“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.“
— Stephen Hawking
“We have to learn again that science without contact with experiments is an enterprise which is likely to go completely astray into imaginary conjecture.”
— Hannes Alfven
That is where mathematics without experiments took Hawkings’ cosmology.
To Hawking’s credit, in January of 2014, he admitted that black holes might not be real.
His entire career, and all his research, was based upon his a priori conviction that black holes are real objects that physically exist in nature. ... The intellectual and ethical integrity demanded by such actions is so rare that it occurs in the lives of usually just two or three opinion makers in each century, and Dr. Hawkins has shown that he is one of these people.
My source is Hilton Ratcliffe’s Stephen Hawking Smoked My Socks: How beliefs contaminate our opinions, an astrophysicist’s perspective.