Stephen Hawking is wrong and here is why

Stephen Hawking, the great British physicist is putting out a new book.

In The Grand Design Hawking argues that, “”It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.”

He argues that gravity alone will always do it without any kick necessary from any Eternal power.   Part of his proof is the discovery of other planets in other solar systems.  To Hawking it proves that God did not create a world specifically in the perfect place for a once in an eternity chance of humanity.  I am not a physicist, nor have a I read the book, but just going on what I have read in various sources here is my unscientific opinion.

I think most Mormons accept that the universe is run under laws.  They are natural laws which govern all level of worlds.  That is one thing that both science and our faith agree.

Hawking and others seem to see that as justification for the lack of a God like figure.  I think most Mormons see it as God in everything.  We see his power in how the universe is governed not under pure chaos as some feel but rather under a structure and order which is influenced by God where necessary to get the right outcomes.  I would suggest that is how each of our lives work.

Give that then rather than seeing earth as an accident of one time positioning seems counter to the Mormon understanding of the universe.

Abraham 3

11 Thus I, Abraham, talked with the Lord, face to face, as one man talketh with another; and he told me of the works which his hands had made;

12 And he said unto me: My son, my son (and his hand was stretched out), behold I will show you all these. And he put his hand upon mine eyes, and I saw those things which his hands had made, which were many; and they multiplied before mine eyes, and I could not see the end thereof.

In this writing it appears that Abraham was introduced to the concept that the earth was not alone and that there were many more like them.  To my mind the simple discovery of more earths does not suddenly suggest that this one is just some cosmic event ruled only by gravity.  In my estimation we have known about other planets for a while now, ever since some one realized Mars and Venus were not simply stars.

I think that the big bang or the new Darwinian moment that some are spinning, much like Book of Mormon DNA everyone will go too much on both sides.

Though I think he did a great service for the Creation from Nothing crowd:

“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,” Hawking writes.

So there you go Creation from nothing DOES exist, or doesn’t, or something…

Personally I think that is a stretch of logic but as I say my physics ended in grade 12 so I might not be the most logical source for an opinion ;0).

19 Responses to Stephen Hawking is wrong and here is why

  1. Proud Daughter of Eve says:

    Disclaimer: I’ve never formally studied physics, not even in high school.

    Isn’t gravity a function of mass? The way I’ve heard it explained is to imagine space is a big rubber sheet. The planets, stars and etc. sit on it like weights, distorting the sheet in proportion to their mass.

    Mass is a function of matter. If gravity is a function of mass, then it is caused by matter, not the other way around.

    So whether or not one feels the need for God to have flicked the switch or not, I don’t think his argument (as stated in the OP) supports creation from nothing.

  2. Alice says:

    Stephen Hawking is recently in the news for suggesting (if I properly understand him) that the universe could have originated without the assistance of God. Given his own lamentable condition, I can’t help wondering if he feels he could similarly get by without the assistance of God himself…

  3. Jon W says:

    Actually I was being silly at the end. I agree he is not completely saying it is something from nothing.

    My first blush response is due rather to the concept that some how having planets in other solar systems some devalues the role, or eliminates God. To my mind that is counter intuitive to my understanding of the role of God in the universe.

  4. SilverRain says:

    Physics was a big part of my studies, but I’m rusty, so that’s what my opinions are worth.

    However, the problem wasn’t how mass was created, it was how it formed itself into planets . . . organized itself from total homogeneity. It’s like the closed vs. open Big Bang Theory, whether or not there is enough mass to cause the universe to reach critical and begin spinning inwards again.

    But Hawking has an agenda, whether tongue-in-cheek or not, I don’t know.

    But since Mormonism doesn’t believe in creation from nothing, either, I don’t really see any problem with just about anything science can throw out.

    The problem is that science can never really prove/disprove the existence of God any more than it can prove/disprove anything.

  5. Rob Osborn says:

    The problem with Hawkings argument is that he does it with blinders on. It is as if he comes across a four stroke engine running in the forest and because no one is around he then assumes that nature must have created it and it is some kind of law that engines are found in nature and run by themselves.

    When we consider for a moment that our sloar system is a motor in a forest (galaxie) it then points us more towards God instead of just looking with blinders on. consider for example the critical role a sun plays in a system. Consider the rotation of the earth. Consider the different seasons that grows crops. Consider the role of the various elements in their order and how it helps life succeed. Consider the exact precises distance we are from the sun and moon. When we couple it all together it forms a highly intricate motor that functions and operates with purpose. We cannot assume that gravity alone would ever randomly form galaxies or solar systems on their own tot he exact precision required for the diversity of life to exist. That is like stating that our intelligence exists because of the “law of gravity”. We are not even sure if somewhere in the universe that some matter has decided to not obey the law of gravity. Who says that all matter has to obey? Just because it appears to obey in our world does not mean it has to obey in or on other worlds.

    It’s like solving a crime scene. Everywhere the true detective looks he finds evidence for purpose, motive, order and an intelligent design in nature and the universe. Every true detective knows they can’t go out in the sandbox, build a castle, leave it and come back on the morrow expecting gravity to take over and people the castle with a King, Queen, army and like. That is where fantasy and reality separate themselves. Hawking is in fantasy world where magic laws form everything we see including our own imaginations. The reality is that when we look out through space we truly see God moving in all his splendor and wisdom, you just have to take the blinders off.

  6. Jon W says:

    Thanks Rob. You have pretty much covered my point better than I did.

  7. Brother Darwin says:

    Rob Osborn: “Hawking is in fantasy world where magic laws form everything we see including our own imaginations.” Huh? Hawking bases all of his observations about the universe on data. How is he in “fantasy world?” You base your claims on The Book of Abraham which was purported to be written by Abraham. However, it has been conclusively shown to be common Egyptian pagan funerary text – that has nothing to do with what Joseph purported that he “translated.” Who is in “fantasy world?” The fact that Joseph believed in many worlds, and wrote it down via Abraham’s pseudo-epigraphic voice, does not mean he was right on other things (for example creation of the universe from matter just floating around in space (a modern understanding of the Big Bang, general physics, and quantum physics contradict this view).

    It also sounds like you are employing the “Argument from Design” first employed by William Paley to explain how improbable the universe is. Therefore it’s necessary to invoke an even more complicated and improbable Creator to solve the original problem of complexity. Only problem is that you have just created even more complexity to solve the original problem. Like every pre-school argument about God goes: If God created the universe, then who created God (out of the mouth of babes!)?

  8. Rob Osborn says:

    Brother Darwin,

    My dear darwin, it appears that you are assuming and guessing too much into the picture. I didn’t derive any of my conclusions from the Book of Mormon or Book of Abraham. Whereas I do read those fine books, my conclusions are based off of the faculties of what “science” has produced.

    We could arguably go off in endless philisophical debate over a whole chicken or egg issue about which came first, but from a merely scientific and logical side, how does one explain energy? Where did it come from? If energy is just the interactions of matter, which came first? Matter or energy? Can one even fathom that matter could exist if their was not first energy to create it? And, if there was energy to create the matter, then who or what created the energy in the first place? As applied to models of the big bang, one must assume that something triggered the big bang, it just didn’t happen on it’s own. This could technically be an infinite regress into the past and theoretically, place you in the same boat as I over which came first.

    I could argue that I base all my opinions on data also. Does this make it right? No. Data means nothing by itself. It only gains relevence when an intelligent entity places that data within a study of his own doing. I could do a study of why eating salad helps people live longer, but if I just take a poll on those who eat longer and correlate that they all ate salad it doesn’t prove that the data specifically leads to this or that- that is called “bias”. We may find that all of the salad eaters also excersized more than others. So, does eating salad plus excersizing then lead to living longer? As compared with what? Do you get the drift? Data is meant to be interpreted. No real idea comes from something that isn’t considered evidence or data.

    Hawkings logic is fundamentally flawed because he seeks to establish his own criteria as factual and then run his own close circuited paradigm within his own self made boundaries. That is called “fantasy”. In “reality” the data and criteria must meet the upmost stringent known laws and principles. So, if we break down what we know about “gravity” for instance, all we know is that on this planet and at least on other spheres we know about, that like objects attract each other. We really know nothing about gravity itself as a law and how it really works. there are lots of theories out there but it is all still basic philosophy. So, for Hawkings to thus assume that a law such as gravity can bring complicated life into existance all on its own is complete fantasy at this point. What we do know about gravity and other laws in nature we call the “data”. How one interprets that data can range from anywhere from pure fantasy to factual.

    Like I said before, We all know that you can’t go out in the backyard and build a sandcastle in the sandbox and then expect a law such as gravity to do the rest and people that castle on its own, but yet that is exactly what Hawkings is proposing. He would be good at writing childs fantasy books where imaginations have no bounds.

  9. Brother Darwin says:

    Point 1: If God created the energy in the universe, who created God?

    Point 2: How can you say Hawking’s logic is flawed. His book isn’t even out yet? Aren’t you judging a big prematurely here?

    Point 3: Regarding your example about gravity: the laws of physics appear to be the same throughout the entire observable universe. Gravity appears to be the same everywhere in the universe. Are you saying we’re not sure that it is? You would be contradicting a lot of astrophysicist observation if you did.

    Point 4: I’m not sure that Hawking will start writing child fantasy books. But he has written a few other good books that you might benefit from reading. I would also recommend books about cosmology from Neil deGrasse Tyson or Carl Sagan. Heck – just watch a good Nova documentary about the Big Bang. You just might learn a thing or two about science.

  10. Ron Krumpos says:

    In “The Grand Design” Stephen Hawking postulates that the M-theory may be the Holy Grail of physics…the Grand Unified Theory which Einstein had tried to formulate and later abandoned. It expands on quantum mechanics and string theories.

    In my e-book on comparative mysticism is a quote by Albert Einstein: “…most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty – which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive form – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of all religion.”

    Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity is probably the best known scientific equation. I revised it to help better understand the relationship between divine Essence (Spirit), matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and consciousness (fx raised to its greatest power). Unlike the speed of light, which is a constant, there are no exact measurements for consciousness. In this hypothetical formula, basic consciousness may be of insects, to the second power of animals and to the third power the rational mind of humans. The fourth power is suprarational consciousness of mystics, when they intuit the divine essence in perceived matter. This was a convenient analogy, but there cannot be a divine formula.

  11. Rob Osborn says:

    Brother Darwin,

    How did energy even come to be? What caused energy? Let’s leave God out for a minute here and just try to ask the relevent. We keep trying to turn the tables here on each other when in fact both of our quests are relevent to the same phenomena- How did matter and energy start? Or has it always existed?

    Hawkings logic is flawed from the obvious statement he makes regarding “gravity”. He is basing his belief that there can be no need for God because gravity itself exists. And yet, from what we know about “gravity”, it has no intelligent path it follows. It has no design in creating something. All it is is a law of consequence- if an apple comes detached from a tree it falls, it doesn’t create life or anything intelligent. I am serious about the sandbox experiment, try it for yourself and see if gravity alone can produce. If all we can do is imagine it in our minds and never see it happen in reality, then that my friend, is what we term- “fantasy”.

    There is so little we know about the law of gravity- why it exists, how it exists and even if it is a uniform law in the cosmos. Many parallels have been made with electromagnetism/magnetism and gravity and from what we know about magnetism is that we can as intelligent operators ina controlled environment manipulate magnetism and create some interesting phenomena. I am not saying that the probability exists that gravity isn’t uniform, I am just stating that we do not know enough about the law itself to just state that it must be the same in the entire universe. This is all in light of the fact that we cannot even see the end of the universe. Is there an end to the universe? The big bang certainly requires it and yet as far as we can see, there really is no end in sight.

    I was actually watching a special on PBS today and they were talking about how our ancient ancestors transitioned from walking on four to walking on two. I must have imagined that it was supposed to be funny because I got quite a good chukle out of the program but then I realized that they were actually quite serious. I was somewhat ashamed that such good minds could believe in such fantasies, but then I remembered that the most well endowed scientist himself believes that gravity is somehow capable of creating complex intelligent life all on its own.

    I read lots of truly scientific material- things that are actually scientifically testable. Removing God to replace it with “gravity”, yeah, I would love to see that one tested, I even have a sandbox!

  12. Brother Darwin says:

    Rob: have you ever had that experience when you were looking at the back of a pretty girl with long blonde hair. But then she turns around, and you realize it’s a guy? You know that sense of surprise and confusion? OK, then you know how I felt after your last post – where you laugh at the idea of evolution by natural selection. You discredit it at your own expense.

    I was sorta thinking you were semi-scientifically enlightened. But after that evolution denial faux-paux . . . not so much. You joined the laughable ranks of New-Earth Creationists, UFO believers, and Dinosaur or Holocaust deniers.

    And you never answered my question: If God created energy, then who created God? But I suppose an intelligent answer will not be forthcoming.

  13. Rob Osborn says:

    Brother Darwin,

    Perhaps if you could please define “when” energy was first present and came into existance I would thus be more forthcoming. I suspect that you intelligent answer will not be forthcoming either.

    Let me tell you exactly why I was getting a good laugh at the program on PBS. They were speaking about differing theories on why our anscestors became bipedial. After discussing various things such as “they had to reach higher and higher to reach berries in bushes and trees”, they finally settled on one that they felt held true- “that the reason they started walking on two legs was because the jungle was wanning and thus it preserved energy to walk on two legs in order to travel greater distances to forage for food in a less food friendly environment.”

    Now obviously we must ask the obvious- so then “why didn’t our cousins the chimps and all other primates also learn to walk on two legs?” That right there shoots holes completely through such fantasy theories. I could argue that a primates appendages and the way they operate are more suited to climbing trees, gathering more food and also evading predators. Who cares about “preserving energy” when the other factors are more beneficial for survival in a brutal dog eat dog world. Of course that is just my “bias”, and some may find it comical but the logic of it is that an “environment” is more prone to change quickly rather than evolution takes to occur. By this I mean that evolution could never possibly keep up with how quickly an environment can and does change. Look at our primates. Supposedly they would have been completely wiped out if it were true that jungles were on the downside and into extinction for the millions of years it would take for evolution to run its course. If it was actually sound “science” I could at least partially belive it. the problem is that all of this conjecture is made from pure active imagination and not much scientific proof.

  14. Brother Darwin says:

    People have been trying for 150 years to find evidence to contradict evolution by natural selection. But nobody has ever done it. If they did, they would be world-famous instantly. Instead, the evidence has continued to pile up from all branches of science in support of Darwin’s elegant theory from fossil evidence, comparative anatomy, and now from DNA evidence. The evidence is overwhelming. Denying evolution exists (including macroevolution of humans) is like denying the theory of gravity, or the atomic theory, or the germ theory of disease.

    But I can see there is no convincing you, just as it’s impossible to convince Young Earth Creationists that the earth is actually 4.3 billion years old, rather than 7 thousand years old. It has taken 4.3 billion years for life to evolve slowly from single-celled organisms to multicellular organisms to plants and animals. Humans have only been around for a brief snap of earth-time. And time is the factor you seem to forget about. If you are looking at your sandbox – waiting for life to spring up spontaneously – it won’t happen in your lifetime. But given billions of years, life in all it’s forms and varieties will, when the building blocks of life are present, as they were on this earth, in a small corner of the universe. Please read “Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientists Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution” by Kenneth Miller (a practicing Catholic and influential biologist). He will walk you through it step by step. This will help you avoid the embarrassment of being an evolution denier in the future. You will also learn a lot about where you come from, and how humans fit into the big picture. It’s not so troubling once you know your facts.

  15. Rob Osborn says:

    Brother Darwin,

    Lets just say i gotta love you brother! It would be futile at this point in the game to try to explain to you on the directions to remove your blinders. I often think I am real lucky to actually possess the real facts on my existance and where and how my race came into being.

    I would say Darwin was actually on to something if he could just show some real evidence, not some drawing in a book, or some show where scientists guess a lot about how we may have evolved. What you say is “evidence” of macro human evolution I see as just a pile of bones perhaps a few thousand years old that is one of two things- either it is human or it is monkey. What I am saying is that there is no real scientific proof of human evolution. We even have a written record that denys human evolution. It appears that man is an eye witness to mans journey from its very beginning. We already have the real truth. The fairytales that are produced such as Hawking and Darwin provide for some good classic entertainment, even a good chukle, but to call it “science” is a disgrace to humanity.

  16. H.S.Pal says:

    Earlier it was impossible for us to give any satisfactory answer to this question. But modern science, rather we should say that Einstein, has made it an easy task for us. And Stephen Hawking has provided us with the clue necessary for solving this riddle. Actually scientists in their infinite wisdom have already kept the ground well-prepared for us believers so that one day we can give a most plausible and logically consistent answer to this age-old question. Let me first quote from the book “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking:
    “The idea of inflation could also explain why there is so much matter in the universe. There is something like ten million million million million million million million million million million million million million million (1 with eighty zeroes after it) particles in the region of the universe that we can observe. Where did they all come from? The answer is that, in quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle pairs. But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero.”
    Here the question stops. So the clue is this: if we can ultimately arrive at zero, then no further question will be raised, and there will be no infinite regression. What I intend to do here is something similar to that. I want to show that our God is a bunch of several zeroes, and that therefore no further question need be raised about His origin. And here comes Einstein with his special theory of relativity for giving us the necessary empirical support to our project.
    God is a Being. Therefore God will have existence as well as essence. So I will have to show that both from the point of view of existence as well as from the point of view of essence God is zero. It is almost a common parlance that God is spaceless, timeless, changeless, immortal, and all-pervading. Here we are getting three zeroes; space is zero, time is zero, change is zero. But how to prove that if there is a God, then that God will be spaceless, timeless, and changeless? From special theory of relativity we come to know that for light both distance and time become unreal. For light even an infinite distance is infinitely contracted to zero. The volume of an infinite universe full of light only will be simply zero due to this property of light. A universe with zero volume is a spaceless universe. Again at the speed of light time totally stops. So a universe full of light only is a spaceless, timeless universe. But these are the properties of light only! How do we come to know that God is also having the same properties of light so that God can also be spaceless, timeless? Scientists have shown that if there is a God, then that God can only be light, and nothing else, and that therefore He will have all the properties of light. Here is the proof.
    Scientists have shown that total energy of the universe is always zero. If total energy is zero, then total mass will also be zero due to energy-mass equivalence. Now if there is a God, then scientists have calculated the total energy and mass of the universe by taking into consideration the fact that there is also a God. In other words, if there is a God, then this total energy-mass calculation by the scientists is God-inclusive, not God-exclusive. This is due to two reasons. First of all, even if there is a God, they are not aware of the fact that there is a God. Secondly, they do not admit that there is a God. So, if there is a God, then they have not been able to keep that God aside before making this calculation, because they do not know that there is a God. They cannot say that they have kept Him aside and then made this calculation, because by saying that they will admit that there is a God. At most they can say that there is no God. But we are not going to accept that statement as the final verdict on God-issue, because we are disputing that statement. So the matter of the fact is this: if God is really there, then total mass and total energy of the universe including that God are both zero. Therefore mass and energy of God will also be zero. God is without any mass, without any energy. And Einstein has already shown that anything having zero rest-mass will have the speed of light. In other words, it will be light. So, if God is there, then God will also be light, and therefore He will be spaceless, timeless. So from the point of view of existence God is zero, because he is spaceless, timeless, without any mass, without any energy.
    Now we will have to show that from the point of view of essence also God is zero. If there is only one being in the universe, and if there is no second being other than that being, then that being cannot have any such property as love, hate, cruelty, compassion, benevolence, etc. Let us say that God is cruel. Now to whom can He be cruel if there is no other being other than God Himself? So, if God is cruel, then is He cruel to Himself? Therefore if we say that God is all-loving, merciful, benevolent, etc., then we are also admitting that God is not alone, that there is another being co-eternal with God to whom He can show His love, benevolence, goodness, mercy, compassion, etc. If we say that God is all-loving, then we are also saying that this “all” is co-eternal with God. Thus we are admitting that God has not created the universe at all, and that therefore we need not have to revere Him, for the simple reason that He is not our creator!
    It is usually said that God is good. But Bertrand Russell has shown that God cannot be good for the simple reason that if God is good, then there is a standard of goodness which is independent of God’s will. Therefore, if God is the ultimate Being, then that God cannot be good. But neither can He be evil. God is beyond good and evil. Like Hindu’s Brahma, a real God can only be nirguna, nirupadhik; without any name, without any quality. From the point of view of essence also, a real God is a zero. Mystics usually say that God is a no-thing. This is the real God, not the God of the scriptures.
    So, why should there be any need for creation here, if God is existentially, as well as essentially, zero?
    But if there is someone who is intelligent and clever enough, then he will not stop arguing here. He will point out to another infinite regression. If God is light, then He will no doubt be spaceless, timeless, etc. Therefore one infinite regression is thus arrested. But what about the second regression? How, and from whom, does light get its own peculiar properties by means of which we have successfully arrested the first regression? So, here is another infinite regression. But we need not have to worry much about this regression, because this problem has already been solved. A whole thing, by virtue of its being the whole thing, will have all the properties of spacelessness, timelessness, changelessness, deathlessness. It need not have to depend on any other external source for getting these properties. Thus no further infinite regression will be there.
    H. S. Pal

  17. Jonathan says:

    I am troubled and have always been troubled by the notion that science explains everything and therefore, GOD/SUPERNATURAL whatever does not exist. My opinion is that there is an overwhelming need for it to be one (science) or the other (God) and never can the 2 coexist. Buyt why? Just because we may someday discover that parts of the brain get activated by some kind of energy (such as a ghost in a haunted house, a feeling of beauty and connection in a Church) it still proves NOTHING. It only means we now have a scientific basis for what’s going on; however, I don’t believe the human experience is quantifiable and “experience” (feelings of love for example) must be separate from the brain and body.

  18. Jacey Jenkins says:

    Hello, My name is Jacey. I am 13 and I am a fan of Mr. Hawking and his works, not all though. I do believe in God and Christ. He sadly does not. It seems to me that he some what believes in God. Hear me out, he blames every that happened to him that was bad on God. If so that he did not believe in God, he would not care or even blame him for anything. That is what puzzles me. If I may get some explanation that would be nice!

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