Hawking: “Universe Came from Nothing”

by Steve Ray on September 7, 2010

imagesThe Curious Metaphysics of Dr. Stephen Hawking

By Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.

Why would a preeminent physicist make the claim that “the universe can come from nothing?” This is precisely what Dr. Stephen Hawking has done in his new book, “The Grand Design,” when he notes, “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.”

This statement betrays Hawking’s fundamental assumption about the universe, namely that it came from nothing. But why would a preeminent physicist assume that the universe came from nothing? Presumably, because he believes that there are reasons for thinking that the universe had a beginning.

For the whole excellent article, click here.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

bill912 September 7, 2010 at 8:50 AM

“‘Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing.’”

Doesn’t “nothing” include gravity? How can there be gravity if there is “nothing”?

Tom Govern September 7, 2010 at 11:44 PM

I feel sorry for people, especially intelligent people, who cannot reconcile God and science, Perhaps Doctor Hawking’s situation has effected his reasoning. Someone can be brilliant and overlooking at the same time. I feel the need to pray for him more than to critisize.

Tom

Joe September 11, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Hawkings is trying to cross over from physics to metaphysics here, but he seems to start with false premises and inadequate definitions which lead to faulty conclusions. First, he needs to make clear what his definition of “nothing” is. What he means by nothing and what the philosopher or even other scientists mean by nothing are probably different. Mass is relative to space, and space is relative to time, and time is relative to velocity and so on. Without one or the other you have “nothing” in the sense that raw material is not organized. But if he means “nothing” to be physical matter in a state of chaos then he is not thinking back far enough. He still is hasn’t provided any conclusive data (at least in his pithy public statements) to prove that any of his deductions negate the metaphysical concept of singularity. He is trying to wrestle with the fact that the physical sciences have discovered the principle of singularity which ultimately points to a transcendent first cause. Aquinas’ old argument about the unmoved mover, based on ancient Greek logic, and his other arguments for God’s existence still challenge the mind of wise and haven’t gone stale. Then again Hawkings also said last spring that the human person is insignificant and that religion and science are opposed to each other. Apparently, he’s not as wise as some people think perhaps. We can still civily argue against his reasoning to prevent error from spreading while genuinly praying for him too.

Father Spitzer addresses the faulty logic of his statements here: http://magisreasonfaith.org/blog/?p=39

Hawkings and Spitzer debated on Larry King Live on Friday. You can see it on the home page here: http://www.magisreasonfaith.org/

Vincent Rajiv November 30, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Despite of his condition, he still insist that the universe is from nothing and not from God. I pitty him. His life on earth is just too short compared to the eternity in the next life. I hope and pray that he can recognize and believe in God before it is too late. Poor scientist……

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