Anyways, he's famous because he's a paraplegic in a wheelchair, and people think it's cool to see that someone with so much physical handicap is really smart (even if he's not the smartest person in the world).
just because it has no use now, doesn't mean it will have no use later. that's the whole point of science, discovering new things, not discovering things that will help mankind. in a way it does help ppl (maybe not you), but it helps satisfy people's curiosity (and his books sell pretty well).
a lot of important discoveries were first discovered but had no real meaningful use until years later. hawkings theories might just help save us all a billion years from now
This "quickly"-type thinking is useful on standardized tests, school exams, and information recall, but it's generally useless when doing research. Sure you need reasonable speed, but intellectual efficiency holds primacy. Einstein wasn't a fast thinker, but he thought about problems very efficiently. I honestly doubt Einstein would score over 35 on the MCAT, and Richard Feynman would most likely flunk MCAT verbal.
You need forward thinkers... to the scope that seems absurd to us. Most scientist lack the creativity to really push a challenging Theory to top scientist of the world.
He won't get true credit until like 200 years from now, people will be like holy #sh!t how did that person come up with that stuff with such lack technology.
He theory means bacteria are smarter then us lol
Our government was borrowed heavily from other governments and philosophy on government.
Read further. The point was being able solve problems within your own lifetime, not necessarily completing something like a standardized test within hours.
Well. Some times you have to attempt to solve problems you know that there is high probabilty that you may not solve at all. Reiman's hypothesis, for example, hasn't be proved yet but many have tried to solve it and couldn't do it in their life time. There was, of course, serendipity effect, and they contributed immensly to the theory of complex variables that might have contributed to how to design aeroplane wings and solve problems in electromagnetism.
There are discoveries made by Hawking in differential geometry- he was the first one to take that approach to General Theory of Relativity- which may have implications in how to solve nonlinear programming problems in economics and finance not just in physics.
It is not necessary that you solve a problem in your life time. Mere intellectual activity is good enough. Ramanujan, for example, wrote down many a identities which neither he nor any one new how to prove and they were proved decades after his death, and some of the stuff is useful in string theory.
Some times just writing down problems coherently itself requires great intelligence, e.g. Hilbert's 24 problems that even he didn't know how to or whether they will be solved at all, but gave a road map to many a mathematicians.
Then there are discoveries left in obscurity until a need for their use arises and they are rediscovered. Gauss discovered Fast Fourier Transform but it was rediscovered by Tuckey and Cooley. Hamiton invented quaternion but Pauli reinvented them to use them in Quantum Mechanics.
If you don't understand or even simply appreciate the area of physics he has been involved in you're unlikely to grasp the impact of his early work.
Wouldn't you consider the problem of writing down a problem coherently just another problem? I mean, I'm not arguing about the nature of problems solved, but what you accomplish, and what I mean by that is how much you accomplish, affects people's perception of intelligence, perhaps rightly.
My point wasn't that you have to do everything quickly. It was that if Shakespeare only was capable of writing all of Romeo and Juliet if it he had 1,000 years and finished just 1 page as a result of his speed issue, I very much doubt anyone would think him very intelligent. What if Reiman had only completed a quarter of what he did in his life? Would he still be considered as intelligent as he's known to be?
No poll I have seen of the top physicists, by people knowledgeable in the field, have included Hawking. You could be right though. Maybe his ideas haven't been recognized for what they are yet.
What polls HAVE you seen?
That's why I said early work. In the long run he'll likely be remembered more for his contributions to educating the public.
I agree with you about his work being important. I think I inferred too much from your original comment. For some reason I thought you were making a case for him being one of the greatest.