Stephen Hawking: God Was Not Needed To Create The Universe


Stephen Hawking says the Big Bang was the result of the inevitable laws of physics and did not need God to spark the creation of the Universe — reported in the Telegraph:

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…

[continues in the Telegraph]

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  • Mo

    I can see why he’d make that conclusion however I am inclined to disagree

    • Vox Penii

      Hawking wrote, “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.”

      Creatio Ex Nihilo

      • connie dobbs

        IN a discussion with my kooky occulty friends, we’re pointing out the similarities between Hawking’s statement and the Kabbalah. It’s not 100% correlation, as metaphysics isn’t physics physics, but the ideas are similar with the Ayn/Ayn Soph/Ayn Soph Aur – aka, the No-thing before creation.

        In any case, even if one were to *have* a creator, there would still be “something from nothing”. The creationists argument is more ignorant whining from a subculture so obsessed with their own deaths and repressing the people that they’d rather believe in a fairy tale than read a fucking book or take a class.

  • Earbudcontender

    Why he is still alive and relevant is the work God. God is trying to tricks us so we don’t figure it out. Silly God!!!!

  • Rohatsu

    Created or not isn’t the issue.
    The quickly disappearing scientific credibility for the Big Bang is, yet establishment figures like Hawking continue to ignore possibilities.

    • connie dobbs

      You’re wrong. If anything, there’s more evidence for the big bang than ever – the thing you’re missing is that the big bang is only the creation of this “local physical reality” that we are in. BBT says nothing about what happened before that, and your “disappearing scientific credibility” is actually people thinking about *that*. Science will probably never have all the answers, it is by nature incomplete. I’m sorry, but if you want to have a “complete understanding” of reality, you’ll have to do like the christians and make something up.

  • Vox Penii

    Bernard Haisch, an equally reputable astrophysicist, makes a strong case for a creator (or creators) of some kind in his book “The God Theory” > http://www.thegodtheory.com/ <

    As many scientists will admit, the odds _against_ life appearing in the universe are immense; life seems to be a cosmic fluke. As Haisch writes, “A remarkable discovery has emerged in astrophysics: that key properties of the Universe have just the right values to make life possible. Most scientists prefer to explain away this uniqueness, insisting that a huge, perhaps infinite, number of unseen universes must therefore exist, each randomly different from the other. That way ours only appears special because we could not exist in any of the other hypothetical universes.”

    • Haystack

      Infinite universes, or an oscillating universe, are a perfectly reasonable extrapolation from the anthropic principle, and are plausible based on known physical principles. God just leaves you asking “Why created God?”

      • connie dobbs

        Exactly. God isn’t an answer to *anything*, it’s a place holder for “dunno”, and an excuse for “why not?” It’s lazy.

        • emperorreagan

          Unless it’s why not…party?

          Hi Dionysus!

          • David Frost

            “party”…..what about when someone just wants to live there life, be happy, and think very deeply, possibily help someone else along the way. Thats why I never really see eye to eye with the whole “life your life” attitude of new atheism, because people aren’t really oppressed into living a way they don’t want to live, unless they still live at home with mom and dad and don’t have the same control as everyone else. Everyone else is intelligent enough to figure out when they move out and live out in the world for a bit what they would like for themselves (yes even Republicans freely choose to watch Glenn Beck and go to Tea Party rallys even though I can’t understand why). Most people seriously grow out there “party” stage at some point, me…I grew out of mine between 24 and 25.

  • Hadrian999

    smart way to sell a book and get tons of free publicity

  • connie dobbs

    Exactly. God isn’t an answer to *anything*, it’s a place holder for “dunno”, and an excuse for “why not?” It’s lazy.

  • Honuman

    well, where did the law of gravity come from exactly? What are the odds that a phenomenon like ‘gravity’ would come into existence. Seems to me that whatever peg you hang your hat on, there’s going to be questions about why that peg exists.

    • Andrew

      From a deterministic viewpoint, the fact that gravity exists means the odd of gravity existing are 100%.

      • WTH

        Just a reminder, you CAN”T have gravity without matter. Since the scientific view is that NO matter existed at that time, you CANNOT have an attraction of objects which is gravity. I think SH has gone of the deep end…
        grav·i·ty /ˈgrævɪti/ Show Spelled[grav-i-tee]–noun, plural -ties.
        1.the force of attraction by which terrestrial bodies tend to fall toward the center of the earth.
        2. heaviness or weight.

    • Haystack

      “Why” implies cause and effect, and cause and effect occur in time. Time is a dimension of our universe, and so it’s not meaningful to talk about what caused the universe. At least, that’s one explanation of it that I’ve heard offered by a physicist.

      On a more intuitive level, there’s no way around how weird it is that there should be anything at all.

  • Honuman

    well, where did the law of gravity come from exactly? What are the odds that a phenomenon like ‘gravity’ would come into existence. Seems to me that whatever peg you hang your hat on, there’s going to be questions about why that peg exists.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Totally irrelevant.

    All due respect to the Doctor. He certainly knows his beans in terms of quantitative cosmology. But if he’d bothered to think even for a second that what the term “God” actually means is the ultimate source of all being, entirely comprehensive and yet totally transcendant of all narrow human-defined cognitive categories, he’d have realized his inadequacy to comment on the subject.

    But you can’t be too hard on Hawking. After all, priests, bishops, elders, rabbis and mullahs for centuries have had the gnarlies to imagine that the ultimate source of being in the universe can be comprehended by their silly, narrow little tribal shibboleths. Why not him, too?

    God’s not just some old white man with a beard with a zip code in the clouds. But neither is she just a sequin-spangeled earth-mother with a two-car garage located in the primordial soup either. Certainly not just a geek in a lab coat with taped-up glasses and a bad haircut. How could God ever be any less than more than all of that?

    • Haystack

      He’s saying that the Universe doesn’t have a source. It will create itself from nothing.

      In any event, it strikes me that you’re arguing semantics. If you define “God” in much broader terms than he’s using it, than maybe he’s wrong, but he’s not making an assertion about the nature of God. He’s making an argument about whether one particular conception of God (one that lights “the blue touch paper” and sets “the Universe going”) is necessary to explain creation. If your idea of God is different than that, then Hawking’s argument is not addressed to you.

  • Peter G Kinnon

    Of course Hawkins’ book proves nothing. There is no more hard evidence for Hawkins’ own wild fantasies than the rather silly notion of a god anyway. The latter idea being merely a legacy of the many superstitious myths passed down from primitive peoples.
    Firstly let me point out an irritating and very common popular misperception .
    Stephen Hawkins is NOT a scientist.
    He is a theoretical physicist and in common with others of his kind (Brian Greene and Lee Smolin, for instance) must properly be viewed as a science fiction writer who mostly uses the simple language of mathematics for his works.
    You see, science is an evidence-based domain.
    And there is not the slightest shred of hard evidence for, say, the eleven spatial dimensions at present favoured by string theorists. Or of the “branes” beloved of Hawkins. I am not knocking these people. The world needs dreamers. Science fiction, whether written in mathematics or natural language, is a playground of the imagination from which important ideas that correspond to the real world sometimes emerge. But until any ideas are backed up by evidence they are certainly not part of science.
    But to address the main topic, Hawkins’ latest natural language interpretation, “The Grand Design”. We at last see him starting to break away from the quasi-religious mindset, strangely so common among theoretical physicists. Unfortunately he then launches back into the SF realm of “M” theory. Not only is this completely devoid of evidence, it, like the Everett model of parallel universes, is extraordinarily extravagant.
    This contrasts with the evolutionary model of our observed universe which is described in my book “Unusual Perspectives”. Although certainly allowing of the speculation of a multiplicity of universes, UP offers much greater parsimony, and, for its primary theme, a solid evidential basis.
    My present work “The Goldilocks Effect” is a rather more straightforward treatment of this evolutionary model and will be soon ready for publication. Meanwhile, “Unusual Perspectives” is available in its entirety for free download from the eponymous website.

    • Haystack

      Theory is part of science. A good theory offers a plausible explanation for a phenomenon in terms of known physical principles, and draws falsifiable predictions which may be evaluated by experimentalists. So, for example, General Relativity accounted for such anomalies as the perihelion advance of the planet Mercury, and it predicted such phenomena as light deflection. These predictions were confirmed by experimentalists. In your view, Einstein was not a scientist because he did not personally carry out the experiments which confirmed his theory, which you would regard as a work of science fiction.

      Hawkins does not claim to have proven anything. The first line of the article says “The scientist has claimed that no divine force was needed to explain why the Universe was formed.” Stating that the Universe can be explained in terms of physical principles is not the same as disproving the existence of a divine being; it just makes a god an unnecessary component of a creation theory.

      Your basic misunderstandings of how science works lead me to conclude that your books are probably not worth reading.

  • Haystack

    Theory is part of science. A good theory offers a plausible explanation for a phenomenon in terms of known physical principles, and draws falsifiable predictions which may be evaluated by experimentalists. So, for example, General Relativity accounted for such anomalies as the perihelion advance of the planet Mercury, and it predicted such phenomena as light deflection. These predictions were confirmed by experimentalists. In your view, Einstein was not a scientist because he did not personally carry out the experiments which confirmed his theory, which you would regard as a work of science fiction.

    Hawkins does not claim to have proven anything. The first line of the article says “The scientist has claimed that no divine force was needed to explain why the Universe was formed.” Stating that the Universe can be explained in terms of physical principles is not the same as disproving the existence of a divine being; it just makes a god an unnecessary component of a creation theory.

    Your basic misunderstandings of how science works lead me to conclude that your books are probably not worth reading.

  • Haystack

    He’s saying that the Universe doesn’t have a source. It will create itself from nothing.

    In any event, it strikes me that you’re arguing semantics. If you define “God” in much broader terms than he’s using it, than maybe he’s wrong, but he’s not making an assertion about the nature of God. He’s making an argument about whether one particular conception of God (one that lights “the blue touch paper” and sets “the Universe going”) is necessary to explain creation. If your idea of God is different than that, then Hawking’s argument is not addressed to you.

  • William Simpson

    So much knowledge, yet so little common sense.

    Stephen Hawkings new book “The Grand Design” is another feeble attempt by an ever-increasing and cluelessly unsuspecting myriad of scientists, academicians and authors to try to disprove the reality of GOD. Enough already… They really have nothing new to say.

    http://wsimpson.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/stephen-hawkings-new-book-will-surely-deceive/

  • GMAB!

    I am no scientist, however, being of logical mind, no laws would have existed before the “big bang”. There is no “proof” in all the universe or on earth as a spontaneous creation. Anything that gets created in our real world is already here in existence under the laws that exists at this time. I know SH is smart and all but even he should know basics, WITHOUT MATTER THERE IS NO GRAVITY!!!!!!! SH fudged that bucket!.

  • GMAB!

    I am no scientist, however, being of logical mind, no laws would have existed before the “big bang”. There is no “proof” in all the universe or on earth as a spontaneous creation. Anything that gets created in our real world is already here in existence under the laws that exists at this time. I know SH is smart and all but even he should know basics, WITHOUT MATTER THERE IS NO GRAVITY!!!!!!! SH fudged that bucket!.

  • WTH

    Just a reminder, you CAN”T have gravity without matter. Since the scientific view is that NO matter existed at that time, you CANNOT have an attraction of objects which is gravity. I think SH has gone of the deep end…
    grav·i·ty /ˈgrævɪti/ Show Spelled[grav-i-tee]–noun, plural -ties.
    1.the force of attraction by which terrestrial bodies tend to fall toward the center of the earth.
    2. heaviness or weight.

  • TatoSUFI

    PHILOSOPHIA PERENNIS.

    The Old Lady’s TORTOISE (Hinduism)
    and DRAGON (Taoism) are symbols for
    WAVE (energy), both are analog with MAGEN
    DAVID (Judaism). “Snow White and
    the Seven Dwarfs” is the metaphor, and also similar with allegory of
    rituals Thawaf circling around the
    Ka’ba and Sa’i oscillating along “the
    sinus” Marwah-Shafa (seven times) during
    the Hajj pilgrimage (Abraham). CROSS (Christian) and SWASTIKA (Buddhism) are symbols for “Balance of
    Nature.”

    “A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME – From the Big Bang to Black
    Hole” by Stephen W. Hawking is the best scientific interpretation of AL
    QUR’AN by a non believer. It is also a “genuine bridge stone” for comprehensive
    study of Theology. Surprise, this paradox is a miracle and blessing in disguise
    as well. It should be very wise and challenging for Moslem scholars and others to
    verify my discovery, for then we should know
    the Mind of GOD.

    I am just “ordinary people,” so would you mind correcting my point
    of view. Thank you.

    Please, see pictures:
    http://neosufi-tato.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous

    PHILOSOPHIA PERENNIS.

    The Old Lady’s TORTOISE (Hinduism)
    and DRAGON (Taoism) are symbols for
    WAVE (energy), both are analog with MAGEN
    DAVID (Judaism). “Snow White and
    the Seven Dwarfs” is the metaphor, and also similar with allegory of
    rituals Thawaf circling around the
    Ka’ba and Sa’i oscillating along “the
    sinus” Marwah-Shafa (seven times) during
    the Hajj pilgrimage (Abraham). CROSS (Christian) and SWASTIKA (Buddhism) are symbols for “Balance of
    Nature.”

    “A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME – From the Big Bang to Black
    Hole” by Stephen W. Hawking is the best scientific interpretation of AL
    QUR’AN by a non believer. It is also a “genuine bridge stone” for comprehensive
    study of Theology. Surprise, this paradox is a miracle and blessing in disguise
    as well. It should be very wise and challenging for Moslem scholars and others to
    verify my discovery, for then we should know
    the Mind of GOD.

    I am just “ordinary people,” so would you mind correcting my point
    of view. Thank you.

    Please, see pictures:
    http://neosufi-tato.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous

    PHILOSOPHIA PERENNIS.

    The Old Lady’s TORTOISE (Hinduism)
    and DRAGON (Taoism) are symbols for
    WAVE (energy), both are analog with MAGEN
    DAVID (Judaism). “Snow White and
    the Seven Dwarfs” is the metaphor, and also similar with allegory of
    rituals Thawaf circling around the
    Ka’ba and Sa’i oscillating along “the
    sinus” Marwah-Shafa (seven times) during
    the Hajj pilgrimage (Abraham). CROSS (Christian) and SWASTIKA (Buddhism) are symbols for “Balance of
    Nature.”

    “A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME – From the Big Bang to Black
    Hole” by Stephen W. Hawking is the best scientific interpretation of AL
    QUR’AN by a non believer. It is also a “genuine bridge stone” for comprehensive
    study of Theology. Surprise, this paradox is a miracle and blessing in disguise
    as well. It should be very wise and challenging for Moslem scholars and others to
    verify my discovery, for then we should know
    the Mind of GOD.

    I am just “ordinary people,” so would you mind correcting my point
    of view. Thank you.

    Please, see pictures:
    http://neosufi-tato.blogspot.com

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