September 2, 2010

Hawking: God ‘Not Necessary’ To Create The Universe

In his latest book, British theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking asserts that an omniscient, all-powerful being was not needed to create the universe, and that the "Big Bang" was a natural side effect of the laws of physics, according to various media reports.

An excerpt from the book, which is entitled 'The Grand Design' and is co-authored by American physicist Leonard Mlodinow, was first published in the UK newspaper the Times on Thursday.

According to Michael Holden of Reuters, Hawking writes, "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist"¦ It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

'The Grand Design,' which will be published by Bantam Books on September 9, appears to contradict earlier statements regarding religion and the creation of the universe made by Hawking in his 1988 book 'A Brief History of Time.' In that earlier work, Hawking, a former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, wrote that if humans "discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason--for then we should know the mind of God."

Last month, during an interview with the website Big Think, Hawking warned that mankind would have to find a way to survive in space within the next 100 years, or else they would face extinction.

"I believe that the long term future of the human race must be in space," he said, speaking as part of the website's 'Month of Thinking Dangerously' lecture series. "It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let's hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load."

"I see great dangers for the human race," Hawking, 68, added. "If we are the only intelligent beings in the galaxy, we should make sure we survive and continue"¦ We are entering an increasingly dangerous period of our history. Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet Earth, are growing exponentially, along with our technical ability to change the environment for good or ill."


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