Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday Science: Hawking 9 (The Arrow of Time)

Friday reviews of Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time so far.
Chapter 1: Heliocentric
Chapter 2: Spacetime
Chapter 3: Expansion of the Universe
Chapter 4: Uncertainty Principle
Chapter 5: Elementary Particles and the Forces of Nature
Chapter 6: Black Holes
Chapter 7: Black Holes Ain't So Black
Chapter 8: The Origin and Fate of the Universe

Chapter 9: The Arrow of Time
Getting close to the end. The problem we are dealing with in this chapter is the fact that, on the quantum level, nothing prevents a forward or backward movement in time. In the macro-universe, time only can move in one direction. In the micro-universe, this simply is not the case.

The first reason for this is what Hawking calls the "thermodynamic" arrow of time. We easily identify with a cup shattering on the floor. We do not identify with a cup unfalling and unshattering.

Another arrow is the "cosmological" arrow. The universe is expanding. My sense is that Hawking, writing this book in the late 80s, hoped that eventually this expansion would stop and recontract, making possible an oscillating big bang of sorts. That view has largely been eliminated in the last twenty years

A third arrow he mentions is the "psychological" arrow. This one I am less convinced of. It seems to be related to the anthropic principle. Basically, he argues that our brains are just wired to see time moving in only one direction.

Short chapter. I'm sure I don't fully know the depth of some of what he is saying. But I think I know enough to know that subsequent developments have trashed some of what he said.

The universe has a prevailing arrow of time, based on the second law of thermodynamics and its expansion. On the micro-level, this may not always be the case.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Acts 2 Explanatory Notes

For about 12 weeks now I have been studying Acts. Here are my notes and videos on Acts 1.

And now my notes and videos on Acts 2.

II. Acts 2-7 Jerusalem
A. Acts 2 The Coming of the Spirit
  • 2:1. We can assume from Acts 1:14 that these believers have been praying as important context for the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is also significant that they are "together." That is, they are unified.
  • 2:2. The word for spirit (pneuma) is related to the word for wind (pnoe). Spirit is something that is blown. The metaphor of "filling" is frequently used with the Holy Spirit, like a cup that is filled.
  • 2:3. The idea of tongues of fire is attested by Philo at the event of the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai and we can find in some places an association between Pentecost and Sinai. It is thus at least possible that we should hear new covenant overtones to the Day of Pentecost.
  • 2:4. A number of expressions are used in Acts for the event that takes place here--being "filled" with the Spirit, being "baptized" in the Holy Spirit, "receiving" the Holy Spirit. These would all seem to be synonymous expressions. 
  • Being filled with the Holy Spirit is an initiatory experience in the book of Acts. That is to say, a person has not truly become part of the people of God until he or she has received the Spirit. This baptism in the Spirit is the means by which one's past sins are cleansed (cf. Acts 15:9). 
  • Within the narrative world of Luke-Acts, this event is the fulfillment of Luke 3:16. That is to say, we would introduce foreign elements into Luke's story if we insert John 20:22 here. In the story world of Luke-Acts, this is the first time that the disciples receive the Spirit.
  • For Acts, Paul, and Hebrews, receiving the Holy Spirit is the initiatory experience for a Christian. Faith (Paul), repentance (Luke), and confession (John) are important precursors to inclusion in the people of God, but they are not the borderline per se. "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they are not his" (Rom. 8:9). The Holy Spirit is a seal indicating God's ownership of us (2 Cor. 1:22). He is the earnest of our inheritance, serving both as a down payment and guarantee of our salvation (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5). 
  • One is thus not a Christian unless you have received the Holy Spirit, and if you have received the Holy Spirit, you are a Christian. Therefore, in the narrative world of Luke-Acts, the Day of Pentecost is the birth of the church. 
  • The primary manifestation of receiving the Holy Spirit is power, as indicated in Acts 1:8. The first manifestation of this power is speaking in languages. These would seem to be human languages in Acts 2. The word for utterance here seems to suggest divinely revealed messages.
  • 2:5-6. We should picture this crowd as an overwhelmingly Jewish crowd. Pilgrimage to Jerusalem was a feature of the Judaism of the day, thus the picture of Diaspora Jews from all over the Roman Empire coming at some point to the temple. The volume of the noise from the rushing wind must have been quite spectacular.
  • 2:7-11. In these verses we get a sense of how many nations were represented in Jerusalem on feast days. This cross-section of Diaspora Judaism will serve as a conduit for the Jesus movement spreading throughout the world. 
  • 2:7. We get an overtone that Galileans were not particularly thought of as likely to speak in so many different languages.
  • 2:8. This verse clearly indicates that the languages spoken were human languages and that the use of tongues here served the purpose of evangelism. Although the other instances of tongues speaking do not indicate the nature of the tongues, Acts 2 may tip the scales toward them being human languages in the other instances too.
  • Acts never indicates that tongues always accompanied receiving the Holy Spirit. The believers at Samaria are not said to speak in tongues in Acts 8, nor is Paul said to in Acts 9. 
  • 2:11. The content of what they were saying seems to have been the "great works of God."
  • 2:12-13. There seem to be two basic reactions to the event. Some are perplexed and want to know more. Others immediately reject the spiritual nature of the event and propose that the men are drunk. In other words, some have ears to hear and others do not.
  • 2:14-36. This is the first and most important sermon in Acts, giving Peter's response to the crowd. We call the basic gospel message of this sermon the "kerygma," that which is preached. 
  • We probably shouldn't think of this sermon as a verbatim. It would be in keeping with the practices of ancient history writing for Luke to summarize, paraphrase, even at times create material for such speeches (cf. Thucydides). 
  • 2:14-21. The main parts of the sermon each begin with a word that addresses the crowd. The first is "Men, Jews, and all those dwelling in Jerusalem."
  • 2:15. Peter first rejects the claim that they are drunk. It is only 9 in the morning. There may be some implied parallel between being filled with the Spirit and being drunk with wine (Eph. 5:18).
  • 2:16-21. Peter offers by contrast that the event is the fulfillment of the words of Joel 2. In the prophets, the Day of the Lord was a day of the Lord's judgment, one that could occur as often as needed. Acts presumably relates this to the Day of the Lord, the final judgment. In that sense, the entire age of the church is syncopated into this moment.
  • Language of the moon darkening and the sun turning to blood is eclipse language. It is not clear that Luke foresees a literal eclipse at some time but this is apocalyptic language. He may actually be saying that the Day of Pentecost fulfilled the thrust of those signs.
  • 2:17-18. These are key verses indicating that the age of the Spirit is one in which both men and women will preach. Preaching is often a form of prophesying, that is, speaking forth the word that the Lord has given to a particular group of people, a divine utterance. Prophecy is much more "forth-telling" than it is "fore-telling." The Spirit is the great equalizer, and since men and women possess the Spirit in full measure, there is no spiritual activity that is limited to a certain gender or type of person. "In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free. There is not male and female" (Gal. 3:28).
  •  2:21. One of the main themes of Acts is that anyone can now call on the Lord, and anyone who does will be saved. Luke also uses deterministic language but these two types of language should not be connected philosophically as in Calvinism. In keeping with the fatalism of the day, Luke assumes that those who are called have been chosen by God and yet also believes that the gospel is for everyone and anyone merely need call upon God to be saved.
  • 2:22-35. These verses focus on Psalm 16:8-11, which Luke uses in conjunction with Psalm 110:1 to indicate that Jesus' resurrection is also the fulfillment of prophecy, just like the day of Pentecost.
  • 2:22. Luke's Christology focuses on the empowered humanity of Jesus. In this verse, for example, Jesus is said to be a man whom God endorsed by empowering him to do signs and wonders through the Holy Spirit. In this sense Jesus the man gives us an example of what is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • 2:23. One feature of the sermons of Acts, of which this one is the most important and central one, is that the enemies of Christ did not prevail. Jesus' death was in accordance with the foreknowledge and plan of God.
  • 2:24. The climax of every sermon in Acts except one (Stephen's sermon--he is stoned to death before he can get to this part of the sermon) is the statement that "God raised him from the dead." Notice again that the agency is that of God the Father rather than Jesus himself.
  • 2:25-28. Here is the quote of Psalm 16. 
  • 2:25. The Greek version of Psalm 16:8 differs a little from the Hebrew. The Hebrew reads, "I put the LORD" but the Greek reads, "I foresaw." While Peter might have known some Greek, it seems more likely that he would have spoken Aramaic on the Day of Pentecost, suggesting that Luke is at the very least making Peter's sermon conform to the text in which his audience would have read the psalm. 
  • More importantly, this different wording leads Luke's Peter to see these words as a prophecy by the psalmist, understood to be David, rather than a statement about the psalmist himself, as it likely was in its original meaning.
  • 2:26. The version Luke's Peter quotes in 2:26 also follows the Septuagint with the expression "in hope" rather than the likely Hebrew, "securely." 
  • 2:29-31. Now Peter gives a spiritual interpretation of the psalm. The original psalmist was likely expressing his confidence that God was going to save him from dying. Luke's Peter takes the psalm spiritually to mean that God would not leave the Messiah dead.
  • 2:32. An apostle is of course someone who is sent, but in Acts the apostles were sent with a very clear task to give witness to the resurrection. In the vast majority of cases in the New Testament, an apostle is someone to whom the risen Christ has appeared, who has been sent to witness to his resurrection, which means to witness to his Lordship.
  • 2:33. There are a number of places where the Gospel of John seems to echo themes in Acts, making us wonder if John had read Acts. Here we see a theme that John will develop in the later part of John. Jesus ascends to heaven and then sends the Holy Spirit.
  • 2:34-35. Here we have a foundational interpretation of Psalm 110:1 for the early church, one that may have been central to early Christian understanding of the resurrection. Jesus' resurrection is understood to be a cosmic enthronement whereby Jesus is exalted to God's right hand in the highest heaven. 
  • The key to this interpretation is to see "my Lord" as David referring to the Messiah. In the original meaning, the psalmist was probably referring to an earthly king. In the spiritual interpretation, YHWH speaks to the Messiah.
  • 2:36. Here is the final climax of the sermon. Jesus has been enthroned as Lord and Messiah. God "has made him." They crucified him. God enthroned him. The timing of the enthronement in context is post resurrection. Thus we might say that Jesus was heir apparent up to this point, but then is seated on the throne after his resurrection, ascension, and exaltation. This is the "session" of Christ.
  • 2:37-41. Here we have the response to Peter's sermon. We should note that the boldness of Peter to preach is one of the manifestations of the power that has come on him because of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
  • 2:37. The crowd has the response. Upon realizing that they have participated in the crucifixion of their own Messiah, they want to turn and see restoration.
  • 2:38. This verse unfolds how to call on the name of the Lord. First one repents or turns from one's self-destructive path. Repentance is a major feature of Luke's theology (as opposed to Paul's, who hardly mentions it). Then one believes or exercises faith. The crucial moment, however, is when one receives the Holy Spirit. This is the moment when one actually becomes part of the people of God, is cleansed of one's past sins, and is going to be saved on the Day of the Lord.
  • 2:39. The promise is first for the Jews. In Acts 10 we will learn it is for the Gentiles as well.
  • 2:40. By contrast, the generation of which they are a part is "crooked" and destined for destruction.
  • 2:41. About 3000 people respond positively to the message and join the Jesus movement.
  • 2:42-47. These verses give us an idyllic picture of the earliest church, and Luke wants us to see this picture as the ideal. He is not merely describing the early church. The evaluative point of view of Acts is entirely positive toward this picture.
  • 2:42. This community involves teaching and teaching by the apostles. The source of their teaching is presumably the Holy Spirit, although they have also been apprentices of Jesus.
  • Community life involves fellowship (koinonia) and prayer. The importance of fellowship should not be underestimated. The breaking of bread suggests a level of mutual approval and intimacy.
  • 2:43. The apostles performed miracles, which brought a fear at the seriousness of the power of the Spirit. It is interesting that it is not suggested that all the believers performed miracles.
  • 2:44-45. There was a communal aspect of the early church. Those who had more possessions than they needed sold them and gave them to others who had need. The sense probably is not that they sold everything, although it is possible that some did. Those who think the Lord will return immediately or soon sometimes rashly do such things. The sense is probably more that they shared their excess with those in need. In other words, the early church behaved as a family, and they helped each other out accordingly.
  • 2:46. They continued to pray at the temple. We get no sense that they realized the temple was going to be destroyed. Indeed, if Acts 21:24 suggests they continued to participate in the sacrificial system, perhaps implying that they did not yet understand the full scope of Christ's atoning death.
  • Again we see the centrality of fellowship and eating in each other's homes. The church is a new family.
  • 2:47. New people were being saved daily. The sense is not one of "progressive salvation," as if we are gradually being saved. Rather, people were being saved daily, one by one, salvation event by event.
  • They also held favor with the people. Under peaceful circumstances, non-believers should respect and admire believers for their wholesome and peace-loving nature.
Patrons videos (now available)
Hermeneutics of Psalm 16 and 110:1
Spirit-Fillings in Acts

Videos on English of Acts 2
Acts 2:1-13
Acts 2:14-23
Acts 2:24-36
Acts 2:37-47

Videos on Greek of Acts 2
Acts 2:1-2
Acts 2:3-4
Acts 2:5-6
Acts 2:7-11
Acts 2:12-13
Acts 2:14-15
Acts 2:16-17
Acts 2:18-19
Acts 2:20-21
Acts 2:22-23
Acts 2:24-25
Acts 2:26-28
Acts 2:29-30
Acts 2:31-33
Acts 2:34-35
Acts 2:36-38
Acts 2:39-40
Acts 2:41-42
Acts 2:43-45
Acts 2:46-47

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Happy 50th Birthday, Wesleyan Church!

On June 26, 1968 the Pilgrim Holiness Church and the Wesleyan Methodist Church voted to merge and become The Wesleyan Church. Happy Birthday!

1. The late 60s were a divisive point in American history, and yet they were also a time when there was a movement toward unification in a number of churches. Just a couple months earlier in 1968, the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Brethren Church had merged. Earlier in the decade, the Roman Catholic Church had changed its sense of non-Catholics to where we could finally go to heaven. :-)

Of course there were those who saw the merger as a movement toward a one world religion, which has of course since taken place. Everyone in the world is now Wesleyan. I had a relative who told my Dad he would pray for his soul if he went with the merger. My Dad was a delegate at the merging conference, and my family was in attendance.

The merger also reminds us that two groups that have almost the same beliefs can still have significant differences in culture and flavor. Personally, I think the merger has worked well for us and was a very positive event. There has only been the occasional ribbing over the years among IWU religion faculty about being either entrepreneurial Pilgrims (Keith Drury, Russ Gunsalus, me) or intellectual Wesleyan Methodists (Bud Bence, Steve Lennox).

Bill Hudson, AP
2. Wesleyans on both sides were pretty absent from the most pressing social issues of that moment. You won't find hardly a word about the civil rights movement in any of the district journals or official records of that time. There were the outliers, like Joanne Lyon, who was working that day in the aftermath of the race riots in Kansas City to try to get people jobs.

But most either felt uncomfortable at being forced to confront the systemic injustices of the time or, at worst, blamed those "trouble makers" for being law-breakers. We are facing some of the same dynamics again today with regard to race and immigration, and many Wesleyans are making the same mistake again. We cannot control how history will view us, just as those who were part of the merging conference cannot control how most young Wesleyans today view their lack of engagement with civil rights back then.

3. The 70s and early 80s were a time of emphasis on evangelism in the church. We are coming back around to an emphasis on it again today in the form of church planting and multiplication. Everything cycles. I grew up in the 70s with John Maxwell and Evangelism Explosion. We had two buses that competed to get as many children on board for Sunday School as possible. Now I have Wayne Schmidt as general superintendent and Mark Gorveatte as DS, and we are innovating like a Pilgrim again. :-)

The focus on doing largely kept us out of intellectual and fundamentalist controversies. The culture wars did affect us though. We can hardly remember what it was like before Jerry Falwell weaponized abortion as an issue, even though most probably did not embrace Jerry Falwell at the time. The culture wars of the 80s formed the psyche of most older Wesleyans, unlike the younger millennials that Robert Webber once called the "younger evangelicals." The problem with doers is that they can easily absorb the ideology of the day without even knowing it.

Today, churches like 12Stone are leaders in the area of church multiplication. The move of the church toward networks of innovative church multipliers (over rigid and unproductive structure) is amazing and ground-breaking. The innovative Pilgrim DNA strikes again!

4. Meanwhile, there were other forces driving us to become more respectable. Here I think especially of figures like J. D. Abbott, who emphasized that everything be done "decently and in order." I haven't seen anyone run the aisle for about forty years, and altar calls were scarce there for a while. Tongues were rejected, although we softened our position on divorce. The impulse toward respectability has led various church and educational leaders to move toward more generic evangelicalism over the years. They have wanted to go play with the big dogs. When someone a few years ago at IWU asked some of us who our aspirational benchmarks were, I remarked under my breath, "We're the benchmark." After all, I'm a Pilgrim. That person was a Wesleyan Methodist. :-)

We started a seminary in 2009. My own by-line in those days was, "Real denominations have seminaries. Are we are real denomination? If not, we should join one." The founding vision of the seminary was to right the balance of ministerial education toward the skills you actually needed to have to do the work of the ministry. "May it never be said of us, 'I didn't learn anything there that I actually needed to know to be a minister.'"

Of course my own thought was never that Wesley would not also create the thought leaders of the next generation of Wesleyans. The problem is only that I can't convince anyone that my thoughts are what those thoughts should be. :-) That's the frustrating thing about free will.

5. I think we created the International Conference of the Wesleyan Church with good motives in 1972. I remember thinking what a great move of empowerment it was to let the Caribbean and then Philippines be their own general conferences, running their own show and contextualizing the gospel and mission for their own cultures. I have been proud that our denomination has increasingly emphasized national leaders and moved away from the older "colonial missionary" approach. We have come a long way from insisting that young native Americans wear Wesleyan wads to letting the Native American church work out its own salvation with fear and trembling.

6. We saw great strides toward recovering the Wesleyan Methodist heritage of social justice these last fifteen years, especially with Joanne Lyon as GS. God also led Wayne Schmidt toward a vision for a Revelation 7:9 community at Kentwood Community Church, a work now continued by Kyle Ray. I sense that Wayne has had to temper this vision because of resistance in the church.

But this is the kingdom trajectory. The current climate is a predictable push-back on the majority culture losing power as America becomes more and more diverse. But this is the future of any thriving church. You can pay the Lord now, or you'll pay him later. :-)

Happy birthday, Wesleyans! We are not the largest of churches. Being Wesleyan doesn't make you holier than someone else. We have some halos and some warts. God does not need us to save the world.

But he loves us and would like to use us, if we are willing.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Patrons Only: Prophet like Moses, Samuel's Prophesy of Jesus

This week's "patrons only" post on my Patreon site discusses who 2 Kings might have thought the prophet like Moses was in the Book of the Law found in the temple. Also, I speculate on what prophecy of Samuel Acts 3:24 might have had in mind.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Wittgenstein 4: Between the Wars

I'm continuing to read Wittgenstein's biography. My first two posts are

1. Childhood and Engineer
2. Student at Cambridge
3. World War I and Teaching

I'm on course to finish this 580 page biography by the end of next week. Don't feel like going into great detail but here are some highlights of chapters 10-18.

Chapter 10: Out of the Wilderness
Wittgenstein had failed as a teacher. On June 3, 1926, his mother died. This produced a profound change in his attitude toward his family. From now to the Anschluss of 1938, he would spend Christmas with them. At first he returned to gardening with the monks in Huttledorf.

Then his sister Gretl had him design a house for her. So he became an architect for a time. He sounds horrible. For example, made them raise a ceiling three inches after it was done. She moved in in 1928. Then there was the market crash. Then she moved to New York after the Anschluss. It is currently used by the Bulgarian Embassy.

He fell in love during this time with one Marguerite Respinger. He must have been horrible because he believed that physical contact destroyed love. He did kiss her though. He would have been a horrible husband, he was so Sheldon-esk.

In this time period he began a good friendship with Moritz Schlick, the key member of what would become the Vienna Circle. This group, for example, discussed a paper by Frank Ramsey trying to restore the credibility of Russell and Frege's sense that mathematics could be reduced to logic. The Vienna Circle, by the way, was surprised to find that Wittgenstein did not fully agree with them, even though he had greatly stimulated their ideas.

A counter proposal we might call "intuitionism" was advocated by Brouwser in Holland. Brouwser did not believe mathematics needed to be grounded in logic. Wittgenstein did not fully agree with Brouwser, but it may have suggested to him that there was more work to do in philosophy. During this time also Wittgenstein developed a desire to go work in manual labor in Soviet Russia. He wasn't a Marxist. He just admired what he thought the way of life was.

Part III: 1929-41 Chapter 11: The Second Coming
Wittgenstein returned to Cambridge in 1929 to work with Ramsey. Keynes was instrumental in getting him to come back. He was still not on good terms with Russell. He visited the Bloomsbury group in London. He was not pleasant because of his argumentative style. W's official status was that of an advanced student reading for a PhD.

A key moment was when an economist friend, Piero Sraffa, made a rude Italian gesture and asked W to picture it (a la his picture theory of language). This moment began to break Wittgenstein of the notion that a proposition and what it describes must have the same logical form. Sraffa would lead W to look at philosophical problems from a more "anthropological" perspective.

Wittgenstein's relationship with G. E. Moore was resumed. It had broken after a rude letter W had sent from Norway.

At this time began W's first real student circle of influence. Maurice Drury would become a doctor rather than a priest because of W. A close foolish friend of W's was Gilbert Patterson--the two would write nonsense back and forth to each other. The word "bloody" was sure to be in almost every letter.

Having given away all his money. He needed some. He ended up applying for a grant. He was awarded a PhD for the Tractatus. Russell came up to be his external examiner. They hadn't seen each other for 7 years. In November 1929 he gave the only popular lecture of his life, on ethics.

Chapter 12: The Verificationist Phase
Christmas 1929 Wittgenstein began to realize that Marguerite did not want to marry him. W met with the Vienna circle. One of them Waismann was going to write a book on the Tractatus. Unfortunately, W was a perfectionist and was quickly abandoning some of his earlier ideas. Also, he believed that many of its key ideas needed to be shown and couldn't be told. The book would never be published.

During this time, though, W did come up with a principle of verification. If a proposition is to have a meaning, we must have some idea of what would be the case if it were true. "The sense of a proposition its means of verification." Funny that W would inspire these logical positivists even though he didn't agree with where they took the concept at all. In any case, his thinking would quickly move on.

In 1930 he returned to Cambridge, and Frank Ramsey died. The following day, W gave his first lecture. His courses were usually titled simply, "Philosophy." At the end of term, W needed funds again. He asked for Russell to look at a manuscript and vouch to Cambridge that his work was worthy of support. These notes would become Philosophical Remarks, his most verificationist work and most phenomenological (published after his death).

Chapter 13: The Fog Clears
In 1930, he came to the crucial conclusion that a philosopher has nothing to say but instead something to show.

He received a five year fellowship on the basis of the work he showed Russell.

He rejected Hilbert's metamathematics. Anticipating post-modernism, he suggested that Hibert's language was not an explanation but "another calculus just like any other one" (307). "You cannot gain a fundamental understanding of mathematics by waiting for a theory." The connection between a word and its meaning is not in a theory but in a practice, namely, in the use of the word.

Chapter 14: A New Beginning
We hear the end of some of the threads I've already mentioned. The end of his relationship with Marquerite. The end of his collaboration with Waismann.

"What replaces theory is grammar" (322). In 1932, he has collected notes that would be posthumously published as Philosophical Grammar. Wittgenstein tries to undermine the logicist school of the philosophy of mathematics (Russell, Frege), the formalist group (Hilbert), and the intuitionist group (Brouwer). To him, math does not need foundations at all. The search for such foundations is the cause of confusion.

Chapter 15: Francis
In my opinion, W would ruin the life of one Francis Skinner. Skinner was utterly infatuated homosexually by W. He could have been a mathematician but ended up working on a factory because W did not think the academy was healthy. There is no air. You can't breathe. But he manufactured his own air.

They tried to go to Russia together to work at a factory. W even went to Russia to explore. Once he had seen it, he never tried again.

Chapter 16: Language Games: The Blue and Brown Books
In the term of 1933-34, Wittgenstein's lectures on the Philosophy of Mathematics garnered to many students, maybe 30-40. So he proposed to dictate lectures to five students who would write up the notes and distribute them to the others. The result was the first publication in any form of W's new method of philosophy, published as the Blue Book.

In it, he develops his notorious sense of the language game. And he replaces the notion of essence of things to that of family resemblances. These are the most important ideas for me in all of W's work. They have fundamentally formed my hermeneutic and epistemology.

From 1934-35, the Brown Book was produced. W dictated it to Skinner and Alice Ambrose. It is divided into method and application. Part I introduces language games. Alice presented the ideas in an article in Mind, much to W's wrath. The Brown Book wouldn't be published until after W's death.

Chapter 17: Joining the Ranks
This chapter talks about W's attempt to go to Russia. The previous chapter mentions that he did not believe in Marxism in theory, only in practice (343). They might have given him a lectureship in philosophy, but he lost interest in moving there.

W began to debate what to do next as his fellowship came to an end in 1936. Should he become a doctor? It was at this time that Moritz Schlick was murdered outside Vienna University. W decided to go to Norway for a year again. Francis did not go with him, which tormented Francis horribly.

Chapter 18: Confessions
In Norway, W formulated what would become the first 188 paragraphs of Philosophical Investigations, his most important work, also published posthumously. He also stupidly forced his key friends to listen to a confession he made. It seems horribly neurotic. Rather than simply pray or go to a priest. He made his friends squirm as he told them uncomfortable and generally insignificant sins of his life.

The most important was when he went back to Austria and asked forgiveness for the girl he hit so hard in the head that she bled. He told about having sex with a woman as a young man. He confessed that three of his grandparents were Jews and thus that, according to the Nuremberg laws, he was a Jew.

Despite his confessions, he still ended up inviting Francis to Norway, where they had a trist.

In the second half of his time in Norway, he wrote Part I what would later be published as Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics. The criteria for correct or incorrect reasoning are not provided by some external realm of Platonic truths but by "a convention, or a use" (381).

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Patrons Only: Some Notes on Acts 3:1-13

I'm just finishing up my tenth week of Greek and commentary on Acts on my patreon site. My "patrons only" post for the week has a little on the Beautiful gate and some odds and ends of commentary note. Eleven minutes for my five patrons this week.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Science: Hawking 8 (Universe Origins)

Friday reviews of Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time so far.
Chapter 1: Heliocentric
Chapter 2: Spacetime
Chapter 3: Expansion of the Universe
Chapter 4: Uncertainty Principle
Chapter 5: Elementary Particles and the Forces of Nature
Chapter 6: Black Holes
Chapter 7: Black Holes Ain't So Black

Chapter 8: The Origin and Fate of the Universe
Here are some points of interest in this chapter:
  • Hawking presented a paper at the Vatican in 1981 apparently arguing that the universe was finite but had no boundary, meaning no beginning.
  • He recounts the path I've been trodding a lot lately. The universe started at a point, virtually infinitely hot. Then it cooled a little to where there were mostly electrons, photons, and neutrinos. About a hundred seconds protons and neutrons would start binding into deuterium and helium...
  • George Gamow suggested in 1948 that we should be able to detect background radiation from this beginning. This was discovered in 1965.
  • Then he builds to Alan Guth's idea of inflation. Why is the universe so uniform, but with significant fluctuations?
  • He mentions two versions of the anthropic principle. He does not like the strong one, although I find it hard to distinguish the two versions. What he calls the strong one basically argues that the universe is the way we see it because otherwise we would not be here. The weak one seems more to say that in a universe there is bound to be life developing somewhere.
  • He gets to Guth and inflation. In the hottest time of the universe, all the forces would have coalesced into a grand unification. Then gravity would separate out, then the strong force, then the weak force leaving the electromagnetic force working.
  • He shares a little about some papers in Moscow. He's reminiscing. Aww.
  • He ends the chapter with some suggestions toward a grand unified theory. This was in the late eighties so I'm not sure how helpful they are. Mainly, they have to do with imaginary time. I don't know enough to follow completely.
  • "If Euclidean space-time stretches back to infinite imaginary time... One could say, 'The boundary condition of the universe is that it has no boundary' It would neither be created nor destroyed" (136).
  • Hawking suggests that the imaginary time may actually be the real time. He suggests that while this universe looks like it had a beginning and will have an end, maybe this is an illusion. 
  • Of course he ends the chapter asking then why we would need God.
  • He seems to look to a big crunch. He was wrong.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Wittgenstein 3: World War I and Teaching

I'm continuing to read Wittgenstein's biography. My first two posts are

1. Childhood and Engineer
2. Student at Cambridge

I'm not very motivated to summarize my reading in detail. I've read past chapters 6-9.

World War I changed Wittgenstein quite dramatically. Chiefly, it pulled him somewhat out of a pure interest in logic and into an appreciation of the mystical and the religious. When Bertrand Russell met him after the war, Russell wanted pretty much nothing to do with him thereafter.

Chapter 6: Behind the Lines
I'm getting ahead of myself. Wittgenstein joined the Austrian army, not for nationalistic reasons but because he thought the experience of facing death might improve him as a person. He requested to be placed on the front lines of the eastern front, a request that was eventually granted.

He was in contact by letter with his friends in England and elsewhere during the war. The family in Berlin, Frege, Pinsent. He discovered Tolstoy's Gospel in Brief. It more than anything became a source of hope and faith. Not too long hence he would wonder if he should become a monk. A close friend in this regard was someone who would end up in Hungary after Austria lost its empire, a man named Paul Engelmann,

In 1915, he had a first version of the Tractatus. At this point it was still focused on logic. It had the following elements:
  • Picture Theory of meaning
  • metaphysics of "logical atomism"
  • analysis of logic in terms of tautology and contradiction
  • the distinction between showing and telling
  • the method of using truth tables (to show whether a logical proposition is a tautology or contradiction)
Wittgenstein worked as an engineer for a time but then in March 1916 he received his wish to go the the front.

Chapter 7: At the Front
Wittgenstein wanted to look death in the eye without fear. "Only death gives life its meaning." "Fear in the face of death is the best sign of a false life."

It was during his time at the front that his work changed. It took on a more mystical quality. It became more Schopenhauerian. It became more ethical. "Logical form cannot be expressed within language." "Ethics must be a condition of the world, like logic." These things could be shown but not told.

There are things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are sub specie aeternitatis, "under the form of eternity."

Wittgenstein finished the Tractatus at his uncle Paul's house. His uncle found him distraught at a railway station. Wittgenstein's best friend Pinsent had died in a plane crash. it had the theory of logic he worked out in Norway, the picture theory of language he worked out at the beginning of the war, and the Schopenhauerian mysticism from the second half of the war.

It is reassuring to me that few people could understand the Tractatus. Frege couldn't. Russell couldn't hardly. This was of course discouraging to Wittgenstein who thought the things they needed explained couldn't be told, only shown. Meanwhile, Russell was in trouble for his anti-war efforts, even imprisoned a little. He had been let go from Trinity College, Cambridge.

Chapter 8: The Unprintable Truth
Wittgenstein couldn't find a publisher in Germany after the war. He would spend the end of the war in northern Italy and then as a prisoner of war for a while. When he returned to Vienna, he was one of the wealthiest men in Europe. Then he dispensed with it all, gave it all away.

He met with Russell at the Hague in 1920. Witt was horribly depressed throughout this whole season.

Chapter 9: An Entirely Rural Affair
Russell and his people worked to get it published. After rejection after rejection they finally found an English publisher in 1921. Russell was in China when another student found a publisher in Germany. The version was abysmal. No proofs were shown him.

Meanwhile, Witt became an elementary school teacher. He was a failure. He boxed the ears of students when they couldn't get things. He even caused one girl to bled. This was in several places in rural Austria for about three years. He did write a moderately successful book of vocabulary for children.

Russell met with Witt in Switzerland. They would never be friends again. Witt disagreed with Russell divorcing his wife to marry his six month's pregnant mistress. He had become a mystic. Russell had gone on to publish his same old stuff that annoyed Witt. Russell had become a champion of democracy and Witt did not think people could rule themselves.

For a brief time a bright young student at Cambridge named Frank Ramsey had interaction with Witt about his work. As usual, it would eventually sour.

The chapter ends in 1926, with both of my parents alive. :-)

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Friday Science: Just Six Numbers (book review)

I have pretty much finished Hawking, but will post the rest of his book next Friday, dv.

1. I took my son to Clinton, Iowa Tuesday for him to meet in person some online friends of his that have played video games together for about six years. (Interesting development in this new world, where you go to meet some of your best friends for the first time after years of playing together. I have a nephew that first met a friend in person for the first time this spring... as best man in his wedding.) So while I was sitting in a hotel room, Starbucks, parking lots, etc, I finally read/skimmed Martin Rees' Just Six Numbers.

In the last few decades, a strong argument for the existence of God has emerged called the "fine tuning" argument. It falls under the category of an argument for design. There are a number of ratios and constants in the universe that are necessary for us to be here. An atheist at this point invokes the anthropic principle--we wouldn't be here to discuss them if there weren't. So if there are universes in the "multiverse" that do not have these precise ratios, there is no one there to talk about them. In other words, we are just the lucky ones.

By contrast, the theist says, "We are fearfully and wonderfully made." "Oh the depth of the riches of the knowledge and wisdom of God!"

Rees' book is about these constants. I am now working on my third Gabriel novel. This one is called Gabriel's Diary: The Creation. It is going to be truly spectacular and probably a bit controversial. I am hypothesizing what creation might look like from a Christian point of view that engages with contemporary science. I'm not saying it's right. But it will be a book for people who are convinced about the science but not so convinced about God. The first three chapters will embody the fine tuning argument and engage my feeble apprehension of modern cosmology.

2. Here is a summary of my take-aways from Rees' book. I have put them in the order that is most helpful for my writing. Fine tuning arguments are in bold.

Chapter 1: The Cosmos and the Microworld
  • Rees goes with the anthropic principle and the multiverse model: "An infinity of other universes may well exist where the numbers are different. Most would be stillborn or sterile. We could only have emerged (and therefore we naturally now find ourselves) in a universe with the 'right' combination" (4).
  • He uses an "ouraborus" to picture the scale of the universe. The breadth of size is 1060. The smallest size imaginable is about 10-33 cm. The universe is about 1028 cm across. (These are my numbers, not his.)
Chapter 3: The Large Number N: Gravity in the Cosmos
  • He calls the constant discussed in this chapter, N. I've never heard of it but he is referring to the ratio between the electromagnetic force and the force of gravity. It turns out that the electromagnetic force is about 1036 times more powerful. 
  • Gravity is always attractive, while electromagnetic forces can be either attractive or repulsive. So with large objects, gravity accumulates a large attractive force, while the electromagnetic forces more or less even out.
  • There is an inverse square law that applies to these two forces. The force weakens as the square of the distance increases. More on the significance of this fine tuning in chapter 10.
  • Gravity makes objects as big as the Moon and larger spherical.
  • If the ratio were less, everything would be smaller--smaller stars, smaller planets, potentially smaller life. Galaxies would form quickly and would be miniaturized. They would be more densely packed.
  • Stellar lifetimes would be much shorter, which according to Rees would not have given enough time for complex life to evolve. 
  • A weaker gravity might have allowed more elaborate and longer-lived structures to develop, but a stronger gravity would not have allowed enough time for humanity to emerge.
  • A little on Einstein - the speed of light is the speed limit of the universe. Near large masses time slows down relative to elsewhere.
  • Millions of black holes in our galaxy, the remnants of large stars that have already burnt out. Slightly smaller stars become neutron stars. Our Sun will become a white dwarf when it burns out.
  • Some explanations of black holes, event horizons, etc., atomic sized black holes.
Chapter 10: Three Dimensions (And More)
  • The number he discusses in this chapter is 3, three-dimensions of space.
  • In a three dimensional world, forces like gravity and the electromagnetic force obey an inverse-square law mentioned above.
  • William Paley used the inverse square law as part of his argument from design. If it were an inverse cube law, there could be no orbiting of planets or electrons around a nucleus.
  • There is an asymmetry of the arrow of time. "No such asymmetry is built into the basic laws governing the microworld" (153). The asymmetry is linked to the expansion of the universe. [Hawking calls this the cosmological arrow. Entropy is another basis for the arrow, which Hawking calls the thermodynamic arrow.]
  • The expansion of the universe was fast enough to end nuclear reactions before they could convert more than 23% of the hydrogen into helium. This left fuel for suns.
  • There was just the right asymmetry in the earliest phase to leave a slight excess of matter over antimatter. Otherwise, nothing but energy would be here.
  • He also talks a little about Planck units. The smallest length is 1019 times smaller than a proton, 10-35 the length of a meter. The smallest unit of Planck time is 10-43 seconds. Space and time are arguably granular, not continuous. Take that, Zeno.
  • He mentions superstrings. I believe this approach is increasingly discredited.
Chapter 9: Our Cosmic Habitat III: What Lies Beyond Our Horizon?
  • Helium was formed at about the three minute threshold.
  • grand-unified (all forces united) to quarks (strong from electroweak) to leptons (electro from weak)
  • magnetic monopoles?
Chapter 8: Primordial Ripples: The Number Q
  • Q is the ratio between the rest mass energy of matter and the force of gravity. It is 1 to 100,000. 
  • It has to do with the "roughness" of space, the "ripple amplitude" of the gravitational waves of cosmic inflation.
  • It has to do with the energy that would be needed to break apart galaxies.
  • The slight asymmetry of the universe seems to relate in some way, enabling things to form structures.
  • If Q were smaller, galaxies wouldn't form. If Q were larger, galaxies would crunch much sooner and the universe would be a rougher place.
Chapter 6: The Fine-Tuned Expansion: Dark Matter and Ω
  • What Rees calls Ω is the ratio between the force of universe expansion and the force of gravity. This ratio determines whether the universe will expand forever, expand steadily, or eventually contract again. These correspond to whether the ratio is less than 1, exactly 1, or greater than one.
  • Because of gravity, if there were five atoms for every cubic meter in the universe, it would contract one day. As it is, there only seems to be 0.2 atoms per cubic meter, at least as far as ordinary matter is concerned.
  • All the indications are thus that this number is less than 1. But it is likely that there is "dark matter" out there, stuff we can't see. It is thought that about 26.8% of the universe is dark matter.
  • Candidates for dark matter include brown dwarfs (suns less than 8% of our sun's mass), neutrinos, black holes, "axions," but more likely something we don't yet know about.
  • At about one second after creation, Ω could not have differed from 1 by 1 in 1015. If the expansion force were greater, there would have been no time for stars and galaxies to develop. If the mass were greater, the universe would have collapsed too soon for life as we know it to develop.
    • Another fine-tuned factor is the slight asymmetry between matter and antimatter. If there were perfect symmetry in the early universe, they both would have emerged in equal amounts and completely annihilated. But there must have been a slight asymmetry.
    • There are different suggestions for the asymmetry. Rees suggests the K° decay, associated with the weak nuclear force, may be the reason. What if, for every billion quarks and antiquarks generated in the earliest universe, one extra quark were produced?
    Chapter 7: The Number Λ: Is Cosmic Expansion Slowing or Speeding
    • As far as I can tell, Λ doesn't contribute much more than the discussion of omega in the previous chapter. 
    • Einstein added Λ to his general relativity equations with the hope of a universe that wasn't expanding. He regretted that when Hubble showed it was. But there does seem to be an unknown force that is affecting comic expansion. This was apparently confirmed in 1998.
    • It is relatively small, about 0.7. It is a force driving expansion.
    • [It seems to relate to what scientists now are calling "dark energy."]
    Chapter 5: Our Cosmic Habitat II: Beyond Our Galaxy
    • Galaxies are the building blocks of the universe. Stars and their solar systems collect together to form galaxies. Galaxies often have huge black holes at their centers. Galaxies cluster (our cluster is the "Local Group").
    • Galaxies crash into each other. The kind of galaxy known as elliptical galaxies may be the result of galaxies that have crashed into each other. [Hawking had a different thought here in the 80s.]
    • There are bigger aggregates like the "Great Wall."
    • At every point we look in space, everything is speeding away from us, often faster than the speed of light, which suggests that space itself is expanding, since nothing can move faster than the speed of light in its own reference frame.
    • The expansion of space has been well established in the last fifty years. [When Hawking wrote, he hoped it might crunch again but we seem rather headed for a cosmic rip from accelerating expansion.]
    • Cosmic Microwave Background radiation (CMB) discovered in 1965 points to a Big Bang. Together, the fact that the universe had a beginning coupled with the fact that it won't re-compress fits well with the notion of creation.
    • CMB comes not from the creation itself but from some 380,000 years after the beginning (13.8 billion years ago) when the universe cooled down enough for electrons and protons to form neutral atoms, releasing a massive amount of energy in photons.
    Chapter 4: Stars, the Periodic Table and ɛ
    • A third number is ɛ, which I've never heard called that, but which is the percentage of mass released as energy when hydrogen is fused into helium. 0.007 or 0.7%
    • This has to do with the strength of the strong nuclear force that binds protons and neutrons together in a nucleus. This force is the strongest of all the forces but it only works within the space of a nucleus. It is thus just strong enough to hold a nucleus together without interfering with the electromagnetic forces that are essential for the overall working of an atom or the weak nuclear force that comes into play with large atoms with atomic numbers over about 50.
    • Helium is fused in two stages. First, a proton and a neutron fuse together to form deuterium (heavy hydrogen). Then two deuterium atoms fuse together into helium. 
    • If the percentage converted to energy were any more, no hydrogen would have survived the big bang. It would have all become helium or heavier, leaving no fuel for stars. If it had been less, no helium would have formed and the universe would just consist of hydrogen.
    • Carbon only forms from a helium and beryllium nucleus because the carbon nucleus has a resonance with a very specific energy that can fuse just before primitive beryllium decays. Without carbon, life as we know it would not exist.
    • The Earth is thought to be about 4.5 billion years old. The universe about 13.8 billion.
    • When a star's hydrogen has all been converted to helium, the core pulls inwards. Prior to that time, the energy from the fusion pushed back against the gravity of the mass.
    • When it contracts, it heats up more and heavier nuclei are formed. Iron is the most tightly bound nucleus. When it gets to a critical size, it implodes to a neutron star and supernovas the overlying material. In this material are the trace elements of heavier elements.
    Chapter 2: Our Cosmic Habitat I: Planets, Stars and Life
    • Stars start as warm blobs ("protostars"). They contract over millions of years under their own gravity. 
    • Any slight spin is amplified under a collapse, like a skater pulling in arms. The resulting disks are the precursors of planetary systems. (14)
    • Small wobbles in the orbits of stars may indicate planets. Christiaan Huygens in 1698 suggested every star might have planets around them. These are now considered certain.
    • A "barycenter" is the center of mass of an orbiting pair like the sun and Jupiter.
    • The early history of a solar system is filled with crashes. (A huge crash 65 million years ago (crater underwater in Gulf of Mexico near Chicxulub is thought to have killed the dinosaurs.) This event paved the way for mammalian life to emerge as winners.
    • The Moon is thought to have been formed from the earth by a collision with another protoplanet. Uranus' weird axis spin also explained by such collisions.
    • For life to exist on a planet like Earth, gravity must pull strongly enough to prevent the atmosphere from evaporating into space but it can't really be any stronger than Jupiter (cf. 32).
    • For water to exist on the surface, planets must be neither too hot or too cold.
    • The orbit must be stable, not crossed by a Jupiter-like planet in an eccentric orbit.
    • The oxygen of our environment is thought to come from primitive bacteria early in earth's history.
    • Cf. p32. Gravity makes objects Moon sized and larger spherical.
    Chapter 11: Coincidence, Providence - Or Multiverse
    • Rees goes with the multiverse theory. It is a logical option for someone who doesn't believe in God as creator. It doesn't preclude God, although it might push creation back further. It seems more philosophical in some ways rather than scientific per se.
    • He suggests that the values of these constants might be difference in other universes.

    Patrons only: Baptism in the Holy Spirit

    This week's post for patrons is up on my Patreon site. Here's what you're missing :-)

    It's a 24 minute inductive exploration of the Spirit-fillings-baptisms-receivings in Acts.

    The way my Patreon site works is:

    • Most posts are free. Each Sunday, I post an overview of the verses for the week. For example, tomorrow I will post for free an overview of Acts 3:1-13.
    • Then on weekdays, I post a free video going through the Greek of these verses, usually two verses a day.
    • Then on Saturday, there is the "patrons only" post. These are for those who are donating at least 5 dollars a month. I go a little more scholarly, controversial, or in depth. It really can be whatever my patrons want me to post on. I have almost daily conversations with some patrons on various items of interest.

    Monday, June 04, 2018

    Wittgenstein 2: Student at Cambridge

    Hard to believe that I am still on schedule to finish Ray Monk's biography on Wittgenstein by the end of the month. My first post is here.

    Chapters 2-5 cover the days when Wittgenstein was in England and Norway.
    • In chapter 2 he is in Manchester, still studying aeronautics. He attends some mathematics lectures in 1908.
    • Here is a decisive point. A fellow student introduces him to Bertrand Russell's The Principles of Mathematics (1903). Russell's ten year project's goal was to reduce mathematics to a few fundamental principles.
    • Ten years earlier Gottlob Frege had published something similar: Grundgestze der Arithmetik. Just before his second volume, Russell indicated to Frege a fundamental contradiction in his work.
    • These problems piqued Wittgenstein's interest--a first.
    • Chapter 3 is called "Russell's Protege." In 1911 Wittgenstein visited Frege with some of his thoughts. Frege "wiped the floor" with him. But Frege thought enough of him to introduce him to Russell. 
    • Russell needed a protege. He was going popular in his writing (which Wittgenstein would soon eschew). Wittgenstein was supposed to go back to Manchester but went to Cambridge instead 1911. This shift saved Wittgenstein's life for he felt like if he couldn't do something spectacular, he shouldn't live.
    • At first (and intermittently later), Wittgenstein was very annoying. They once had an argument late at night over whether there was a rhinoceros in the room. This anticipated Wittgenstein's first principle in the Tractatus: "The world is the totality of facts, not things."
    • Wittgenstein came to believe you should be completely blunt. He hated English politeness, saw it as dishonest. 
    • Russell came to see Wittgenstein as his successor in logic. For a short time he also had conversation with G. E. Moore. Perhaps his best friend was Pinsent.
    • Chapter 4 is called "Russell's Master." From the fall of 1912 on, Russell soon began to get paralyzed if Wittgenstein criticized his ideas. They would eventually not talk about their work to each other by 1913.
    • Wittgenstein became part of an elite group at Cambridge called "The Apostles." Apparently there was a lot of homosexual intrigue as part of this group. Wittgenstein of course did not really believe in sexual expression.
    • Wittgenstein was looking for atomic propositions in logic.
    • In January 1913, Wittgenstein's father finally died of cancer. 
    • Wittgenstein became convinced that he was going to die. Russell promised to publish his work if he should die.
    • Chapter 5 is called Norway. Wittgenstein determines that people are distracting him. He spends a year in Norway thinking and writing. 
    • Notes on Logic are noted taken by Russell on W's thoughts, first philosophical work, just before he left.
    • Wittgenstein wanted Moore to come to write down his thoughts (he had broken with Russell). Moore finally comes in spring of 1914 for two weeks, writes down Logik. A key distinction is between showing and telling.
    • Wittgenstein wants it to count as his BA thesis. But it is not in the right form and lacks a preface. W writes a vicious letter to Moore, who never again corresponds with him.

    Saturday, June 02, 2018

    Patrons only: Hermeneutics of Psalm 16 and 110

    My weekly "patrons only" post is up on Patreon. 19 minutes discussing Luke/Peter's use of Psalm 16 and 110:1 in Acts 2: 25-35.

    Friday, June 01, 2018

    Friday Science: Hawking 7 (Black Holes Evaporating)

    Friday reviews of Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time so far.
    Chapter 1: Heliocentric
    Chapter 2: Spacetime
    Chapter 3: Expansion of the Universe
    Chapter 4: Uncertainty Principle
    Chapter 5: Elementary Particles and the Forces of Nature
    Chapter 6: Black Holes

    Chapter 7: Black Holes Ain't So Black
    Here we get quite a bit of Stephen Hawking's distinctive work. Some points of interest:
    • Black holes are defined as the set of events from which it is not possible to escape, which basically begins the black hole at the event horizon.
    • The paths of light at the event horizon must be parallel to each other but never meet. That also means a black hole can never decrease in area.
    • This non-decreasing property is similar to entropy. Jacob Bekenstein in fact suggested that the area of the event horizon was a measure of the entropy of the black hole.
    • Entropy has to do with the second law of thermodynamics. The entropy of an isolated system always increases. That is, disorder increases.
    • If a black hole has entropy, it should have a temperature and it ought to emit radiation. But a black hole can't omit anything.
    • So space isn't really empty. Particles and antiparticles emerge and annihilate. Near the edge of the event horizon, some get separated before they annihilated and go into the black hole. This gives the appearance of a black hole emitting a particle. 
    • Meanwhile, a flow of negative energy into the black hole would reduce its mass. The universe is too young, but this process could eventually disintegrate a black hole into nothing.
    • There may be some primordial black holes (very small). Some of them might be disintegrating about now. Some scientists are looking for final bursts of their disappearance.