Thursday, September 02, 2010

Stephen Hawking changes his mind about god.

As a teenager I read Stephen Hawkings book "A brief history of time." I found it a compelling read and it explained in simple enough English for me to comprehend the competing ideas for a grand unification theory. As an atheist I remember some of the concluding words in his book.

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

I then thought back to 2004 when Stephen Hawking famously changed his mind on black holes. Stating that he had it wrong and that black holes can give up their secrets by allowing information to escape.

Now in his latest book. "The Grand Design" due to be published on the 9th September, Stephen Hawking states citing the 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting a star other than our Sun:

"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 goes on to add : "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."

Why this backtrack? I suspect that it is an attempt to ride the literary wave created by Richard Dawkins whose book "The God delusion" has sold over 2 million copies and been translated into over 30 languages. This would make much more sense to me than him changing his mind regarding this subject.

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