Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe

I have been asked by several people what my thought was on this news story from last week.
God did not create the universe and the "Big Bang" was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking argues in a new book.
I guess I didn't feel there was much to talk about because, quite frankly, this is not really shocking news.  It is news only because it is Stephen Hawking.  This is no revelation in the world of physics, astrophysics, or cosmology.

I will put Hawking's book on my "to read" list because I am curious about the various unification theories floating around and this book seems to talk about M-theory in quite some detail.

In the mean time.  Yawn.

1 comment:

  1. The interesting bit, if there is one, is what question Hawking has answered, and whether it is the same as the one he thinks he's answered.

    If the question is some version of "Why is the world the way we find it?" it's a scientific question, Hawking is as likely a person as I can think of to answer it successfully, and anyone who thinks there are credible non-scientific ways of answering it is just being silly.

    On the other hand, if the question is some version of "Why does the universe exist (as opposed to not)?" then it's a philosophical question, possibly meaningful or possibly just fundamentally confused. If cosmology is going to answer this question, it would have to be by showing that the laws of nature had to be as they are, i.e. that any other set of laws of nature would not only contradict empirical findings, but would in fact be logically inconsistent.

    Based on things he said in previous work (like Brief History of Time) I think he means the latter question, and I'm skeptical but curious.