Thursday, September 2, 2010

Of Hawking And God

This morning, around the globe, nearly every news outlet is talking about Stephen Hawking's new book The Grand Design and his general premise that God is not necessary to explain the universe. Here are a few links:

I of course agree with Hawking wholeheartedly, but that is not the issue of this post. My issue is with the way each article has used a particular phrase pulled from A Brief History of Time: "If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we should know the mind of God", to say that Hawkins once accepted that God had a role in creating the universe.

This is simply not true.

For one thing, it's not even the entire quote.
''However, if we do discover a complete theory it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we would know the mind of God.''
Hawking and physicists in general who associate God with the laws of physics are never referring to a literal higher being in the traditional sense, rather they referring to an "abstract principle of order and harmony". A mathematical equation so important & immaculate that it could be likened divine.

For some more in-depth writing about Hawking, I suggest going back in time (see what I did there?) using some of the links below:,2940411&dq=hawking+god&hl=en