This marks a change of position for Steven Hawking. In the past, he has always deflected such questions by saying that he does not answer "god questions."

But this newly atheistic position is not likely to satisfy the religionists, however. They will probably suggest that it doesn't really answer the question of origins, but merely postpones it: if laws like gravity caused the big bang, who created those laws?

from: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/us_britain_hawking

LONDON (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..."

Tags: Hawking, bang, big, origins

Views: 125

Replies to This Discussion

It is funny how reduced their god has become. The institutions stand on less than sand. Ratzinger probably finds himself thinking "Thank God for ignorance."
Wasn't that the idea to begin with? Keep the masses ignorant, barefoot and pregnant and in turn brainwash each new generation to keep the power in the church.

It's sad to see even today how much they still use these practices and, how many in these modern times can't rise above the religious hype and what's really going on.
A short take on some of the inevitable theist responses from "Atheism"

http://www.atheismuk.com/2010/09/04/science/hawking-translating-the...
Here's another response to Hawking, posted on Slate.
Thou shalt have no other Gods before ye except Photons.

-- Gary
The mention of photons/light reminds me of Genesis 1.3 (God said "Let there be light, and there was light")---brilliantly reworded, using Maxwell's equations, by physicist Brent Meeker as

God said, “div D = ρ, div B = 0, curl E = - ðB/ðt, curl H = J + ðD/ðt,”
and there was light.
I really like the M-theory idea. It constitutes unification founded in randomness of all the laws of physics (micro and macro) in all possible universes on the basis that those laws happen to apply in a manner consistent with the probablities that they will. In that this is probability driven M-theory is the supermacro example of natural selection. However, it leads to two very intriguing questions:

1.) How does the die get rolled in the first place and
2.) What determines how many faces it has and their characteristics?

Whatever the answers are I like the description (per the Slate article in the October 12th posting) of the associated dynamics:

...anything not forbidden is required.

I like M-theory for another reason. It gives a scientific flavor to a logical disproof of the Biblical god concept I have a copyright on.

In the disproof I conclude that a being cannot legitimately worship because it cannot know absolutely whether its perceptions validly reflect an external reality and, in this, cannot know whether the object of its would be worship even exists.

According to M-theory beings whose perceptions did not validly reflect an external reality would have to exist as a matter of scientific fact in that they would constitute a possible outcome among a spectrum of being forms. In that no being could know whether it fell into this category M-theory would make my conclusion that a being cannot legitimately worship a scientific rather than philosophical one.

Notwithstanding, I am excited about M-theory under any circumstances because the above two questions do not weaken it. The questions of why there are physical laws and why they are as they are would exist with any scientific unification theory.
That one reminds me of a New Yorker cartoon I saw once. Two physicists standing in front of a chalk board, totally full of an incomprehensible mathematical equation, except on the fourth line down, where it said "then a miracle happens" and the equation continued...

One physicist is saying to the other, "Looks plausible, except for an ambiguity in the fourth line."
I am in the middle of a couple of other books now. When I am done, I plan to read this book. But I don't remember anything from my high school physics course. Do you think I will have any trouble understanding it? Should I read Hawking's other books first? And I am afraid this book is going to be over my head.
Hawking really doesn't explain the experiments very well that he references in the book. Everybody that I've talked to about it agrees. However, you can get a good big picture of what he is saying without understanding the details of the supporting evidence so it would probably be worth your while to read it. Also, the October 12 post above provides a very good review of the book at http://www.slate.com/id/2269908/pagenum/all/#p2.
One question before I go buy it, does it really cover anything new I wouldn't have gotten from Brian Greene's last book?
I would read the review at http://www.slate.com/id/2269908/pagenum/all/#p2 and decide from that.

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