According to Hawkings….-

Posted on December 19, 2010


Jenny: ” In his book The Grand Design, what does Stephen Hawking mean when he talks about ‘model dependent realism’?

Professor Wiggly: “He means that our brains are receiving thousands of signals a second both from our senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell) as well as the remnants of previous signals circulating around the brain,  and to make sense out of that endless deluge of sensations your brain constructs simplifying patterns or models that we call ‘reality’. It other words your brain selects and links some signals or sensations and ignores others. So  what you call ‘real’ depends on the models or templates or filters  you use to simplify  and manage the flood of sensations.”

Jenny: “So that’s why different people in the same situation ‘see’ different realities.”

Peter: ” That’s helps explain why a gal who looks great to me looks blah to my buddy. That’s why smart Democrats and equally smart Republicans can ‘hear’ the same speech but get different messages,  and can ‘see’ radically different futures. Some people see the world thru rose colored glasses, some through poop colored spectacles. Bats, and cats hear a different world than we do, dogs smell a different world – we don’t go around smelling each others bums – well most of us don’t.””

ProfessorWiggly: ” Oh Peter … please!. Out models protect us from information overload, our models – our  neurology – cherry picks and links different signals from the buzzing confusion, from the otherwise overwhelming flood of sensations and  creates different ‘realities.’  Our so-called beliefs, theories and biases are ‘models’ that cut the buzzing confusion of sensations down to mind size by helping us ‘make sense’ out of the  flood of sights, sounds, smells, memories, etc. So Hawkings assumes that we have no direct – unbiased – access to REALITY, that our models of reality cherry pick an incomplete sample of  signals, and that our lens (our model) of science also relies on an incomplete and distorted representation of ‘reality’. Whereas Shemer presumes our lens or model of science can bypass our human limitations and increasingly provide a reliable and valid picture of ‘reality’. This is the popular view of science, both by the public and by most scientists, therefore Hawkings model of science is radically provocative and controversial but not new. It has historical roots in Plato’s cave, and modern expression in the Nobel Prize winner Herb Simon’s mantra: no conclusions without emotionally anchored presumptions – biases!”

Posted in: Sciencing