Stephen Hawking has a change of heart: God did not create Universe?

· Agnosticism
Authors

A concise review of the book,

the Grand Designby Stephen Hawking was published in early 2011 in the Muslim Sunrise:

http://muslimsunrise.com/dmddocuments/2011_spring.pdf#page=33

This Google knol is a detailed version of that review.

There is no place for God in theories on the creation of the Universe, Professor Stephen Hawking has said.

He had previously argued belief in a creator was not incompatible with science but in a new book, he concludes the Big Bang was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics. To set the record straight let me quotewhat he had said years ago,“The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous. I think there are clearly religious implications.” [1]

The question arises where did the laws come from and how can they create a whole universe purely by chance?

Never mind recreating a complete universe, let us just try creating a sequence. Imagine ten numbered balls in the picture I show only nine here:

Now these ten balls are in a lottery machine:

The machine coughs out one ball a second and I want to get all ten balls coming out in the numerical sequence, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. After every draw the ball is put back in the pile of ten in the machine, one keeps popping out every second and we keep recording it. How long will it take us to get our whole sequence right? It is a simple exercise in statistics. Let us start from the scratch. For the first ball to be number one among the ten the likelihood is 1/10 for the next number to be two the likelihood is 1/10 multiplied by 1/10 (1/10* 1/10) and for the next number to be three the likelihood is 1/10 * 1/10 * 1/10. To get the whole sequence right and to rephrase this probability issue we will need 1 followed by 10 zeroes seconds, namely, 10,000,000,000, which is 10billion seconds. It does not seem such a difficult goal but now imagine that you and me are going to havea life expectancy of 100 years, how many seconds is that:

100 * 365 * 24 * 60 * 60 = 3,153,600,000

So, it is probably not happening in your or my lifetime. We will need to live at least 300 years to be sure that this simple sequence pops up, during our lifetime. This is the simple nature of blind chance.

But, if we have infinite time at our disposal this sequence will happen infinite number of times. With infinite time at our disposal both probable and improbable events will happen infinite times. That is the nature of infinity and that isthe main ploy of the atheists to deny a Creator and blame every wonderful creation on blind chance. How come?

God is infinite but His creation is finite. If somehow we imagine the creation as infinite as well then chaotic things begin to happen, as humans cannot easily fathom infinity, in that both probable and improbable events will happen infinite times in an infinite and eternal universe. Multiverse is a ploy to invoke infinity to create the desired effect to fool the naive.

Plato would make Socrates say in the Republic (7.514a ff.), the human condition is comparable to that of prisoners of an underground cave, whose unfortunate fate is to confuse reality with passing shadows created by a fire inside their miserable abode and kept in motion by clever manipulators, who in the name of politics, religion, science, and tradition control the human herd

The Grand Design, part serialised in the Times, says there is no need to invoke God to set the Universe going.

“Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something,” he concluded.

A good refutation of this atheistic turn by Stephen Hawking is a book

the Mind of Godby Paul Davies. Davies may not be a devout believer now but his most famous bookthe Mind of God, does outline a good case for there being a Creator of this universe.

In the words of Professor Kenneth Miller, “Science itself does not contradict the hypothesis of God. Rather, it gives us a window on a dynamic and creative universe that expands our appreciation of the Divine in ways that could not have been imagined in ages past.” [2] “If dinosaurs had not died in this event, they would probably still dominate the domain of large-bodied vertebrates,” so theorizes a committed atheist Stephen Jay Gould, “as they had for so long with such conspicuous success, and mammals would be small creatures in the interstices of their world. This situation prevailed for 100 million years; why not for 60 million more? . . . In an entirely literal sense, we owe our existence, as large and reasoning animals, to our lucky stars.” [3]There are innumerable lucky chances or for a believer, instances of providences that have gone into making the universe suitable for human life. Some of these have been enumerated and explained in books like

Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe Is Just Right for Life, The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery,andRare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe. When we look at the totality of the evidence in biology and astronomy for Allah’s Providence we are reminded of the words of the Holy Quran, “If you try to count the favors of Allah, you will not be able to number them. Indeed man is very unjust, very ungrateful. (Al Quran 14:35)

Now I will write refutation ofsome individual chapters of the book:

Chapter 3: What is Reality?

After talking about the duality of light, mentioning Newton rings as an example for the wave nature of light and photo-electric effect as a manifestation of the particle nature of light, Hawking and Mlodinow go on to write:

“The idea of particles was familiar from rocks, pebbles, and sand. But this wave/particle duality-the idea that an object could be described as either a par­ticle or a wave-is as foreign to everyday experience as is the idea that you can drink a chunk of sandstone. Dualities like this-situations in which two very different theo­ries accurately describe the same phenomenon – are consistent with model-dependent realism. Each theory can describe and ex­plain certain properties, and neither theory can be said to be bet­ter or more real than the other. Regarding the laws that govern the universe, what we can say is this: There seems to be no single mathematical model or theory that can describe every aspect of the universe. Instead, as mentioned in the opening chapter, there seems to be the network of theories called M – theory. Each theory in the M-theory network is good at describing phenomena within a certain range. Wherever their ranges overlap, the various theo­ries in the network agree, so they can all be said to be parts of the same theory. But no single theory within the network can describe every aspect of the universe-all the forces of nature, the particles that feel those forces, and the framework of space and time in which it all plays out.” [4]

It is a strange paradox that the best human minds after centuries of investigation, have barely begun to scratch the surface of ‘what is reality,’ yet some among them claim certainty that there is only chaos and an accident behind thathas led to and orchestrated this ‘reality!’ The dual nature of lightthat Hawking chooses as a metaphor, whenwe pursue it deeper,the eleganceand beautyof a simple ray of light,argues for a Designer and a Creator. I havediscussed this point in a separate article. Whereas the 19 th century physics, in its arrogance, had shut the door to ‘Personal God’ the 20 thcentury physics has widely opened it again. The article,

the Indispensible God Hypothesiscan be reviewed in the fall, 2008 volume ofMuslim Sunrise:

http://www.muslimsunrise.com/dmddocuments/2008_iss_3.pdf#page=22

Chapter 4: Alternative Histories

In this chapter Hawking and Leonard Moldinow shock and awe the reader with the details of the quatum physics, hoping that if the reader is impressed by quantum physics or their scholarship he will be duped into their other premise. They write:

“Probabilities in quantum theories are different. They reflect a fundamental randomness in nature. The quantum model of nature encompasses principles that contradict not only our everyday experience but our intuitive concept of reality. Those who find those principles weird or difficult to believe are in good company, the company of great physicists such as Einstein and even Feyman, whose description of quantum theory we will soon present. In fact, Feynman once wrote, ‘I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.’ But quantum physics agrees with observation. It has never failed a test, and it has been tested more than any other theory in science.” [5]

The irony offate is, what is almost impossible for the best human minds to merely grasp, according to Hawkingshould be considered to be arising from underlying chaos and an accident.Let us nowmake an attemptto learn quantumphysics. Some aspect of quantum reality may be harder to grasp but someone with average intellect who is not over-awed by physics should be able to understand the double slit experiment. According to Richard Feyman the double slit experiment that Hawking describes in this chapter, ‘contains all the mystery of quantum mechanics.’ [6]

Reader can try to master this experiment and claim some reasonable proficiency in quantum mechanics based on Feyman’s disclosure, from Hawking’s book or other resources on the internet. One good source for this purpose that I have found very comprehensible for me is the first chapter of the book by Prof. Jim Al-Khalili, professor at Surrey university,

Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed.

Chater 7: The Apparent Miracle

The title of the article reflects that the scientific study of this universe reveals it to be almost a miracle. The authors not only argue against their premise in the title of their book but also in the titles of many of the chapters. The hall mark of this chapteris the fact that Hawking and his co-author have completely conceded ground to the arguments put forward by people like Frederick Holye in highlighting the extraordinary coincidences that lead to the formation of carbon in our universe that I have described in one of my other Knols titled,

A challenge for Dawkins: Where did carbon come from?Hoyle saw an inference of a Creator in all this not lack there of as Hawking is suggesting. The study of formation of carbonpertains to the triple alpha process, how three alpha particles or helium atoms collide to make an atom of carbon:

Triple Alpha Process:Carbon is made inside stars from the collisions of three helium nuclei, an event that would be very unlikely if not for a special property of the laws of nuclear physics.

Read the confession of theHawking and Mlodinowin their own words:

“One of the first to recognize that this might involve a good measure of serendipity was Fred Hoyle, in the I950s. Hoyle believed that all chemical elements had originally been formed from hydrogen, which he felt was the true primordial substance. Hydrogen has the simplest atomic nucleus, consisting of just one proton, either alone or in combination with one or two neutrons. (Different forms of hydrogen, or any nucleus, having the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes.) Today we know that helium and lithium, atoms whose nuclei contain two and three protons, were also primordially synthesized, in much smaller amounts, when the universe was about 200 seconds old. Life, on the other hand, depends on more complex elements. Carbon is the most important of these, the basis for all organic chemistry. Though one might imagine ‘living’ organisms such as intelligent computers produced from other elements, such as silicon, it is doubtful that life could have spontaneously evolved in the absence of carbon. The reasons for that are technical but have to do with the unique manner in which carbon bonds with other elements. Carbon dioxide, for example, is gaseous at room temperature, and biologically very useful. Since silicon is the element directly below carbon on the periodic table, it has similar chemical properties. However, silicon dioxide, quartz, is far more useful in a rock collection than in an organism’s lungs. Still, perhaps life forms could evolve that feast on silicon and rhythmically twirl their tails in pools of liquid ammonia. Even that type of exotic life could not evolve from just the primordial elements, for those elements can form only two stable compounds, lithium hydride, which is a colorless crystalline solid, and hydrogen gas, neither of them a compound likely to reproduce or even to fall in love. Also, the fact remains that we are a carbon life-form, and that raises the issue of how carbon, whose nucleus contains six protons, and the other heavy elements in our bodies were created. The first step occurs when older stars start to accumulate helium, which is produced when two hydrogen nuclei collide and fuse with each other. This fusion is how stars create the energy that warms us. Two helium atoms can in turn collide to form beryllium, an atom whose nucleus contains four protons. Once beryllium is formed, it could in principle fuse with a third helium nucleus to form carbon. But that doesn’t happen, because the isotope of beryllium that is formed decays almost immediately back into helium nuclei. The situation changes when a star starts to run out of hydrogen. When that happens the star’s core collapses until its central temperature rises to about 100 million degrees Kelvin. Under those conditions, nuclei encounter each other so often that some beryllium nuclei collide with a helium nucleus before they have had a chance to decay. Beryllium can then fuse with helium to form an isotope of carbon that is stable. But that carbon is still a long way from forming ordered aggregates of chemical compounds of the type that can enjoy a glass of Bordeaux, juggle flaming bowling pins, or ask questions about the universe. For beings such as humans to exist, the carbon must be moved from inside the star to friendlier neighborhoods. That, as we’ve said, is accomplished when the star, at the end of its life cycle, explodes as a supernova, expelling carbon and other heavy elements that later condense into a planet. This process of carbon creation is called the triple alpha process because ‘alpha particle’ is another name for the nucleus of the isotope of helium involved, and because the process requires that three of them (eventually) fuse together. The usual physics predicts that the rate of carbon production via the triple alpha process ought to be quite small. Noting this, in 1952 Hoyle predicted that the sum of the energies of a beryllium nucleus and a helium nucleus must be almost exactly the energy of a certain quantum state of the isotope of carbon formed, a situation called a resonance, which greatly increases the rate of a nuclear reaction. At the time, no such energy level was known, but based on Hoyle’s suggestion, William Fowler at Caltech sought and found it, providing important support for Hoyle’s views on how complex nuclei were created. Hoyle wrote, ‘I do not believe that any scientist who examined the evidence would fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce inside the stars;’ At the time no one knew enough nuclear physics to understand the magnitude of the serendipity that resulted in these exact physical laws. But in investigating the validity of the strong anthropic principle, in recent years physicists began asking themselves what the universe would have been like if the laws of nature were different.” [7]

I will add Hoyle’s interpretation of these facts here over time. Hawking not only yields to Hoyle but basically concedesadditional arguments that have been built in books like,

Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape The Universe, by Martin J. Rees andthe Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life?a book by Paul Davies that describe how several of the constants in physics appear to be fine tuned to make our universe biophyllic or suitable for life. Hawking and Mlodinow write:

“Today we can create computer models that tell us how the rate of the triple alpha reaction depends upon the strength of the fundamental forces of nature. Such calculations show that a change of as little as 0.5 percent in the strength of the strong nuclear force, or 4 percent in the electric force, would destroy either nearly all carbon or all oxygen in every star, and hence the possibility of life as we know it. Change those rules of our universe just a bit, and the conditions for our existence disappear! By examining the model universes we generate when the theories of physics are altered in certain ways, one can study the effect of changes to physical law in a methodical manner. It turns out that it is not only the strengths of the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force that are made to order for our existence. Most of the fundamental constants in our theories appear fine tuned in the sense that if they were altered by only modest amounts, the universe would be qualitatively different, and in many cases unsuitable for the development of life. For example, if the other nuclear force, the weak force, were much weaker, in the early universe all the hydrogen in the cosmos would have turned to helium, and hence there would be no normal stars; if it were much stronger, exploding supernovas would not eject their outer envelopes, and hence would fail to seed interstellar space with the heavy elements planets require to foster life. If protons were 0.2 percent heavier, they would decay into neutrons, destabilizing atoms. If the sum of the masses of the types of quark that make up a proton were changed by as little as 10 percent, there would be far fewer of the stable atomic nuclei of which we are made; in fact, the summed quark masses seem roughly optimized for the existence of the largest number of stable nuclei. If one assumes that a few hundred million years in stable orbit are necessary for planetary life to evolve, the number of space di­mensions is also fixed by our existence. That is because, according to the laws of gravity, it is only in three dimensions that stable el­liptical orbits are possible. Circular orbits are possible in other di­mensions, but those, as Newton feared, are unstable. In any but three dimensions even a small disturbance, such as that produced by the pull of the other planets, would send a planet off its circu­lar orbit and cause it to spiral either into or away from the sun, so we would either burn up or freeze. Also, in more than three dimensions the gravitational force between two bodies would de­crease more rapidly than it does in three dimensions. In three dimensions the gravitational force drops to X of its value if one doubles the distance. In four dimensions it would drop to Ys, in five dimensions it would drop to;, and so on. As a result, in more than three dimensions the sun would not be able to exist in a stable state with its internal pressure balancing the pull of gravity. It would either fall apart or collapse to form a black hole, either of which could ruin your day. On the atomic scale, the elec­trical forces would behave in the same way as gravitational forces. That means the electrons in atoms would either escape or spiral into the nucleus. In neither case would atoms as we know them be possible. The emergence of the complex structures capable of support­ing intelligent observers seems to be very fragile. The laws of na­ture form a system that is extremely fine-tuned, and very little in physical law can be altered without destroying the possibility of the development of life as we know it. Were it not for a series of startling coincidences in the precise details of physical law, it seems, humans and similar life-forms would never have come into being.The most impressive fine-tuning coincidence involves the so­called cosmological constant in Einstein’s equations of general rel­ativity.” [8]

Having conceded all ground to the hypothesis that there should be a Creator of this universe, Hawking goes on to weave a vague defense for his atheism and again relying on the philosophical construct of multiverse that by definition lies outside the domain of science andis discussed in some detail in the second last section of this knol. After nicely describing the arguments of their opponents Hawking and his co-author go onto say:

“Many people through the ages have attributed to God the beauty and complexity of nature that in their time seemed to have no scientific explanation. But just as Darwin and Wallace explained how the apparently miraculous de­sign of living forms could appear without intervention by a supreme being, the multiverse concept can explain the fine-tuning of physical law without the need for a benevolent creator who made the universe for our benefit.” [9]

The Muslims have never argued that miracles break the laws of nature or that God created in supernatural or mysterious ways, rather He out of his supreme Wisdom created the angels and the laws of nature to do the work for him. In the Holy Quran we read, “Allah is the First and the Last, and the Manifest and the Hidden, and He knows all things full well.” (Al Quran 57:4) Allah is the Hidden and operates behind the scene, but, He is the Manifest also, He is manifest in the beauty, organization and complexity of nature. Just finding the mechanisms of nature as in the discovery of Charles Lyell, Sir Charles Darwin or Alfred Wallace does not take away the majesty of God’s creation. Hawkings proposal of upto ten raised to the power of 500 parallel universes glorifies the Transcendent God of Abrahmamic faiths of Judaism, Unitarian Christianity and Islam more than ever before. It is dawn of an age when God the Creator will be extolled and praised more than ever as prophecied also in the Holy Quran, “All praise is due to Allah, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And His is all praise in the Latter Days; and He is the Wise, the All-Aware.” (Al Quran 34:2) The more we discover the elaborate laws of nature the more we are amazed and awed by God’s creativity!

But, Hawking conveniently frames the reality conveniently in a fashion that merely discovering mechanisms takes away the need of the Creator, this is as if discovering the murder weapon takes away the need of finding the murderer and establishes that the knife killed the person in question, no need to find the hand that wielded the knife! The more elaborate the plot or more intricate the design, the greater is the need to invoke an intelligencebehind the scenes. Thisline of argumentation has been developed in some detail in the books,

Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & TheologyandNo Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligenceby William A. Dembski.

WhereasDembski may want to place Intelligent Design in the domain of science, I believe that it clearly belongs in the domain of metaphysics or philosphy as humans can neverdirectly observedivine hand at work in a scientific observational paradigm.

Additionally, Hawking makes no mention of the Muslims or Islam, he goes after his weakest opponents. He wants to sit on the laurels of science in having defeated the contradictory Christianity of the time of Copernicus. He wants to pick on Intelligent Design movement (“ID”), which in its ignorance thinks that the hypothesis that there ought to be a Creator of this universebelongs to the domain of science rather than thatof philosophy or metaphysics. Itmay be that ID is not ignorant and it is just their political ploy and rhetoric. At any rate, Hawking and Mlodinow mention a range of religions and theologies but shy away fromany mention of the Holy Quran, the only scripture that encourages the study of nature in almost 800 verses! In this age of information it is hard to attribute this omission tosheer lack of knowledge. They write:

“What can we make of these coincidences? Luck in the precise form and nature of fundamental physical law is a different kind of luck from the luck we find in environmental factors. It cannot be so easily explained, and has far. deeper physical and philosophical implications. Our universe and its laws appear to have a design that both is tailor-made to support us and, if we are to exist, leaves little room for alteration. That is not easily explained, and raises the natural question of why it is that way.Many people would like us to use these coincidences as evi­dence of the work of God. The idea that the universe was de­signed to accommodate mankind appears in theologies and mythologies dating from thousands of years ago right up to the present. In the Mayan Popol Vuh mythohistorical narratives the gods proclaim, “We shall receive neither glory nor honor from all that we have created and formed until humanbeings exist, en­dowed with sentience?’ A typical Egyptian text dated 2000 BC states, “Men, the cattle of God, have been well provided for. He [the sun god] made the sky and earth for their benefit?’ … A more modern illustration of the Christian view was given a few years ago when Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, wrote, ‘Now, at the beginning of tlle 21st century, faced with scientific claims like neo-­Darwinism and the multiverse [many universes] hypothesis in cos­mology invented to avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in modern science, the Catholic Church will again defend human nature by proclaiming that the immanent de­sign in nature is real?’ In cosmology the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design to which the cardinal was referring is the fine­tuning of physical law we described above.” [10]

I could have ignored the authors’ lack of mention of Islam and the Muslims in the above paragraphs until I noted their seemingly deliberate omission of naming the first Muslim Nobel Laureate, Dr. Abdus Salam and hiscontribution to the unification of the forces of nature. Hawking mentions Newton, Einstein and Maxwell but conveniently omits Salam, in the conclusion of his seventh chapter:

“Ever since Newton, and especially since Einstein, the goal of physics has been to find simple mathematical principles of the kind Kepler envisioned, and with them to create a unified theory of everything that would account for every detail of the matter and forces we observe in nature. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Maxwell and Einstein united the theories of electricity, magnetism, and light. In the I970s the standard model was created, a single theory of the strong and weak nuclear forces,electromagnetic force. String theory and M-theory the came into being in an attempt to include the remaining force, gravity.” [11]

In the mid-1950s Salam began considering a fundamental question of modern physics: whether the various forces that govern everything in nature might actually be manifestations of the same basic force. At the time, scientists knew of four fundamental forces: gravitational force, strong force, and weak force, and the electromagnetic force. Abdus Salam was given the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 that he shared with Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg, for unifying the weak force with electro-magnetic force.

It is time for Stephen Hawking and like to stop tilting at the windmill by addressing the theology of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks or Chinese or the Christians of the Copernicus time and address the modern theology of the Holy Quran as understood by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, to whom belonged the Nobel Laureate Dr. Abdus Salam that he conveniently forgot about in writing his book especially the seventh chapter.

Chapter 8: The Grand Design

The authors very eloquently try to summarize what they have explainedabout the laws of nature, through out the book,in the very beginning of the lastchapter:

“In this book we have described how regularities in the . motion of astronomical bodies such as the sun, the moon, and the planets suggested that they were governed by fixed laws rather than being subject to the arbitrary whims and caprices of gods and demons. At first the existence of such laws became apparent only in astronomy (or astrology, which was regarded as much the same). The behavior of things on earth is so complicated and subject to so many influences that early civilizations were unable to discern any clear patterns or laws governing these phenomena. Gradually, how¬ever, new laws were discovered in areas other than astronomy, and this led to the idea of scientific determinism: There must be a com¬plete set of laws that, given the state of the universe at a specific time, would specify how the universe would develop from that time for-ward. These laws should hold everywhere and at all times; otherwise they wouldn’t be laws. There could be no exceptions or miracles. Gods or demons couldn’t intervene in the running of the universe. At the time that scientific determinism was first proposed, Newton’s laws of motion and gravity were the only laws known. We have described how these laws were extended by Einstein in his general theory of relativity, and how other laws were discov¬ered to govern other aspects of the universe. The laws of nature tell us how the universe behaves, but they don’t answer the why? questions that we posed at the start of this book: Why is there something rather than nothing?Why do we exist? Why this particular set of laws and not some other?

Some would claim the answer to these questions is that there is a God who chose to create the universe that way. It is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is God, then the question has merely been deflected to that of who created God. In this view it is accepted that some entity exists that needs no creator, and that entity is called God. This is known as the first-cause argument for the existence of God. We claim, however, that it is possible to answer these questions purely within the realm of science, and without invoking any divine beings.” [12]

Let me first of all handle the question of ‘

Why is there something rather than nothing?’with a snappy quote about atheism:

Hawking claims in this chapter, “Bodies such as stars or black holes cannot just appear out ofnothing. But a whole universe can.” We can believe him and will take him on his words and we call such a universe a miracle and see our Creator in such a happening. What is wrong with imagining a Creator who has set laws of nature to do the work for him, in religious jargon such laws of nature can be called angels.

Hawking outlines a deterministic universe, for example he writes, “Given any intial condition, these laws generate generation after generation.” Reading this chapter reminded me of the boastful andarrogant practitioners of 19th century physicists who had perhaps learned certain degree of humility after the discovery of quantum physics.

Napoleon, in one of the most notable conversations in the entire history of science, is reported to have once asked the French scientist Pierre Simon Laplace about the role of God in his scientific world view. It is said that Laplace had presented Napoleon with a copy of his work, who had heard that the book contained no mention of God. Napoleon, who was fond of putting embarrassing questions, received it with the remark, “Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator.” Laplace is said to have replied, “Sir, I have no need of that hypothesis.” And so it goes. The apparent so called self sufficiency of our physical universe has caused many a scientists to move away from the idea of a Creator of the Universe or the God Hypothesis. But should it really be so?

Hawking is following in the foot steps of Laplace but more than a hundred year too late, and the prediction of quantum physics defy Hawkings conclusions!

Additionally, such extreme materialism completely ignores the mystical experience of countless prophets of God and saints, denies the purpose of human life and takes away any consolation from the grieved.

All about Multiverse

Baron John Rees, President of the Royal Society of UK writes in his book,

Just Six Numbers: the Deep Forces That Shape the Universedescribes:“I have highlighted these six because each plays a crucial and distinctive role in our universe, and together they determine how the universe evolves and what its internal potentialities are; moreover, three of them (those that pertain to the large-scale universe) are only now being measured with any precision. These six numbers constitute a ‘recipe’ for a universe. Moreover, the outcome is sensitive to their values: if anyone of them were to be ‘untuned’, there would be no stars and no life. Is this tuning just a brute fact, a coincidence? Or is it the providence of a benign Creator?” [13]

To drive home the full force of the fine tuning of these six numbers from physics, Martin Rees further quotes a very useful metaphor:

“There are various ways of reacting to the apparent fine tuning of our six numbers. One hard-headed response is that we couldn’t exist if these numbers weren’t adjusted in the appropriate ‘special’ way: we manifestly are here, so there’s nothing to be surprise about. Many scientists take this line, but it certainly leaves me unsatisfied. I‘m impressed by a metaphor given by the Canadian philosopher John Leslie. Suppose you are facing a firing squad. Fifty marksmen take aim, but they all miss. If they hadn’t all missed, you wouldn’t have survived to ponder the matter. But you wouldn’t just leave it at that – you’d still be baffled, and would seek some further reason for your good fortune.” [14][15]

So, the validity and eloquence of the argument offine tuning of our universe is self evident. What would the atheists do to wriggle out of this? They believemuliverse is the magical wand, hymn, mantra or panacea,they need to invoke in every moment of difficulty or distress. I quoted above from Hawking’s book itself andit is worth repeating it here:

“Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, wrote, ‘Now, at the beginning of tlle 21st century, faced with scientificclaims like neo-­Darwinism and the multiverse [many universes] hypothesis in cos­mology invented to avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in modern science, the Catholic Church will again defend human nature by proclaiming that the immanent de­sign in nature is real?’ In cosmology the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design to which the cardinal was referring is the fine­tuning of physical law we described above.”

I agree with the Cardinal completely in his assesment of the multiverse. It isthe preconceived atheism that makes manyscientistsweave artificial explanation for the order, beauty and organization that they have observed in the universe and in the living organisms on our planet earth. Multiverse is the main ploy of the atheists to wriggle out of the evidence of the finely tuned universe. Antony Flew explains, “This fine tuning has been explained in two ways. Some scientists have said the fine tuning is evidence for divine design; many others have speculated that our universe is one of multiple others—a ‘multiverse’—with the difference that ours happened to have the right conditions for life. Virtually no major scientist today claims that the fine tuning was purely a result of chance factors at work in a single universe.” [16]

A true scientific explanation, says Paul Davies, is like a single well-aimed bullet. The idea of a multiverse replaces the rationally ordered real world with an infinitely complex charade and makes the whole idea of ‘explanation’ meaningless. [17] Richard Swinburne is just as strong in his disdain for the multiverse explanation: “It is crazy to postulate a trillion (causally unconnected) universes to explain the features of one universe, when postulating one entity (God) will do the job.” [18]

I quoted Martin Rees above to make my points but as he wanders away and drifts into the atheist world in the last chapter of his book. I have to be critical of his elusive defense of multiverse. Now watch howhe starts manufacturing smoke screens in the concluding chapter of the book

Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe. The chapter is titled,Coincidence, providence—or multiverse, he writes trying to be an apologetic for concept of ‘multiverse’:

“Some people may be inclined to dismiss such concepts (multiverse) as ‘metaphysics’ (a damning put-down from a physicist’s viewpoint). But I think the multiverse genuinely lies within the province of science, even though it is plainly still no more than a tentative hypothesis. This is because we can already map out what questions must be addressed in order to put it on a more credible footing; more importantly (since any good scientific theory must be vulnerable to being refuted), we can envisage some developments that might rule out the concept.” [19]

He chooses to put multiverse genuinely in the province of science while the multiverse is by definition outside of our universe and there is no hope of us ever studying or observing it, except in make belief stories. He knows it himself also as a little bit later he confesses, “These universes would never be directly observable; we couldn’t even meaningfully say whether they existed ‘before’, ‘after’ or ‘alongside’ our own.” [20]

Also see a comment below,

The biophyllic universe.

God cannot be disallowed natural mechanisms

In the past, the idea that nature was a complete, functional, self-sufficient system was seldom thought to be an argument against the existence of God. Quite the contrary, it was regarded as proof of the wisdom and skill and care of that great architect. The heavens in all their regularity reflected the grandeur of the Lord. And scientific investigation was regarded as a fine and appropriate way to get closer to the Creator’s ways. Immanuel Kant said, “God has put a secret art into the forces of Nature so as to enable it to fashion itself out of chaos into a perfect world system.” According to Sir Isaac Newton, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an Intelligent and Powerful Being.” [21]

If you ask the wrong questions the answers will not matter, that often is the strategy of atheist writers. One of the main emphases of the book under consideration is that if there is natural and orderly explanation of everything then it rules out the possibility of God, the Creator, as if God could resort to only supernatural, miraculous or chaotic means and He did not have the wisdom to create Natural Laws anduse them for His creative work. For example Hawking writes, “Many people through the ages have attributed to God the beauty and complexity of nature that in there time seemed to have no scientific explanation (and even despite the scientific explanation, if they have correct metaphysics, my addition). But just as Darwin and Wallace explained how the apparently miraculous design of living forms could appear without intervention by the supreme being, the multiverse concept can explain the fine-tuning of physical law without the need for a benevolent creator who made the universe for our benefit.” [22] Unlike the Christian believer of the middle ages the Muslim believers of the twentieth and the twenty first century do not believe in the God of the gaps. We do not believe in a Creator because there are gaps in our understanding of the explanation of some phenomena in the laws of nature. We believe in him because of the elegance and complexity ofthe laws of nature and because He is the Supreme Law Giver but He is Transcendent, beyond time space and matter and we can only see His creative work through the laws of nature.

Someadditional details on this issuecan be found in one of my other knols titled,

the Indispensible God Hypothesis:

http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/religion-and-science-the-indispensable/1qhnnhcumbuyp/101 #

Paul Davies, Author of God and

the New Physics, and the Mind of God, has presented evidence from design. I may not agree with every thing that he has lately said but would whole heartedly agree with the followingquotes. He says in a Tempelton Award address,From First Things:

“All the richness and diversity of matter and energy we observe today has emerged since the beginning in a long and complicated sequence of self- organizing physical processes. The laws of physics not only permit a universe to originate spontaneously, but they encourage it to organize and complexify itself to the point where conscious beings emerge who can look back on the great cosmic drama and reflect on what it all means.

Now you may think I have written God entirely out of the picture. Who needs a God when the laws of physics can do such a splendid job? But we are bound to return to that burning question: Where do the laws of physics come from? And why those laws rather than some other set? Most especially: Why a set of laws that drives the searing, featureless gases coughed out of the big bang toward life and consciousness and intelligence and cultural activities such as religion, art, mathematics, and science?” [23] These unlikely events that at times Hawking calls as ‘strokes of very good fortune,’ make theists believe in creative power of an Omniscient God!

Planetary conditions

In his new book, an extract of which appears in the Times, Britain’s most famous physicist sets out to contest Sir Isaac Newton’s belief that the universe must have been designed by God as it could not have sprung out of chaos.

Citing the 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting a star other than our Sun, he said: “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 as evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings.”

He adds: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11161493

Hawking writes:

“Newton believed that our strangely habitable solar system did not ‘arise out of chaos by the mere laws of nature.’ Instead, he maintained, the order in the universe was ‘created by God at first and conserved by him to this Day in the same state and condi­tion:’ It is easy to understand why one might think that. The many improbable occurrences that conspired to enable our exis­tence, and our world’s human-friendly design, would indeed be puzzling if ours were the only solar system in the universe. But in 1992 came the first confirmed observation of a planet orbiting a star other than our sun. We now know of hundreds of such plan­ets, and few doubt that there exist countless others among the many billions of stars in our universe. 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 as evidence that the earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings. Planets of all sorts exist. Some-or at least one-support life. Obviously, when the beings on a planet that supports life examine the world around them, they are bound to find that their environment satis­fies the conditions they require to exist.” [24]

After the discovery of just a few planets without necessarily providing other conditions for life and without conceeding countless other ‘strokes of very good fortune,’ that make our planet habitable, Hawking jumps to the conjecture that there is no reason to stand in awe of amazing feat of habitibility of our planet.

Free will argues against a deterministic universe

Stephen Hawking writes:

How can one tell if a being has free will? If one encounters an alien, how can one tell if it is just a robot or it has a mind of its own? The behavior of a robot would be completely determined, unlike that of a being with free will. Thus one could in principle detect a robot as a being whose actions can be predicted. As we said in Chapter 2, this may be impossibly difficult if the being is large and complex. We cannot even solve exactly the equations for three or more particles interacting with each otller. Since an alien the size of a human would contain about a thousand trillion trillion particles even if the alien were a robot, it would be impossible to solve the equations and predict what it would do. We would therefore have to say that any complex being has free will- not as a fundamental feature, but as an effective theory, an admission of our inability to do the calculations that would enable us to predict its actions. [25] He is unable to explain free will with his completely deterministic approach and has to state, ‘We would therefore have to say that any complex being has free will- not as a fundamental feature, but as an effective theory.’

Allah created the universe in a manner that He could provide humanity free will. He made our actions matter, our choices genuine and not predetermined or predestined in a way that could be predicted by Laplace. In the words of Professor Kenneth R Miller, “The Western God (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) stands back from His creation, not to absent Himself, not to abandon His creatures, but to allow His people true freedom.” [26]

M Theory

Stephen Hawking concludes his book with the following paragraph:

M-theory is the unified theory Einstein was hoping to find. The fact that we human beings – who are ourselves mere collections of fundamental particles of nature- have been able to come this close to an understanding of the laws governing us and our uni­verse is a great triumph. But perhaps the true miracle is that ab­stract considerations of logic lead to a unique theory that predicts and describes a vast universe full of the amazing variety that we see. If the theory is confirmed by observation, it will be the suc­cessful conclusion of a search going back more than 3,000 years. We will have found the grand design.

[27]

M theory is well and good, in due course of time we may have XY and Z theories but they have no bearing on there being a Transcendent Creator. The greater the complexity and organization of the Natural Laws, louder they announce the presence of a benevolent God! What has been discussed earlier under the heading,

The portion of the knol,

God cannot be disallowed natural mechanisms, also applies here.

The Rubin Vase

J Gould, a Harvard University, biology Professor, though an atheist himself, states that natural sciences, including evolutionary theory, are consistent with both atheism and monotheism. He cites some examples of accomplished Biologists who are also devout believers, “Darwin himself was agnostic (having lost his religious beliefs upon the tragic death of his favorite daughter), but the great American botanist Asa Gray, who favored natural selection and wrote a book entitled Darwiniana, was a devout Christian. Move forward 50 years: Charles D. Walcott, discoverer of the Burgess Shale fossils, was a convinced Darwinian and an equally firm Christian, who believed that God had ordained natural selection to construct a history of life according to His plans and purposes. Move on another 50 years to the two greatest evolutionists of our generation: G. G. Simpson was a humanist agnostic. Theodosius Dobzhansky a believing Russian Orthodox.” He concludes his argument by saying, “Either half my colleagues are enormously stupid, or else the science of Darwinism is fully compatible with conventional religious beliefs—and equally compatible with atheism.” [28]

The Rubin vase, like the nature of light, gives us a dual impression. We can choose to see the vase or the two faces depending on our angle and perspective. Same is true for our universe that we can observe. Even though the universe suggests that there should be a Creator for it, in the adjustments that it makes to make it biophilic, or suitable for life, yet its self contained and apparent self sufficient nature allows an agnostic or an atheist to conceptualize it in purely materialistic terms and causes. That is part of the ‘design’ as there are no supernatural miracles only improbable miracles that can, however, be explained in a totally materialistic paradigm. Miracle should be understood in the paradigm proposed by Arthur C Clark’s famous Third Law, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic!” [29]

Despite the uncertainty at the quantum level, on a larger physical scale and in a pragmatic manner, we find that the Newtonian and Einsteinian laws work extremely well in the physical world. On this larger scale we all trust these principles every time we ride in an elevator or fly in a plane. However, the concepts of quantum theory have been utilized in the discovery and manufacturing of transistors and lasers. Transistors, in turn have revolutionized the electronics industry and more recently computer industry. So the concepts of quantum mechanics are not merely theoretical but have found pragmatic applications.

There is duality in the design of nature. At the macroscopic level is the world of Newton and Einstein following the discrete laws of physics that make our efforts consistent with predictable results and at the quantum level there is the uncertainty principle which ensures our free will, the values of our prayers and the Providence of God.

Over the years there has been unification of forces and disciplines. Mass and energy were shown to be one. Then the different forms of energy were shown to be one. Then it was shown that the mundane chemical mechanisms also run in the living bodies. In this process of unification it is time to unify the physical with the metaphysical. There is possibly one portal of entry for God to enter into the ‘natural laws,’ that portal of entry is at the quantum level.

Epilogue

What thescientist with prior bias towardsatheism have done in thelast two centuries, from the time of Charles Lyell and Charles Darwin,is to have a paradigm that if theycan find natural mechanisms for any complex phenomenon then they infer that there cannot be a creator or designer of that phenomenon or of the universe as a whole. In other words they will accept a Creator only if they can observe supernatural mechanisms that by definition science cannot observe. The atheist scientistshave framed God out of the reality and when they make observations that mean no more than self fulfilling prophecies they startflashing their atheist beliefs.

The Messiah of this age Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community,postulated based on his study of the Holy Quran that the Universe is like glass revealing the Transcendent Creator underlying it. Hewrote:

“As man cannot perceive with his physical eyes the Imperceptible Being Who is latent in everyone like fire and yet is hidden from everyone, nor can he find Him through the exercise of his imperfect reason, he has been subject to many errors in his understanding of Him and through his errors he renders to others that which is His due. God Almighty has mentioned an excellent illustration in the Holy Qur’an that the world is like a great hall paved smooth with slabs of glass and a current of water flows underneath them which runs very fast. A person looking at the slabs of glass wrongly imagines them to be water also and is afraid of walking upon them as he would be afraid of walking upon water, though in reality they are only glass but very clear and transparent. Thus, these great objects in heaven like the sun and the moon etc. are transparent like glass and are worshipped by mistake. Behind them, there is a Higher Power at work which is flowing swiftly like water. It is the mistake of those who worship created things that they attribute to the glass all this activity which is being manifested by the Power behind it. This is the explanation of the verse, Al Quran 27:45. اِنَّه صَرْحٌ مُّمَرَّدٌ مِّنْ قَوَارِيْرَ‌
‘It is a great hall paved with smooth slabs of glass.’ (Al Quran 27:45) As the Being of God Almighty, despite its brightness, is hidden beyond sight, the physical universe is not adequate for its true recognition. This is the reason why those who depended upon the physical system despite their careful consideration of its perfect orderliness which comprehends hundreds of wonders within itself, and despite their pursuit of astronomy and physics and philosophy to a degree which shows that they had penetrated through heaven and earth, could not get rid of their doubts and suspicions and became involved in all types of errors and wandered far afield in their absurd fantasies. Many of them become involved in grave errors and wander far away in pursuit of their stupid fancies. Their utmost conjecture is that this grand system which displays great wisdom must have a Maker, but this conjecture is incomplete and this insight is defective. The affirmation that this system must have a creator does not amount to a positive affirmation that He does in truth exist.” [30]

Hawking teaches us in the final paragraphs of the fifth chapter that the M theory allows for ten raised to the power 500 different universes, each with its own laws. Now any universe outside our own by its very definition cannot be observed, so multiverse theory lies outside the realm of science, but paraphrasing Hawking’s number of possible universes, there may be ten raised to the power 500 variables that make our universe biophyllic and so many reasons for us to be grateful to our Creator!

References

  1. J Boslough. Stephen Hawkings universe. William Morrow, New York, 1985. Page 121.
  2. http://www.templeton.org/belief/
  3. Stephen Gould. Wonderful life. Page 318.
  4. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Page 58.
  5. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Page 74.
  6. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Page 66.
  7. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Pages 156-159.
  8. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Pages 159-161.
  9. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Page 165.
  10. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Page 162-163.
  11. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Page 165-166.
  12. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Pages 171-172.
  13. John Rees. Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe. Basic Books, 2000. Page 4.
  14. John Rees. Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe. Basic Books, 2000. Page 4.
  15. John Rees. Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe. Basic Books, 2000. Page 165-166.
  16. Antony Flew. There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. Harper One, 2007. Page 115.
  17. Paul Davies, “Universes Galore: Where Will It All End?” http://cosmos.asu.edu/publications/chapters/Universes%20galore.pdf
  18. Richard Swinburne, “Design Defended,” Think (Spring 2004): page 17.
  19. John Rees. Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe. Basic Books, 2000. Page 166-167.
  20. John Rees. Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe. Basic Books, 2000. Page 168.
  21. http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/the-indispensible-god-hypothesis/1qhnnhcumbuyp/16#
  22. 5.Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Page 165.
  23. http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9508/articles/davies.html
  24. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Page 153.
  25. 4.Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Pages 178.
  26. Kenneth R Miller. Finding Darwin’s God. Cliff Street Books (Harper Collins), paper back edition 2000, p. 253.
  27. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. Bantam Books, New York, 2010. Page 181.
  28. Stephen Jay Gould, “Impeaching a Self-Appointed Judge,” Scientific American, July 1992, 267(1):118-121.
  29. Michael Shermer. Why Darwin Matters. Times Books, 2006. Page 40.
  30. http://www.alislam.org/library/books/Philosophy-of-Teachings-of-Islam.pdf

8 Comments

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  1. Zia Shah

    Stephen Hawking versus Ahmadiyya Muslim Community — Today Stephen Hawking came out with his book, ‘the Grand Design,’ suggesting that God did not make this universe and Ahmadiyya Muslim Community came out with their monthly electronic journal Alislam-eGazette, parading evidence that there aught to be a Creator of this universe. Main stream media covered Hawking but Google Knol gave voice to the underdog:http://www.alislam.org/egazette/http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/september-2010-egazette-islam-and/1qhnnhcumbuyp/265#

  2. Zia Shah

    The biophyllic universe — Antony Flew who used to be formally a well known champion of atheism, has presented another interesting metaphor to look at the biophilic universe that I did not include in my article. He writes:“Imagine entering a hotel room on your next vacation. The CD player on the bedside table is softly playing a track from your favorite recording. The framed print over the bed is identical to the image that hangs over the fireplace at home. The room is scented with your favorite fragrance. You shake your head in amazement and drop your bags on the floor.You’re suddenly very alert. You step over to the minibar, open the door, and stare in wonder at the contents. Your favorite beverages. Your favorite cookies and candy. Even the brand of bottled water you prefer.You turn from the mini bar, then, and gaze around the room. You notice the book on the desk: it’s the latest volume by your favorite author. You glance into the bathroom, where personal care and grooming products are lined up on the counter, each one as if it was chosen specifically for you. You switch on the television; it is tuned to your favorite channel.Chances are, with each new discovery about your hospitable new environment, you would be less inclined to think it was all a mere coincidence, right? You might wonder how the hotel managers acquired such detailed information about you. You might marvel at their meticulous preparation. You might even double-check what all this is I going to cost you. But you would certainly be inclined to believe that someone knew you were coming.Let’s take the most basic laws of physics. It has been calculated that if the value of even one of the fundamental constants-the speed of light or the mass of an electron, for instance-had been to the slightest degree different, then no planet capable of permitting the evolution of human life could have formed.This fine tuning has been explained in two ways. Some scientists have said the fine tuning is evidence for divine design; many others have speculated that our universe is one of multiple others-a ‘multiverse’-with the difference that ours happened to have the right conditions for life. Virtually no major scientist today claims that the fine tuning was purely a result of chance factors at work in a single universe.That vacation scenario is a clumsy, limited parallel to the so-called fine-tuning argument. The recent popularity of this argument has highlighted a new dimension of the laws of nature. ‘The more I examine the universe and study the details of its architecture,’ writes physicist Freeman Dyson, ‘the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense knew we were coming.’ In other words, the laws of nature seem to have been crafted so as to move the universe toward the emergence and sustenance of life. This is the anthropic principle, popularized by such thinkers as Martin Rees, John Barrow, and John Leslie.In his book Infinite Minds, John Leslie, a leading anthropic theorist, argues that fine tuning is best explained by divine design. He says that he is impressed not by particular arguments for instances of fine tuning, but by the fact that these arguments exist in such profusion. ‘If, then, there were aspects of nature’s workings that appeared very fortunate and also entirely fundamental,’ he writes, ‘then these might well be seen as evidence specially favoring belief in God.'”(Antony Flew. There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. Harper One, 2007. Page 113-115.)

  3. Zia Shah

    Stephen Hawking is just trying to sell a book — By Suresh EmreIn the excerpts of the soon to-be-published book titled “Grand Design” the British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking says:“God no longer has any place in theories on the creation of the Universe due to a series of developments in physics.”I am not shocked by the extreme arrogance displayed by a physicist. I was a professional physicist so I know the world of physics very well. Such arrogance is commonplace among physicists. My indignation is caused by the irresponsibility demonstrated by the publisher Bantam Books and Stephen Hawking. He is one of the most respected theoretical physicists and it is irresponsible of him to state his personal opinion as scientific fact. He is misleading the public about the current state of physics. He is not a representative of the majority opinion among physicists either.I wrote elsewhere that not all physicists are atheists. Among the physicists Paul Davies is the voice of reason. Paul Davies articulates the position of a significant number of scientists when he says:“I belong to the group of scientists who do not subscribe to a conventional religion but nevertheless deny that the universe is a purposeless accident. Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as a brute fact. There must, it seems to me, be a deeper level of explanation. Whether one wishes to call that deeper level `God’ is a matter of taste and definition. Furthermore, I have come to the point of view that mind – i.e., conscious awareness of the world – is not meaningless and incidental quirk of nature, but an absolutely fundamental facet of reality. That is not to say that we are the purpose for which the universe exists. Far from it. I do, however, believe that we human beings are built into the scheme of things in a basic way.” Paul Davies, “The Mind of God”, Simon & Schuster (1993), ISBN 9780671797188.http://knol.google.com/k/suresh-emre/stephen-hawking-is-just-trying-to-sell/35vsnxisjn2mw/330#

  4. Zia Shah

    Some quotes from Hawking from before with theistic implications — Hubble’s observations suggested that there was a time, called the big bang, when the universe was infinitesimally small and infinitely dense. Under such conditions all the laws of science, and therefore all ability to predict the future, would break down. If there were events earlier than this time, then they could not affect what happens at the present time. Their existence can be ignored because it would have no onservational consequences. One may say that time had a beginning at the big bang, in the sense that earlier times simply would not be defined. It should be emphasized that this beginning in time is very different from those that had been considered previously. In an unchanging universe a beginning in time is something that has to be imposed by some being outside the universe; there is no physical necessity for a beginning. One can imagine that God created the universe at literally any time in the past. On the other hand, if the universe is expanding, there may be physical reasons why there had to be a beginning. One could imagine that God created the universe at the instant of the big bang, or even afterwards in just such a way as to make it look as though there had been a big bang, but it would be meaningless to suppose that it was created before the big bang. An expanding universe does not preclude a creator, but it does place limits on when he might have carried out his job! [Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988), pp. 8-9.]The idea that space and time may form a closed surface without boundary also has profound implications for the role of God in the affairs of the universe. With the success of scientific theories in describing events, most people have come to believe that God allows the universe to evolve according to a set of laws and does not intervene in the universe to break these laws. However, the laws do not tell us what the universe should have looked like when it started — it would still be up to God to wind up the clockwork and choose how to start it off. So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator? [Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988), p. 140-41.]

  5. Zia Shah

    Limits of probability — Atheist writers are fond of building computer generated models or other ways of playing on the Law of Large Numbers to support their creation theories when design is purely accidentally based on chaos and randomness.Here I borrow a metaphor from a Teaching company course, ‘What Are the Chances? Probability Made Clear,’ Taught By Professor Michael Starbird, Ph.D., at University of Wisconsin at Madison.In the second lecture, he examines the odds of blindly generating a short sentence like, ‘to be or not to be,’ in the lifetime of our universe at one attempt per second is only one in a billion. Prof. Starbird writes:”In 1929, the astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington wrote, ‘If an army of monkeys were strumming on typewriters, they might write all the books in the British Museum.’ It is said, then that if monkeys randomly type, they will eventually write Hamlet.Let’s look at this further. If, since the time of Big Bang, a billion 18-character patterns were generated on a 100-key keyboard, chances are less than 1/1000,000,000 that ‘To be or not to be’ will be generated.”Professor Michael Starbird, Ph.D. What Are the Chances? Probability Made Clear. The Teaching Company course Guidebook, 2006. Page 12.These will be some monkeys creating a billion sequences a second, still a small odds for getting ashort sentence randomly, not to speak of the whole of Hamlet! Imagine the food supplies for all these monkeys, the ink supplies for all these type writers and the garbage disposal of all the paper.

  6. Atif Mir

    Wonderful response to the arguments of Stephen Hawking. Thanks for writing.

  7. Tato Sugiarto

    Religion and Science — PHILOSOPHIA PERENNIS.The Old Lady’s TORTOISE (Hinduism) and DRAGON (Taoism) are symbols for WAVE (energy), both are analog with MAGEN DAVID (Judaism). “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is the metaphor, and also similar with allegory of rituals Thawaf circling around the Ka’ba and Sa’i oscillating along “the sinus” Marwah-Shafa (seven times) during the Hajj pilgrimage (Abraham). CROSS is a symbol for “Balance of Nature.””A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME – From the Big Bang to Black Hole” by Stephen W. Hawking is the best scientific interpretation of AL QUR’AN by a non believer. It is also a “genuine bridge stone” for comprehensive study of Theology. Surprise, this paradox is a miracle and blessing in disguise as well. So, it should be very wise and challenging for Moslem scholars and others to verify my discovery.I am just an “ordinary people,” so would you mind to verify my point of view. Thank you.

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