“Not how the world is, but that it is, is the mystery.”
― Ludwig Wittgenstein
Professor Steven Hawking (the ‘Doctor of Outer Space’), interviewed in the The Telegraph (6.1.2012), claims that ‘the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing’. Really? To the layman, it is absolutely crazy to believe that something can come from nothing. You can’t even get your head around it. And why should the layperson accept this claim in the first place? Faith in science? If we accept it ‘because the best scientists believe it’, then isn’t that little better than believing euthanasia is wrong simply because the best religious leaders believe it to be wrong?
Steven Hawking, or at least many physicists and cosmologists, would say that positing God’s existence, as well as God as the original creator of the universe, simply shifts the problem back a little. If something must come from something, then God must also have come from something. Having said that, this possible infinite regress of causes doesn’t make it any more believable that physicists and cosmologists are right about something, the Universe, coming from nothing. You cannot say that something must have come from nothing because to deny that is to accept an infinite chain of causers and caused, as it were. (Who or what created or caused the thing or being that created God?)
Hawking made this statement about the creation of the Universe, and the corresponding claim that there is no ‘need for miracles or divine intervention’, in response to a listener asking him whether or not there ‘was a time when there was nothing’. The basic argument is that time, like the Universe, needs something in order for there to be... well, time. If there were nothing, there would be no time. Thus before the creation of the universe, when there was nothing, then that nothing also included the non-existence of time itself.
Is it being pedantic to claim that the idea of a ‘spontaneously created’ universe doesn’t make full sense? The adverb ‘spontaneously’ seems out of place when we are talking about an event which bridged the gap between the universe’s non-existence and its very existence. Only things in time can be spontaneous. Things which occurred after the creation could have been spontaneous, but not the very creation of both time and the universe.
Interestingly enough, Hawking has rejected the recent claim that some particles do indeed travel faster than the speed of light. According to Hawking, in order for this to be true these particles would need to be ‘in defiance of the known laws of physics’. And we simply can’t have that! So despite the recent hullabaloo about those Rhodes boysons (the ‘God particles’) and their very fast speed, Hawking doesn’t ‘believe the Opera results because they disagree with the detection of neutrinos from supernova SN 1987A’.
We can see here something which often happens in science - a healthy dispute about theories and things. And that must surely be good for science - even if the disputes are amongst the top brains of the various scientific disciplines.
This blog initially set out to focus primarily on Islam and the Islamisation of the UK. However, since that time the subjects covered have broadened. They now include (amongst other things): IQ tests, Jean Baudrillard, global warming, sociobiology, Marxism, Trotskyism, David Cameron, Foucault, Nazism, Ralph Miliband, economics, statistics and so on. - Paul Austin Murphy
I've had articles published in The Conservative Online, American Thinker, Intellectual Conservative, Human Events, Faith Freedom, Brenner Brief (Broadside News), New English Review, etc... (Paul Austin Murphy's Philosophy can be found here.)