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I once saw a notice of a popular science symposium on "The Miracle of Evolution" (perhaps that can bring the intelligent design folks together with the godless materialists).

I believe the Orator at Cambridge is an official, like the Speaker of the House.


One can only hope...And yes, the bit about the Orator seems only to reveal (further) the author's captiousness.

Gordon Campbell

I imagine the Orator was also thinking of Professor Hawking's physical disability being overcome by the power of his reason. Lucretius' imagery of the 'flight of the mind' has an interesting history, though, and is indeed associated with the Delphic Oracle, through the Pythagoreans. Lucretius bases his encomium of Epicurus on Empedocles' encomium of Pythagoras. In fact it was really quite common for philosophers to use such religious language and claim oracular truth status for their doctrines. I don't know how Prof. Hawking received the encomium, but I imagine he would have been rather uncomfortable being called an oracle, since he would fully expect his 'doctrines' to be attacked and proved wrong. This is what he exists for, and I mean that quite literally in his case.

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