Stephen Hawking at NASA 50th anniversaryIn a development that will — inevitably — infuriate the anti-intellectual religionists who clamor for control over the US, and further convince them that science is sinister and diabolical and hateful to God, the famous British scientist Stephen Hawking recently declared what many have suspected or known for a while: That God is not necessary in order to explain the origin of the universe. The (UK) Guardian reports on his most recent public remarks, which came in the form of a book (WebCite cached article):

God did not create the universe, the man who is arguably Britain’s most famous living scientist says in a forthcoming book.

In the new work, The Grand Design, Professor Stephen Hawking argues that the Big Bang, rather than occurring following the intervention of a divine being, was inevitable due to the law of gravity.

In his 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, Hawking had seemed to accept the role of God in the creation of the universe. But in the new text, co-written with American physicist Leonard Mlodinow, he said new theories showed a creator is “not necessary”.

According to Hawking, the force known as gravity is the reason there is a universe:

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” he writes. “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”

In the forthcoming book, published on 9 September, Hawking says that M-theory, a form of string theory, will achieve this goal: “M-theory is the unified theory Einstein was hoping to find,” he theorises.

A very common religionist-apologetic complaint about the Big Bang theory is expressed in their frequent aphorism, “You can’t have something come from nothing.” Hawking is saying this intuition is, essentially, bullshit. The truth is that this is not really news; for decades now, quantum mechanics has known that — in fact — “something” is always coming from “nothing,” all the time, all through the universe! This happens, for example, in the phenomenon known as “virtual particles,” which exist not only in theory, but have manifested in measurable ways, e.g the Casimir effect.

Besides, the idea that God solves the problem of “something coming from nothing” fails logically, since if one posits that everything must “come from” something before it, one must then explain exactly where God came from, and who or what created him. Good luck getting any religionist to concede that (even if it’s an insurmountable logical point).

I have no doubt that the forces of hyperreligiosity will respond to this by condemning Hawking — and science generally — for somehow trying to “destroy” God. They will scream and caterwaul about how terrible and presumptive Hawking’s statement is, without even once conceding he has any rational basis for having said it. They will ignore demonstrable facts, in favor of their own subjective beliefs; they will, furthermore, dare to order others also to ignore them, and dare also to condemn those who — like Hawking — refuse to do so.

Hat tip: Peter / AntiBible Project Forum at Delphi Forums

Photo credit: nasa hq photo.

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