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Hawking Picks Physics Over God For Big Bang

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the there-is-no-god dept.

Books 1328

Hugh Pickens writes "The Guardian reports that in his new book, The Grand Design, Professor Stephen Hawking argues that the Big Bang, rather than occurring following the intervention of a divine being, was inevitable due to the law of gravity. '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 had previously appeared to accept the role of God in the creation of the universe. Writing in his bestseller A Brief History Of Time in 1988, Hawking wrote: 'If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God.'"

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1328 comments

But what created the law of gravity? (0, Troll)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448284)

Or whom created the law of gravity. Still room for the all mighty.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (5, Insightful)

neiltrodden (981196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448304)

Well who created the all-mighty then?

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (5, Funny)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448316)

It's turtles all the way down!

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448338)

It's ninjas all the way down!

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448658)

It's ninja turtles all the way down!

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448458)

I like turtles.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448490)

Yeah, but getting the shell off is hard. Sometimes I just want a simple meal.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448558)

Watch Cannibal Holocaust for a how-to.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448724)

NOTE: remember the first and only rule about cannibal holocaust... #1 *never* recommend anyone watching cannibal holocaust!

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (5, Insightful)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448706)

Actually, it's 4 elephants first, and then a single very large turtle.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448354)

Who created this law of things can only exist if it first have to go through the process of creation then?

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448372)

I did, and I'm my own Grandpa.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1, Troll)

tercero12 (1247136) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448374)

Well who created the all-mighty then?

You're missing the point...the Almighty is not created. He is not physical. I good philosophical book to read is "I Don't Have Faith Enough to be an Atheist". Take a look.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448414)

Wow, I feel sorry for the ignorant children you're going to have.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (2, Insightful)

5865 (104259) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448452)

Oh, summarize and bring the argument here please. I can't even be bothered to follow the link to RTFA. What makes you think I'd wade through a book so that you can be right?

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (3, Interesting)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448582)

I sincerely hope that was a sardonic statement. If that's the condition of people in general today, we're going to have a sticky few decades ahead of us.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (3, Informative)

debiansid (881350) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448460)

You're missing the point too. The law of gravity is not created. It is not physical. A good book to read is "The God Delusion". Take a look.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448464)

It's a very odd title for a book, it take no faith what so ever to be an atheist.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448594)

It takes no faith whatsoever to be a nihilist... Being an atheist requires you to have faith in Richard Dawkins...

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (-1, Troll)

sheph (955019) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448686)

Sure it does. Atheists stake their eternal future on the presumption that God does not exist. They live their whole lives doing what they want, and rejecting the concept that there could be anyone or anything greater than themselves. If they are wrong, and there turns out to be a judgement day they will spend eternity burning in hell. That takes a great deal of faith (or ignorance take your pick).

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448552)

So which one of the thousands of gods that I've been exposed to should I 'worship'? Oh, Jesus right? That bastard offshoot of another religion, which was the bastard child of yet another... Your lack of imagination and thought just astonishes me.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

Josh04 (1596071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448634)

Pfft, you have no supernatural and he has some, and it's his lack of imagination?

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448468)

Humans evolve. Humans create self replicating robots. Humans go away. Some robots say they were built. Other robots rebut 'But who built the builders?' No one, they were not built.

Or to put it another way, what if a self-aware cartoon character asks 'Who drew the drawers?' No one, they were not drawn.

Point is, what applies for one level doesn't necessarily apply for the one above it.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448550)

It should be pointed out that establishing exactly what happened to cause the Big Bang is damned near impossible, because there's just no direct observations that can be made. There's a lot of agreement of what happened at T+0.000000000001 seconds after the Big Bang, and observations that help prove it, but before that point, you're pretty much SOL.

Which means that there's no way for the study of astrophysics to stop people from thinking the universe was sneezed out of the Great Green Arkleseizure.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448688)

If all-mighty == uncaused cause then there is no cause for the all-mighty, by definition.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

timlyg (266415) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448722)

funny how many willingly stop at science/nature when tracing up the source, but not willing to stop at God.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (4, Insightful)

Winckle (870180) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448318)

Still room for the old logical fallacy there. If God created gravity, then who created God? Most theists then state that God was always there, but then it's easier to simply say that gravity was always there.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (2, Insightful)

genner (694963) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448376)

Still room for the old logical fallacy there. If God created gravity, then who created God? Most theists then state that God was always there, but then it's easier to simply say that gravity was always there.

It's easier to ignore the whole debate and watch TV. This doesn't mean that's the correct decision.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448572)

Still room for the old logical fallacy there. If God created gravity, then who created God? Most theists then state that God was always there, but then it's easier to simply say that gravity was always there.

It's easier to ignore the whole debate and watch TV. This doesn't mean that's the correct decision.

If it's a choice between watching TV and debating with internet trolls, TV is totally the right decision.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448580)

As an agnostic I naively thought I wouldn't have to deal with the debate.
Would save a lot of time in which I could concentrate on what actually makes me happy.
I was quite content in not knowing if there is "a god" or whatever until I die.

Turns out all camps are offended I don't pick a side.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

Josh04 (1596071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448656)

All the theists think you're a heretic and all the atheists think you're Christian : /

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (2, Informative)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448640)

Why's this a troll? Occam's razor is not law around here.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

IMustBeNuts (1775480) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448450)

Wow... so we're now going to have to redefine EVERYTHING!!!!

OMG is now Oh My Gravity!

Religious texts now begin with 'And gravity said, "Let there be light!".

But sadly, my middle aged body will continue to be a victim of gravity!

:-P

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

drakaan (688386) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448520)

Actually, it's exactly the same thing to say that gravity was always there. I've never understood why hardcore atheists believe that scientific explanations preclude God as a valid concept.

Knowing that there are atoms doesn't mean that there aren't electrons, protons, neutrons, etc. Same goes for quarks and electrons (and on ad infinitum, from a conceptual standpoint). God is a concept, regardless of whether certain groups believe there is a physical being associated with said concept. The logical response to "Is there a God?" is "Yes", but there's no concrete answer to what God is, or to how the concept of God relates to the creation of the universe.

I'm agnostic (after a brief catholic upbringing and 30-odd years of making my own mind up about things), not strictly atheist, and my general understanding is that of God as an idea. As far as I know, there's no way to prove or disprove said concept, hence my agnosticism.

I think Steve would disagree with my understanding, which is why he came up with a different answer. Easily accomplished when it's a philosophical subject, I suppose.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

boulabiar (1892246) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448600)

and why you are able to believe in the existence of gravity and not the one of God ? If you ask who created God, you've already broken a mathematical law. There are 2 different groups : Creatures, and Creator. If someone created God, then he's no more a creator. Define groups you work on then ask real questions. IMHO I find God easier and more logic to believe in, than believing in Probability or Gravity outside their scientific place. BTW, God can't be like human or other things, you still can't know how much dimensions the world has. If dimensions are more than the 3D+T (Maybe 11?) Then God has at least the same dimensions. (if time is a dimension, then God is 4D and he can modify the time, without having time take an effect on God) People believing in 3D gods or human-like gods need now to change their minds...

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448704)

Occam only meant that we can't invoke a more complicated explanation than necessary within science. Since science can neither prove nor disprove something with no empirical evidence, the whole question is just completely outside the realm of science.

One could simply leave it unanswered, but I think it takes as much faith to reject something that science can't disprove as it does to accept something that science can't prove.

The idea that atheism takes faith is true. Agnostics don't need faith. Theists and atheists both do. One could even say they were agnostic and leaning towards no god or gods and no souls, but to be honest they'd have to admit they can't prove those don't exist.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448716)

Still room for the old logical fallacy there. If God created gravity, then who created God? Most theists then state that God was always there, but then it's easier to simply say that gravity was always there.

Cut out the middle man!

Or, don't multiply entities needlessly.

Creationists claim that everything needs a cause, including the universe, then posit a god as the necessary cause and immediately proclaim that that god is immune to the "everything needs a cause" claim.

Also, "God" has no explanatory value. He can do anything, and what he decides to do is completely unpredictable. If a scientist predicted a particle or force that can do anything and is utterly unpredictable, he'd be either ignored or laughed at.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448734)

A very basic rule of philosphy is that anything that had a beginning had a cause. Basic Christian theology is that God did not have a beginning. If indeed current theories say that gravity existed before the universe then gravity would be a potentially valid cause for the universe. However, everything I have seen says that gravity is a product of elements of the universe. The "law of gravity" cannot be an explanation for the creation of the universe because the "law of gravity" is merely an explanation of how a phenomenom that humans have observed behaves.
Everything I have seen suggests that the math of all current physics theories generate nonsense results under conditions of singularity, which all currently accepted theories say is the starting point for the Big Bang.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448328)

The 2nd Continental Congress.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448330)

Listen, you don't just randomly use "whom" as a sort of intelligent version of "who", you pretentious jackass.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (2, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448350)

He's publicly stated a belief in an invisible sky wizard, improper use of "who" and "whom" is the least of bit of evidence pointing to a lack of intelligence.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448596)

He's publicly stated a belief in an invisible sky wizard, improper use of "who" and "whom" is the least of bit of evidence pointing to a lack of intelligence.

Here's an honest question, I ask of you as a fellow atheist:

Why do so many atheists feel the need to be smug assholes? What the fuck does it matter to you if he believes in 'an invisible sky wizard'? Why can't you just let people believe what they will, why must you impose your beliefs on other people?

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (2, Funny)

Josh04 (1596071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448676)

Queue torrent of bullshit about wars and history. Atheists are just theists with a post-modern stick up their arse.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

Voulnet (1630793) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448690)

Because it's their internal insecurity, unfortunately.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448366)

Not in science, there isn't. The existence of He/She/It is not falsifiable, so no, God can have no part to play in the scientific search for truth and understanding of the fundamental structure of the Universe.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448548)

"God can have no part to play in the scientific search for truth and understanding of the fundamental structure of the Universe."

I thought the point of science was to discover the truth. If God exists, shouldn't that be a part of science?

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448644)

And how do you plan to falsify any God-theories? If He exists outside of the Universe, how can you test for Him while boxed up in here? If He exists within the Universe, how could He have created it from nothing?

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448648)

O.K, so the first step is establish a suitable way to test the theory of God.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

sonnejw0 (1114901) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448394)

I am a scientist and philosopher (degrees in both Religion and Neurobiology), and this is a valid question. Where did the law of gravity come from? Yes, the Big Bang and pockets of density that turn into galaxies would spontaneously form based on the laws of gravity and entropy, but why do those laws exist to begin with?

That is a question to which an answer will never be found. Never. I'm not being pessimistic, it's simply that to discover the answer, one has to be able to manipulate the system from outside of it. The known universe is 8.79829142 x10^26 meters in diameter. We're about 1.5 x10^0 meters.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448476)

it's pretty much an irrelevant question, if god exists then obviously he designed the system to be "turtles all the way down" ie: even if we discover "where gravity came from" it won't prove or disprove god, it will just raise more questions. actually rereading your question a couple of times i think we're on the same page. god isn't a question of evidence or opinions, it's a question of faith.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448556)

Jesus, you are 1.5 meters in diameter? I lived in Mississippi and saw fatties every day, but 1.5 meters is still pretty damn wide.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448630)

either you fail at metric conversion, or are living in a dwarven society. I'd guesstimate an average of 1.68m even among women around here. 1.5m is really short.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448682)

Why do laws of physics have to "come from" somewhere?

Maybe it's just the way things work.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448696)

Ooh a philosopher! The 19th century called to say it still cares about logical arguments based on assumptions you just blow out of your ass without any empirical support. The 21st century...won't be calling.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1)

5865 (104259) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448492)

I think it's important that all of you who are planning to participate in this glorious thread of atheist rage to first consider the possibility that there really is a God but he's a dick.

Re:But what created the law of gravity? (2, Interesting)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448672)

I was actually under the impression that the law of gravity, like time ans presumably other laws of physics, were inextricably part of this universe, which would mean they came into being at the time of the Big Bang. Does Hawking now say that's not true? Or have I always been wrong in my understanding?

Hmmmm (0, Troll)

darien.train (1752510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448288)

I wonder if the audio book or the text-to-speech version is better.

Audio Book Read by Steve West (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448320)

Not Hawking.

Ironic (-1, Troll)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448292)

It's rather ironic that a leading thinker in 3 dimensional space has such a 2 dimensional mind set.

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448384)

Sigh.... I'm sure this seemed clever when you typed it, but you should really read over it again just to make sure its not a nonsensical collection of words that doesn't really mean anything.

Annnd... brain goes splat. (3, Funny)

brennanw (5761) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448296)

This is why I never did well in the higher math classes in college.

So... I thought gravity required there be something with mass in order to create gravity. Doesn't that mean in order for there to be a law of gravity you need stuff with mass attracting each other? Which requires something, not nothing, so --

Damn. There it goes again, brain matter all over the wall. Excuse me while I get a spatula.

Re:Annnd... brain goes splat. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448342)

I'm sure the forthcoming book will make it clear.

If not ... wait for the movie.

Re:Annnd... brain goes splat. (3, Funny)

brennanw (5761) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448368)

The movie will star Samuel L. Jackson as gravity who will quote a passage from the Old Testament before he makes my brain go splat.

Re:Annnd... brain goes splat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448526)

"I have had it with these motherfucking galaxies in this motherfucking singularity!" ?

Re:Annnd... brain goes splat. (5, Informative)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448478)

I'm no physicist (far from it) but the reason you have trouble is that you're still thinking in 1800's physics lessons.

Gravity probably has a lot less to do with mass than you might think. Gravity is basically a "curvature" in space-time - a dent in a rubber sheet for an everyday analogy. It can be caused by the presence of mass, and it can affect mass because it makes the "shortest path" to something shorter (imagine denting a rubber sheet with two marbles close to each other - one will "roll down" the other's "gravity" slope).

Gravitational lensing is the most prominent evidence for this - we can actually see things that are hiding behind huge space objects (e.g. galaxies, stars close to us, etc.) because the huge object "bends" space around it, so the light gets distorted like it's been through a curved lense - to the light the travel was perfectly straight, but the space it was in "curved" as it went past the massive object. Thus, we are sometimes able to see parts of space that would technically be impossible to see otherwise - we are literally looking "around and behind" large galaxies / stars.

Then go back several billion years to a time when the universe was nanoseconds old, and its entire mass and energy (and, confusing as it is, space) was crushed into something smaller than the head of a pin. The laws of physics get really "weird" to our eyes at that point and lots of strange stuff happens. The single best source of information for us to explain what happens at that point is probably Prof. Hawking, a modern-day Einstein in this exact field. Given that there are probably a million and one errors in even my simple explanation, and he has a good reputation, I'd say he probably thinks he's correct and there are very, very few people in the world who can actually argue by having a complete understanding of the same facts but a different opinion.

Re:Annnd... brain goes splat. (5, Insightful)

brennanw (5761) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448536)

I'm in the strange position of having reached the realization that essentially, unless I'm willing to devote about 20 years of my life studying the matter on my own I'm going to have to decide to accept it by faith and not by reason. Oh irony, you are so delicious.

Re:Annnd... brain goes splat. (2, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448622)

Then go back several billion years to a time when the universe was nanoseconds old, and its entire mass and energy (and, confusing as it is, space) was crushed into something smaller than the head of a pin.

Of course, when the universe is several nanoseconds old, we're past talking about "creation", aren't we? By several nanoseconds, at least.

Ultimately, the other side of the singularity that is the Big Bang is unknowable. We can speculation all we like, and pretty much all the speculations are equally valid - they're all a pile of crap....

Note that Hawking was, most likely, talking about the galaxies, suns, planets, etc. when he said that God wasn't needed to make it happen. In that, he's correct, in that once the Big Bang happens, gravity pretty much requires the formation of planets, stars, galaxies, etc.

Re:Annnd... brain goes splat. (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448642)

I think the biggest issue right now is that Hawkings "theories" relate to black holes, a physics "entity" that we have little ability to study right now (iirc). Basically, it's at around the same point that things was in physics when Einstein presented his theories, but before there where any observations or tests performed to confirm predictions (later confirmed by way of observing stars during an eclipse to see if they moved when their observed position got "close" to the sun and so on).

God = gravity, Gravity = God (5, Funny)

Wormfoud (1749176) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448344)

Following your argument that God aka Gravity has always existed...

Re:God = gravity, Gravity = God (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448412)

And is everywhere...

Is that all? (0, Flamebait)

DuncanE (35734) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448346)

Professor Hawking,

Is this all?

Is that all the best of the best in physics has to argue about? Gravity vs god? Thats like arguing over air vs oxygen.

Can you get back to the energy problem please? Neither god nor gravity will save us from that.

Thanks

Duncan

Re:Is that all? (2, Insightful)

savi (142689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448578)

You're saying that investigating the laws of the universe to figure out how/why the universe as we know it came to be is outside the realm of good physics?

Re:Is that all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448606)

Well, he's a scientist, not an engineer :)

Re:Is that all? (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448684)

"Can you get back to the energy problem please? Neither god nor gravity will save us from that."

God part is a debate best left to those who like to argue about religion. As for gravity, well how about hydro power? Water flows down the path of least resistance you know and if it can't find one it tends to make its own like the Grand Canyon.

Please Close Your Mouth (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448726)

Is that all the best of the best in physics has to argue about? Gravity vs god? Thats like arguing over air vs oxygen.

How many books have you written that have changed my life?

You seem to think that a scientist need only pick the area of his expertise. Physics isn't some computer game where you spec yourself out to be proficient in what you want to be. Hawking is incredibly gifted in cosmology and theoretical physics. To ask him to turn his attention on building a more efficient turbine or green energy could be compared to forcing John Williams to play only the electric guitar from now on.

Can you get back to the energy problem please? Neither god nor gravity will save us from that.

I wouldn't be so sure about that statement (with respect to gravity, forget god). I believe there are hydroelectric plants right now that harvest energy in interesting ways with the help of gravity. If there's a gravity particle, perhaps it could be exploited?

Intelligence is not some resource that we have an amount of. Stop pretending like men who have done far more than you are mis-allocating it. He's already been condemned to a wheelchair, what kind of sick person further condemns him to something he doesn't want to work on?

well duh. (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448360)


You could have just said "Hawking Picks Rational Thinking Over Superstition"

.

Metaphor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448388)

"If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God.""

The mind of god is nothing more than this "reason" we're all looking for i bet,
Perhaps in a mathematical mind god and creation are synonymous...

Sounds about right to me.

-J

The true believer (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448390)

A true believer will just argue that God designed gravity that way for that very reason.

Personally, I think scientists should stay completely out of the religious sphere. They're not going to change anyone's mind, science and religion mix very badly, and commenting on theological issues only increases the perception among many religious types that science is their enemy/competitor.

Re:The true believer (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448428)


Personally, I think scientists should stay completely out of the religious sphere. They're not going to change anyone's mind, science and religion mix very badly

True enough, but the religious folks think it's OK to warp science to fit into their primitive belief systems.

Just look at the Creationist nonsense going on in US schools. This is 2010?!

Re:The true believer (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448678)

True enough, but the religious folks think it's OK to warp science to fit into their primitive belief systems.

Just look at the Creationist nonsense going on in US schools. This is 2010?!

Also true. But that seems to be mostly a US thing. Along with televangelists. Most major Christian religions actually accept science and really don't interpret Genesis literally. So evolution is not that big an issue.

Stephen Jay Gould had it right with the Noma Principle.

Re:The true believer (1)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448700)

...I don't believe that has anything to do with the parent's comment, good sir. Look at you, warping the conversation to fit your primitive disgust.

Re:The true believer (2, Interesting)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448732)

True, but I simply don't believe science has any reason to even consider, let alone mention "God" in any fashion. You can't waste time disproving something that no one can prove. The onus here is on those who believe. Basically, science need not worry itself with theological ideas. Just keep learning new facts, coming up with new theories and keep teaching them to the best of your ability.

If somehow, one day, the paths do truly cross, still don't mention religion. Just put the information out there and let those who are willing to accept new ideas, learn.

M-theory (2, Interesting)

LoyalOpposition (168041) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448404)

In the forthcoming book, published on 9 September, Hawking says that M-theory, a form of string theory, will achieve this goal: "M-theory is the unified theory Einstein was hoping to find," he theorises.

You just have to have faith.

~Loyal

Re:M-theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448616)

Congratulations sir, this is a very effective and convenient way to dismiss everything he said and might say without having to think about it one bit.

I applaud your... hmm... let's be nice and say "intransigence".

Taking God's Name in Vain (1)

Framboise (521772) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448416)

Name the cause of everything "physics" or "god" is just an
arbitrary naming, so the discussion is futile.

Re:Taking God's Name in Vain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448510)

And it's futiles all the way down...

Re:Taking God's Name in Vain (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448544)

Try telling a bunch of Christians we're going to just start calling it Allah. It's all the same, right?

God, god, god.... (3, Insightful)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448438)

When I have an empirical proof that god exists, I will believe. For the moment, I have empirical proof that gravity exists, and Hawking simply extrapolated the laws of physics to the extreme, then came up with the big bang theory, and the theory still holds today.

No theist theory holds. It's all there to explain what we can't understand. And when we get to understand, we say "well, you know, God may have played a role anyway"...

But try to convince 90% of the human race that what I say is true. I may have a hard time.

Re:God, god, god.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448506)

When I have an empirical proof that god exists, I will believe.

Ironically, if you get empirical proof that God exists you will not be required to believe... Herein lies the problem.

Re:God, god, god.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448584)

When I have an empirical proof that god exists, I will believe.

Ironically, if you get empirical proof that God exists you will not be required to believe... Herein lies the problem.

+1

Re:God, god, god.... (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448702)

Actually it was Georges Lemaître [wikipedia.org] who proposed the Big Bang Theory.

And for the amusement of the current discussion, he was a catholic priest

Who's on first? (4, Interesting)

werewolf1031 (869837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448470)

"If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God."

I always thought it was a metaphor, as in to "know the mind of God" as he puts it means we'd finally understand everything about the universe, not that we'd know what a literal God is thinking.

Either some people took Mr. Hawking's statement too literally, or I misunderstood...

This book is like a Rolling Stones concert (-1, Flamebait)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448502)

Generating buzz by his name alone. His motor and communication skills have deteriorated to such a degree that that it should have 'based on the thoughts of Steven Hawking, we think' on the title. It's sad and unfortunate, but his relevance has been non existent for the last 10+ years.

Hawkings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448508)

So let me see,let's try something simple like putting a disassembled watch in a bucket and shaking it until it becomes a watch again ignoring the parts already there handicap.Surely the laws of gravity will succeed and make it so!

The real problem. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448532)

Arrogance. Do we really think we understand everything? Every generation from the beginning of time thought they were the enlightened generation. No, it is actually our generation! People from a thousand years from now are going to look back in awe how we figured it all out! Please.

a bore (-1, Troll)

us7892 (655683) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448540)

Hawking said something again. Yawnnn,,,,,

Invoke god? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448554)

... wouldn't it be more accurate to say "instantiate one or more Gods"? There are so many cultures with so many gods.

Congratulations, sparky (-1, Redundant)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448566)

"The Guardian reports that in his new book, The Grand Design, Professor Stephen Hawking argues that the Big Bang, rather than occurring following the intervention of a divine being, was inevitable due to the law of gravity. "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,"

You've just rediscovered and then bastardized Aristotle's "unmoved mover." Only you call it gravity instead of a divine being. Aristotle's version made far more sense because the "unmoved mover," who is the "primal first cause of all of causality" is completely different in nature from the rest of existence by virtue of being able to effect cause without being an effect itself.

Conservation of Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33448664)

Hawking is a fool, and always has been. "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing" Any scientist worth the chair he sits in knows matter can neither be created nor destroyed.

oh, how convenient... (1)

steak (145650) | more than 3 years ago | (#33448712)

a theory about god that doesn't require looking through a telescope. get back to work!

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