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Hawking: God Did Not Create Universe
Hypatia
http://www.reuter...FN20100902

(Reuters) - God did not create the universe and the "Big Bang" was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking argues in a new book.

In "The Grand Design," co-authored with U.S. physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking says a new series of theories made a creator of the universe redundant, according to the Times newspaper which published extracts on Thursday.

"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," Hawking writes.

"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

Hawking, 68, who won global recognition with his 1988 book "A Brief History of Time," an account of the origins of the universe, is renowned for his work on black holes, cosmology and quantum gravity.

Since 1974, the scientist has worked on marrying the two cornerstones of modern physics -- Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, which concerns gravity and large-scale phenomena, and quantum theory, which covers subatomic particles.

His latest comments suggest he has broken away from previous views he has expressed on religion. Previously, he wrote that the laws of physics meant it was simply not necessary to believe that God had intervened in the Big Bang.

He wrote in A Brief History ... "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 latest book, he said the 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting another star other than the Sun helped deconstruct the view of the father of physics Isaac Newton that the universe could not have arisen out of chaos but was created by God.

"That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions -- the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass, far less remarkable, and far less compelling evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings," he writes.

Hawking, who is only able to speak through a computer-generated voice synthesizer, has a neuro muscular dystrophy that has progressed over the years and left him almost completely paralyzed.

He began suffering the disease in his early 20s but went on to establish himself as one of the world's leading scientific authorities, and has also made guest appearances in "Star Trek" and the cartoons "Futurama" and "The Simpsons."

Last year he announced he was stepping down as Cambridge University's Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a position once held by Newton and one he had held since 1979.

"The Grand Design" is due to go on sale next week.

Edited by Hypatia on 09/03/2010 15:43
 
Skeeve
I was always curious about his inclusion of a "god" in his earlier statements. It may have been that he thought it necessary to gain recognition. Good to see he's able to say this and not have it hurt is reputation. Pfft
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
JohnH
I would point out that none of what Hawking said negates the possibility of a god, only that one is not required.

I believe atheists are making a bit too much of this.
 
Bob of QF
JohnH wrote:
I would point out that none of what Hawking said negates the possibility of a god, only that one is not required.

I believe atheists are making a bit too much of this.


What I've seen, has been in direct response to godbots making altogether too much over his modest statements.

As such, I would agree with the majority of nontheists' responses or at least, the motivation behind the comments.

Godbots are always trying to bring up this famous/smart/intelligent/infamous person's statements as a "proof" of their idiotic godbottery.

It is tiresome, sometimes.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
catman
SOMETIMES? I'd say virtually always!
 
derF
If anyone was going to exclude god in the workings of our existence you wouldn't expect it to be someone with one, or perhaps, more accurately, both feet in the grave.

Hawking is one of those people who would have the most to gain if there were a supreme being manipulating all that is. It would offer a window of relief from the stifling existence that he now experiences with ALS.

Hawking, obviously, believes that we are in a world where we have only one recourse. Adapt to one's reality or cease to exist. Period. There are no alternative realities available via the will of some overriding all empowered super-enabled ultra being.

I, personally, think that Hawking believes that the existence of a 'sky daddy' is every bit as ludicrous as other peoples' beliefs that the world we live in is too complicated to have happened by chance.

If the universe is too complicated to exist without a creator then why is it's creator not too complicated to exist without a creator?

I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
catman
But derF, don't you realize that there is no beginning and no end to the existence of...never mind. Vomit

I admire Hawking more than I can say, for his courage and intellectual rigor.
 
JohnH
derF, you touch on an interesting thought about the concept of heaven. I do not remember where I read it. I think in "Why I am not a Christian" by Bertrand Russell or "The Illusion of Immortality" by Corliss Lamont.

The question posed was in what form does a person enter heaven. Is it the form that person had at death or was it a form of their choosing or was it selected by whoever determines the person passes the entrance requirement.

An extremely important question for someone like Hawking or say the family who's grandmother has been in a coma for the last 2 years.
 
derF
JohnH wrote:
derF, you touch on an interesting thought about the concept of heaven. I do not remember where I read it. I think in "Why I am not a Christian" by Bertrand Russell or "The Illusion of Immortality" by Corliss Lamont.

The question posed was in what form does a person enter heaven. Is it the form that person had at death or was it a form of their choosing or was it selected by whoever determines the person passes the entrance requirement.

An extremely important question for someone like Hawking or say the family who's grandmother has been in a coma for the last 2 years.


An interesting thought, JohnH.

Of course believers would think that god would grant them everlasting existence as they were when they were at their physical and mental peak. After all, is he not the ultimate fan of the human condition? What other recourse does he have other than to bring his children into the realm of eternity fully endowed with the highest physical and mental abilities that he deigned to bless them with.

As you pointed out, many people are born with very little ability to force their will to have some sort of effect on the outcome of the totality of their lives.

Someone born with Down syndrome would hardly have any idea of how life would be sans the ailment. Would god manipulate his reality to allow him into heaven as a being better than he was in real life? Wouldn't that stick out as an obvious flaw in god's reasoning? Thereby revealing gods fallibility. And, therefore, gods impossibility?

An interesting point. Stimulating interesting conjecture.

Thank you JohnH
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
catman
derF wrote:
Someone born with Down syndrome would hardly have any idea of how life would be sans the ailment. Would god manipulate his reality to allow him into heaven as a being better than he was in real life? Wouldn't that stick out as an obvious flaw in god's reasoning? Thereby revealing gods fallibility. And, therefore, gods impossibility?


How would that be "an obvious flaw", considering how much sense the rest of it makes? Besides, god is supposedly beyond all criticism by humans. Whatever god decides to do, however seemingly capricious, reveals his infallibilty, since that is a given from the start. 'His ways are not like ours', 'No one can understand the mind of god', etc. In addition if he "made him better", it would be said to reveal the infinite love god has for the afflicted among us. So pass the collection plate. Angry
 
Bob of QF
In a side argument germane to the subject, some godbot or other was claiming NDEs (near death experiences) were proof of a soul.

Then it hit me: this mythical 'soul' thingy is essentially a vehicle for preserving our personalities, including memory, after brain death, right?

Why does this 'soul' fail miserably when the physical brain is severely damaged, but the body lingers on?

What about Alzheimer's patents? Should not their souls 'kick-in' and preserve/recover their missing personalities/memories?

I'd say that the very existence of Alzheimer's disease is proof that if souls exist? They do not preserve memories.

If memories are not preserved? What's the point? None that I can see...
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Theory_Execution
Good point Bob of QF, it must be that serious head trauma and malnutrition break the soul or knock it out of the body. So it must be a physical thing, so it can be measured.
 
JohnH
I would like to point out that the notion of an "afterlife" is used always as the strongest selling point for yahweh based religions. If this notion is obviously flawed then the rest of the lies become more obvious.
 
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