Hawking and God

Stephen Hawking, that physicist emeritus extraordinaire, has made another pronouncement of universal proportions.

My old buddy Highwayman isn’t going to like it, especially since he supported ol’ Stephen in the past, but I don’t think he will this time.

Because Dr. Hawking says that (a) God isn’t needed in creating the Universe:

The scientist has claimed that no divine force was needed to explain why the Universe was formed.

In his latest book, The Grand Design, an extract of which is published in Eureka magazine in The Times, Hawking said: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”

He added: “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.”

In A Brief History of Time, Prof Hawking’s most famous work, he did not dismiss the possibility that God had a hand in the creation of the world.

He wrote in the 1988 book: “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God.”

In his new book he rejects Sir Isaac Newton’s theory that the Universe did not spontaneously begin to form but was set in motion by God.

In June this year Prof Hawking told a Channel 4 series that he didn’t believe that a “personal” God existed. He told Genius of Britain: “The question is: is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can’t understand, or was it determined by a law of science? I believe the second. If you like, you can call the laws of science ‘God’, but it wouldn’t be a personal God that you could meet, and ask questions.”

Until his retirement last year Prof Hawking was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, a post previously held by Newton.

Well, he has a point about gravity.

It’s the weakest of the four fundamental forces and nobody knows what or where it comes from, the Large Hadron Collider not withstanding.

Current string theory claims it crosses dimensions, that’s why it seems its effects appear faster than the speed of light.

It could be what Hawking is alluding to. Maybe I’ll borrow the book from the library when it gets there.

Stephen Hawking: God was not needed to create the Universe

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15 responses

  1. Hawking and God « Dad2059's Webzine of Science Fiction, Science ……

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  2. […] Hawking and God « Dad2059's Webzine of Science Fiction, Science … […]

  3. Yeah, I’m sure Hawking will argue gravity flows naturally from string theory. (Since it does.) I also will be interested in reading this book myself to compare it to his Brief History in Time book.

    1. I think some of his views about black-holes have changed since then, especially since he revised his theories about black-hole dissipation and where the information goes; http://www.bautforum.com/archive/index.php/t-24457.html

      So yes you’re right, ‘strings’ have something to do with it.

      It seems he’s still implying the Universe might’ve been made by an ‘outside’ force since we’re only seeing one aspect of this ‘string’ or ‘strings’ and this aspect is gravity.

      It’s like a two-dimensional creature seeing a circle grow larger, then smaller, then disappearing when it’s really a sphere passing through his dimension.

  4. Interesting. I’m putting this book on my reading list.
    By the way Dad, you have any idea who this guy is?

    http://piglipstick.blogspot.com/2010/09/sw-desert-is-full-of-surprises.html

  5. “My old buddy Highwayman isn’t going to like it, especially since he supported ol’ Stephen in the past, but I don’t think he will this time.”

    Ah, cut him some slack, Marine, he’s gettin’ round to it! I’ve got confidence in the boy!
    ;-)

  6. You think he’ll see the light there HW? :lol:

    I bet he’d give you a spirited argument!

  7. In “The Grand Design” Stephen Hawking postulates that the M-theory may be the Holy Grail of physics…the Grand Unified Theory which Einstein had tried to formulate and later abandoned. It expands on quantum mechanics and string theory.

    In my e-book on comparative mysticism is a quote by Albert Einstein: “…most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty – which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive form – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of all religion.”

    Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity is probably the best known scientific equation. I revised it to help better understand the relationship between divine Essence (Spirit), matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and consciousness (fx raised to its greatest power). Unlike the speed of light, which is a constant, there are no exact measurements for consciousness. In this hypothetical formula, basic consciousness may be of insects, to the second power of animals and to the third power the rational mind of humans. The fourth power is suprarational consciousness of mystics, when they intuit the divine essence in perceived matter. This was a convenient analogy, but there cannot be a divine formula.

  8. Apparently, there is some debate on whether there are any “constants” or not.

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2621

    I believe Hawking, like Einstein, is confronted with the only constant – God. Now, he has to make a choice. As for myself, I long ago realized that finite understanding cannot comprehend the infinite. You can draw all the fancy equations and squiggly lines and graphs you want, there will always be another level in the game.

    There is a time frame allocated for man to come to terms with the mysteries of God and the universe… it’s called eternity.

    That’s where I’ll figure it all out to my satisfaction.

  9. High way man (you post puts you up there),

    Infinity and eternity seem to have been lost in the constrictions of space and time. The infinite here and eternal now are too often obscured while rehashing the past or anticipating the future. A short quote from my e-book:

    “What about eternal life?” Most people who even consider it may regard it as after passing on. It can, however, be realized both consciously and presently. What we call this life might be just like watching and performing in a play on stage. The concluded acts we call the past. The following acts, termed the future, have yet to be performed. For true mystics, here…now…this moment is Reality. It is not merely an intermission. It is truly boundless and endless.

    1. Ron:

      One man’s “eternity” is another man’s moment. I understand the malleability of spacetime in Relativity.

      Not all will have to die to experience eternity. Translation of the faithful is most likely the closer we get to the end times. However, only God can view “reality” in it’s totality. I never could, as I have a definite origin in that reality. It owns me. God exists outside of reality, outside of time. He has always been, without beginning or end. That concept, alone, has put more people in institutions trying to figure it out than anything else. I don’t try. Some call that blind faith, but, it isn’t. I don’t have to understand everything about Dad, here, to accept that he, in fact, exists. Or, that you exist. It’s simply a fact in reality.

      Men like Hawking make a decent living trying to understand the mind of God. They use complex mathematical equations to illustrate what their corporeal senses cannot experience and/or visualize. All they are accomplishing, in my opinion, is that they are keeping themselves out of a menial occupation such as the one that I have. It is interesting work, no less, but, ultimately, futile. It is futile, because, God has revealed Himself in so many ways, through nature, people, etc, and through uncommon acts of benevolence and kindness and inspiration. This is all I need to convince me that we are not just a accident, that we are the result of careful and deliberate planning. The fact that we can conceive or even begin to conceive of anything beyond our immediate radius is indicative of God’s handiwork in us.

      It’s not hard for me to believe that my life or anyone’s here is not simply a matter of perspective or merely an illusion. Even if it were, there is nothing that I can do about it. As Dad can tell you, in all the years that he’s known me, I find most speculation on reality to be frivolous. How can anyone grasp the beauty of the moment when they are preoccupied with the past and/or the future? Indeed, we should be especially concerned with the future, speaking from the Christian perspective, but, the present is what defines the future. Many have told me that I have uncommonly strong faith… others have told me I’m just crazy! You can decide for yourself on that one.

      Hawking once smiled when asked if he believed in the possibility of God’s existence. I don’t doubt that he, unlike many infidels out there, has given the subject serious thought, just like Einstein. To me, that is what separates the true thinkers from the pseudo-intellectuals. Hawking is one of those true thinkers, regardless if he believes what I believe or not.

      In my view, there really is no escaping the inevitable conclusion we are not alone and we are not an accident. It would take more energy to refute what is so blatantly obvious than that required to bend space and reverse time!

  10. Yo, Jarhead…

    Here’s something you might find interesting…

    Ballsy kid, eh?
    :cool:

    1. Yeah heh. That kid’ll find himself bounced out of school too because anything against the established meme is taboo.

      But we need folks like him, and more of ‘em.

      1. I think he’s probably taking some razzing from his fellow students over this. Most will have swallowed the Bush Kool Aid about fanatical Muslims being the instigation of 9/11.

        It’s good to see that there are still some clear heads left in the land… and, so young! Does my cantankerous old heart proud, Marine!
        :-)

  11. Highwayman, we are in agreement though using a different approach. Another e-book quote:

    Allah, Buddha, God, ha-Shem, Ishvara. Most religious people do worship a personal deity, a non-theistic ideal or an intermediary. Unlike most of those in the mainstream, faith alone is not sufficient for mystics. They expanded to a search for oneness with the divine essence. Mystics, and later their followers, sought an underlying Reality, or divine ground, which some may call al-Haqq, Brahman, Dharmakaya/Nirvana, Ein Sof, Godhead, or other words. It is One: transcendent to and immanent in all existence; the absolute nature of being itself. Their “faith” is that union is possible during this life.

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