Friday, 3 September 2010

Professor Stephen Hawking says no God created the Universe. Is this the end of God ?


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22 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Mashallah- great piece br Adam. I think when analysed and broken down, its easy to see this is another 'theory' and not backed up by evidence- funny how atheists ask theists for evidence and then expect all to believe their view- based on, yes, NO EVIDENCE.

They just dislike the concept that 'God did it'.

Fahad Ahmed said...

Hmmm.... Nice sharing.
In reply to the first comment I would like to say, the revealed Scriptures are mere reminders to the already open Truth, (which we keep forgetting or compelled to disbelieve in by people like Hawking, Darwin, Dawkins and the like), that God exists!

sakib said...

@ Anonymous: Yes it is more rational to attribute it to an "unseen" God.
By the way some Physicists believe that 97% of the universe is invisible to us so surely the idea of an "unseen God" can't use that much more brain power?
As regards to "no witnesses"- well you need to do research into that. The basis for believe the Quran is because it contains a rational concept of God and is consistent throughout in terms of logic, linguistics and other miracles.

Explain to me this: Where did these laws of physics pop out from? Human experience teaches us something NEVER comes from nothing when it starts to exist.

Anonymous said...

I have read the first two masterpieces by Stephen Hawking and the information in it is pretty impressive. Mr Hawking certainly is a brilliant mind living in our times.
However, his biasness to prove that God does not exists goes beyond reason.
I will quote an idea he put forth in this regard in his book a brief history of time and would urge the reader to read the whole chapter to understand his logic behind it:
'the anthropic principle, which can be paraphrased as “We see the universe the way it is because we exist.”'
This anthropic principle is used to explain the non-existence of God.
How can a man such as Stephen Hawking come up with the weakest of logic, begging the question, to explain his universe?
Sometimes when I read this I am reminded of chapter 2:18 how people can hold the truth in their hands and not see it, hear it or feel it.

Anonymous said...

Funny I was discussing with an athiest the other day at work and he said that nothing could produce something!
Now that is simply absurd!

hojjat said...

My comment is just a few questions and not a judgment.

I have not read Prof. Hawking book, but does it really make sense that somebody tries to prove God existance or non-existance by M-Theory?
Suppose that strings particles or big bang could be simulated by scientist and exactly aligned with M-Theory (though I've heard that string-theory just exist in mathematic domain but anyway), Then we would infer that Universe came from nothing because it is the inevitable result of gravity.
I don't say that physics can prove or not something that we attribute it as a non-physical object. I am just asking: does it really make sense? How mathematics convince us it is aligned with physic laws! How physics tell us why we ask why and how we would like morality?

Tariq said...

Great Article.
Atheists really have it embedded in their minds that their beliefs are proven fact, without firstly giving any real evidence for it, but rather as you so well mentioned, rely on explanatory power of their arguments.
And secondly they know nothing about Islam. Really, nothing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing!
He also says we are a chemical stumble in a moderate size planet. Does that mean we actually are?!! I say the guy is getting pretty old to reason with anything we might say

Ron Krumpos said...

In "The Grand Design" Stephen Hawking postulates that the M-theory may be the Holy Grail of physics...the Grand Unified Theory which Einstein had tried to formulate and later abandoned. It expands on quantum mechanics and string theories.

In my e-book on comparative mysticism is a quote by Albert Einstein: “…most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty – which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive form – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of all religion.”

Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity is probably the best known scientific equation. I revised it to help better understand the relationship between divine Essence (Spirit), matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and consciousness (fx raised to its greatest power). Unlike the speed of light, which is a constant, there are no exact measurements for consciousness. In this hypothetical formula, basic consciousness may be of insects, to the second power of animals and to the third power the rational mind of humans. The fourth power is suprarational consciousness of mystics, when they intuit the divine essence in perceived matter. This was a convenient analogy, but there cannot be a divine formula.

skydivephil said...

part 2
With regards to the multiverse what Hawking states is: (from the excerpt in the The Times)
“The multiverse idea is not a notion invented to account for the miracle of fine tuning. It is a consequence of the no boundary condition as well as many other theories of modern cosmology.”
This is really the crux of the matter.
There are many theories that imply the number of universes is greater than one. Either via cyclic universes such as Roger Penrose conformal cyclic cosmology, loop quantum cosmology or Horava gravity. Or via universes that exist at the same time as our own as in inflationary cosmology,, or even string theorists biggest critic Lee Smolin’s proposal for cosmic natural selection. All of these are independent of the truth of M theory. So your attack on M theory does not address what Hawking is saying.
Many of these theories are still being worked on but certainly inflationary cosmology does make predictions.
In fact NASA announced they had detected a key signature of inflation:
http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/news/

Other predictions can be found here:
http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/lectures/Biermann_07/LindeLecturesMunich1.pdfcle
Nature states:
http://www.nature.com/news/2009/150409/full/458820a.html

“Inflation has passed every observational test to date, mainly by predicting the statistics of the temperature variations in the CMB seen by Planck's predecessors”I wonder why you quoted Jim al Khlalil but emit the fact that he said, “Hawking is rightly critical of those with religious faith who regard the fine tuning of the Universe to suit as evidence of a supreme designer?
Furthermore the spontaneous creation of the universe does not depend on M theory either but has been proposed in many forms here are two examples, one by Vilenkin before M theory was proposed
http://www.mukto-mona.com/science/physics/a_vilinkin/universe_from_nothing.pdf
and another by
Gott and Li:
http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9712344
I agree that mathematical consistency is insufficient to accept a theory. But again you need to turn that argument on your own beliefs. If we reject M theory for its lack of testable predictions why not reject god for the same reason.
A fairy theory of gravity would be rejected. Now why don’t you turn the argument onto your own belief in god? Since there is no independent evidence for god we reject the claim just as reject the claim that fairies exist. Incidentally would you describe yourself as agnostic as to the fairy theory of gravity? Or a non-believer in the fairy theory of gravity? Can you prove fairies don’t exist?

skydivephil said...

Part 3
Another problem in your article is that the fine tuning argument itself is not based upon experimental testing; it’s based off pure calculations. No one has observed other universes with different values for the constants of nature and confirmed they can’t support life. The conclusion is purely based off calculations. Yet you tell us that calculations are not sufficient. Well if that’s the case why accept the fine tuning argument at all? You can’t have it both ways. In fact the only way to confirm the fine tuning argument is to observe other universes but this would also confirm the multiverse so your argument is self defeating.
It was often considered a fact a planet had to have liquid water to support life and for liquid water to exist the planet needed to be a certain distance from the sun. That’s now been questioned as there’s good evidence of liquid water on Europa , a moon of Jupiter. What’s wasn’t realised was that the tidal forces of Jupiter can heat the planet, it didn’t need the suns heat. Furthermore new discoveries indicate life can exist in solid ice, so maybe the assumption that life needs liquid water is wrong too. It’s always good to check our calculation against the data, if we can’t do that a healthy dose of scepticism is required but that runs for the fine tuning argument itself. Indeed new calculation has cast doubt on the assumption that different constants can’t support life. Google “scientific American Life in the Multiverse”, note the conclusion. “These findings suggest our universe may not be finely tuned for the emergence of life as previously thought. “

Imad said...

Great article. I'm impressed with the way brother Adam Deen explains things with reason, logic and most of all, common sense. Keep up the good work brother Deen. May God give you the persistence and strength to deal with these issues. :)

Adam Deen said...

@ Phil

You compare the mathematical calculations of the fine-tuning of the universe and the calculations involved in m-theory, however, they are incomparable.

The claim that the initial conditions of the universe were fine-tuned is well accepted within mainstream science, unlike highly speculative theories such as M-theory. Moreover, such theories exist by virtue of the fact that they are trying to account for the improbable fine- tuning that exists! Otherwise why would cosmologists come out with a TOF (theory of everything) to explain them?
My criticism cannot extend to the fine tuning. Take for example Hawking’s Quantum gravitational model. In order to round off the singularity, he introduces what he calls imaginary time into his equations. The question is, what is imaginary time ? Hawking claims that it is mathematically consistent, but that does nothing to show us that it can be exported into the real world.
Lastly, there is independent evidence for God. Some examples that come to mind are the reductio ad absurdum of the many worlds hypothesis, resulting in inductive skepticism, the argument of contingency and objective morality.

Anonymous said...

i am not inclined much about the M-Theory, but if we need an 'independent evidence' to verify its validity, don't we need such an evidence to verify the existence of the so called God?

Anonymous said...

Having read Hawkings book he doesnt claim M theory as a fact, just the best candidate for a unified theory. So your argument is a straw man. Whilst M theory is logically plausible he does not state it as fact. Maybe religious people should conisder the same approach to their beliefs?

Abu Maryam said...

The question that really flummoxes the Atheist community is how can something be "self-existing and uncaused" i.e. have necessary existence?
If we can show them convincing evidence of this, then they have to change their position.

One way philosophers have proven that uncaused entities exist, are with abstract entities, such as numbers, they say numbers have a necessary existence and don't need a cause for their existence.

A thing exists necessarily if however things had been, it would still have existed. These include such abstract entities as numbers, and in theology, God. The difficulty lies in understanding how a thing could have this kind of status, and what kind of things could be supposed to have it.

Abstract things (i.e. things existing only in the mind) are immaterial and are still fathomable to us like numbers, feelings and morals and they are a 'reality' for us. We can easily accept such things without any problems - so accepting the "abstract God", an immaterial and a "necessary being", should not be a problem at all! :-)

If we ask the question "How can an immaterial God self-exist?" We can answer it with another question..."How does our soul exist and work?" We forget our own existence and we cannot even explain that...

Does anyone know the reality of the soul (by this, I mean the psyche/self-consciousness/the "I")? We don't truly know, but we accept the existence of "it" (i.e. ourselves) and see the reality of it by our "thinking" mechanism. The reality of knowing our soul is that we think and do things - we just think and do it - we can't explain how this thinking remotely happens or really works. If we want to do something, like move our hand - we just do it, by thinking - yet no-one can really explain how this thinking occurs - it just happens when you want it to happen - yet no-one can explain this trigger of thinking - we drive our body like a vehicle yet we do not know the exact workings of the ignition etc which is a mystery to us!
To my main point... I don't see atheists question this by saying, "we do not see the soul (psyche/consciousness), we do understand how our it works, we don't know what reality of its existence nor how it came into existence and we can drive ourselves almost automatically... we do not have an answer from x,y,z therefore the soul does not exist... therefore we do not exist!"

The same criteria are true for God, but the same logic is not applied by atheists :@

An analogy I would use is, a robot-toy programmed to do limited things, which uses AI, sensors, can talk, move and even know the toy maker in a limited way. This robot then goes onto try to fathom the reality of its maker, and question the reality of its maker, when it will struggle to and cannot even fathom the reality of its own existence!!!

I conclude by saying...
A finite mind cannot understand the infinite mind, that belongs to God! A contingent being will never fathom how a necessary being exists! A finite being cannot understand how a eternal being exists!

Wake up atheists and accept the more plausible proofs. If you want concrete, irrefutable and immutable proof then look into the Qur'an... ultimately the literary miracle of the Qur'an will blow away every other plausible proof, even if they were combined together.

Abu Maryam said...

PART 2...

An analogy I would use is, a robot-toy programmed to do limited things, which uses AI, sensors, can talk, move and even know the toy maker in a limited way. This robot then goes onto try to fathom the reality of its maker, and question the reality of its maker, when it will struggle to and cannot even fathom the reality of its own existence!!!

I conclude by saying...
A finite mind cannot understand the infinite mind, that belongs to God! A contingent being will never fathom how a necessary being exists! A finite being cannot understand how a eternal being exists!

Wake up atheists and accept the more plausible proofs. If you want concrete, irrefutable and immutable proof then look into the Qur'an... ultimately the literary miracle of the Qur'an will blow away every other plausible proof, even if they were combined together.

Malik said...

In my humble view this problem of whether a God is required to explain the existence of the present universe stems from the thermodynamic law which states that Energy can neither be created or destroyed. Hence it's natural to deduce that the present total energy of the universe existed in some form even though the cosmic singularity envisaged in the Big bang theory implies absolute none existence of everything in existence now. This ofcourse is because atheistic scientists subconsciously forget that present laws of thermodynamics ceases to be valid before the Plank's time.

Postulating the existence of God seems more logical and scientific.
Adam deen has done good job exposing the illogical basis of Stephen Hawkin's reasoning for rejecting God.

Abu Maryam said...

Religion v Science debate resumes!

Dawkins, Atkins and now Hawkings - has a nice ring to it ;)

The Philosopher Professor Keith Ward explores the question:
"Is the belief in God rational?"

In a pointed rebuttal to Professor Peter Atkins' essay of October 8th , Keith Ward outlines why science alone cannot offer us and adequate an reasonable understanding of human existence, and why, without God many personal and philosophical questions will remain unanswered.

Ward says, "Peter (Atkins) says that science tries to make things simple, whereas religion tries to make them complex. Try comparing quantum theory with the religious claim that an intelligent God created the cosmos to generate finite intelligent beings that could understand and appreciate it. Which is simpler? Does it even make sense to compare them for simplicity? Is this not like comparing apples and prime numbers?..."

Professor Ward's full rebuttal
http://www.varsity.co.uk/comment/2772

Adam Deen said...

@ skydivephil part 3

I’m aware of this objection i.e. how can we make calculations as there are no other universes…
(Please see Robin Collins answer to objection 5 http://academic.udayton.edu/WilliamRichards/Intro%20essays/Collins,%20Fine-tuning.htm).
However, your comparison is a false one. Regarding the fine-tuning, Yes, there are calculations here but the discussion of the fine-tuning involves a universe that we experience unlike the postulation of a Multi-verse. Moreover, if the fine-tuning was purely an invention then why are scientists postulating a multi-verse to begin with? The detractors of design present a multi-verse theory in order to increase the probabilities resources, which down play the significance of fine-tuning. . Regarding your second part of your comment. There is confusion here. From what I can understand you are rebutting intra-cosmological fine-tuning, which I have not argued for.

trubble said...

It seems many of the commentators here have trouble with reading comprehension. Hawking doesn't say there's no gods (although he may well believe this), he said none are necessary to explain the universe as we experience it.

It is no different from saying no god is necessary for rain to fall. It is entirely possible that a god created the universe to appear uncreated, most atheists though, dismiss this through a lack of decent evidence.

Meanwhile unsubstantiated stories in every religion on Earth all claim it was their god. Most of these stories originate before the religions that uncritically accept them.