Steven Hawking Sees No Need for God in Creation

Posted: September 3, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

One would think that a world-renowned physicist would be more precise in his language. Surely he cannot mean what it sounds like he is saying in this BBC report. Hawking, who once thought there was room for a supreme being in explaining the origins of the universe has changed his mind. There is no need to include God in the explanation for how the universe came into being. Now I realize that Hawking is considered one of the most brilliant thinkers on the planet with a reported I.Q. of 160. But even the most brilliant of us can develop tunnel vision and fail to see how our preconceptions have led us down an illogical path.

Hawking is quoted as saying “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. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch-paper and set the Universe going.”

So what is wrong with that statement? I don’t have a 160 I.Q. but a few things jump out immediately. First, Hawking invokes the existence of laws such as gravity. Since such laws of physics exist, it is those laws that account for how the universe came to be, “from nothing”. One could stop at that point and say, “Aha, that answers it. No need for God because gravity and the other laws of physics work together and the necessary outcome is a universe created from nothing”. But if there was in fact, nothing, then where did these laws come from. On a very simple level, the existence of laws implies some source behind the law, some law-maker. But even if you don’t want to have a lawmaker, if there was nothing, how and why would there be laws which govern this nothing. Why would such laws exist if there is nothing for them to rule?

Secondly, there still exists the question of where the physical material came from that makes up the created universe. Hawking wants to have creation out of nothing based on existence of the laws of physics. The most widely accepted scientific explanation for the existence of the universe is what we call “The Big Bang Theory”. In short is says that prior to the universe coming into existence there was nothing. Then about 13.7 billion years ago nothing became a something that we call a singularity. (Star Trek fans hear about singularities all the time) So with this singularity, something with physical properties, the universe started. Hawking says the laws of physics explain that. Yet large numbers of his fellow scientists, especially physicists are at that point saying “God just might be behind the whole thing”. Why? because the laws of physics can help explain what happens once you have matter, physical, material stuff. They can explain how large bodies of planets impact and are impacted by gravity. They can explain how the motion of matter accounts for heat. They can explain a great many things if you already have physical material. What the laws of physics cannot explain is how that physical material came to be in the first place. Those laws certainly cannot take credit for causing the existence of matter.

We can rely on the laws of physics to explain the physical world as it exists. That is what physics is all about after all. What we cannot do is rely on them to explain how something that did not exist was made by the very nature of those laws. Far from leading in the direction of saying there is not need for God, more and more evidence from the realm of physics is actually supporting the need for God behind it all. In the end the laws of the universe will ultimately point us to the law-giver.

Comments
  1. Linda Jarvis says:

    To me, the interesting thing is that, although the universe came in to being through the laws of physics (according to Hawking), his theory goes against two of those laws. The First Law of Thermodynamics says that neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics says that systems move steadily toward a state of entropy. His thesis denies both of theses. In addition, that wonderful law of gravity requires matter in order to be operational. The illogic of such an argument from such a brilliant mind is illustrative of Romans 1 at its finest.

  2. Peg Bowman says:

    Interesting I was just studying this subject in Spring semester… ditto what Linda said! And two more holes I would poke in the argument: (1) the “laws” of physics are descriptive, not prescriptive… IOW they describe what already exists, they do not determine how something that might exist in the future will behave. (2) the latest in physicists’ thinking is that the very first thing to exist was a bit of light! (where have we heard that before?)

    Great post, thanks!

  3. Dan Lacich says:

    Peg,
    Thanks for those comments. Are you still at Trinity? What class is this? I love the bit of light idea. Awesome!

  4. Dan Lacich says:

    Linda
    Fully get the thermodynamics part of this. That is certainly a factor in trying to understand matter and existence. I really like the Romans 1 reference.

  5. Robert says:

    My mom used to say (still does for that matter) that some people can be so smart they’re just stupid.

  6. Dan Lacich says:

    Oh for more of mom’s wit and wisdom

  7. Garvey says:

    Excellent post again, Dan. For such a brilliant physicist, he forgot one fundamental point though. Gravity is a FORCE, simply a push or pull, and there’s always some particle (or group of particles) responsible for a force. Question is, though, how did those particles come into existence?

  8. Robert LaRiviere says:

    I hope Mr. Lacich doesn’t think too highly of himself, even though he feels he is brighter than Mr. Hawking. A law doesn’t need a backdrop upon which to work; it is the backdrop. The universe “functions” because of these laws, not in spite of them. Why do you folks have such difficulty with spontaneous generation? Doesn’t God create out of nothing? Doesn’t that refute the second law of thermodynamics? If you are going to believe in magic, don’t try to justify it by means of the system you are criticizing. If you don’t believe a theory, great! Disprover it, but don’t attempt to argue against it by using it’s syntax. It is science that has drug us up out of the bog of prehistory. Religion would still have us grunting in the muck and believing in invisible super beings.

  9. Chuck here in Florida says:

    Robert LaRiviere :I hope Mr. Lacich doesn’t think too highly of himself, even though he feels he is brighter than Mr. Hawking. A law doesn’t need a backdrop upon which to work; it is the backdrop. The universe “functions” because of these laws, not in spite of them. Why do you folks have such difficulty with spontaneous generation? Doesn’t God create out of nothing? Doesn’t that refute the second law of thermodynamics? If you are going to believe in magic, don’t try to justify it by means of the system you are criticizing. If you don’t believe a theory, great! Disprover it, but don’t attempt to argue against it by using it’s syntax. It is science that has drug us up out of the bog of prehistory. Religion would still have us grunting in the muck and believing in invisible super beings.

    ————————————————–

    Why do some so easily accept spontaneous generation, but totally disredard a more plausible explanation= GOD. Both require faith, do they not?
    Yes,religion in general, certainly would have us considerably more backward had science not have enlightened us in many ways! Imagine a world today, had the Catholic Church had it’s way without interruption!
    But just because all these religions “claim” to represent God, does not mean he agrees.
    However, just 2 simple examples in the bible, show that, while it was not written to be a scientific manual, what scientific information it supplies is more accurate than science was for many generations. Test it. Open your Bible to Job 26:7. Keep in mind that this text was written in the 15th century B.C.E. It reads: “[God] is stretching out the north over the empty place, hanging the earth upon nothing.” Next, turn to Isaiah 40:22, noting that the book of Isaiah was written in the eighth century B.C.E. This verse reads: “There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth” In those days, what did the scientists believe the Earth to be shaped like? Did they imagine it “hanging upon nothing”??
    Such information had to be supplied by the creator of the Earth.

  10. Well the erudite little lump of superfluous matter,Stephen Hawking apparently sees no need for the almighty with respect to creation…uhmm well I see no need to ever read any further sophistry from this very physically compromised little individual.Hawking is entitled to his opinion for what it is worth,which is damn little,but I am left wondering how Gravity could ever create the myriad forms of life both flora and fauna for which our planet is so richly endowed.One thing that Hawking doesn`t apparently understand is that Yahweh(God)is NOT of the material world and is not subject to the constraints of Time and Space however the Domain of Mankind`s relatively puny science is limited to the material world.Therefore Hawking`s opinions are illogical because his reference to God,who is spirit,is beyond the very finite comprehension of mere people and their Science.Science deals exclusively with the material world and focuses on things which can be weighed,measured,analysed et cetera.Science is as useless as tits on a boar when dealing with matters of the spirit and the spirit and things spiritual are not within the limited parameters of Scientific understanding or inquiry.So in conclusion we may conclude that Hawking`s comments were not circumspect or appropriate given the fact that he was alluding to something that he,Hawking,does not believe in or revere but feels free to debunk if it suits him.Hawking`s remarks are trash and this pitiful little man should be thoroughly debunked.God creates and Science observes but how can any Scientist retain an ounce of credibility by attempting to negate something that they don`t understand or believe in? Is Hawking another Richie Dawkins?

  11. Feathers says:

    Particle physics is a very complex yet interesting study. Us humans are learning what the building blocks of the universe is. We start with our hypothosis and work out an explanation(theory) of the observed facts. We are still slowly filling in the gaps, but to find out what sub-atomic particles are made out of and how they react we are slowly pushing God back(if there is one). Hawking has spent his life regardless of his disability searching for the “theory of everything” being that he was trying to get the math of general relativity and the math of quantum physics to come together. It has been tested in labs that living organisms or the building blocks of life can be produced from nothing but gas and simulated lightening(1950’s). We see how elements are made and how they react. We have learned how heavier elements such as carbon are produced by exploding stars and we can observe it and test it. The only thing missing so far that we have not observed is the higgs boson which would be the graviton or the carrier of gravity. Gravity seems to be the only thing that doesn’t add up.

    Ok so to help some of you out. Hawkings may be an atheist and so am I so we don’t believe that there is a God but I can’t speak for Hawkings but I will say that science is showing that God doesn’t have to be in existance for things to come into existance because nothing is unstable(that is part of quantum theory). But we can only go so far back in time and we don’t know everything so it is possible however unlikely(IMO) that a deity created everything. Of course people who assert that a God created everything have to ask the question “who created God?” which leaves us stuck. The truth is that you first have to prove the existance of a God before you can assume the a God did anything then you have to worry about which God it is. Of course that won’t matter if you can’t prove the existance of God. Hawkings is a scientist and because of his condition has lots of time to just think. But there to accept something as a scientist you have to have some kind of evidence whether it be in math or actual observation and so far there has been nothing and when there is no proof of something it isn’t accepted as true in science.

  12. Rob says:

    Particle physics is a very complex yet interesting study. Us humans are learning what the building blocks of the universe is. We start with our hypothosis and work out an explanation(theory) of the observed facts. We are still slowly filling in the gaps, but to find out what sub-atomic particles are made out of and how they react we are slowly pushing God back(if there is one). Hawking has spent his life regardless of his disability searching for the “theory of everything” being that he was trying to get the math of general relativity and the math of quantum physics to come together. It has been tested in labs that living organisms or the building blocks of life can be produced from nothing but gas and simulated lightening(1950′s). We see how elements are made and how they react. We have learned how heavier elements such as carbon are produced by exploding stars and we can observe it and test it. The only thing missing so far that we have not observed is the higgs boson which would be the graviton or the carrier of gravity. Gravity seems to be the only thing that doesn’t add up.

    Ok so to help some of you out. Hawkings may be an atheist and so am I so we don’t believe that there is a God but I can’t speak for Hawkings but I will say that science is showing that God doesn’t have to be in existance for things to come into existance because nothing is unstable(that is part of quantum theory). But we can only go so far back in time and we don’t know everything so it is possible however unlikely(IMO) that a deity created everything. Of course people who assert that a God created everything have to ask the question “who created God?” which leaves us stuck. The truth is that you first have to prove the existance of a God before you can assume the a God did anything then you have to worry about which God it is. Of course that won’t matter if you can’t prove the existance of God. Hawkings is a scientist and because of his condition has lots of time to just think. But there to accept something as a scientist you have to have some kind of evidence whether it be in math or actual observation and so far there has been nothing and when there is no proof of something it isn’t accepted as true in science.

  13. Rob says:

    “Why do some so easily accept spontaneous generation, but totally disredard a more plausible explanation= GOD. Both require faith, do they not?”

    This is a common argument. Without studying even a small amount of particle/quantum physics and the behavior of particles at the subatomic level I won’t expect you to understand how nothing is unstable. Basically particles appear and disappear spontaneously all the time but it is so fast that nothing has a change to interact with it. Obviously this is ongoing research and we don’t understand everything. There is a lecture that you can watch on youtube, just type “universe from nothing” in the search field. Now you may not like the introduction due to who is introducing the other professor but it is very interesting lecture.

    Also God may be a plausable explanation but then you have to prove that God exists in order to use it in science. So far there has been no proof(like without a doubt proof) that any Gods exist so science is bound to figure this stuff out without injecting God into it. I find it more interesting to not inject the supernatural into the natural. Anything is possible but things are more likely than others and assuming something isn’t part of the scientific process. This process does not require faith it requires evidence. Faith is believing in something with complete conviction regardless if the evidence is contradicting. Science only goes with the evidence and theories will change with new evidence. We must persue to hard questions and answer them as honest as possible.

  14. Chuck here in Florida says:

    Rob :Particle physics is a very complex yet interesting study. Us humans are learning what the building blocks of the universe is. We start with our hypothosis and work out an explanation(theory) of the observed facts. We are still slowly filling in the gaps, but to find out what sub-atomic particles are made out of and how they react we are slowly pushing God back(if there is one). Hawking has spent his life regardless of his disability searching for the “theory of everything” being that he was trying to get the math of general relativity and the math of quantum physics to come together. It has been tested in labs that living organisms or the building blocks of life can be produced from nothing but gas and simulated lightening(1950′s). We see how elements are made and how they react. We have learned how heavier elements such as carbon are produced by exploding stars and we can observe it and test it. The only thing missing so far that we have not observed is the higgs boson which would be the graviton or the carrier of gravity. Gravity seems to be the only thing that doesn’t add up.
    Ok so to help some of you out. Hawkings may be an atheist and so am I so we don’t believe that there is a God but I can’t speak for Hawkings but I will say that science is showing that God doesn’t have to be in existance for things to come into existance because nothing is unstable(that is part of quantum theory). But we can only go so far back in time and we don’t know everything so it is possible however unlikely(IMO) that a deity created everything. Of course people who assert that a God created everything have to ask the question “who created God?” which leaves us stuck. The truth is that you first have to prove the existance of a God before you can assume the a God did anything then you have to worry about which God it is. Of course that won’t matter if you can’t prove the existance of God. Hawkings is a scientist and because of his condition has lots of time to just think. But there to accept something as a scientist you have to have some kind of evidence whether it be in math or actual observation and so far there has been nothing and when there is no proof of something it isn’t accepted as true in science.

    ———————————————
    “Of course people who assert that a God created everything have to ask the question “who created God?”
    I in turn ask, who created the needed “gas” and “lightning” ?
    Either Gas and lightning always existed, or God did. 🙂

  15. Chuck here in Florida says:

    Rob :“Why do some so easily accept spontaneous generation, but totally disredard a more plausible explanation= GOD. Both require faith, do they not?”
    This is a common argument. Without studying even a small amount of particle/quantum physics and the behavior of particles at the subatomic level I won’t expect you to understand how nothing is unstable. Basically particles appear and disappear spontaneously all the time but it is so fast that nothing has a change to interact with it. Obviously this is ongoing research and we don’t understand everything. There is a lecture that you can watch on youtube, just type “universe from nothing” in the search field. Now you may not like the introduction due to who is introducing the other professor but it is very interesting lecture.
    Also God may be a plausable explanation but then you have to prove that God exists in order to use it in science. So far there has been no proof(like without a doubt proof) that any Gods exist so science is bound to figure this stuff out without injecting God into it. I find it more interesting to not inject the supernatural into the natural. Anything is possible but things are more likely than others and assuming something isn’t part of the scientific process. This process does not require faith it requires evidence. Faith is believing in something with complete conviction regardless if the evidence is contradicting. Science only goes with the evidence and theories will change with new evidence. We must persue to hard questions and answer them as honest as possible.

    ——————————————————
    I, as well as most humans on this Earth, have virtually no understanding of Particle physics.
    Common argument or not-something had to exist to start the ball rolling= Gas, Lightning, God, something, none of which is provable, so science will never have any better, more provable explanation than a God, a creator.
    For the most part, i’d say that those who refuse to consider the creation account in the bible as plausible, are just closed minded and have taken a hardheaded, nonscientific stand that he does not exist-but gas, lightning or gravity was already magically just there!

  16. Chuck here in Florida says:

    PS: Remember? I did supply evidence in my previous post. This:
    “Test it. Open your Bible to Job 26:7. Keep in mind that this text was written in the 15th century B.C.E. It reads: “[God] is stretching out the north over the empty place, hanging the earth upon nothing.” Next, turn to Isaiah 40:22, noting that the book of Isaiah was written in the eighth century B.C.E. This verse reads: “There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth” In those days, what did the scientists believe the Earth to be shaped like? Did they imagine it “hanging upon nothing”??
    Such information had to be supplied by the creator of the Earth.”
    As a scientist, did you test it? Or are you just accepting what you have been told already?

  17. Rob says:

    Chuck: Gas is a product of particle physics. Lightening is part of physics as well. The conditions they reproduced to create these organisms was the conditions of the earth in the “primordial” era. They know this from studying core samples taken from through the earth. Now that is here on earth, when talking about space or the universe it becomes another subject but none the less a study of origins. So lets work backwards a little bit here. You and everything we know of is made of atoms. You are a community of atoms working together, simple huh? Those atoms are made up of sub-atomic particles(electrons, nuetrons, protons and some others), those are made of things called quarks. There are force carriers that keep these sub-particles together, things like gluons. Like I said earlier the only thing they can’t seem to find is the gravity force carrier(higgs boson). If you measure the microwave cosmic backround your will find that at one point the universe was a extreme hot and dense singularity and had a sudden expansion. All there was were quarks because it was to hot for them to form together but as the universe kept expanding and cooling they started to bond creating the first atoms then atoms bonded to make simple elements like hydrogen. That hydrogen came together and through gravity started fussion making the first stars, after so many billions of years those stars used up their fuel and exploded spewing out heavier elements like carbon and iron. And that process of stars coming together and exploding happens over and over until you get to us. Yes this is me paraphrasing or summarizing and there are better resources on that than me. Either way what we don’t know is what happened before the big bang, so there could be a God but no proof yet. There are 4 forces that make our universe operate, Electromagnetic, strong, weak, and gravity. Gravity is the weakest of the four. Do we know how those are in existance or when they came into existance? No, they might have been there the whole time we just don’t know but we aren’t at that question yet. Once we figure out what we can about those four forces we then can ask how and why, we are still on what. There are thousands of creation stories in many different religions. Sure it’s plausible but not likely and there is really no evidence for it. Scientists aren’t closed minded they ask questions and seek answers and if something comes along that changes their theory they will change it after carefully examining it.

    “nonscientific stand that he does not exist-but gas, lightning or gravity was already magically just there!”
    We know how gas and lightning forms, gravity like I said we are working on it. Nothing is assumed to be magically there in science, it’s there and we will find out how and why eventually, maybe. Saying God did it but not proving that God exists isn’t scientific and is an assertion that can only be justified by faith which is only what you believe. There could be a God and many atheists will say that but we want proof and the bible isn’t proof.

    “Such information had to be supplied by the creator of the Earth.”
    As a scientist, did you test it? Or are you just accepting what you have been told already?”
    One: I’m not a scientist, but I understand the process. Two: People had all kinds of claims of how the earth was created and so on back then but no way to test it. Many theorists, like Darwin or Galilalo had no way to test their theories but they were proven right later when humans had the tools needed to test them.
    Three: Such information could have been guessed.

    I don’t trust the bible or any religious text because there are parts in them that end up contradicting themselves, it is not a good moral guide from what I have read, and nobody can seem to agree on the correct interpretation of it. If God was going to give us a book that told us how to live and all those wonderful things like creation, because it is God there should be no issues with interpretation, no moral contradictions, and everyone would agree. What I find is many don’t read the whole bible and only follow along with their preacher. So even though I’m an atheist I’m taking on this task of actually reading the whole bible and I promote it because you can’t fully understand a religion without reading all of their texts. If I gain faith from reading it I will be extremely surprised.

  18. Rob says:

    “I, as well as most humans on this Earth, have virtually no understanding of Particle physics.”

    Well you should fix that because to fully understand what the scientists are talking about when you get into the more complex issues in the big bang theory you need to understand particle physics. Just like in order to understand evolution you need to know and understand many parts of biology, bio chemistry, and geneology. I’ve watched hudreds of hours of lecture by people who actually teach this stuff plus all the creation vs evolution debates and even parts of the court cases that threw the creationists out and caught them lying. I’m a natural skeptic so I’ll always trust the scientific process and those who follow it before I trust bronze age philosophers.

  19. METALBILLYJOE says:

    Chuck here in Florida :

    Robert LaRiviere :I hope Mr. Lacich doesn’t think too highly of himself, even though he feels he is brighter than Mr. Hawking. A law doesn’t need a backdrop upon which to work; it is the backdrop. The universe “functions” because of these laws, not in spite of them. Why do you folks have such difficulty with spontaneous generation? Doesn’t God create out of nothing? Doesn’t that refute the second law of thermodynamics? If you are going to believe in magic, don’t try to justify it by means of the system you are criticizing. If you don’t believe a theory, great! Disprover it, but don’t attempt to argue against it by using it’s syntax. It is science that has drug us up out of the bog of prehistory. Religion would still have us grunting in the muck and believing in invisible super beings.

    ————————————————–
    Why do some so easily accept spontaneous generation, but totally disredard a more plausible explanation= GOD. Both require faith, do they not?
    Yes,religion in general, certainly would have us considerably more backward had science not have enlightened us in many ways! Imagine a world today, had the Catholic Church had it’s way without interruption!
    But just because all these religions “claim” to represent God, does not mean he agrees.
    However, just 2 simple examples in the bible, show that, while it was not written to be a scientific manual, what scientific information it supplies is more accurate than science was for many generations. Test it. Open your Bible to Job 26:7. Keep in mind that this text was written in the 15th century B.C.E. It reads: “[God] is stretching out the north over the empty place, hanging the earth upon nothing.” Next, turn to Isaiah 40:22, noting that the book of Isaiah was written in the eighth century B.C.E. This verse reads: “There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth” In those days, what did the scientists believe the Earth to be shaped like? Did they imagine it “hanging upon nothing”??
    Such information had to be supplied by the creator of the Earth.

    It has been proven that when they refer to the “circle of the earth” they speak of a non spherical form. christopher columbus had many christian followers that told him he was wasting his time. When he came back from his journey and told everyone his theory, he had been arrested because it wasnt what the bible had said about earth. that shows right there that even the religious people of that time believed the world was flat because the bible stated it was in that verse. another reason to believe that the bible is completely man made.

  20. Rob says:

    “Such information had to be supplied by the creator of the Earth”
    That opens up another question. Why does God not speak to us now? I’ve asked for a personal relationship with God or some kind of evidence that would prove to me without a doubt of its existance but I get nothing for 10 years I’ve had no signs to confirm what all these religions tell me. An all intelligent being would more than likely leave some way of communication for us to see. The bible only seems to be written by man and there is no proof that it wasn’t. About hanging upon nothing, there were many theories and believe it or not Bagdhad was the technological center of the world at one time and many other ancient cultures had extensive knowledge of the stars for their time and I can almost bet that some have seen spheres in the skies floating in a see of black. Hmmmm what kind of hypothosis would that create? Of course Islam took over and they fell into the dark ages as most religions tend to do. So many things non-religious people have created or discovered for us. You wouldn’t even be able to do this if it wasn’t for a gay guy.

  21. Chuck here in Florida says:

    Such information had to be supplied by the creator of the Earth”That opens up another question. Why does God not speak to us now? — As of now, God has spoken to us to the extent he wishes to and had it written down in the bible for all to read on an equal basis.— I’ve asked for a personal relationship with God or some kind of evidence that would prove to me without a doubt of its existance but I get nothing for 10 years I’ve had no signs to confirm what all these religions tell me. — Some were seeking a sign in Jesus day as well and he told them, in so many words. no. “all these religions” mostly no longer have a clue what the bible teaches. They teach what is traditional religious thought, not the bible truths the original christians believed. For an individual to expect a personal sign from God is presumtuous. God does not owe us anything.—An all intelligent being would more than likely leave some way of communication for us to see.— I don’t agree. I see no reason to expect the creator of the universe to comply with what an individual thinks he should do. He had the bible written and it has sufficed for me for over 30 years. I don’t need a sign, nor have I done anything so exceptional to deserve such one on one contact with God.— The bible only seems to be written by man and there is no proof that it wasn’t. — That’s your opinion and a good reason for you to not expect a thing from God.—About hanging upon nothing, there were many theories and believe it or not Bagdhad was the technological center of the world at one time and many other ancient cultures had extensive knowledge of the stars for their time and I can almost bet that some have seen spheres in the skies floating in a see of black. Hmmmm what kind of hypothosis would that create? Of course Islam took over and they fell into the dark ages as most religions tend to do. So many things non-religious people have created or discovered for us.— You don’t sound like anyone looking for a personal relationship with God to me. You sound like you feel you are pretty much “all knowing” by yourself?— You wouldn’t even be able to do this if it wasn’t for a gay guy.— No doubt! Gay guys [as you put it] have accomplished many things. However, if you are going to claim to believe in God as a creator, it’s not too hard to figure out what his intentions were for sexual relations. It wasn’t Adam and Ed.

  22. Rob says:

    Chuck: So your saying that the bible is the only “true” book? Have you read the thing? It shows God exactly opposite the God I was tought about in church, home, and school(Catholic School). I feel that nobody really knows and science is a way of knowing but at the same time science doesn’t claim to know everything. The wonderful thing about science is that it searches for things we don’t know and tries to answer it as best as possible. Many leaps have been made in understanding the universe and all that we know to exist. We can’t assume, even if it’s in our holy books, that there is anything supernatural when we look for answers using the scientific process.

    Your right I’ve given up on looking for God, God can find me if it wants to and it knows how to find me and make it possible for me to believe in it, and I got lots of questions.

    Islam was in control in Bagdhad at that time before it fell. It was a scholar of some kind that preached math to be evil and so they abandoned it and never evolved. Some people wish that here in the states but thanks to our constitution they can’t do anything but follow our secular laws which are the best laws ever put into a countries legislation.

    Sure it wasn’t Adam and Ed thats absolutly rediculous but none the less homosexual behavior is found in a wide variety of species. It has been proven that it’s not a choice. I call it natures population control. When people protest homosexuality and assert that it’s a choice it is no different than asserting that being born male or female is a choice. We are who we are and need to respect each other regardless if we approve of each others personal lives.

    Looking through history religion has done more bad than good. Many people have died in the name of some God but never in the name of science. Sure science made the atom smasher but the military made it into a bomb. Science didn’t intend to make a weapon. That just proves that knowledge comes with responsibilities. I trust the scientists with that responsibility and not any religion.

    I’ve also noticed that almost all religions but the original pagan religions look foward to the death of the world. They act like they want it to come and soon. To me that is a bad way to think. Life is good, why would you want it to end?

    Anyways, science doesn’t know everything and we can’t expect it to. Maybe Hawkings didn’t say it the way he wanted to, or because many of you bible believers take things in different interpretations, you may have misinterpreted his words.

    Quantum physics tells us that nothing isn’t really nothing. Actually your made up of 90% nothing because 90% of every atom in your body is nothing. Side note: nothing is referred to the empty space that we see between matter. Quantum physics also show that nothing is unstable and matter can appear and dissapear at random. It is complex and confusing and takes some critical thinking to even understand it. I watched about 5 lectures on it before I could grasp even a small amount of it.

    A word of advice for the religious. If you want to critique science, don’t involve God or any part of any religion. You will be laughed at and ignored because science doesn’t deal with religion. Some get it and some don’t but until there is imperical evidence of any God science won’t accept it.

    Oh and what about bisexuals? Or those with gender dysphoria?

  23. Stephen Rocking says:

    You admitted not having an IQ of 160, so I would suspect it’s more like 100 to 110. Therefore, leave the thinking to the great minds! You apparently don’t have a problem being a sheep in the flock via faith, so I want you to do the following! Since you like being a servant you will de-convert from your religion/religious beliefs and BE A DEVOTED FOLLOWER OF HAWKING, YOUR NEW GOD! The biblical gOD is a myth, nothing more!

  24. Dan Lacich says:

    KJ,
    Feel free make an ad hominem argument if you think that moves the discussion forward. Lots of other folks have responded by dealing with the philosophical arguments. Presenting a reasoned response is how we learn from one another. Hawking is a physicist and presents his argument from that standpoint. Philosophers come at cosmology from a different direction and with different conclusions. My argument comes from that discipline. Where does yours come from?

    Oh and for the record 138-140

  25. H.S.Pal says:

    IF GOD CREATED THE UNIVERSE, THEN WHO CREATED GOD?
    Earlier it was impossible for us to give any satisfactory answer to this question. But modern science, rather we should say that Einstein, has made it an easy task for us. And Stephen Hawking has provided us with the clue necessary for solving this riddle. Actually scientists in their infinite wisdom have already kept the ground well-prepared for us believers so that one day we can give a most plausible and logically consistent answer to this age-old question. Let me first quote from the book “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking:
    “The idea of inflation could also explain why there is so much matter in the universe. There is something like ten million million million million million million million million million million million million million million (1 with eighty zeroes after it) particles in the region of the universe that we can observe. Where did they all come from? The answer is that, in quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle pairs. But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero.”
    Here the question stops. So the clue is this: if we can ultimately arrive at zero, then no further question will be raised, and there will be no infinite regression. What I intend to do here is something similar to that. I want to show that our God is a bunch of several zeroes, and that therefore no further question need be raised about His origin. And here comes Einstein with his special theory of relativity for giving us the necessary empirical support to our project.
    God is a Being. Therefore God will have existence as well as essence. So I will have to show that both from the point of view of existence as well as from the point of view of essence God is zero. It is almost a common parlance that God is spaceless, timeless, changeless, immortal, and all-pervading. Here we are getting three zeroes; space is zero, time is zero, change is zero. But how to prove that if there is a God, then that God will be spaceless, timeless, and changeless? From special theory of relativity we come to know that for light both distance and time become unreal. For light even an infinite distance is infinitely contracted to zero. The volume of an infinite universe full of light only will be simply zero due to this property of light. A universe with zero volume is a spaceless universe. Again at the speed of light time totally stops. So a universe full of light only is a spaceless, timeless universe. But these are the properties of light only! How do we come to know that God is also having the same properties of light so that God can also be spaceless, timeless? Scientists have shown that if there is a God, then that God can only be light, and nothing else, and that therefore He will have all the properties of light. Here is the proof.
    Scientists have shown that total energy of the universe is always zero. If total energy is zero, then total mass will also be zero due to energy-mass equivalence. Now if there is a God, then scientists have calculated the total energy and mass of the universe by taking into consideration the fact that there is also a God. In other words, if there is a God, then this total energy-mass calculation by the scientists is God-inclusive, not God-exclusive. This is due to two reasons. First of all, even if there is a God, they are not aware of the fact that there is a God. Secondly, they do not admit that there is a God. So, if there is a God, then they have not been able to keep that God aside before making this calculation, because they do not know that there is a God. They cannot say that they have kept Him aside and then made this calculation, because by saying that they will admit that there is a God. At most they can say that there is no God. But we are not going to accept that statement as the final verdict on God-issue, because we are disputing that statement. So the matter of the fact is this: if God is really there, then total mass and total energy of the universe including that God are both zero. Therefore mass and energy of God will also be zero. God is without any mass, without any energy. And Einstein has already shown that anything having zero rest-mass will have the speed of light. In other words, it will be light. So, if God is there, then God will also be light, and therefore He will be spaceless, timeless. So from the point of view of existence God is zero, because he is spaceless, timeless, without any mass, without any energy.
    Now we will have to show that from the point of view of essence also God is zero. If there is only one being in the universe, and if there is no second being other than that being, then that being cannot have any such property as love, hate, cruelty, compassion, benevolence, etc. Let us say that God is cruel. Now to whom can He be cruel if there is no other being other than God Himself? So, if God is cruel, then is He cruel to Himself? Therefore if we say that God is all-loving, merciful, benevolent, etc., then we are also admitting that God is not alone, that there is another being co-eternal with God to whom He can show His love, benevolence, goodness, mercy, compassion, etc. If we say that God is all-loving, then we are also saying that this “all” is co-eternal with God. Thus we are admitting that God has not created the universe at all, and that therefore we need not have to revere Him, for the simple reason that He is not our creator!
    It is usually said that God is good. But Bertrand Russell has shown that God cannot be good for the simple reason that if God is good, then there is a standard of goodness which is independent of God’s will. Therefore, if God is the ultimate Being, then that God cannot be good. But neither can He be evil. God is beyond good and evil. Like Hindu’s Brahma, a real God can only be nirguna, nirupadhik; without any name, without any quality. From the point of view of essence also, a real God is a zero. Mystics usually say that God is a no-thing. This is the real God, not the God of the scriptures.
    So, why should there be any need for creation here, if God is existentially, as well as essentially, zero?
    But if there is someone who is intelligent and clever enough, then he will not stop arguing here. He will point out to another infinite regression. If God is light, then He will no doubt be spaceless, timeless, etc. Therefore one infinite regression is thus arrested. But what about the second regression? How, and from whom, does light get its own peculiar properties by means of which we have successfully arrested the first regression? So, here is another infinite regression. But we need not have to worry much about this regression, because this problem has already been solved. A whole thing, by virtue of its being the whole thing, will have all the properties of spacelessness, timelessness, changelessness, deathlessness. It need not have to depend on any other external source for getting these properties. Thus no further infinite regression will be there.
    H. S. Pal

  26. H.S.Pal says:

    A. Circular Reasoning

    In his article ‘The other side of time’ (2000) scientist Victor J. Stenger has written that as per the theory of quantum electrodynamics electron-positron (anti-electron) pairs can appear spontaneously for brief periods of time practically out of nothing, which clearly shows that anything that has a beginning need not have to have a cause of that beginning. Here he was actually rebutting Mr. William Lane Craig’s claim that anything that has a beginning must have a cause. Electron-positron pairs begin to exist, but they have no cause of their beginning, because they appear literally out of nothing.
    From here he has concluded that our universe may also come literally out of nothing due to quantum fluctuation in the void, and therefore we need not have to imagine that God has done this job.
    But is it true that electron-positron (anti-electron) pairs are appearing literally out of “nothing”? Are scientists absolutely certain that the so-called void is a true void indeed? Because here there is a counter-claim also: God is there, and that God is everywhere. So actually nothing is coming out of “nothing”, only something is coming out of something. Here they will perhaps say: as there is no proof for God’s existence so far, so why should one have to believe that the void here is not a true void? But even if there is no proof for God’s existence, still then it can be shown that scientists’ claim that the universe has literally come out of nothing is a pure case of circular reasoning. If believers say that the void is not a true void at all, and if scientists still then hold that it is nothing but a void, then this is only because they are absolutely certain that God does not exist, and also because they think that God’s non-existence is so well-established a fact that it needs no further proof for substantiation. But if they are absolutely certain that God does not exist, then they are also absolutely certain that God is not the architect, designer, creator of our universe, because it is quite obvious that a non-existent God cannot be the architect, designer, etc. So their starting premise is this: God does not exist, and therefore our universe is definitely not the creation of a God. But if they start from the above premise, then will it be very difficult to reach to the same conclusion?
    But their approach here could have been somehow different. They could have said: well, regarding void, it is found that there is some controversy. Therefore we will not assume that it is a void, rather we will prove that it is such. Then they could have proceeded to give an alternate explanation for the origin of the universe, in which there will be neither any quantum fluctuation in the void, nor any hand of God to be seen anywhere. And their success here could have settled the matter for all time to come.
    By simply ignoring a rumour one cannot kill it, rather it will remain as it is. But if one takes some more trouble on him and exposes that it is nothing but a rumour, then it will die a natural death with no further chance of revival. Let us say that the saying that there is a God and that He is everywhere is nothing but a rumour persisting for thousands of years among mankind. What scientists have done here is this: they have simply ignored the rumour and thus kept it alive. But it would have been far better for them if they could have killed it, as suggested by me.

    B. “Circular Reasoning” Case Reexamined

    There can be basically two types of universe: (1) universe created by God, supposing that there is a God; (2) universe not created by God, supposing that there is no God. Again universe created by God can also be of three types:
    (1a) Universe in which God need not have to intervene at all after its creation. This is the best type of universe that can be created by God.
    (1b) Universe in which God has actually intervened from time to time, but his intervention is a bare minimum.
    (1c) Universe that cannot function at all without God’s very frequent intervention. This is the worst type of universe that can be created by God.
    Therefore we see that there can be four distinct types of universes, and our universe may be any one of the above four types: (1a), (1b), (1c), (2). In case of (1a), scientists will be able to give natural explanation for each and every physical event that has happened in the universe after its origin, because after its creation there is no intervention by God at any moment of its functioning. Only giving natural explanation for its coming into existence will be problematic. In case of (1b) also, most of the events will be easily explained away, without imagining that there is any hand of God behind these events. But for those events where God had actually intervened, scientists will never be able to give any natural explanation. Also explaining origin of the universe will be equally problematic. But in case of (1c), most of the events will remain unexplained, as in this case God had to intervene very frequently. This type of universe will be just like the one as envisaged by Newton: “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done.” So we can with confidence say that our universe is not of this type, otherwise scientists could not have found natural explanation for most of the physical events. In case of type (2) universe, here also there will be natural explanation for each and every physical event, and there will be natural explanation for the origin of the universe also. So from the mere fact that scientists have so far been able to give natural explanation for each and every physical event, it cannot be concluded that our universe is a type (2) universe, because this can be a type (1a) universe as well. The only difference between type (1a) and type (2) universe is this: whereas in case of (1a) no natural explanation will ever be possible for the origin of the universe, it will not be so in case of (2). Therefore until and unless scientists can give a natural explanation for the origin of the universe, they cannot claim that it is a type (2) universe. And so, until and unless scientists can give this explanation, they can neither claim that the so-called void is a true void. So scientists cannot proceed to give a natural explanation for the origin of the universe with an a priori assumption that the void is a real void, because their failure or success in giving this explanation will only determine as to whether this is a real void or not.

    C. Scientists have taken a forbidden step

    This is about scientists’ claim that our universe has originated from nothing due to a vacuum fluctuation. Here I want to show again that this claim cannot be sustained by reason.
    Abbreviation: origin of the universe from nothing due to vacuum fluctuation (OUNVF)
    We all know that the theorems in Euclidean geometry generally start with some basic assumptions that are accepted as true without any proof. These basic assumptions are called axioms. Similarly scientific theories also start with some basic assumptions. These are called postulates. So far these postulates of scientific theories were all God-independent. I am going to explain what I want to mean by the term “God-independent”. Let us suppose that P is a postulate. Now it may be the case that there is a God. Or it may be the case that there is no God. Now let us suppose it is the case that there is a God, and we find that P is not affected. Again let us further suppose that it is the case there is no God, and again we find that in this case also P is not affected. Then we can say P is God-independent. But in the case under consideration the basic assumption with which scientists start is not at all God-independent. Rather we can say that it is very much God-dependent. Their basic assumption here is this: the void is a real void, and it is nothing but a void. Now if it is the case that there is a God, then this assumption is very much affected, because the void is no longer a real void. If, and only if, it is the case that there is no God, then only it is a real void. Therefore when scientists are saying that the void is a real void, then they are also saying it indirectly that it is the case there is no God, or, that it is a fact there is no God. But my question here is this: are these scientists now in a position to say so? Have their knowledge of the empirical world and its laws and its workings up till now made them competent enough to declare at this stage that there is no God? Because here two points will have to be considered:
    1) They have not yet been able to give a natural explanation for the origin of the universe.
    2) Similarly they have not yet been able to give a natural explanation for the fact that our universe has become habitable for life, whereas it could have been barren and lifeless as well.
    Now it may so happen that scientists completely fail to give any natural explanation for both 1) and 2). In that case will it not be too early for them to suppose that the void is a real void? Because if they are unsuccessful, then they do not know whether there is a God or not, and therefore neither do they know whether the void is a real void or not. But if they are successful, then they definitely know that there is no God. Then only they can say that the void is a real void. So we can say that 1) and 2) are two hurdles that the scientists must have to cross before they can arrive at a place from where they can boldly declare that God does not exist. This is the place that may be called scientists’ heaven. Because once they can reach there, then they will have no hesitation to deny the existence of God. Because now they have explained the alpha and omega of this universe, starting from its origin up to the coming of man on earth and further beyond, and nowhere they have found any hand of God influencing the course of events in any way. But, to arrive at that place can they take any undue advantage? Or, can they try to reach there by any unfair means? Can they already assume that there is no God, and based on that assumption, can they try to cross any one, or both, of these two hurdles? But in case of 1) they have just done that. That is why I want to say that OUNVF is a pure case of circular reasoning.

  27. Chuck in Florida says:

    Jesus was quite clear on who he was. Son of God, Son of Man. Messiah. He never said I am God. People have made that up from wrong conclusions on a few other scriptures. I know, I know, Jesus was asked “show us God” and he replied, “If you have seen me, you have seen the father” But, his deciples never thought for a second that he was coming straight out saying “I AM GOD” Jesus was just a perfect example of what God is like and all that his deciples could ever see. The bible also says “No man can see God and yet live” So, they didn’t see God when they saw Jesus. They saw who Jesus said he was, the son of God.

  28. Chuck in Florida says:

    It has been proven that when they refer to the “circle of the earth” they speak of a non spherical form. christopher columbus had many christian followers that told him he was wasting his time. When he came back from his journey and told everyone his theory, he had been arrested because it wasnt what the bible had said about earth. that shows right there that even the religious people of that time believed the world was flat because the bible stated it was in that verse. another reason to believe that the bible is completely man made.

    Can I just make a simple statement like that? “IT HAS BEEN PROVEN yada yada” With no facts? Columbus faced religion, not the bible. Yes, those apostate religionists of his day were in the wrong, just as most are on most subjects today, that relate to the bible. So called “Religious people” of that time were as far from following Jesus’ example as you can get! They were murderous people who tried to physically force others to comply with their false concepts! No reason at all to believe that the bible was manmade-just that those “claiming” to represent it, did not do so and certainly do not today either!

  29. Dan Lacich says:

    Chuck

    Thanks for the comments. On the subject of Jesus being God incarnate I would direct you to a blog I wrote on that some time ago
    https://provocativechristian.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/provocative-bible-verses-is-jesus-god/
    I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
    Dan

  30. zack piche says:

    STOP BEING SO IGNORANT!! The writer of the article has misunderstood Hawking’s words. What Hawking was implying is only how the the universe came to shaping itself into the form we see it in today. He is saying God did not have to shape and form things from the time of the big bang(beginning of time in our universe) to make it liveable and stable. The fundamental forces of physics have the ability to “govern” matter and form it into things like gas, lightning, planets, stars, and even humans. He is not saying that before the big bang there was no matter and all of a sudden matter spontaniously generated itself and turned into stars, but that the big bang was not the beginning of everything and there was matter before it. There is no doubt that nobody on this earth has a possible explanation of who or what designed the beautiful laws of physics, or the designers reasons for doing so, but it is the LAWS OF PHYSICS THAT CREATED OUR UNIVERSE.
    And calling Hawking illogical is like calling Uncle Sam unpatriotic, it goes against their very nature. Hawking has devoted his entire life, literally his entire life, to the unbiased study of the essence of our reality. I trust in his words over any religous follower becuase you are just that, a follower. The day you start thinking for yourselves and stop believing everything your told, humanity will finally have reached the future we all dream about. The one where we are capable of anything because everyone is an explorer in their own creative way. Maybe then we can conquer our universe and maybe then “god” will present himself in all his mysterious glory. But we need not make up things about him to find a reason to live, for the universe around us is INFINITELY wonderful and inspiring and if you are creative and knowledegable enough you can decide what god is for yourself. And the god you create will be many times more beautiful and spiritual than the god we read about in the bible. Anyone is capable of learning the nature of our universe from quantum physics to the creation of life(evolution!!!!) and when you find the truth behind how we came into existence you will have reached enlightenment and you will have no need for church or heaven and hell or jesus becuase they are ugly and silly compared to the beauty of truth. Or maybe your not capable of this journey, in which case you should stay in church and die ignorant.

  31. Dan Lacich says:

    Zack
    It is interesting to me that at one time Hawking saw a place for God in the creation of the universe but now does not. At one point he obviously thought that it was logical to think so. Later he changed his mind and came to a different “logical” conclusion. I think his first line of thinking was more in line with logic than his latest. In spite of the fact that Hawking has devoted his life to science and scientific method, he is still a man who can err like any other. He is not the embodiment of truth.

    What is even more interesting to me is that you do very little interacting with objections made to Hawking’s ideas and spend most of your response attacking the author, who happens to be me by the way. Calling someone ignorant does nothing to move the discussion forward. I also find it fascinating that you attack people who are followers of someone like Jesus because they are just that, followers. But in the same line are proud to call yourself a follower of Hawking, trusting his words over any religious follower. Why should someone trust your words, if you are also just a follower?
    It is also interesting that you combine religious and scientific language in your approach to life. The idea that the study of physics leads to enlightenment has a very Buddhist ring to it. At the least a religious ring. Could it be that your approach to physics is much like a religious devotee. If so, is your own objectivity and ability to approach things with out being blinded by preconceived notions, as clear as you think it is?
    I would love to hear what you think of the growing number of secular physicists, especially in the astrophysics field who are finding it more and more likely that a supreme creator does lie behind the existence of the universe. They are finding that the philosophical idea of the first cause or unmoved, mover, has some legitimate points to make and those points lead to a supreme being.

  32. Dan Lacich says:

    Zack
    Since the topic is of interest to you I thought I would give you a link to another blog that takes on Hawking and his logic. I would love to hear what you have to say about the substance of the discussion and not simply throw out accusations about character, intelligence or the lack there of.
    http://www.rzim.org/justthinkingfv/tabid/602/articleid/10745/cbmoduleid/881/default.aspx
    What you will find in this article is a well thought out, highly referenced discussion of what Hawking says in his book. It includes the ideas of other physicists who disagree with Hawking. I hope you will take the time to read it and reply with your thoughts.
    Dan

  33. Rob says:

    The laws of physics and quantum physics are different. Hawkings has spend most of his life trying to find how to unify those two fields. There are many unknowns and when a scientist talks about the unknowns many people take the ideas of scientist to be claims of truth. Also sure there will be other scientist that disagree, that’s part of the scientific process and it only works when all sides are looked at and the only theories/ideas that pass and are accepted are the ones that pass the testing process and have the most evidence. There are some things we don’t have all the evidence for so we have to make an educated guess that fills in the holes. However, people mistake those guesses as lies, those guesses aren’t considered fact in a theory so the hole is still there. Just because a theory has some holes doesn’t mean that the theory is wrong if it passes all other tests. You can omit words from an essay or even letters from words and you can still get an idea of what the writer is trying to say as long as the most important letters or words are still there. ou nderstand hat ‘m aying? With some thinking you can fill in the gaps to try to make better sense of things. Just remember that Hawkings is dealing with physics and quantum physics, while physics might be moderatly easy to understand, quantum physics is much harder to understand and there are many uncertainties in quantum physics. The only thing that makes quantum physics verifiable is that the math is solid and makes accurate predictions in the quantum realm. I know that most of the argument on here is that Hawkings talks about God and how what we know doesn’t require God to exist. That is most likely true as far as we can tell through imperical means. The concept of God can’t be used in any kind of scientific work because there is not proof of anything supernatural. Many site their own personal experiences but unless those can be tested and verified they don’t mean anything to science. That fact that we exist isn’t evidence of anything supernatural, imperically it is simply a unknown.

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