Thursday, September 02, 2010

Stephen Hawking says the universe was not created by God!

All our hopes are dashed!

God did not create the universe, the man who is arguably Britain's most famous living scientist says in a forthcoming book.

In the new work, The Grand Design, Professor Stephen Hawking  argues that the Big Bang, rather than occurring following the intervention of a divine being, was inevitable due to the law of gravity.

In his 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, Hawking had seemed to accept the role of God in the creation of the universe. But in the new text, co-written with American physicist Leonard Mlodinow, he said new theories showed a creator is "not necessary".

The Grand Design, an extract of which appears in the Times today, sets out to contest Sir Isaac Newton's belief that the universe must have been designed by God as it could not have been created out of chaos.

"Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing," he writes. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.

"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."
(Source, emph. mine)

And by "nothing", he no doubt means "something" - gravity and stuff on which gravity could act. 
What else can the thinking person do but laugh at such sophistry?

28 comments:

bossmanham said...

Hawking: "Hawking says the first blow to Newton's belief that the universe could not have arisen from chaos was the observation in 1992 of a planet orbiting a star other than our Sun. "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 as evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings."

What? How does this follow? Because another star exists it follows that it's less likely the universe came into being? What on earth? Pascal, I think, had a profound insight; "[I]t is far better to know something about everything than to know all about one thing." If you're so focused on one field of study, it seems to me you can become blind to simple concepts in other studies. Looks to me that Hawking can't see past his own nose, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

bossmanham, perhaps it would be a better idea to read his book rather than rely on the no doubt vastly simplified reading given by a newspaper article?

bossmanham said...

Anon,

I agree, but they're quoting the guy in the article. It's hard to misunderstand that quote if the author is presenting it in the correct context.

I misspoke above as well, I meant to say "How does this follow? Because another star exists it follows that it's less likely the Earth was created, and more likely it was just some random event?"

Has Hawking even looked at just the dozens and dozens of conditions that our solar system meets so that just one planet can support life?

The Jolly Nihilist said...

Nothing is quite so efficacious at shattering humanity’s childish delusions of grandeur and foolish self-importance as studies of the cosmos. Current estimates indicate there are approximately 125 billion galaxies in the universe. The number of stars in a galaxy can number hundreds of billions: The number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy is roughly 100 billion; the Andromeda galaxy is much more massive than the Milky Way and contains one trillion stars. The largest galaxy ever discovered is inside the Abell 2029 cluster and contains about 100 trillion stars. Doing the calculations, some have estimated (admittedly very roughly) that there might be 10^24 stars in the entire universe. That is 1 followed by 24 zeroes, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars--which is not even to speak of planets or moons!

To treat Earth--much less humanity, which has been around, in something approaching modern forms, less than one-hundredth of one percent of Earth’s natural history--with undue privilege is silliness at its most flagrant.

bossmanham said...

What does that have to do with anything? No one here denies the grandeur of the universe.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork." Psalm 19:1

Anonymous said...

Because another star exists it follows that it's less likely the Earth was created, and more likely it was just some random event?

That's not what he's saying at all. He's pointing out that it's impossible to maintain a geocentric view of the universe once you realise there are other planets orbiting other suns.

Once you accept that earth is not unique then it becomes impossible to maintain that earth was specially created for a particular purpose (i.e. us) unless those other planets were also specially created for a particular purpose.

Rhology said...

1) We're not geocentrists.
2) The other planets WERE created for a particular purpose.
3) Even if they weren't, that says nothing about Earth. There's no way Hawking could know that.

NAL said...

Rho:

And by "nothing", he no doubt means "something" - gravity and stuff on which gravity could act.

No doubt? I have doubt. Especially since he said a law such as gravity. It seems like he talking about a law of gravity, distinct from gravitational attraction.

bossmanham said...

No doubt? I have doubt. Especially since he said a law such as gravity. It seems like he talking about a law of gravity, distinct from gravitational attraction.

Yes, so something existed to cause the universe to come from non-existence. That's totally not an incoherent statement at all....riiiigt.

Coram Deo said...

I've read Hawking with passing interest for several years.

At one time he posited a theory that our known universe was "born" from a singularity that ripped through the space time continuum of another universe (as I recall he espoused the possibility that we actually exist in a universe within a multi-verse), and that our universe's matter is "borrowed" from elsewhere.

I need to dig out that book but he leaned towards naturalistic mechanisms for the ordering of our known universe which resulted from the big bang that arose from "leaked" material from the "other" universe/reality/dimension.

I think it was "Black Holes and Baby Universes". That sure seems like a whole lot of effort simply to suppress the truth in unrighteousness and deny one's Maker.

Anyway, 'tis a shame to know that one day he's going to get a new, indestructible, immortal resurrection body and be cast alive into hellfire where he'll burn in unspeakable conscious torments forever lest he repents of his sin and rebellion and flees to Christ as his Lord and Savior.

I wonder if anyone has ever shared the Gospel with him?

In Christ,
CD

The Jolly Nihilist said...

Accolades are in order, Coram Deo, for the penultimate paragraph of your comment, in which, to a degree greater than I have ever before seen, you have distilled, in pure and unadulterated form, much of what is most noxious and odious about the Christian superstition, which, besides its being rooted in the pitiable, prescientific ignorance of the Bronze Age desert tribesmen who composed the bible in, one would assume, an attempt to cope with a world by which they were completely stupefied, is predicated on a simmering, and to my mind ghastly, threat system that is meant to frighten the weaker willed among us into submitting to the thoroughly nonsensical and utterly disposable preachments of the converted.

Coram Deo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coram Deo said...

TJN,

I'm not sure what to say except that it seems that the truth hurts.

I didn't need to "distill" that Hawking scenario for you; deep down in your heart of hearts you know that I'm speaking truth.

The reason I know that you know this is because men are created in God's image, and as His image bearers they cannot - despite their many desperate attempts - escape the innate knowledge written upon their hearts that they have an angry wrathful God above them; an accusing, guilty conscience within them; and a yawning hell beneath them.

Nevertheless they ever seek to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. This is characteristic of our inherited sinful nature which despises the One true and living God.

Rho's blog might be the only place you receive the truth at this point in your life, I'm not sure.

In Christ,
CD

Rhology said...

CD,

The other sad thing about the JN is that he in other situations will stand firm on his position that morality is subjective and cannot be normatively applied between people, but when it comes to sthg so offensive as the Cross or God's sovereignty over His creation, alluvasudden he can make moral judgments that he implicitly expects should make a dent in someone else's convictions.

Andrew said...

NAL said:

"No doubt? I have doubt. Especially since he said a law such as gravity. It seems like he talking about a law of gravity, distinct from gravitational attraction."

My question is this:

If there was nothing at some point in the history of the universe then what would there have been to have gravity in the first place? With nothing there to pull or gravitate then what could the law of gravity actually cause? Would it even exist in the absence of matter?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Well, since he doesn't believe that God exists, the bright side is that he can't blame God for his physical disabilities.

Anonymous said...

Yes, so something existed to cause the universe to come from non-existence. That's totally not an incoherent statement at all....riiiigt.

Presumably you believe that God existed to cause the universe to come from non-existence, and therefore you have just labelled your own belief incoherent.

bossmanham said...

God created out of nothing with respect to a material cause. God is the efficient cause. Something can’t cause the universe if the universe is going to create itself from nothing.

Anonymous said...

God created out of nothing with respect to a material cause. God is the efficient cause. Something can’t cause the universe if the universe is going to create itself from nothing.

1. What's the difference between an efficient cause and a material cause?

2. The universe didn't create itself out of nothing.

NAL said...

Andrew:

My question is this:

If there was nothing at some point in the history of the universe then what would there have been to have gravity in the first place? With nothing there to pull or gravitate then what could the law of gravity actually cause? Would it even exist in the absence of matter?


If this is a sincere question, do some googling. Put in the effort.

Andrew said...

NAL,
It was a sincere question. For you.

Anonymous said...

God created out of nothing with respect to a material cause. God is the efficient cause. Something can’t cause the universe if the universe is going to create itself from nothing.

Actually, forget my earlier question. I don't even understand what this paragraph means - it appears to be complete gibberish.

Anonymous Wikipedian said...

It looks like someone needs to study the four causes. Please consider donating to Wikipedia if you find the information to be helpful.

Anonymous said...

It looks like someone needs to study the four causes.

They certainly do, if by "they" you mean bossmanham.

bossmanham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bossmanham said...

Apparently Mr. anonymous has never read Aristotle. And I didn't use Wikipedia to reference the 4 causes. Anyone with a small amount of exposure to philosophy knows of this terminology from Aristotle.

Anonymous said...

I'm well aware of the four causes; my point was that your paragraph was gibberish. Try writing it again, this time for comprehension - and try to avoid making assertions without proof, as well. Aristotle would approve.

David B said...

http://xkcd.com/799/