In a question and answer session with Stephen Hawking he says god may have created the laws of the universe but if this is true he does not interfere with them.

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I didn't think the guy could actually speak - perhaps it depends whose helping him to communicate on the day.... or can he type?

He types with a special machine. It's ancient but hawking likes it.

must be frustrating - I know how many ideas I have in the course of typing a sentence - and it must take him a bit longer...  I type at about 85 wpm

He used to type.  Then his hands stopped working well enough to type.  For a while, he had a little mouth-lever to steer around some sort of menu and pick his words.  Now that he doesn't have sufficient neck control to operate the lever, he's got some sort of setup that tracks his eye movements to select words.  I think he's reasonably quick with it.

Amazingly so, in fact. Not as fast as most of us, but it guesses common words and phases using divide and conquer so it's damn quick for someone used to it. Hi lectured almost without assistance for many years.

He's pretty unwell right now and was unable to attend a celebration in honour if his 70th recently.

wow, didn't know he was 70 already - he looks so young in all the pictures I've seen of him.

well yes, eyes are very quick - wish I had one of those... :)

I know he means god in the same sense as Einstein did but I get the feeling that he felt like he soft-balled the first part of the question then decided he wanted to be a little more explicit and overreached. 

If you're going to bother presupposing a God then you can just as easily imagine such a being capable of performing regressive changes on the universe that would update everything accordingly, kind of like focusing a lens on a camera. Changes on the universe like this would be undetectable because we only understand things relative to our own measurements.

He's right in the sense that science works and life exists. I can imagine that it would be very unlikely for life to exist in a universe that is not deterministic.

Crucially, we don't really know what the question was. We saw a question asked and hawking reply, but there was an edit in between and the real question was probably more explicit. This is typical when in pre-recorded interviews, the editor wants to give a particular impression.

It's the tv equivalent of sleight of hand.

I feel like the word "god" is often used to poorly describe divinity, origin and creation in academics, when referenced because people are comfortable and familiar with it. The god that Einstein spoke of, the consciousness of the  laws of the Universe, has no affiliation with the invented beings of religion. I am ever-comforted by the fact that no one has tried to pervert this concept by starting a religion.

On the rest of the interview, I'd just like to say that I love that man's brain. His sense of humor is ever in  tact and he puts no limit of his belief in the capability of man- despite the fact that man is often the brunt of his jokes.

This is the first I am hearing of his children's books. The first was released in 2007, though. And, of course, having two preschoolers, I have to have them. (=

I agree with Dawkins on this one - I wish these intellectuals would stop muddying the waters by using the word God all the time..... it's so annoying!

Yup.  Einstein I can forgive.  Different time, different place.  There's no excuse for vague, theistic metaphor, when you're obviously not a theist.




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