Boy, this is gonna piss people off!! Can't wait to buy the new book!!
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LONDON (Reuters) – God did not create the universe and the "Big Bang" was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking argues in a new book.

In "The Grand Design," co-authored with U.S. physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking says a new series of theories made a creator of the universe redundant, according to the Times newspaper which published extracts on Thursday.

"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.

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

Hawking, 68, who won global recognition with his 1988 book "A Brief History of Time," an account of the origins of the universe, is renowned for his work on black holes, cosmology and quantum gravity.

Since 1974, the scientist has worked on marrying the two cornerstones of modern physics -- Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, which concerns gravity and large-scale phenomena, and quantum theory, which covers subatomic particles.

His latest comments suggest he has broken away from previous views he has expressed on religion. Previously, he wrote that the laws of physics meant it was simply not necessary to believe that God had intervened in the Big Bang.

He wrote in A Brief History ... "If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason -- for then we should know the mind of God."

In his latest book, he said the 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting another star other than the Sun helped deconstruct the view of the father of physics Isaac Newton that the universe could not have arisen out of chaos but was created by God.

"That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions -- the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass, far less remarkable, and far less compelling evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings," he writes.

Hawking, who is only able to speak through a computer-generated voice synthesizer, has a neuro muscular dystrophy that has progressed over the years and left him almost completely paralyzed.

He began suffering the disease in his early 20s but went on to establish himself as one of the world's leading scientific authorities, and has also made guest appearances in "Star Trek" and the cartoons "Futurama" and "The Simpsons."

Last year he announced he was stepping down as Cambridge University's Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a position once held by Newton and one he had held since 1979.

"The Grand Design" is due to go on sale next week.

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I was sure that after his claims of a law of "conservation of information" that this was going to go the other way!

It did indeed seem that Hawking my go the way of his predecessor Issac Newton, and defer the unknowns to the god of the gaps, but thankfully, that big beautiful brain of his went the way it did. This is indeed a very promising turn of events. People are pissed, people are scared. One of the greatest minds of our time, has come out and said, god didn't create the universe. That's some heavy stuff....for them....for some of them, it's the first time they have had to think about the possibility of science proving there is no god, and then they realize they bought the lie, and that check they wrote to the church, really did nothing more than pay a man with a bad hair do for doing nothing AND drive a Cady! ROFL.....oh, this is priceless...
I'm really looking forward to this book. I mean we always knew that when he said "god" he meant it the same way Einstein did, but it sounds like this is going to make some really declarative statements.
I'm super stoked as well.....wonder if you can pre-buy at amazon or barnes and noble?? I can't wait to get on here and get some of the geniuses that post on here to help me understand what it all means!! This is just great news for all of us! One step closer now that science has openly come out in beginning to prove the lack of god's existence. Exciting times!!
Not sure if we'll ever really be able to "prove the lack of God's existence." Hawking points towards proving the lack of need for God's existence.
You are right of course, but at least Hawkings' openly admitting that the facts are pointing towards a non god explanation of creation, makes it harder and harder to believe the fairy tales these people have used to explain everything they don't understand in their lives. It's gonna be harder and harder for them to deny that maybe we atheists have a point. Maybe it's going to be harder and harder to argue how wrong we are because more and more, the facts tend to lean themselves toward our logical view of the universe. You know they will totally spin it, as they have every other scientific discovery that has proved their holy book to be completely false. Religion has existed for itself for millenia, so it will continue it's unholy evolution as well. Denial is one of human kind's worst attributes.....and that's putting it mildly huh?
Yeah they're taking pre-orders on amazon for kindle and hardcovers.
Cool! Thanks Jack! I'm there! For anyone else interested:
I pre-ordered... and cant wait to get my copy!!
Professor John Lennox, as both a scientist and a Christian, says that other scientists have made similar claims in the past, maintaining that the awesome, sophisticated creativity of the world around us can be interpreted solely by reference to physical laws such as gravity.

“I would say that Hawking's claim is misguided. He asks us to choose between God and the laws of physics, as if they were necessarily in mutual conflict. But contrary to what Hawking claims, physical laws can never provide a complete explanation of the universe. Laws themselves do not create anything; they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions."

According to Lennox, Hawking apparently has confused law with agency: “His call on us to choose between God and physics is a bit like someone demanding that we choose between aeronautical engineer Sir Frank Whittle and the laws of physics to explain the jet engine.”

“That is a confusion of category. The laws of physics can explain how the jet engine works, but someone had to build the thing, put in the fuel and starts it up. The jet could not have been created without the laws of physics on their own – but the task of development and creation needed the genius of Whittle as its agent.”

A simple analogy is that Isaac Newton's laws of motion in themselves never sent a snooker ball racing across the green baize. That can only be done by people using a snooker cue and the actions of their own arms. Similarly, the laws of physics could never have actually built the universe. Some agency must have been involved.

For Hawking the existence of gravity means the creation of the universe was inevitable. But how did gravity exist in the first place? Who put it there? And what was the creative force behind its birth?

And when Hawking argues, in support of his theory of spontaneous creation, that it was only necessary for 'the blue touch paper' to be lit to 'set the universe going,” the question then is where did this blue touch paper come from? And “who” lit it – if not God?

Much of the rationale behind Hawking's argument lies in the idea that there is a deep-seated conflict between science and religion.

But this is not a discord Professor Lennox recognizes: “The beauty of the scientific laws only reinforces my faith in an intelligent, divine creative force at work,” he said. “The more I understand science, the more I believe in God because of my wonder at the breadth, sophistication and integrity of his creation.”

And added,

"The very reason science flourished so vigorously in the 16th and 17th centuries was precisely because of the belief that the laws of nature which were then being discovered and defined reflected the influence of a divine law-giver. One of the fundamental themes of Christianity is that the universe was built according to a rational, intelligent design. Far from being at odds with science, the Christian faith actually makes perfect scientific sense."

Some years ago, the scientist Joseph Needham made an epic study of technological development in China. He wanted to find out why China, for all its early gifts of innovation, had fallen so far behind Europe in the advancement of science. He reluctantly came to the conclusion that European science had been spurred on by the widespread belief in a rational creative force, known as God, which made all scientific laws comprehensible.

John Lennox is author of God's Undertaker: Has science Buried God?
I dunno, this kinda sounds like the god of the gaps to me. I would think that people of faith wouldn't be so upset if they truly believed in their deity. After all, atheists only believe in what can be proven as fact by a scientific method, repeated and confirmed. If their god is real then they shouldn't sweat it. There should be proof right? If there is proof ever found (not holding my breath personally) then I will be one of the first to accept the god theory as fact, but until then I just don't.
Also, I saw a really good lecture by Neil deGrasse Tyson about the decline of the sciences in Islam, which began with Al Ghazali's hadith's and declaration that Science and education were evil unless they concluded that god was the explanation for everything. That's the exact time the Golden Age came to an end in the then Scientific center of the universe, Baghdad. And to this day, all you hear are the IED's and AK fire coming from that region (due in no small part to religion)! I'll link it here in case you haven't already seen it. (Though you probably already have!)

They also forgot to point out that religion has notoriously stymied Scientific discovery throughout history, and even burned some of the world's greatest thinkers as heretics. I don't think this argument holds much water with atheists, at least not me, and these are my arguments. What about you?
Hi Kel. Should be a good book if I can wrap my, admittedly, layman's brain around it.




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