Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest theoretical physicists of our time, has concluded that God is not necessary as an explanation for the creation of the universe. Such is part of Hawking’s upcoming book, “The Grand Design.”
Hawking’s assertion is based upon the idea that physical laws of the universe inevitably lead to the spontaneous creation of the universe, without the necessity of a creator or any other kind of “first cause.”
Hawking seems to base his conclusion on something called “M Theory,” a model for the universe that assumes 11 dimensions and seems to explain both the origin and the nature of the universe.
Of course, Hawking’s attempt to use physics to bury God will likely not be very convincing to people of faith any more than Richard Dawkins’ attempt to use evolutionary biology to accomplish the same thing. For one thing, “M Theory” has not been proved by experiment, a process that is ongoing with the Large Hadron Collider, for example. “M Theory” is just the latest in an ongoing attempt to reconcile quantum physics and relativity and to create a unified explanation for the universe.
For another thing, if the laws of physics are sufficient to explain the creation of the universe, then how did they come into being?
One thing is for certain, though: Stephen Hawking has ignited a new discussion about the nature of the universe, the nature of God, and how the two may interrelate. Graham Farmello, author of a biography of Paul Direc and a skeptic of Hawking’s assertion, has a more cynical idea for why Hawking decided to try to kill God once and for all, at least as a creator:
“The science-religion relationship, in so far as there is one, continues to be a crowd-pleaser. It seems to be a fundamental law of PR that the God-science debate is a sure-fire source of publicity. Always welcome when one has a book to sell.”
Richard Dawkins and a number of other authors on both sides of the God debate have certainly found that out to their great profit.
Stephen Hawking has certainly mastered the art of public relations. His “A Brief History of Time,” published over 20 years ago, established his position as a celebrity scientist. Hawking has appeared in numerous science documentaries and has even had guest appearances on “Star Trek” and “Futurama.”
Hawking recently made waves by suggesting that, for humanity to survive, it must start colonizing other worlds. The idea is that a human race confined to one planet will inevitably succumb to some kind of manmade or natural disaster. Hawking has also asserted that first contact with aliens might end badly for humans.
“The Grand Design” is scheduled to publish Sept. 7.
Sources: God did not create the universe, says Hawking, Michael Holden, Reuters, September 2nd, 2010
The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, Bantam, 2010
Has Stephen Hawking ended the God debate?, Graham Farmello, UK Telegraph, September 3rd, 2010
Stephen Hawking — Space Settlements Needed to Save Human Race, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, August 10th, 2010
Stephen Hawking – ‘Don’t Talk to Aliens’, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, April 25th, 2010