Blogging Stephen Hawking’s “Did God Create the Universe?” (Discovery Channel Special)

Stephen Hawking’s Discovery Channel presentation, Did God Create the Universe?, premiered on American television last night, and I took notes. The production values were high and the content was interesting.

The program consisted of six segments of about 8-10 minutes each, divided by commercial breaks. The hour-long special was followed by a thirty minute panel discussion with two physicists and a theologian (Sean Carroll and Paul Davies were the physicists; John Haught was the theologian). There were also some brief video clips of three other physicists responding to Hawkings’s ideas about God, the most well-known being Michio Kaku.

Segment 1 (the first ten minutes): The film began with a reflection on two ways of approaching eclipses of the sun, the take-home question being the following: when you think about natural phenomena, will you be a Viking or a Greek scientist? This was illustrated by dramatic depictions of sky-gazing Vikings (picture them unshaven and passionate in animal skins) contrasted with the sky-gazing ancient astronomer Aristarchos of Samos (picture him considerably calmer and cleaner, standing alone).

The Vikings, you see, mythologized eclipses, imagining them to be the result of a sky wolf moving through the heavens. They responded accordingly, gathering together to shout at the wolf whenever he appeared. This, they believed, would make him go away. The Vikings, therefore, not only misinterpreted what an eclipse is, they also committed a correlation-causation fallacy whenever one appeared (imagining that shouts at the wolf’s shadow caused the eclipse to go away).

The Vikings are a trope for the religious masses of mankind. They gather in passion-driven hordes, imagine the gods responsive to their collective cries, and mythologize and misinterpret their experiences.

Stephen Hawking wishes people would stop doing that.

Cut, therefore, from the pathetic Vikings to rational, brave, and independent Aristarchos. He is depicted solitary on a beach looking up into an eclipse and contemplating it (like Stephen Hawking contemplates the sky from his wheelchair). Aristarchos concluded something very different from the Vikings about eclipses: he decided that they were governed by natural processes, not the activity of gods. He also drew a surprising conclusion from what he observed: the earth is a sphere and the moon goes around it, sometimes blocking the sun.

Take-home message: the cosmos is a machine, and the things that occur in it are best presumed to be lawful, never supernatural, in nature.

Cut to a commercial for wrestling on Pay-Per-View.

Segment 2: This portion opens with Stephen Hawking applying the Viking vs. Aristarchos analogy to his own condition: some might interpret Stephen Hawking’s confinement to a wheelchair as punishment for his nonbelief in God. That would be a Viking-style conclusion. Hawking, however, sees it as a natural phenomenon. That’s an Aristarchos-style conclusion.

Cut to a tennis court. Here, people are not in wheelchairs, but hitting balls with rackets. Tennis is introduced to illustrate a distinction: there are humans’ rules and nature’s rules.

Tennis intermixes both. Court size and net height, for example, are determined by humans, and these can be changed if humans agree to do so.

But tennis is also subject to nature’s rules, and they are of a very different order. Once the tennis ball leaves the racket, immutable physical laws—laws that are unvarying, independent of us, and true for all places and times—take over completely and determine exactly where the ball will land. The laws governing ball behavior are based on gravity, momentum, etc. No gods need apply to help anything along.

Tennis balls constitute a segue to depictions of Galileo looking through his telescope at some other balls: the moons orbiting Jupiter. Galileo, we are told, surmised (like Aristarchos) that the earth, in addition to being a planet with a moon, is also a planet that orbits the sun.

This view was a no-no because the pope didn’t agree. Galileo’s reward for his unapproved scientific speculation was trial by Catholic authorities, narrow escape from execution, and (ultimately) house arrest.

He died nine years later.

The take-home message of segment 2: natural laws are invariant and can suck, but they still have to be obeyed. There’s no escaping them, and there’s no praying or wishing them away. Human laws can suck too, but we can change those. We don’t have to, for example, hinder the work of scientists by putting them on trial and consigning them to house arrest for religious heresies.

Remember that because, in the next segment, Stephen Hawking is going to set out his case against God, turning the tables on Him. God Himself will be on trial, and it will be up to us to render judgement on whether Hawking succeeds in plausibly consigning God to house arrest; that is, to marginalized irrelevance.

Talk about Galileo’s revenge! 

Segment 3: The metaphor at work in this segment is that of the cookbook: what ingredients are required to cook up a universe? Hawking highlights three key things: matter, energy, and space. This leads to a discussion of Einstein’s conclusion that matter and energy are really two sides of the same coin, and so you just need two key ingredients to make a cosmos: energy and space. By thinking about energy and space, we can address the question of whether God created the universe.

But first there is a commercial for Geiko car insurance.

Segment 4: This segment starts with Hawking recounting a bit of his biography as a child growing up in post-World War II England where his father would frequently say the following:

You can’t get something for nothing!

Au contraire, says the adult Stephen. He interprets the laws of quantum physics as permitting whole universes to come into existence out of nothing. He reasons thus: Since the laws of physics require the existence of negative energy as well as positive energy—and quantum laws are probabilistic—you can get positive energy simply by balancing it with negative energy. 

Protons, for example, pop in and out of existence from the vacuum of space all the time. But they are accompanied by anti-protons. So long as things balance out to zero, you can get these fluctuations from nothing.

Hawking’s metaphor in support of this idea is that of hill and hole. If you build a hill on a flat plain, then you will have to dig a hole of equal size. So long as you dig a hole of equal size, you can have your hill.

And here’s the kicker: Hawking says that space is the plain where our energy hills and holes are balanced out. In other words, space is a vast store for negative energy, and not just a store for what we see and experience. Space balances out positive energy with negative energy.

Hawking’s conclusion:

If the universe adds up to nothing, then you don’t need a god to create it.

Cut to soup commercial. But who can eat? Hawking has just told us the universe adds up to a big nothing, and has dispatched God.

Segment 5: The metaphor for this segment is the chain of causation. Imagine a river. What makes its conditioned existence possible? Rain. And what makes the rain’s conditioned existence possible? The sun evaporating water from oceans, turning it to clouds. And what makes the sun possible? Hydrogen. And where did hydrogen come from? The big bang.

And where did the big bang come from? Well, here we get the conclusion on which Hawking hangs his atheism: the itsy-bitsy thingy that hopped out of the quantum void and that banged started off smaller than a proton. So, if protons can hop out of the quantum void for no obvious reason, then why couldn’t our cosmos have done the same?

That’s Hawkings’s reasoning. The quantum laws just are. Collectively—perhaps as a supersymmetry—they constitute the sole unconditioned reality (the one reality not conditioned upon anything but itself). These laws operate on probabilities, and make all conditioned realities go. (A conditioned reality is a reality made possible by the meeting of certain conditions. A horse’s existence, for example, is conditioned on cells; cells are conditioned on molecules; molecules on atoms, etc).

In short, for Hawking, all chains of causation and condition ultimately trace to physical laws and quantum fluctuations, the greatest quantum fluctuation being the big bang itself. And, since time also begins with the big bang, there was no prior time for God to brood over the surface of the deep (as Genesis 1 imagines God doing), or to do anything else for that matter.

Take-home message: just as a dramatic event like an eclipse is in fact not a miracle, but is governed by physical law, so the big bang, though a dramatic event, is also not a miracle, but governed by physical law.

Segment 6: The last segment is shorter than the previous five, and basically just sums up: no one created the universe and no one directs our fate. There is no God, no heaven, no afterlife. Don’t shoot the messenger. Have a nice day.

A few highlights from the post-episode panel discussion: Physicist Sean Carroll was most in accord with Hawking’s way of thinking, suggesting that, so long as a person’s belief in God doesn’t actually posit God doing anything in the physical universe—such as performing miracles—then Carroll doesn’t really care if she or he “goes crazy” with religious speculation. Paul Davies agreed with Carroll that miracles are things that are “ghastly” for a rational person to posit. 

Michio Kaku, via a video feed, thought Hawking’s conclusion exceeds the evidence, and predicted that, a thousand years from now, people will still be debating the God question (because it’s not ultimately answerable by science).

John Haught, the theologian on the panel, got to the gist of the divide between Hawking and religious believers with this comment:

Either you have an unexplained God or unexplained laws. 

Physicist Paul Davies expressed a similar sentiment:

That’s where the mystery lies: the laws.

I’m inclined to agree with Haught and Davies: the God question comes down to whether you believe the laws of physics just happened of themselves (or not).

I think the author of Proverbs 8:22-31 might have achieved a more correct intuition than Stephen Hawking about the source of nature’s lawfulness and ultimate rationality, which he called Wisdom:

The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was with him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

If Stephen Hawking is wrong in his surmise of the God question, it is in stopping the chain of causation one step short, making the unconditioned reality the laws of physics, not God. If God exists, S(he) is the unconditioned reality behind what are, in fact, the conditioned physical laws of the cosmos. That is, the existence of the physical laws are conditioned on the existence of God. Without God as the unconditioned reality grounding conditioned reality, nothing—including the laws of physics—would exist at all. This is the ontological step that divides the intellectual theist from the intellectual atheist.

Is that last ontological grounding step necessary?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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70 Responses to Blogging Stephen Hawking’s “Did God Create the Universe?” (Discovery Channel Special)

  1. Scientist says:

    I think Hawking is ofically insane. Gravity isn’t even technically a law. He should know that. We haven’t found gravitrons yet (particle response for gravity) saying that the law exists proves spontaneous creation is abhorrent. This is just terrible!

    • elainep says:

      What a load of rubbish. Thank you Discovery for putting on a programme about logic and reason and not superstition

    • poseidon says:

      What on earth is a gravitron? May be you need to learn how to spell the scientific buzzwords you’ve picked up from watching YouTube – perhaps you mean graviton?

  2. Matt says:

    Haught’s comment is a simple false dichotomy, so blatant as to be (almost) worthy of William Lane Craig.
    Haught’s statement (“unexplained God OR unexplained laws”) implies that positing a God explains the laws. It does no such thing.
    All his statement says is that Haught *believes* (without justification) that a God caused (in some metaphysical sense) the (otherwise unexplained) laws.
    Haught is a theologian, so the fact that he believes this is hardly surprising.

    The simple fact is this: the laws are unexplained.
    Even if one posits a God, they are *still* unexplained. Positing a God merely speaks to the beliefs of the positor. It does not carry any explanatory information about the universe.
    The existence (or not) of God is simply irrelevant to the discussion.
    And I believe this is Hawking’s point.

    • santitafarella says:

      Matt,

      One reason to posit God is the promise (at least in theory) that a complete and rational explanation of the universe is possible (at least in the mind of God). If you conclude that the laws are simply brute facts without cause that have occurred by chance, then you are saying that we live in an irrational universe (at bottom). We can reason about it, but the final explanation is “dumb luck.” To my mind, accepting the physical laws as brute facts is a surrender of rationality in principle. The universe is suffused with telos everywhere, and final causes are at play everywhere, and they cry out for an ultimate explanation. Even if that ultimate explanation can go no further for us than the laws of physics, it’s not unreasonable to surmise an unconditioned reality behind the laws of physics that grounds rationality and explanation itself.

      And we call this the mind of God (as Aquinas might have put it).

      —Santi

      • Gato Precambriano says:

        The universe is suffused with telos everywhere, and final causes are at play everywhere, and they cry out for an ultimate explanation.

        Really? Where exactly is that “everywhere” where “telos” is “suffused” in the universe? I may have missed it.

      • santitafarella says:

        Gato,

        Telos does not have to be self-conscious to be telos. The moon, by the very fact that it is not haphazard in its motions, is suffused with telos. What is the moon doing? It’s orbiting the earth. That’s its telos, the end to which it moves and inclines. If it ceased its inclination to circle about the earth, it would cease to be a moon.

        What’s the hydrogen in the sun doing? It’s making light. It’s what hydrogen does. It doesn’t make light on Tuesdays and cheesecakes on Fridays. What’s the end of the hummingbird’s beak? Extraction of nectar from flowers. What’s the telos of the human brain? To think.

        All of these have proximate causes as well, of course. But the universe cries out for explanations fuller than that of atoms rustling in the void. Why is there so much regularity to the universe, and unique and individuated projects going on in it, when it might just as well have been random and irregular everywhere?

        We live in a cosmos, not a chaos. How come?

        —Santi

    • Anonymous says:

      Couldn’t have said it better

  3. elainep says:

    So what if there was or still is a God, for who gives a dam anyway, he or she must be so bad as if I had allowed tragedies to happen I would have lost my mind to think I had created such evil. Evil every day with religious leaders being the biggest hypocrites ever saying one thing and not stopping child abuse which is carried out by priests and rabbis and has been going on for decades.

  4. Colin Hutton says:

    “Is that last ontological grounding step necessary?” No.

    And that is still the answer if the word “necessary” is replaced with other possibilities, such as useful; sensible; explanatory; meaningful.

    • santitafarella says:

      Colin,

      Isn’t your position essentially a hunkered down one? In other words, if you simply say that the laws of physics are brute facts—they just are—and you do this in response to the fact that theists say that God just is, do two wrongs make a right?

      Don’t you have to, in short, posit a multiverse (however improbable) as an accounting mechanism for the very far from entropy (in relation to life) laws governing this universe?

      And doesn’t the multiverse still leave us with the need for at least one unconditioned reality? (That is, God again.)

      My issue (personally) is this: if atheism is true, and the buck stops with the laws, then the universe is, at its core, irrational (a product of chance). But if the God issue is kept alive, then at least (in principle) the horizon of final answers about existence is not illusory, but has explanation (at least in the mind of God). That is, the universe becomes rational.

      —Santi

      • Colin Hutton says:

        Santi

        I’m wrestling with the question of whether you’re not making sense or I’m not understanding you.

        Could I ask whether you are using the word rational in a sense that includes “meaningful”? If so I would understand (although still disagree with) your comment.

        Otherwise, if by rational you mean logical then I might have to fall back on “I think we’re just going to have to leave it at that”. (As Dawkins’ finally says to McGrath in the video you’ve posted – good stuff!)

        Colin

      • Wink says:

        Santi,

        The world is still a wonderous place even if there was no first cause billions of years ago. We are all part of the miracle of humanity.

        So what if the lightning is not caused by some god in the sky. So what if the heavens are not perfect and filled with perfect beings. The truth is even more astounding.

        We do not live on a disc in the center of it all with a heaven above. Instead, we inhabit a beautiful blue ball spinning around our sun, a giant burning hot ball of gas. And the stars we see at night are also suns. But they are incredibly far away and they are ancient with an age beyond normal comprehension.

        They are far older than all the books of man. They are far older than the most ancient of the pyramids. The stars predate even the existence of man himself. We now know the stars have existed long before there even was an Earth.

        For almost all of humanity the skies have been a mystery. But now we know the truth. Mankind is no longer the center of the Universe. But, we are still part of something very vast and very ancient.

        Peace out.

      • Gato Precambriano says:

        Don’t you have to, in short, posit a multiverse (however improbable) as an accounting mechanism for the very far from entropy (in relation to life) laws governing this universe?

        Do we? What about all that buzz about the Universe been Fine Tuned? That entropy business is suposed to be part of the “Fine Tunnig” doesn’t it?

  5. So its gods plan to kill innocent women and children because of their sect or religion. Nice plan eh.Anyone who agrees with killing is not very nice in fact is purely wicked.

  6. Debra Sutton says:

    He wants me to believe that there is no God? For me his fairy tale increased my faith in God.

    How about the law that states for each and every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    The fairy tale

    At some point in time there was no time. At this point in time(no time) there existed the two elements (matter and energy.) These two elements were contained in an incredible small contained area. Then at some point in this time/no time these two elements spontaneously exploded without any add energy to create everything in the universe and create everything.

    This weak story is why I believe in GOD!
    For those who think that one innocent persons death is Gods will for anyone. I pray that someone is in your path to explain the gift that God offers freely to everyone.

    There is no statemnt in the Bible that says if you believe in me your life will be free of hurt. What it does say is that if you belive in me the world will hate you.

    • All Fairy tales are fairy tales,but science shows proof. Which religion is the truth bythe way, Christain, jew, Muslim? If the Pope was good he would give the money the Vatican has stored in Banks to help the poor.

  7. Razorback614 says:

    Science explains how. But as much as some in science want to explain away the existence (or need) for God, it will never be done. God’s existence can’t be tested or falsified.

    It boils down to morality. Not the morality right wing televangelist spout, but the morality of our purpose as humans. Are we simply a product of chance and natural selection, or are we here for a reason with purpose from a God?

    It is much easier and less stressful to think we are here b/c of chance. No one to answer to, and no one to judge us for our moral decisions. (except human laws)

    • Anonymous says:

      Easier and less stressful, eh? No one to guide us, no one whom we can ask “are we doing this right?” Or “am I making the right choice?” Just us, aware of our own existence because a bunch of chemicals combined in a way that allowed those chemicals to reproduce imperfect copies of those combinations. You think that’s easier and less stressful do you? That we humans alone are responsible for our own moral progress and the moral progress of our species? That we have to decide what is right and wrong based on nothing more than our own intuitions and the culture in which we live? Easy. Yeah.

  8. shubham says:

    i think i believe in hawkings statement because he has prove that there is no god.

  9. I believe this too. End of conversation I think as god does not seem to have appeared to help stopping abuse of children committed and covered up by the Church, he is made up by those who want to control the poor and disadvantaged. I am told that a lot of money can be made out of religion, just ask the pope.

  10. again get used to it there is no god or gods they are imaginary. Some so called religious people love to abuse children, You need reason and logic and not to be delusional to realise religion gives one the right to kill Mr.Hawking speaks sense and I would rather believe him than someone who has no prof of a god. I do not believe I have a soul so if my body turns to dust I know there is nothing left to go to an imaginary hell, that was made up to keep people in line..

  11. Gato Precambriano says:

    Telos does not have to be self-conscious to be telos.

    Yes it does if you talk about telos in any meanigfull way. Ohterwise it just doesn’t make any sense.

    But the universe cries out for explanations fuller than that of atoms rustling in the void

    I’m sorry Santi but you’re the one crying here. The Universe is just there indifferent and even hostile.

    Why is there so much regularity to the universe, and unique and individuated projects going on in it, when it might just as well have been random and irregular everywhere?

    If the only answer you can think of is ‘God’, then it’s just a lack of imagination from you.
    Or excess maybe. I’m not sure what you mean by caos, and randomness. You seams to mean not a reality with a different set of rules, but one with no rules at all, one where the stars “make light on Tuesdays and cheesecakes on Fridays”. Is that?

  12. Pingback: Hawking a aflat că nu există Dumnezeu « Cu drezina

  13. COOLANDFREDGE THINKER says:

    idjw

  14. COOLANDFREDGE THINKER says:

    IT IS A FUNCTION OF MATERIAL,NAMED BY ME OMNICONSCIOUSNESS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PHYSICAL LAW.

  15. Tuhin Paul says:

    it is a fundamental innate functions of materails for which the physical laws was come and held true. I philosophophize that fact and designated it as a name of omniconsciousness.

  16. Your daddy says:

    No fighting children there is no god and don’t mess with the ultimate genius, he prooved there is no god with proof.
    Can anyone of you proove that there exists god?

  17. Your daddy says:

    According to me religions are just a set of rules made to guide humans and the leaders of different religions (churches) just made a title GOD to create fear that if you not follow the rules of our religion,you will be punished ay God i.e. Church (see the example of GALILIO)

  18. Your daddy says:

    According to me religions are just a set of rules made to guide humans and the leaders of different religions (churches) just made a title GOD to create fear that if you not follow the rules of our religion,you will be punished by God i.e. Church (see the example of GALILIO)

  19. ankitshrivastavaaskn@gmail.com says:

    I bleve that god is present around us..According to einsten E=mc square ,it is fundamemtal equation. but i supposed that gravity is the main thing that control all world .(According to him light is fastestin speed)[BUT THE SPEED OF GRAVITY IS FASTEST EVER IN THE UNIVERSE ]Not any body in world is more powerful and unlimeted area covered than gravity.

  20. ankitshrivastavaaskn@gmail.com says:

    I beleive that god is present around us..According to einsten E=mc square ,it is fundamemtal equation. but i supposed that gravity is the main thing that control all world .(According to him light is fastestin speed)[BUT THE SPEED OF GRAVITY IS FASTEST EVER IN THE UNIVERSE ]Not any body in world is more powerful and unlimeted area covered than gravity..Because every ATOM has own gravity so in light atom gravity is present then than gravity always lead by light .

  21. ankitshrivastavaaskn@gmail.com says:

    I beleive that god is present around us..According to einsten E=mc square ,it is fundamemtal equation. but i supposed that gravity is the main thing that control all world .(According to him light is fastestin speed)[BUT THE SPEED OF GRAVITY IS FASTEST EVER IN THE UNIVERSE ]Not any body in world is more powerful and unlimeted area covered than gravity..Because every ATOM has own gravity so in light atom gravity is present then than gravity always lead by light . MY ID ankitshrivastavaaskn@gmail.com ..plz reply

  22. Tony Deeney says:

    Stephen Hawkin’s is a remarkable intelligent man. I respect his position, however, statements on this thread that he has ‘proved’ there is no God, are arrogant or ignorant.

    I am speaking as somone who was born into a ‘good’ Catholic family, and studied Physics at University and now teaches physics in a Catholic school. I have argued as a “Theist” on many forums. Sadly, I am losing my faith. It is sad, because God offers so much more than the eternity in hell, that mockers lambast believers with. God offers purpose, reason and justice.

    Science can offer little of these. It offers limited understanding and blind indiference. Science cannot invoke God as an explanation, because God is not an explanation. S/He remains a possibility, but unless appears to an enormous number people in a repeatable, verifyable manner, science has nothing to say about him or her.

    Science is an observation not an explanation. Gravity attracts according to the inverse square law, This was proposed by Newton, He knew it worked, but also knew that a gravitational field is concept, not an explanation. How does a stone know that it is in a field and should fall? The field concept is a model.

    Einstiens explanation of curved spacetime is another model.. it works, that is, it fits observations, but it might not explain reality,

    So much is made of Galileo and the Pope. People ignore the fact that many astronomers of the day had an excellent working model at the time. It involved epicycles superimposed on the orbits of the planets. It fitted perfectly, but explained nothing.

    Hawkiins declares gravity can replace God.

    Well, we have NO IDEA how gravity works in NON SPACE. We have NO IDEA about the laws of physics in a singularity. We have NO EXPLANATION for observed INFLATION after the unexplained big bang. We have NO EXPLANATION for apparent acceleration of galaxys – dark energy or whatevert

    Claiming physics disproved God is arrogant, We have not even found a single Graviton!

    If Hawkin’s had said, “I don’t believe in God, ’cause I have never seen him!”
    That I respect. Or if he said “My belief in empirical research trumps all, for me.”
    That I respect. However empirical observation is devoid of purpose and is eventually lost in reductionism to the absurd, This makes sense to some but not all.

    Arguments about the lack of evidence for God. Or the evidence of the nature of God, if he exists are open to science.

    Maybe stones obey the inverse square Law because God wills it!
    Faith in unseen gravitons, unwitnessed big bangs due to unexplainable quantum fluctuations in unobservable non-space is faith, not science.

    Stephen H. is, regretably, nearing the end of his life. He has failed to find the grand theory of everything. Maybe it doesn’t exist!

    Perhaps the faster than light neutrino – if it’s true – is exciting to him. Perhaps frightening; maybe, like so many theories before, Einstien’s TOR is wrong.

    Back to the drawing board.

    God disproved, I think not.

    • elainetherave says:

      no god get used to it. Just read the many bibles that want to destroy so many in the love of a good god.

      • Tony Deeney says:

        Elaine,

        You are entitled to your position. I have indicated in my text, that I am losing my faith, but you have addressed nothing of my comment in your response. You have simply made an assertion.

        I am “used to it.” I have, and continue, to give it thought.

        I am not defending Judeo/Christian/Muslim God, or the Bible. If God exists he/she is
        probably not like the God of the Bible.

        My point is Science has not disproven God. It has explained a great deal, and yet removed none of the mystery. It PRESUPPOSES philosophic naturalism and cannot even explain the most powerful experience we all have; The Self. Gravity is not an
        explanation for the universe. Hawkins hasn’t proved anything.

      • elainetherave says:

        I apprelciate your views. But having read the conflicting stories in the bibles that were written by man I believe in science and that we evolved . I would just like you to read the bible from cover to cover and then study science for a year and then come back with your convictions that there are any gods.
        I have just been reading about trafficking in China of women and babies and young children amounting to thousands snatched from their mothers arms making money for evil people, who must have been created by god as in the bible, A child dies every second from hunger whilst the wealthy go without nothing as money talks. If god is all powerful why does he allow this to happen, if he or she exists how cruel can you be.

      • Anonymous says:

        Read what he wrote and think it out before posting again… He already said that if there is a god it is not the god of the bible. Sounds to me that he is more along the lines of a deist than any form of theism with religious doctrine attached. Also the possibility of a mean, uncaring god is not evidence that a god does not exist. I’m an atheist so no I am not suggesting god is real, but I do prefer to see atheists with strong arguments rather than reactionary rejectionism based on preference.

      • elainetherave says:

        anonymous Please lets leave it there.A god who allows evil is not one i want to believe in. Bye bye for now. Lets agree to disagree.

      • Tony Deeney says:

        @Elainetherave “A god who allows evil is not one i want to believe in.”

        Nor me. I want to believe that evil will be “put under his feet.”
        However, I am forced to conceed that if God exists then he;
        A) Cannot stop evil.
        B)Tolerates evil (at least for now).
        C) Desires (some) evil.
        D) Is indifferent about evil.
        I like none of these, but prefer B.

        Interestingly you blame God for the selfishness and ‘evil’ of men. The theologians would explain that free will requires the right to choose evil as a possibility. That is, evil is tolerated as a necessary option in favour of free will (B).

        Discussing this elsewhere gave me a great idea for a SF book which I am writing. (32000 words and counting) I have never written a book, but found my muse.

        Still I would prefer that God (if he exists) created the universe, warts and all, than not.

        I would prefer that God witnessed injustice and stayed his hand, than have it go unwitnessed.

        Of course all this is off topic, but you opened the door.

  23. Peter says:

    DID HE REALLY SAY THAT???

    Stephen Hawking just said, ‘You can’t get to a time before the big bang, because there was no, ‘before the big bang’ because there was no time for a cause to exist in. For me this means there is no possibility of a creator, because their is no time for a creator to have existed’

    Eh?
    I think it would have been more intelligent to have said, ‘For me this means that the Creator must exist outside of time, in a state of timelessness.’

    You see, IF God exists, He couldn’t possibly exist IN time because IF He did He’d be subject to change and relative to time. So IF God exists of course He has to be outside of time; timeless.

    Now the real mystery is, how come a clown like me can come up with an intelligent deduction as this and yet a respected physics professor can’t manage it?

    That’s the real mystery I can’t solve.

    Any ideas???? No replies form people with anger issues, thank-you-very-much, let’s keep it kind. (I know some of you don’t do ‘kind’ when you are talking, ‘Theist/atheist’) (also excuse the lower case ‘a’ in atheist and the upper case ‘T’ in Theist. You see IF God exists there is something that deserves respect. The atheists on the other hand, don’t recognise a creator therefore nothing to respect) (Now that wasn’t an attack…keep it kind 🙂

    • Will says:

      First off, though you may be a clown, you definitely didn’t make an intelligent deduction. You just filled in a blank in your understanding with god.
      Additionally, to comment on this:

      Any ideas???? No replies form people with anger issues, thank-you-very-much, let’s keep it kind. (I know some of you don’t do ‘kind’ when you are talking, ‘Theist/atheist’) (also excuse the lower case ‘a’ in atheist and the upper case ‘T’ in Theist. You see IF God exists there is something that deserves respect. The atheists on the other hand, don’t recognise a creator therefore nothing to respect) (Now that wasn’t an attack…keep it kind

      Atheist or Theist, they both involve human beings, which means they deserve respect on that basis alone. To request kindness and make such a base and low minded claim at the same time makes it impossible for me to take you seriously.

      • Anonymous says:

        I see what you are saying…..and I am pleased you do not take me seriously because I don’t either 🙂

  24. Anonymous says:

    He said there was NO TIME before big bang…so there is No GOD.
    TIME is for only mortal and if you are immortal then you will not bother about TIME. GOD is immortal and he do not need TIME to create big bang.

  25. R. Lundquist says:

    Big bang = big explosion. Have you ever seen an explosion create anything but destruction? Can you blow up your old car to make a new car? An automobile or a laptop computer or an aircraft carrier is a stone ax compared to the complexity of a single living cell.
    Do the math, a living organism cannot be created accidentally, regardless of how much time is given.

    • Ultimate Free Lunch says:

      This sounds convincing at first sight, however, your reasoning is faulty and the explanation of this has been given many times. It is readily available for those who care to look.

    • Will says:

      How complex is god? How complex is a car, computer, aircraft carrier, or an axe? If the latter are too complex to exist without a creator, then is god also not too complicated? To me the ultimate problem of god is he presses people to shape truth around the belief, rather than base their belief on the truth, and that kind of person can’t be trusted.

  26. Lee says:

    R. Lundquist

    There are many examples of things being created by explosions. In fact every explosion created new things. When Fuel explodes C02, CO, Water etc is produced, when stars explode elements are created which are the building blocks for all matter. Cells are made up of amino acids which in turn are made up of combinations of hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon and oxygen. The explosion simply fuses these together to produce organic cells.

    A human body is an incredibly complex organism (or even collection of independent organisms) But each component piece is relatively simple. Primitive single celled organisms could easily have been accidentally created through an explosion. Amino acids have been found on meteors and are therefore likely found throughout the universe so it is not impossible for there to be many other worlds with life.

    Why is this more implausible than an unknown, unseen, god being able to create a universe?

    Ask yourself this. If there is a God and this god is all powerful, could she/he create an immovable object?

  27. DwR says:

    So if there is a god, where did god come from, something has had to create it or did it just appear out of nothing???

    • elainetherave says:

      I agree. So many more than is thought disbelieve in gods but they have been told they will go to a place that is called hell so to be on the safe side thedy believe in a god they have nev er seen.

  28. charlespayne says:

    Thing is god was created to stop us murdering each other and to keep us under control, do lions think of god when it kills a animal, I it impossible for a god to exsist, for the universe if humans where the only intelligent spieces in exsistance then why is there endless space with endless number of galaxies for humans to travel to another galaxy it could take millions of yrs and by then you would have to populate diff planets and by the time you reach another galaxy billions of yrs would have passed, humans where created by luck, a astroid crashed millinos of yrs ago when the earth was still young and on the astroid would have been single cell organisms and eventuly thay adapted to our planet and over the course of millions of yrs thay evolved and grew into multiple cell life, even then there was war between spieces as the stongest or cleavest would have concored the weak, we just evolved from a form that had a habbit of surviving to the point of humans, but who knows millions of yrs from now we could be out concored by another species and one not even born from this world, that is just more logical then a all mighty being created adam and eve and thay populated basicly incest, if that was the case then humans would have never survived to this point becouse inbreeding causes tonnes of health issues and over millions of yrs we would be awful looking mutants who cant think or even live very long.

  29. charlespayne says:

    Gravity works like this everything has gravity from the smallest object to the largest and largest always overcomes the smallest, for instance the earth is bigger then the moon so it creates a larger force so the moon rotates around the earth but not actully colliding into us, becouse as the moon is rotating around us it creates friction that pulls it away like how 2 positive magnets push away,
    but if the moon stops spinning it will eventuly move closer to our planet and slowly start rotating but as our gravty gets stronger the moon cant rotate quick enough to cause friction so it will eventuly crash,
    same goes for the sun as it is many times larger then the earth it causes the same thing to happen so basicly following its own law,
    law is something that all thinks follow and cant change, a astroid cant head straight for earth and deside to go around us, the gravities law will stop that and cause it to crash,
    here is a test go in a car and drive down the motorway and drive 5 miles slower then a truck, you will notice nothing much happens but if you drive 40 miles slower and the truck overtakes you then you notice your war being pulled towards the truck as it is passing, that is becouse the gravity force of the truck becomes greater then the cars so you end up being pulled towards it.

  30. abbas aslam says:

    we may some times delude ourselves by believing that we have advanced to an extent that we can now take god out of the equation. but infact we know very little and that which we do know is granted to us in way of knowledge by god himself. you may believe that god can not exist because time did not exist and you may well think this is a big discovery. But god has already told us the fact that time did not exist in the quran. so you see just because time did not exist does not mean that god did not exist, god tells us that he also created time itself.
    learning and follwing your curiosity, making new discoveries and advancing are all encouraged by god. but it is arragant to prosume we now know it all. on the contrary we only know what we are gifted to know by god and are still very limited in our knowledge.
    why not see what god has to say about all of this in his recital to us ( the quran).

    • elainetherave says:

      Excuses,excuses. A woman has just been beheaded as they say she was possessed. It now seems birthdays are wicked. God in the bible killed millions. Which god is real, i have read about 2000.

  31. samuel says:

    I do belive that there is no right religion but even with all this how does matter and energy exist without something thats what i dont understand,, if there was no time ,, the fact is there will always be something to go back to and say something must of started this and working your way with science and math around can’t fool the fact that what is a black whole filled with something that makes no scince if theres been no time how was there something ,, and if something can come out of nothing how does it happen with no time its all a loop around your brain
    Fact most people I have read on this blog think people in gen are smarter than they are,, you can fool some people some of the time ,, the old saying, last point i made to think about why can something come out of nothing like they say if there is nothing your contrasting yourself

    • samuel says:

      sorry for the mispelled words and bad sentences lol but hows a black whole created lol and how if time didnt exist and nothing could happen how could any of this happen like the spark coming out of knowhere

  32. Chito says:

    Because He is God, He is not bound by time and space. He is the God “before the Big Bang, during the Big Bang, and after the Big Bang.” He manages the Universe the way He likes it in order to establish HIS order of things. The various laws which man coined to explain how God’s creation behave are as finite as man’s mind. God is in control that is why things behave as they do. He is the Word which created the Universe. By His word all things seen or unseen were created. Yes, even evil was created, so we can appreciate the contrast, His goodness. Even your own mind, so you have the freewill to accept Him or not. He gave us the Holy Bible to guide us in our civil lives, a blueprint for a living on this Earth so we can be with Him in the infinite eternity. What an awesome God He really is! He didn’t just create the vast expanse of the Universe but is mindful of a teeny-weeny man whom He created with specialness, the only creation He breathed upon. Hahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! And there was man. Wake up from your stupor man! Let go of silliness such as foolish thinking that there is no God. There is God, and He is bigger than us infinitely!
    All the things we see, feel, and experience is part of the gifts of God to us, so we can glorify Him in His greatness, omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience.

  33. Nice review. For me, the documentary was just another example that Hawking is most definitely an atheist, but for some reason is extremely unwilling to offend people of faith. If only the most prominent atheists, humanists, and secularists would speak out more strongly.
    http://coffeelovingskeptic.com/?p=1254

  34. naveen says:

    The problem is that we confine our ideas about the god as per the explanations given by various religions. to answer about a creator of universe, we must not limit the god according to our imaginations only. Unfortunately we always impose our human emotions and virtues to god’s character and judge him (I use ‘him’ only due to limit of our knowledge, it may be anything) accordingly. Definitely I respect hawking..And he may be the most intelligent living man on earth (I always doubted that compliment because I thing we cannot measure intelligence of a man in a scale) but that doesn’t mean all of his arguments must be correct. He says time before big bang (if there was one) not a matter, how can he say ? we even don’t know what resulted in that point of singularity and what was before that ,how we can say everything in universe were stationary and not time bound before big bang. There is chance of converging everything in to that point of singularity. We thing time started with big bang. it is as ridiculous as if one says years started with birth of Christ.
    Our knowledge about boundaries of universe and space is limited and depend on theories that further limited with speed of light and warping of time. We cannot say whether there are other “universes” beyond our universe. We cannot prove it. But lack of proof doesn’t mean lack of existence. Only indicate limits of our knowledge. We gathered most our knowledge about the ‘set up’ of universe during the last 600 years. And this is a very short time compared to age of universe or a god sometimes may created that universe.
    What I want to say is that don’t define the god based on various religious beliefs , if a god created this universe he must be very very powerful ,intelligent and not time bound, don’t measure his intentions about the creation of universe based on our human perspectives . And with all respect to hawking.i must say that His or all humankind’s knowledge is too immature to strike out the existence of a god

  35. ROCKWEASEL says:

    Stephen Hawking needs to find god!!! what a cosmic loser!! your money and fame will not save you Mr Hawking!!! you need to rethink your universe and make god the center piece!! then you will truly be enlightened!!! but as i see it your a idiot! and need repentance!! don’t wait too late!! many die in their own expanded knowledge! don’t be a god to yourself! repent! before you see hell! i personally lived a bad life!,was struck by a bolt of lightning and saw hell! i personally know it exists@! praise god i was given a second chance! so dont let science fool you just because your friends agree with you! they wont have any care for you in hell when they find out they are wrong! find god now!

  36. ROCKWEASEL says:

    still a idiot!!! find god hawkings!!

  37. Friendly Observer says:

    Science is the pursuit of truth through observation and reasoning. Science, of itself, does not automatically constitute truth. We lean on the laws of science until those laws change over time when we have understood what was not clearly understood before. To presume to know how the universe began and what was there before it is quite a leap. Also, it never seems productive to argue over the existence of God. No argument I have heard thus far proves or disproves his existence, though Mr. Hawking has some really interesting conclusions about the subject.

  38. Inquisitive mind says:

    I don’t understand how space was created. I mean, where was the infinitesimal speck of matter/energy located at, if not in space, at any given point of its existence? If space was created, as Hawkings argues, as the “primordial” speck of matter/energy exploded, then there must have been no space right before the explosion occured. But there is no before the explosion according to Hawking. I think the real argument is there is no possible way to understand this. Or should I say, there is still no possible way to find out. How can matter/energy exist if there is no space for it to be in? Can matter exist without space? We have never seen it. Can we even understand matter without volume? I wish someone could explain how matter can exist in the absence of space? Or was there a minute amount of space, just enough, so the primordial infinitesimal speck would exist?

  39. Inquisitive mind says:

    I don’t understand why there aren’t millions of Big Bangs in the universe? If all that is needed is single infinitesimal speck of matter/energy and a quantum fluctuation for it all to occur, why don’t we see other Big Bangs happening? As I understand this, energy/matter are the positive version of space/time. Therefore, what prevents any matter/energy from exploding in the same way that the initial speck of matter/energy did and creating as Hawkings states a “perfectly balanced” equation of energy/matter = -energy/matter = space/time. If E=mc2 then -E=-mc2 and if -E = (x,y,z,t) then (x,y,z,t) = -mc2. According to this reasoning, Space/time is equal to negative matter or negative energy which is the same. (I guess we don’t know what space/time is) we just have a concept in our mind, defined in terms of coordinates and a mere convention (time as measured by the interval between two events in nature and conventionally measured in seconds) that is clouding us from seeing the truth. Space/time must be defined better in order for us to understand the universe.

  40. Pingback: Stephen Hawking’s “Did God Create the Universe?” | Prometheus Unbound

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