Can one really compare Stephen Hawkings with Albert Einstein?

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Offline Alan McDougall

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Admittedly both are/were remarkable theoretical physicists.

However, in my opinion Stephen Hawking's  simply cannot be compared to the Great Albert Einstein, in achievement or stature as a scientist.

Admittedly Stephen is at great disadvantage in achieving his true potential due to the appalling physical disadvantage of his almost life long illness

What is your opinion on this debate?

The Truth remains the Truth regardless of our beliefs or opinions the Truth is always the Truth even if we know it or do not know it (The Truth remains the Truth)


Offline puppypower

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Another way to look at this is to compare Albert Einstein to Albert Einstein, or Stephen Hawkings to Stephen Hawkings, if each was born in 1879 or 1942. The world of science was a different place in each of those two times. In 1900, when Einstein was 21, much of accepted modern science we take for granted, was considered out of the box speculation and alternate theory. Einstein had to deal with closed minds. If there were forums back them he would be heckled or thought to be an oddity.

On the other hand, if Einstein had been born in 1942, it would be 1963, when he was 21, with humans working on developing the technology to put a man on the moon. There would be the early computers. The nuclear bombs would have been part of history. Most of the speculative science of 1900 has been confirmed by experiment. He would no longer be treated like a mutant for believing in the future from 1900. Einstein was ahead of his time, which means you take more crap and may even have to support yourself; accountant.

Hawkings in 1900 would never have been able to talk about black holes, without being treated like a pseudo-scientist. The foundation science and technology was not there and the status quo would be avoiding change.  By 1963, the frontiers of space had opened wide and everyone was thinking positive about unraveling the mysteries of the universe. There was more room for out of the box.

Einstein went through two world wars with the second world war timing out with the need to develop the atomic bombs. Often emergency situations, is the one time the otherwise stalling status quo, will accept the help of the out of the box thinkers. They are not competent enough using only the traditions which are not designed to go there. The acceptance can also be due to politics, since the those who talk too much, have a scape goat, to say they told everyone so. This unique time in history, gave Einstein an edge in terms of being supported while thinking out of the box. But showing up the status quo  could also make enemies of the bureaucrats, when peace time appears, who can inhibit his longer term goals.

If Stephen Hawkings had been able to push his ideas in 1900, there would be members of the status quo who would have resisted, due to their fear of novelty and change.  If his disability then started to appear, many would petitioned to leave him out in the cold, so he would not be a threat. Stephen Hawkings benefitted by his time of birth and the timing of space exploration.
« Last Edit: 11/08/2016 12:43:44 by puppypower »