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She had been standing at the entrance, which was a rectangular thing, trimmed in mud like the one and only window in this circular hut. A piece of painted hide served as the door. The woman had in her hand a tray with a bowl of rabbit stew on it. Damn that smelled good.

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This meal was bliss compared, and I was so hungry I barely waited for her to put the tray down before I dug in. I remember burning my tongue and her laughing at me. I loved the way her eyes crinkled at the edges when she smiled. She waited patiently for me to finish eating before she collected the dishes and left. As she exited the hut, a man walked in. He looked like a Swede, to be honest, what with his height, and blonde hair. Angels with tattoos. Who would have guessed it? He said something to me in a language I did not understand.

I asked. The man frowned, turned and left.

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I shrugged. Not sure what to do, I threw the blankets aside and stood. There was no way I was going to stay in bed, what with the sun shining like it was. It took me a moment to realise that I was naked. It was a warm breeze that alerted me to that fact. I looked down at myself. I was covered in scars, and the crinkled skin that covered my right side told me I had been burned pretty badly.

The man returned suddenly with clothes bundled in his arms. Well, a pair of trousers at any rate. He handed them to me with a grunt, then left again, just as surly as before. Maybe he was German. In any case, I pulled the trousers on. They were a bit long for me, but otherwise fit quite well.

Not knowing what to expect, I walked outside the hut and stopped short. There were just four other huts, and one great big rectangular one with stone steps that led up to massive wooden doors.

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It was a small village, near as I could tell, made up of just five families. Well, six really, if you include the lucky bastards that got to live in the giant hall. Everyone had gathered at the entrance of the hut, no doubt them being told I was awake now, and all. They all just sort of stood there and stared.

So I stood there and stared back. I exclaimed. I pulled away, scowling at her with my best angry face. She turned to the crowd and giggled and then walked away. She left a bruise — a great big one — right on my ribs. It was the pretty woman who broke up the staring contest. She clapped her hands sharply and said things in her bizarre language and, with a collective complaint, the crowd dissipated.

The woman smiled and beckoned me to follow her. She showed me around this little village. It struck me then that there were no roads. Not even a bicycle. People walked everywhere, it seemed. And then I noticed the swords. I mean, some of the Limey officers carry swords, but they are small and decorative.

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The swords these villagers carried were huge things that were as wide as my neck. So what then? Had I gone back in time? I must have looked startled, because the woman placed her hand on my arm and looked at me with concern. I tried to smile, but I think it looked more like a crooked grimace. We walked around the village a little more. It seemed everything was shared. There was a pigpen, and several cows that munched lazily on the grass and just watched the villagers bustle by. This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue? Upload Sign In Join. Home Books Contemporary Fiction.

Save For Later. Create a List. Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. Publisher: S. God Do You Believe? I was sitting in the sun, Enjoying its bright warmth, When a shadow swept overhead, And I opened up my eyes to spy A Roc, red of wing and gold of eye.

The ground below turned A patchwork of green and grey, As the sky faded to the ending colours of the day. Into the clouds we rose, Whereupon a Sylph offered her hand. A giggle, and she was gone, Riding the winds without a care, While her sisters played havoc with my hair. A herd then caught my eye. Overland we glided still, Until we came across a marsh, Whereupon the Roc began to climb.

Higher still, until faced with sheer cliff, Whereupon the Roc wheeled away, Here even majestic Rocs fear to fly, Refusing to climb the rocky steep.


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With a screech and desperate flapping We were up again and away. Down we plunged, down and down. I awoke with a start, sitting in my chair, With naught to show but a frightful tangle of hair. A glimmer and a tinkle turned my head, But I spied nothing more than a toadstool. Then remembered, Faeries sit there in the evening cool. I frowned. Could it all have been a dream?

That truth is simple, and it is this: Magic exists. And so are you. One woman approached after a while.

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In terms of explaining the fine-tuning, this is not a step forward but a step back. All is not lost.


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Hawking was exploring models of the multiverse based on inflationary cosmology, and his paper casts doubt on the potential of this kind of multiverse to explain fine-tuning. While physicists have been exploring inflationary explanations of fine-tuning, philosophers of physics have been exploring quantum mechanical explanations of fine-tuning. If, in the earliest period of our universe, our laws were shaped by the right kind of probabilistic process, the many worlds theory could furnish us with enough variety of laws across the many worlds so as to make it likely that one would be fine-tuned.

But if the alternative is the postulation of a supernatural creator, then this seems like the more plausible proposal. There is still hope for a scientific account of fine-tuning. However, by ruling out one of the two scientifically credible options for doing this, Hawking and Hertog have slightly strengthened the alternative explanation in terms of God.

Topics Stephen Hawking Opinion.

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