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Hawking 'Taliban-like': Susan Greenfield

Physicists like Professor Stephen Hawking who claim God has no place in the creation of the Universe are behaving like the Taliban in trying to shut down freedom of discussion, according to Baroness Greenfield the former head of the Royal Institution.

Lady Greenfield, former head of the Royal Institution and current professor of synaptic pharmacology at Lincoln College, Oxford, criticised the "smugness" of scientists who claim to “have all the answers” She made the comments in a BBC Radio 4 Today programme discussion about Professor Hawking’s views.

Last week he angered many religious believers by saying science “can explain the universe without the need for a creator”.

In his latest book, The Grand Design, he 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 also atttacked philosophers for failing to keep up with modern developments in physics and biology so that “their discussions seem increasingly outdated and irrelevant”.

Lady Greenfield said: “Science can often suffer from a certain smugness and complacency. Michael Faraday, one of the greatest scientists, had a wonderful quote, he said: ‘There’s nothing quite as frightening as someone who knows they are right’

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