Stephen Hawking writes that the Universe came from nothing

Sapient
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Stephen Hawking writes that the Universe came from nothing

The Grand Design for Kindle

HARDCOVER EDITION:

Stephen Hawking has a new book on the way, and it's about to add weight to arguments that atheists have been making for many years.  During my interactions with Ray Comfort he once posited that I as an atheist believed that everything came from nothing.  I had never made that claim.  Most arguments for a Universe without a God are based on the notion that our Universe is infinite that it's all existed forever in some form.  If Christians posit that their God has existed forever, this concept should be easy for them to understand however they're rarely willing to accept it.  It's not easy for them to accept because they are so entrenched in belief that most of the time they'll merely respond with some form of dishonest or illogical argumentation.  Enter Stephen Hawkings new book.  

In his new book, The Grand Design Hawking argues that "the universe can and will create itself from nothing."  The collective heads of all the dishonest Christians who have argued that atheists claim that everything comes from nothing have just imploded.  

associated press wrote:

"Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing," the excerpt says. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to ... set the Universe going."

 

description of book from amazon wrote:

 

How can we understand the world in which we find ourselves? Over twenty years ago I wrote A Brief History of Time, to try to explain where the universe came from, and where it is going. But that book left some important questions unanswered. Why is there a universe--why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why are the laws of nature what they are? Did the universe need a designer and creator?

It was Einstein’s dream to discover the grand design of the universe, a single theory that explains everything. However, physicists in Einstein’s day hadn’t made enough progress in understanding the forces of nature for that to be a realistic goal. And by the time I had begun writing A Brief History of Time, there were still several key advances that had not yet been made that would prevent us from fulfilling Einstein’s dream. But in recent years the development of M-theory, the top-down approach to cosmology, and new observations such as those made by satellites like NASA’s COBE and WMAP, have brought us closer than ever to that single theory, and to being able to answer those deepest of questions. And so Leonard Mlodinow and I set out to write a sequel to A Brief History of Time to attempt to answer the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. The result is The Grand Design, the product of our four-year effort.

In The Grand Design we explain why, according to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence, or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously. We question the conventional concept of reality, posing instead a "model-dependent" theory of reality. We discuss how the laws of our particular universe are extraordinarily finely tuned so as to allow for our existence, and show why quantum theory predicts the multiverse--the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. And we assess M-Theory, an explanation of the laws governing the multiverse, and the only viable candidate for a complete "theory of everything." As we promise in our opening chapter, unlike the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life given in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the answer we provide in The Grand Design is not, simply, "42."

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The Grand Design for Kindle

HARDCOVER EDITION:

 

- Brian Sapient


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chazmuze wrote:Looks like

chazmuze wrote:

Looks like Hawins aligns with the Christian worldview.

Not quite.

The emergence of the Universe itself from 'nothing' means just that, whereas the Xian world-view gratuitously and unnecessarily throws in a sentient Creator being to 'cause' it. Hawking says it does not need a cause, other than the basic properties, or 'Laws', of existence itself.

Any such being would be equally subject to those Laws, and would be part of the same existence, and have had to have come from 'nothing' itself.

Whatever 'caused' the Universe itself, whether in the sense of some impulse or quantum twitch explicitly, or more fundamentally as a consequence of the abstract ultimate Laws of existence, there is no logical or rational justification for ascribing to that 'cause' any of the other attributes of a 'God', such as sentience, awareness, or any of the 'omni' attributes.

Theism is simply the perpetuation of a set of primitive memes derived from our evolved need to apprehend our environment and, among other things, be on the lookout for predators or other active 'agents', animal or human, which may be stalking us. Anything which was not understood as to where or how it originated, or why it behaved as it did, we tend to assign to a manifestation of some 'being'.

A problem I have with Hawking is his tendency use terms which resonate with Theists in his titling and catch phrases, such as 'design' in this title, and the classic 'Mind of God' phrase to metaphorically refer to the ultimate laws and nature of the Universe.

In that sense, his vocabulary does align with Christianity.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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chazmuze wrote:Looks like

chazmuze wrote:

Looks like Hawins aligns with the Christian worldview.

You're the first Christians that I've met that acknowledges creation ex nihilo is part of a Christian worldview. Most of you claim it as a tenet of evolution - "You atheist evolutionists believe the universe came from nothing!"

Congrats and thanks.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Teralek wrote:proselytizing

Teralek wrote:

proselytizing was never my intention. The only person I wish to proselytize is myself. I wished Dawkins would do the same... but that is asking too much... science should also fear of being wrong...

The only proselytizing I aprove is the Daily Show or South Park... that shit is brilliant! (I've just watched yesterday's show) 

Any proof of God (for or against) is circumstancial, there is no hard evidence for neither camp. But Dawkins goes further than that stereotyping religion and making it an escape goat for every problem of mankind.

When Galileo said, "The earth rotates around the sun and is a globe", he was not a salesman proselytizing. He was a scientist reporting news in the form of FACTS.

Dawkins is a reporter reporting facts. He isn't a used car salesman or snake oil salesman.

Do not equate Dawkins to the loon Glen Beck is. If you really believe the two are comparable you might as well watch the Flintstones cartoon and consider it an anthropology documentary.

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The "something from nothing"

The "something from nothing" problem is more serious for the Theist, since they assume that an 'transcendental' being either 'came from nothing', or perhaps always existed. In either case they assume such a being did not require some prior 'cause'.

It is far more plausible to apply that assumption to a absolutely minimal existence of a quantum energy field, as close as possible to actually 'nothing' as possible within existence.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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Ken G. wrote:This is just me

Ken G. wrote:

This is just me trying to embed a video from the Science Channel,I hope that this works  no! this is not working,I'll type out the web page.Looking through the worm-hole with Morgan Freeman,the name of the video is-"Is there a creator ?"     science.discovery.com/videos/through-the-wormhole-creator/   OK,now i'll see if this works,it's about multi-verces and inflation theory.Yes it worked

I think we are existing in a universe where you failed to embed the video... too bad.  I have all those episodes on my DVR.  They're weak in the science dept but perfect for getting the point across to the masses.  I love them

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Brian37 wrote:Do not equate

Brian37 wrote:

Do not equate Dawkins to the loon Glen Beck is. If you really believe the two are comparable you might as well watch the Flintstones cartoon and consider it an anthropology documentary.

Lol, Yabba dabba dooooo! that's funny.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Religion most certainly

Religion most certainly isn't the cause of all the species problems, no one should suggest that. But it IS a needless impediment that DOES create division and political war BECAUSE it exists. 9/11 would not have happened if someone had not picked up a Koran, despite any good that Muslims might claim it brings to the world.

Until religion gets knocked off it's pedestal and gets relegated to a pass time like baseball, it should be treated like the dangerous weapon it has always been and will be.

I can accept that the world, even after I am gone, will still contain beliefs I find absurd, but without the ability to scrutinize a religion OR STATE, our species will continue to maintain violent divisions based on needless taboos.

 

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 The emergence of the

 The emergence of the Universe itself from nothing must be one of the most stupid and illogical concepts ever to be made in the atheism realm! Hawking must be one of those people who needs a reality check from his mile long equations...

Nothing cant' create a thing. This is clear as a summer's day!! Still various people claim this lightly! "hey what about Vacuum energy"! people cry! what they forget is that Vacuum energy doesn't come out of nothing... it comes out from space time continuum!!

For me there is one only option for the existence of the universe as we know it (maybe someday we may discover we had some fundamental errors in physics); that is it was created from an immaterial, atemporal, and "a-spacial" reality whatever that is... No God here. This reality somehow created a fuzzy weird physic reality that seems like a dream (quantum mechanics) that we call reality.

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"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote: The

Teralek wrote:

 The emergence of the Universe itself from nothing must be one of the most stupid and illogical concepts ever to be made in the atheism realm! Hawking must be one of those people who needs a reality check from his mile long equations...

Nothing cant' create a thing. This is clear as a summer's day!! Still various people claim this lightly! "hey what about Vacuum energy"! people cry! what they forget is that Vacuum energy doesn't come out of nothing... it comes out from space time continuum!!

For me there is one only option for the existence of the universe as we know it (maybe someday we may discover we had some fundamental errors in physics); that is it was created from an immaterial, atemporal, and "a-spacial" reality whatever that is... No God here. This reality somehow created a fuzzy weird physic reality that seems like a dream (quantum mechanics) that we call reality.

You achieve absolutely nothing by assuming that something else created our part of reality.

Where did that come from? Etc.

It is an incredibly stupid idea.

'Atemporal' doesn't apply - 'temporality' is just a dimension of 'reality', that we perceive as time.  Any 'realm' that has any analogue of causal relationship must have  an equivalent dimension.

Also, anything that has some structure and organization really has to have something functioning as 'matter' does in our experience, providing some persistence/stability of form, necessary to provide a substrate for complex processes.

So the idea of an 'immaterial, timeless realm' is definitely the dumbest concept anyone could propose, especially as a 'place' where anything REAL could 'come from'.

Reality simply IS. There never 'was' absolutely nothing, since there obviously is something. It is meaningless to ask what came 'before', or where did it 'come from'. Temporal issues don't apply.

The  'space-time continuum' is not energy or matter - therefore virtual particles do represent energy coming from no energy. The other point about the formation of such particle pairs, is that the timing of when they appear does not necessarily have a 'cause', beyond the underlying Heisenberg Quantum uncertainty, or 'fuzziness' of ultimate reality, which simply reflects that reality is not defined or definable with infinite precision.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Quote: "No wonder God made

Quote:
"No wonder God made him a cripple."

"He'll have his chance to tell God this line of crap someday. He must be a democrate to boot"  (huh?)

"Judgment day will hold the truth for this idiot."

"And I will KILL her CHILDREN with DEATH !" - Jesus (Rev. 2:23)

 

So much for William Lane Craig's campaign for "Objective Morals tell us that god exists".

 

If that's the case, we need to vote to impeach...
 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

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You don't have to be a theist to turn your nose up at it


"The real news about The Grand Design is how disappointingly tinny and inelegant it is. The spare and earnest voice that Mr. Hawking employed with such appeal in A Brief History of Time has been replaced here by one that is alternately condescending, as if he were Mr. Rogers explaining rain clouds to toddlers, and impenetrable."

"Unlike quantum mechanics, M-Theory enjoys no observational support whatsoever"

"M-theory ... is far from complete. But that doesn't stop the authors from asserting that it explains the mysteries of existence ... In the absence of theory, though, this is nothing more than a hunch doomed – until we start watching universes come into being – to remain untested. The lesson isn't that we face a dilemma between God and the multiverse, but that we shouldn't go off the rails at the first sign of coincidences."

"Some humbleness would be welcome here... A century or two hence... I expect that M theory will seem as naïve to cosmologists of the future as we now find Pythagoras's cosmology of the harmony of the spheres"

"One thing that is sure to generate sales for a book of this kind is to somehow drag in religion. The book's rather conventional claim that "God is unnecessary" for explaining physics and early universe cosmology has provided a lot of publicity for the book. I'm in favor of naturalism and leaving God out of physics as much as the next person, but if you're the sort who wants to go to battle in the science/religion wars, why you would choose to take up such a dubious weapon as M-theory mystifies me."

"The multiverse comes with a lot of baggage, such as an overarching space and time to host all those bangs, a universe-generating mechanism to trigger them, physical fields to populate the universes with material stuff, and a selection of forces to make things happen. Cosmologists embrace these features by envisaging sweeping “meta-laws” that pervade the multiverse and spawn specific bylaws on a universe-by-universe basis. The meta-laws themselves remain unexplained – eternal, immutable transcendent entities that just happen to exist and must simply be accepted as given. In that respect the meta-laws have a similar status to an unexplained transcendent god. There is no compelling need for a supernatural being or prime mover to start the universe off. But when it comes to the laws that explain the big bang, we are in murkier waters."

"M-theory, theorists now realize, comes in an almost infinite number of versions, which "predict" an almost infinite number of possible universes. Critics call this the "Alice's Restaurant problem," a reference to the refrain of the old Arlo Guthrie folk song: "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant." Of course, a theory that predicts everything really doesn't predict anything... The anthropic principle has always struck me as so dumb that I can't understand why anyone takes it seriously. It's cosmology's version of creationism. ... The physicist Tony Rothman, with whom I worked at Scientific American in the 1990s, liked to say that the anthropic principle in any form is completely ridiculous and hence should be called CRAP. ... Hawking is telling us that unconfirmable M-theory plus the anthropic tautology represents the end of that quest. If we believe him, the joke’s on us."

"(The book's authors) say that these surprising ideas have passed every experimental test to which they have been put, but that is misleading in a way that is unfortunately typical of the authors. It is the bare bones of quantum mechanics that have proved to be consistent with what is presently known of the subatomic world. The authors’ interpretations and extrapolations of it have not been subjected to any decisive tests, and it is not clear that they ever could be. Once upon a time it was the province of philosophy to propose ambitious and outlandish theories in advance of any concrete evidence for them. Perhaps science, as Professor Hawking and Mr Mlodinow practise it in their airier moments, has indeed changed places with philosophy, though probably not quite in the way that they think."

 

This radical notion of a Universe being formed out of nothing seemed fairly shaky when Sapient first posted this back in September. The past 5 months have only contributed to this general notion. It appears Hawking and Mlodinow wrote the book to push an ideology, rather than promote a public understanding of actual scientific findings. This hypothesis of "Spontaneous Creation" has a long way to go before I am convinced it has any merit.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Spontaneous pair creation

Classical Electrodynamics comes in an infinite number of versions too.  This is because the permitivity of free space (epsilon-naught) is a free parameter we adjust to fit our evidence.  Yet this does not mean that the theory could be adjusted to explain any concievabile observation.  The fact that there are many different ways a theoretical framework can be tuned does not mean it could be made to predict any conceivable outcome.

 

Also, I was under the impression that it was string theory that had a bunch of free parameters requiring fine tuning.  M-Theory was supposed to be the theory that compactified into string theory, reducing the number of free parameters.

 

And to pre-empt arguments, emperically determining a parameter is a far cry from the anthropic principle.  The former says our measurements are how we know the parameter's value.  The latter seems to say that our measurements are why the parameter takes that value.  I always figured the anthropic principle would require some type of stable time loop or reverse causality.

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http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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Where does the bible claim

Where does the bible claim God created anything from nothing?

In the beginning it merely says the Earth was without form, not that there was NOTHING. He just shaped it.

And he didn't create Adam and Eve out of nothing - Adam was made from dirt, and Eve was made from one of Adam's ribs. Why would he need to do that, if he could create something from nothing??

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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BobSpence1 wrote:Where does

BobSpence1 wrote:

Where does the bible claim God created anything from nothing?

In the beginning it merely says the Earth was without form, not that there was NOTHING. He just shaped it.

And he didn't create Adam and Eve out of nothing - Adam was made from dirt, and Eve was made from one of Adam's ribs. Why would he need to do that, if he could create something from nothing??

This is why the Gnostics saw Yahweh as an inferior god , evil and unaware of the god of which.  He was but a digression emanating from the beyond god. 

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Zaq wrote:Classical

Zaq wrote:

Classical Electrodynamics comes in an infinite number of versions too.  This is because the permitivity of free space (epsilon-naught) is a free parameter we adjust to fit our evidence.  Yet this does not mean that the theory could be adjusted to explain any concievabile observation.  The fact that there are many different ways a theoretical framework can be tuned does not mean it could be made to predict any conceivable outcome.

 

Also, I was under the impression that it was string theory that had a bunch of free parameters requiring fine tuning.  M-Theory was supposed to be the theory that compactified into string theory, reducing the number of free parameters.

 

And to pre-empt arguments, emperically determining a parameter is a far cry from the anthropic principle.  The former says our measurements are how we know the parameter's value.  The latter seems to say that our measurements are why the parameter takes that value.  I always figured the anthropic principle would require some type of stable time loop or reverse causality.

Maybe you didn't notice this the first time: much of the above criticisms are put in quotes ("s), meaning (obviously) that I did not write them.

Also, at best, I'm what would be called an 'amateur physicist'; stuff like "free space", "epsilon naught", and "free parameter" means absolutely shit to my vernacular, and I also have meager understanding of what one particular quantum theory is suppose to mean in a general sense over another quantum theory. It isn't my specialty.

If you want to address the quoted material, take it up with their authors (many of whom are highly knowledgeable in physics):

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/bdf3ae28-b6e9-11df-b3dd-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1CSIgPlwa

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2010/09/stephen-hawking-says-theres-no-theory-of-everything.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/sep/04/stephen-hawking-big-bang-gap

http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2010/09/08/129736414/hawking-and-god-an-intimate-relationship

http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=3141

http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=cosmic-clowning-stephen-hawkings-ne-2010-09-13

http://www.economist.com/node/16990802?story_id=16990802

http://www.theticker.org/mobile/about/2.8220/stephen-hawking-attracts-criticism-for-views-on-god-1.2336589

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)