Hawking: God didn't create universe

2010-09-02 12:01

London - 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 US 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 synthesiser, has a neuro muscular dystrophy that has progressed over the years and left him almost completely paralysed.

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.

  • Believer - 2010-09-02 12:38

    Just wondered how the laws of Physics then came about? Glad you mentioned it to be theories. Luckily I do not need to believe in human theories, rather in a Creator that I know personally!!!

  • John - 2010-09-02 12:38

    But who created the law of physics which precipitated the big bang. Stupid

  • John - 2010-09-02 12:44

    For many years I have been of the opinion that religion is an invention of man for his own comfort. And so it now appears to be.

  • joey - 2010-09-02 12:47

    Stephen Hawkings is a brilliant man. But as the Buddha said - it is inevitable. He has lost his brilliance. He position as Royal Mathematician should have been resigned decades ago. Others would have had a much more positive impact.
    Ranting about in theology is a clear indication that the focus is gone.
    But good luck, your time is up.

  • King - 2010-09-02 12:48

    Lovely. I'll just sit back and watch how all the religious nuts go up in arms about this again....

  • DJ - 2010-09-02 12:48

    Great, so who created the law of gravity to create something out of nothing. No matter what your believe is, somewhere there was a Creator.

  • Hennie Eybers - 2010-09-02 12:48

    Off course we are meant to believe that the Universe was not created by God, as God Himself had mankind write this in the Bible over 2000 Years ago... He said that we will have people feeding us this crap in the end of days - and we will believe it!
    This was obviously a bit before this "masterminds" time.(Although he would probably argue that too)
    So how could it have been predicted by someone other that the creator of the Universe Himself? Duh!
    If He can say that the world was created by a Big Bang, then I can say His brains where wonder the world is in the state it is in! They make people that utters nonsense the center of our Universities. WTF?

  • Errol Wagner - 2010-09-02 12:51

    One stands in awe of this man's great intellect, but as clever as he is the Bible makes states
    PS 53:1 The fool says in his heart,
    "There is no God."
    His rejection of God is not a statement of fact but one of faith - his faith that there is no God, for how do you prove there is no God scientifically?

  • David - 2010-09-02 12:51

    If i read this article correctly ,Then it sound as if Hawking's is NOT to sure of his own theories...maybe it is just me...

  • Reasonable - 2010-09-02 12:52

    No eye witness accounts to the beginning of the universe... So, no one will ever prove beyond a shadow of a doubt how it all came to be.

  • Paul - 2010-09-02 12:52

    What a shame that someone so intelligent seems to be consumed with spending his life disproving the existence of the God he says he doesn't believe in!!
    I can only hope and pray that God sends someone to pray with him for his healing - and spectacularly prove that there is a God!

  • Godexists - 2010-09-02 12:53

    was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics - Where do the laws of physics come from?

  • chris - 2010-09-02 12:53

    Every man will bow, believe this croc and believe that banging two rocks against your head will make you smarter

  • ir8m8 - 2010-09-02 12:53

    The revelation will be wasted on the opiate masses...Stephen Hawking is a briliiant brilliant man.

  • Bhekie - 2010-09-02 12:53

    Where did the Laws of Physics come from Hawking? Remember where there is intelligence, there is a mind!

  • Johann - 2010-09-02 12:55

    It depends on how big you think God is. If you discard the role that God played in the creation of the universe then you believe that God is part of the universe and not that the universe is actually part of God. The real God that I believe in is everywhere and everything and therefore we and the rest of the universe are just parts of Him. This is why I sleep at night and do not worry about tommorrow. Because I am part of a massive God that are all powerfull and present all the time.

  • Well, hello there - 2010-09-02 12:55

    What ? No bible thumpers yet ? I reckon before 2015 they'll find the Higgs boson at the Collider and when they do, it will prove the Big Bang. Do you know they still can't explain why things have mass ? Hopefully the Higgs boson wil help answer this too.

    Personally I think that an older universe ran down after trillions of years, collapsed and then exploded into the one we have now. Wash, rinse, repeat. You should read "The Last Question" by Isaac Asimov if you have 15 minutes to kill.

  • Neels Malan - 2010-09-02 12:55

    Hawkins said the Big Bang is a consequence of the laws of physics. Where do the laws of physics come from?

  • Fazil - 2010-09-02 12:55

    So can the Palestinians now get their land back?

  • Henri - 2010-09-02 12:58

    Everyone misses the point. Religious people and the so called atheists themselves.

    Hawking doesn't say God does not exist. What he does say is that everything thing in the universes does not need 'divine' intervention to happen.

  • bryan - 2010-09-02 12:59

    And who created the laws of physics.....

  • Juri - 2010-09-02 12:59

    @Johan. Because Stephen Hawking says so, it is so? I try to root my religious beliefs a little deeper than that.

  • European-African - 2010-09-02 13:00

    If someone doesn't believe in God then that individual doesn't know much about science. Too much design in everything to have come out of nothing.

  • Rick - 2010-09-02 13:00

    personal relationship with God? if so please ask Him to end crime asap.

  • LUMP OF COAL - 2010-09-02 13:00

    This dude cannot explain (impossible to explain the sudden appearance of stuff !!!) the reason there were pieces of matter to explode in the first place and yet he writes books on their "inevitable spontaneous collisions" WOW ..... he must have a lot of faith in ... er .. er .... dunno what really !!!!!!

  • greatdaneza - 2010-09-02 13:00

    Dear God

    Please be gracious to Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. Please open their eyes and minds and souls to you. May they personally come to know the Creator of the universe, so that your name maybe be glorified. May they come to a conclusion that those theories is harder than simplying placing their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

  • Optimist - 2010-09-02 13:02

    Of course it is reasonable for the God Believers to ask "Who created the laws of physics?", but by the same token they must ask "Who created God?".

  • Koos - 2010-09-02 13:03

    The bible as we know it, was written by the church to influence people and to control all, this was very clear in the dark ages in Europe, it was called the dark ages because the church ruled the western world. We as a species are brain washed by this book and it´s silly believes!

  • solly - 2010-09-02 13:03

    Because another planet orbiting another sun has been discovered does not mean that life must also exist. For human life to exist we need a planet similar in size, mass, temperature, material composition, magnetic field and for all these to "accidentally" form the very simplest single celled creatures. It is possible but highly improbable. If intelligent life exists out there, it could be on other planets millions of years older that Earth and far more advanced than us. If this is the case, why have they not contacted us?

  • Bejon - 2010-09-02 13:03

    Strange that some people will spend their lives trying to prove that there is no God. Gravity cant create life, a cmall child is part of you and your wife... No way, no how..I think the Guy is angry at life(God) and so he tries to prove there is no God..well i blieve is likely to be one of the smartest idiots in the world...lets hope he comes to his senses..

  • Colin - 2010-09-02 13:03

    I know I don't have one eighth of Stephen Hawkin's IQ, but I'm afraid that his utterances on creation seem to display a certain ignorance (in the Yogic sense)and a rather deficient logic. If one relaxes all belief or disbelief in a God/Creator, and just considers the possible concept of such a being, firstly one has to grant God the credit for having created those actual laws of physics, to which Prof Hawking refers. One also has to grant It (Him/Her, take your pick)the credit for having created the universe (possibly Multiverse) and all of the dimensions it contains, or around which it is constructed. If, for the sake of argument, we do make these assumptions, then it becomes clear that God is independent of such constraints. Surely, it is obvious that a Creator would not exist in a dimension of time, to which we, His creations are subject - this point refers to one of Hawkin's previous remarks about the non-necessity of a God. The 'coincidences' that scientists such as Dawkins and Hawkin try to explain away, and the parallels between certain aspects of the scriptures (particularly those of the Hindu and Chinese faiths/philosophies), plus the output of Quantum Physics are just too close and too many. I would very respectfully refer such protagonists of inflexible atheisism to the book 'The Tau of Physics', by Fridjof Caplen and to the works of David Bohm (who worked with Einstein).

  • beerde - 2010-09-02 13:04

    @ King 9/2/2010 12:48:28 PM
    ... lol i'll join you on this one...

  • Reaper - 2010-09-02 13:05

    Who created your God then for that matter, if we couldn't just pop into existance, then where did He come from, hoe can He just be?

  • Wendy - 2010-09-02 13:06

    Who created the law of gravity then? How can a mere person who was created by God think he is more powerful, make such stupid statements and be so hardened to God - I guess he will just have to wait and see how wrong he is

  • Lynn - 2010-09-02 13:06

    I'd love to see Hawking's explain this to God one day!!!!

  • Bob - 2010-09-02 13:08

    Spontaneous creation? If you believe that, you will believe anything...

  • No. - 2010-09-02 13:08

    Stop it. Just stop it right now. This idea of the "first mover" is ridiculous as it involves an infinite regress. All these comments saying "Then who created the laws of physics?" are stupid. I can just as easily retort "So who created God?" It's always going to lead to an infinite regress. So just stop it already, it's stupid.

  • Taetjo - 2010-09-02 13:10

    Whicher theory you choose to believe in, science is an amazing field of learning. However, I do not think that any decent person can state something about a God he doesn't beleive in. God's existence or inexistence is the ultimate mystery. Let's live with what we have and do what works for us as individuals.

  • mike - 2010-09-02 13:10

    Man created the laws of physics. As for the physics themselves? Just believe what you want.

  • peter - 2010-09-02 13:10

    so the law of gravity is nothing? I thought nothing was nothing. Hawking does not seem particularly bright!

  • Chaz - 2010-09-02 13:11

    What Hawking says isn't gospel.

  • Ricky - 2010-09-02 13:11

    It is futile to argue about these things- humankind is too arrogant to accept truth behind their foolish theories. The biggest problem for scientists remains that random chaotic combination of events cannot possibly have created the complex magnificent organic systems that we are composed of, this is just where the evolution and bigbang theories are becoming absurded since no actuall proof exist and will never. And then on the other side GOD is not material, so evidently no matter how you try you cannot try and measure GOD or discover HIM by means of scientific methods and thus you cannot try and proof or disproof HIS existence. The only way to find HIM is by absolute faith, if you don't have this you won't find the reality in this and will never accept the truth. As a scietist myself I find science reveal GOD in many ways, but if people keep starring blindly to their false theories and arrogant ways, then they just wont accept it. So there is just one challenge that I would give for each person on earth is don't deny GOD until you have actually tried and believed in HIM and gave HIM a chance to show HIMSELF to you.

  • @Hennie Eybers @Errol Wagner @Believer - 2010-09-02 13:12

    You critise researched theories based on facts while you never acknowledge your book, aparently written 100's of years ago with no scientific support is always correct? Are you people ever open to actually listening to other points of view or do you only exsist in your shutter view life? p.s try think for yourselves sometime instead of believing what is fed to you

  • IamAconfuse - 2010-09-02 13:12

    There's no god anymore? I want my money back Ray Maccauley!!!

  • JJ - 2010-09-02 13:12

    Well just my 2c but here goes.

    We all agree the universe is never ending right?
    We all agree that the “Big Bang” had a 1 in 10000000000000000 chance of succeeding right?
    Now take into account that in this never ending universe there is a chance as slim as it might be but still a chance it will succeed and with an unlimited amount of tries it will eventually in fact succeed.

    So... I think all the man is trying to put out there that in fact that maybe it was on a random chance of infinite tries that the universe succeeded in creating a in habitable planet not trough the medium of a deity .

  • Mike - 2010-09-02 13:13

    Yeah, and Jumbo jets are made spontaneously by windstorms in junk yards.
    Spontaneous creation ... from nothing?

  • jacky - 2010-09-02 13:13

    hawking is brilliant,cannot wait for the book

  • Beancounter - 2010-09-02 13:14

    Few questions for the religious ones:
    1) If you have to have a god to "create" the laws of physics, who created the god? If god does not require a creator, why do the laws of physics? What is more believable – that the laws of physics “just are” or that they were created by a supernatural being? “God did it” is an argument from ignorance and intellectually indefensible.
    2) Re. the "prophecy" in the bible and the "there is no god" quote - what else would you expect the authors to put in the bible who wanted to create a natural defence against people who question the religion? Just like the Emperor's new clothes – if I don’t believe then I am a fool – better believe as I don’t want to be regarded a fool.
    3) Errol, you cannot scientifically prove there is no god - in the same way you cannot prove there are no unicorns. However, you can show that there is no need to postulate a personal god. If you don't need a god to explain why things happen, why make one up?
    4) @ Believer - do you have his number as I would love to talk to him?

  • Reasonable - 2010-09-02 13:14

    Mabe we should spend more time on researching how the universe will END.
    Paul I agree with you, lets pray for Mr. Hawkings to be healed: Just because God loves him!

  • Prince - 2010-09-02 13:14

    Simple answer to why I believe that there is a God: Just look at Isreal and read what the bible says about it and see for yourself if His Word is true or not. God bless