Just recently I learned that back in 2011 Stephen Hawking declared that philosophy is dead.
Speaking at Google’s Zeitgeist Conference in Hertfordshire, Hawking said, "Almost all of us must sometimes wonder: Why are we here? Where do we come from? Traditionally, these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead. Philosophers have not kept up with modern developments in science. Particularly physics."
And that doofus Lawrence Krauss shot his mouth off around the same time, saying that philosophy had made no progress in 2000 years, and then wrote an entire article in Scientific American in which he sort of apologized. Sort of. Krauss' case is somewhat more annoying because he claims to have a solid knowledge of philosophy.
Then again, to put that into perspective: Sam Harris claims to be a philosopher.
For as long as I can remember thinking about it I had always assumed that everybody was stupid about something. Then in 2007 I learned that I am autistic. Then just recently I started to wonder whether the dumb-in-some-areas, smart-in-others paradigm was not universal, but applied especially to me because I'm autistic.
Then I hear about what Hawking said in 2011, and I reflect on him and Krauss and Dawkins, all brilliant in their own fields and occasionally quite shaky indeed when they wander outside of them -- and the New Atheists in general, most of whom, unlike Harris, are actually competent in some field or other -- and it seems to confirm that I was on to something all along:
Don't assume, because someone is brilliant in one field, that they have useful insights about -- anything else at all.
I like that. How about if we call that Bollinger's Axiom, so that people can start mis-quoting it and mis-applying it right away and claiming that I think all sorts of things which I don't?