Sunday, 27 February 2011

Stephen Hawking on God

what your opinions were on Stephen Hawking's recent personal conclusion that "God did not create the universe". My understanding of basic logic and my very basic understanding of physics tells me that the universe couldn't possibly be self created. It seems intrinsically false and self contradicting. Also it was my understanding that when such a claim is made it stops being science and starts being metaphysics. I would very much appreciate your insight and perhaps clarification of Hawking's claims.

Lots of publicity for Hawking's latest book, with journalists (and possibly Hawking and his co-author) making the elementary fallacies of:

1.If it is not logically necessary for God to exist then God does not exit.
2.If something is an inevitable consequence of the laws of Nature then it does not have a cause.
Clearly you can always transform a pair [L,C] of Laws and Initial Conditions into a set of laws L1 where the initial conditions are built in. But this always leaves open the question, why are these laws the way they are (see eg my paper in Journal of Cosmology)? The theist will answer that God made them this way, the atheist that they are "brute fact".

The Chief Rabbi is very good on this. He points out that "Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean." and that "Hawking II, the good scientist, has brilliantly refuted Hawking I, the poor theologian" concluding "Given a choice between a single intelligent creator and an infinity of self-creating universes, the former wins hands down...But there is more to wisdom than science. It cannot tell us why we are here or how we should live. Science masquerading as religion is as unseemly as religion masquerading as science. I will continue to believe that God who created one or an infinity of universes in love and forgiveness continues to ask us to create, to love and to forgive."

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