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Hawking: God did not create Universe - Comments

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 1 by mordacious1

Modern physics leaves no place for God in the creation of the Universe, Stephen Hawking has concluded.

It's about time.

When it comes to religion, Stephen Hawking is the voice of reason. Not for him the polemical style that has propelled Richard Dawkins to the fore of national consciousness in the God debates.

That's funny, I have always found Richard to be reasonable.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 05:43:15 UTC | #509539

Ranting Socrates's Avatar Comment 2 by Ranting Socrates

They always, and I mean always, attack Richard Dawkins. It is getting quite annoying now. I think they feel that if they repeat the mantra against him, that their claims will eventually become true –which it won’t.

Updated: Thu, 02 Sep 2010 06:28:15 UTC | #509548

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 3 by Stevehill

If Hawking says there's no god, that's good enough for me! The maths are intimidating, but as compared with the "reasoning" that says "there must be a creator for all this to exist" it is actually so much simpler, and therefore more probable, to respond "no, just gravity".

I'm not going to stump up money to pierce Murdoch's damned paywall though. Guess I'll have to buy Hawking's book instead.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 06:54:19 UTC | #509558

The Plc's Avatar Comment 4 by The Plc

How much more hammering can religion take from Science?

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 06:54:55 UTC | #509560

mmurray's Avatar Comment 5 by mmurray

So what part of

  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause
  2. The universe began to exist
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause

does Hawking not follow ?

His new book is here.

Michael

Updated: Thu, 02 Sep 2010 07:06:56 UTC | #509563

Blaine McCartney's Avatar Comment 6 by Blaine McCartney

The sooner people realise just how unnecessary, never mind dangerous religion is, the better. It has already been safely concluded, not least by Hitchens, that any "good" religion does can be done to an equal if not greater moral standard by a non-believer, which leaves only the bad that it has committed, and I don't think anyone needs reminding that the bad it has committed is historically ample, and continues to grow. The Murdoch propaganda however turns my stomach, so I shall either have to keep my eyes open for a paper of more rationale or buy the books themselves.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 07:14:22 UTC | #509567

ridelo's Avatar Comment 7 by ridelo

Yeah all-right, but what causes gravity?

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 07:19:39 UTC | #509572

Ranting Socrates's Avatar Comment 8 by Ranting Socrates

I wonder how long it took him to write his part. I watched a show about him and it said it took him 60 seconds to write one to two words.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 07:27:16 UTC | #509577

jon_the_d's Avatar Comment 9 by jon_the_d

I'm a little annoyed by all the 'discussion' going on already at other news sites, when people haven't even read the book. Lots of naysayers and doubters dismissing the suggestion even though they haven't read the book, and don't actually know what he's suggesting or how it is explained or supported.

I think a lot of this 'discussion' should wait until the discussers have read his book. and that goes for the religious ones too...

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 07:33:17 UTC | #509580

Tony123's Avatar Comment 10 by Tony123

The Church teaches that the universe was created EX NIHILO, i.e from absolute nothingness. This event would naturally be perceived as spontaneous creation by earth-bound scientists. Faith and science are complementary. Truth never contradicts truth.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 07:40:48 UTC | #509583

epeeist's Avatar Comment 11 by epeeist

Comment 3 by Stevehill :

If Hawking says there's no god, that's good enough for me!

Be slightly careful. What he seems to be doing is removing the need for a god.

What we had before the theory of evolution was the necessity of a designer, the TofE does not mean a designer does not exist, it merely means that such an entity is not necessary. Hawking is doing the same thing.

However, it does mean that the believer has more work to do. If we can explain a set of phenomena p with hypothesis h then the believer has to explain why he wants to use h + g, why should we break parsimony and what evidence he has for his auxiliary hypothesis.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 07:46:32 UTC | #509584

epeeist's Avatar Comment 12 by epeeist

Comment 10 by Tony123 :

The Church teaches that the universe was created EX NIHILO, i.e from absolute nothingness.

But the only thing it offers as a mechanism is god-did-it based on a magic book. As I have intimated above, if you want to claim the account in your book is true then you have to demonstrate that this is so. And claiming it is true because your magic book says so is not a demonstration.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 07:55:10 UTC | #509586

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 13 by Stevehill

Be slightly careful. What he seems to be doing is removing the need for a god.

Fair point: there could be a god, but he didn't have to create us. Having seen how "us" behave, that might be a stronger argument for the existence of god: one who has more sense than to bother about us.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 08:12:23 UTC | #509598

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 14 by Jos Gibbons

Tony123, please stop these Rorschach readings of Bronze age texts in which you think you see modern physical principles. I hate to break it to you, but the behemoth wasn't a sauropod, the twelve disciples being equal in number to the quarks and leptons is a coincidence, and nothing splitting into equal and opposite somethings in line with conservation laws is not attended with the word being there in the beginning and a booming "Let there be light" voice.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 08:15:52 UTC | #509600

Tony123's Avatar Comment 15 by Tony123

You've got the wrong person. I'm not a bible Christian. I don't do creationism or ID.

It is an historical fact that Church teaching has relied not only on scripture but also on tradition (i.e. the age-old human practice of passing down truth from generation to generation) for its truths.

My point was that the Church has taught for centuries that the universe was created ex nihilo and here, two millenia later, you have an eminent scientist confirming that in his perception the universe was spontaneously created from nothing.

Truth does not contradict truth.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 08:16:19 UTC | #509601

Labyrinthos's Avatar Comment 16 by Labyrinthos

Comment 7 by ridelo :

Yeah all-right, but what causes gravity?

That will be the subject of much debate in the following decades and sometime at the end of this century a proeminent physicist will write a book concluding "Gravity did not need a creator, it's all just tiny vibrations!"

Ah, but then who created the vibrations? It will take the aid of computer minds to answer this one, but it will turn out that the vibrations are a necessary effect of pure mathematical logic. The universe, including all its subuniverses, parallel universes and quasi-micro-universes, is what it is because it simply is impossible for it to have been otherwise. It is an inevitable expression of mathematics, in fact it is logic itself, gloriously manifested.

The religious will look at that and say "...that's truly fascinating... therefore God!"

The sob of the Dawkins-Hawking-Einstein-Darwin-Sagan interplanetary collective mindsoul will echo through the galaxy.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 08:18:50 UTC | #509603

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 17 by Tyler Durden

Religious believers have long seen evidence of a designer in the complexity of the natural world and the apparent fine-tuning of the universe. That notion was shaken by Charles Darwin...

Shaken? Try rocked to its very core!

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 08:26:53 UTC | #509608

sandman67's Avatar Comment 18 by sandman67

Oh Frabjous Day!

Callooh Callay!

This should REALLY set the cat amongst the pidgeons. Earplugs in chums...prepare for the screeches of foul play, especially from Banana Man and Mullet Boy whose book on something from nothing he just destroyed....

Frabjous Day!

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 08:35:03 UTC | #509610

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 19 by Tyler Durden

Comment 15 by Tony123 :

My point was that the Church has taught for centuries that the universe was created ex nihilo and here, two millenia later, you have an eminent scientist confirming that in his perception the universe was spontaneously created from nothing.

Truth does not contradict truth.

I apologise for repeating myself but Tony123 seems to be stuck in an Do... While infinite loop regarding what "the church" teaches:

@Tony123, how could an organisation such as "the church" get something as obvious as heliocentrism completely wrong based on the evidence presented to them (but yet opposing their ancient dogma), yet still be trusted as any kind of authority when it comes to complex aspects of cosmology and theoretical physics?

For example: "The church has taught for centuries that the Sun orbits the Earth, which is the centre of our Universe."

See how that works? Your Argument from Authority is worthless when the actual evidence to the contrary is presented.

Change the record please, you're bordering on trolling.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 08:45:10 UTC | #509615

-TheCodeCrack-'s Avatar Comment 20 by -TheCodeCrack-

This is important.

Now theists can't claim this great scientist on their side. Stephen is without doubt the most well known scientist in the general public, and I'm pleased he made these comments.

Good on you Steve!

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 08:52:27 UTC | #509620

epeeist's Avatar Comment 21 by epeeist

Comment 15 by Tony123 :

My point was that the Church has taught for centuries that the universe was created ex nihilo and here, two millenia later, you have an eminent scientist confirming that in his perception the universe was spontaneously created from nothing.

So, and how many other myth systems have the same scenario. And are you deliberately avoiding my point that your teachings don't include anything that looks like mechanism, simply that god-did-it. As ever, you simply assert you don't provide any warrant for your claims.

Truth does not contradict truth.

Of course truth is correspondence to the facts. You don't have any facts, just pronouncements.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 08:56:33 UTC | #509623

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 22 by bendigeidfran

The more faith it takes, the more 'special' are the faithful. They'll be fine. It's never been a particularly sensible idea.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 09:07:57 UTC | #509627

keithapm's Avatar Comment 23 by keithapm

I read my little brother's school religion book lately. The first chapter "dealt" with the conflict between religion and science. It said there was none. It also misrepresented Einstien's beliefs regarding religion. They lied essentially... to eleven year old children and did so unashamedly. Hawking has set the record straight. There is a serious conflict between religion and science, the conflict between ignorant gullibility and intelligent, honest, rational investigation.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 09:16:40 UTC | #509632

Tony123's Avatar Comment 24 by Tony123

Comment 19 by Tyler Durden :

@Tony123, how could an organisation such as "the church" get something as obvious as heliocentrism completely wrong based on the evidence presented to them (but yet opposing their ancient dogma), yet still be trusted as any kind of authority when it comes to complex aspects of cosmology and theoretical physics?

"Creatio ex nihilo" has always been a fundamental part of Church doctrine. On the other hand, and contrary to popular uninformed belief, the immobility of the earth, implicit in geocentrism, was never a part of Church doctrine.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 09:27:15 UTC | #509636

Labyrinthos's Avatar Comment 25 by Labyrinthos

Tony, quit trying to rewrite history or the Bible, or whatever magic book you keep under your pillow. It took years of cummulative work on theoretical physics to arrive at this result and the mushroom-induced ramblings of borderline schizos 2000 years ago have as little credence now as ever: none. Crazy people throughout the ages have said everything their imagination could conjur up, all without argument. Your crazy people are the same as all the other, a billion misses for each half-right half-assed attempt at prophecy. Not to mention hindsight reinterpretations are a no-no.

Updated: Thu, 02 Sep 2010 09:51:49 UTC | #509642

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 26 by SaganTheCat

When it comes to religion, Stephen Hawking is the voice of reason. Not for him the polemical style that has propelled Richard Dawkins to the fore of national consciousness in the God debates.

once again as soon as someone points out there's no need for odin there has to be a dig at Richard.

Prof Hawking has been a muched loved scientist for many years and has not often put himself in the firing line for religious arguments. add to that his disability he is a much harder legit target for the religites. Prof Dawkins is a soft target as there is already a popular backlash against him from anyone with even the slightest accomadationist leanings.

from that respect I agree, Stephen's argument may well be more dangerous to faith than Richard's as much of the nation has already closed it's ears to Richard. The religious lobby runs on ad hominem. the argument matters far less than how lovely the person arguing is. since reason matters little, the most devistating blow to religion would probably be best delivered by Rolf Harris cradling a wounded puppy.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 09:45:57 UTC | #509643

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 27 by Richard Dawkins

"Creatio ex nihilo" has always been a fundamental part of Church doctrine

No it hasn't. Creation ex deo is utterly different from the genuine nihilo which is what modern physicists, such as Stephen Hawking, are now boldly suggesting. The god that did the creating according to Church doctrine was himself the very opposite of nothing. Your Christian god not only created the universe, he also forgives your sins having died for them, listens to your prayers, regularly turns himself into a wafer, and cares passionately what you (not to mention everybody who has ever lived and ever will) do, and even think, every second of your life. You can't get any less nihil than that, so run away and stop claiming the exact opposite of the truth.

Richard

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 10:00:24 UTC | #509650

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 28 by Tyler Durden

Comment 25 by Tony123 :

Comment 19 by Tyler Durden :

@Tony123, how could an organisation such as "the church" get something as obvious as heliocentrism completely wrong based on the evidence presented to them (but yet opposing their ancient dogma), yet still be trusted as any kind of authority when it comes to complex aspects of cosmology and theoretical physics?

"Creatio ex nihilo" has always been a fundamental part of Church doctrine. On the other hand, and contrary to popular uninformed belief, the immobility of the earth, implicit in geocentrism, was never a part of Church doctrine.

I'm not sure if you're Lying for Jesus, or are simply ignorant of history, either way, you look like a lunatic posting such obvious untruths:

Here are the transcripts:

  1. Assessment made at the Holy Office, Rome, Wednesday, 24 February 1616, in the presence of the Father Theologians signed below.

    Proposition to be assessed:

    (a) The sun is the center of the world and completely devoid of local motion.

    Assessement: All said that this proposition is foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts many places the sense of Holy Scripture, according to the literal meaning of the words and according to the common interpretation and understanding of the Holy Fathers and the doctors of theology.

    (b) The earth is not the center of the world, nor motionless, but it moves as a whole and also with diurnal motion.

    Assessment: All said that this proposition receives the same judgement in philosophy and that in regard to theological truth it is at least errouneous in faith.

  2. His Holy Congregation has also learned about the spreading and acceptance by many of the false Pythagorean doctrine, altogether contrary to the Holy Scripture, that the earth moves and the sun is motionless, which is also taught by Nicholaus Copernicus's On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres.

  3. His Holiness the Pope and the whole Congregation of the Holy Office, ordered and enjoined the said Galileo, who was himself still present, to abandon completely the above-mentioned opinion that the sun stands still at the center of the world and the earth moves, and henceforth not to hold, teach, or defend it in any way whatever, either orally or in writing; otherwise the Holy Office would start proceedings against him. The same Galileo acquiesed in this injunction and promised to obey.

Texts from The Galileo Affair: A Documentary History

Updated: Thu, 02 Sep 2010 10:04:26 UTC | #509651

Tony123's Avatar Comment 29 by Tony123

Comment 28 by Richard Dawkins :

"Creatio ex nihilo" has always been a fundamental part of Church doctrine

No it hasn't. Creation ex deo is utterly different from the genuine nihilo which is what modern physicists, such as Stephen Hawking, are now boldly suggesting. The god that did the creating according to Church doctrine was himself the very opposite of nothing.

I can only go on what the Chatechism says, which confirms creatio ex nihilo and rejects creatio ex deo:

"We believe that God needs no pre-existent thing or any help in order to create, nor is creation any sort of necessary emanation from the divine substance. God creates freely 'out of nothing'". (CCC 296)

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 10:22:53 UTC | #509666

ajs261's Avatar Comment 30 by ajs261

It struck me even now just how many people misinterpreted Hawking's "mind of God" conclusion to the preceding book. Hopefully this clarification will stop people claiming Hawking as a deist, 50:50 agnostic or worse.

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 10:30:11 UTC | #509669