3rd September 2010

“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.”

Stephen Hawking

30 Responses to “3rd September 2010”

  1. Mike G. Says:

    If anyone wants to have any fun if they’re bored…


    The comment section is all but hilarious.

    As for the actual quote. This is a typical argument against the God of the gaps theory… Just because we don’t know something doesn’t mean we don’t know it yet…

  2. solomon Says:

    The quote is pure rubbish. No sane being will buy that. It is a painstaking job even for an artist to produce an image of a certain creation, what about to produce the real creation itself. Would you belief it will just simply pop up by its own? People who belief Stephen Hawking are realy..realy..the condemn ones.

  3. solomon Says:

    And the law of gravity too should have its creator.

  4. CaptainZero1969 Says:

    Corollary: Just because we don’t have a perfect explanation for something doesn’t make a supernatural explanation plausible.

  5. Dan Says:

    I was in newsfine forum discussing Hawking’s latest publicity last night and saw a hilarious exchange.

    Believer: “No! Our Creator God did this in six days and set aside the seventh to let Humankind awe and enjoy His creation; God did not get tired as we do. If your’e so smart Mr. Hawking, why didn’t You know that?”

    Non-believer: “Why is it that so many of the religious are proud to say that all the education they ever need is from one book? I wouldn’t be very proud of that…”

    I’m not sure that I could have put it better.

  6. GreatEighthSin Says:

    If God created the universe, then what created God? Then, what created the what that created God? Then what created the what that created~~~

    When put up to the same question that theists place on scientists, they too fall flat on answers.

    What, when, where, why, and How? Nobody knows. The only thing that we can do is to stop letting our unimaginable imagined creations get the best of our little minds (and egos) and actually do the research, and study those questions.

  7. Dan Says:

    “And the law of gravity too should have its creator.”

    At one point, humans looked at lightning and wondered how it happened. Surely there must be a cause, right? Some ancient Greeks argued that maybe it was caused naturally; others argued that since the philosophers couldn’t explain how and why lightning exists, they were just blowing smoke up their arses.

    The movement of the planets was another strange one. There must be a reason why the planets move. Surely, the Gods must be moving the planets. Or maybe the planets are the Gods. Many ancient Greek philosophers disagreed, but again, since they couldn’t explain how and why, clearly those philosophers were blowing smoke up people’s arses because there was no good reason to think that planets would move by themselves.

    And the origin of life. Surely, that must be caused by one or many Gods, right? We know that the building blocks of life occur naturally in environments completely devoid of life (e.g., asteroids), and that the might have reacted in a reverse citric acid cycle, and aquired self-catalytic abilities that we can observe today, but surely chemicals can’t react by themselves in nature. God(s) must have done it.

    And finally now, the Big Bang. Now that’s the big walnut of things that one or many Gods must have done. I mean, so what that gravity explains the contractions and expansions of the universe. These scientists don’t know why gravity in the first place, and we all know that gravity can’t occur naturally! God(s) must have done it.

  8. MyOwnNoggin Says:

    We study a universe that is too big to see and examine in its entirety. We are the microbe looking up through the microscope. We have reason. We can see laws and relationships and reasons for which the observable universe that we have experienced and recorded operates.

    Just dealing with what we know without guessing. We can say that we have never observed order come from chaos, nor laws that cooperate so consistently with one another so that we can predict the behavior of the universe (to the point that we have come to understand it by observation) in the reasonable future, come about without planning. That sort of cooperation and law suggests a consciousness.

    A design suggests a designer. It has never been observed otherwise in our experience. To say that there is a designer is not an unreasonable conclusion. It is the only reasonable conclusion given the evidence of our own gathering—that is the information that we know without guessing.

    To say that the main causer must have been caused is foolishness. In the instance of Hawkings own understanding then the universe that creates itself creates itself from nothing. This is mathematically disproven 0+0=0, 0*0=0, 0/0=0.

    So then still following Mr. Hawkings thinking (provided I have understood what he said) that means the universe that he believes in must have a consciousness of its own seeing as there is no order in our experience that has ever been seen to have come about without a mind to put it that way.

    Hawkings has said in his own words that the universe is a creator. To say that there is creation without consciousness offends the very reason that we say that we use to try and understand the universe—especially when you understand that our whole scientific method depends on the notion that there is cause and effect.

  9. Simon Says:

    Think Professor Hawkins has let himself down here

    Science amongst other things replaces superstition with rational explanation; let people decide for themselves what implication this has for their own superstitions.

    Using scientific knowledge to argue the case for Atheism is no better than using the limits of scientific knowledge to promote the case for intelligent design.

    Keep God out of science and don’t give the fundamentalists the God vs. Science ammunition they use so effectively against Evolution.

  10. tech Says:

    Mike G, I agree with your quote “Just because we don’t know something doesn’t mean we don’t know it yet” That would also apply to whether There is an Almighty God. Its just most people refuse to believe in Him.

  11. Dan Says:

    “A design suggests a designer. It has never been observed otherwise in our experience. To say that there is a designer is not an unreasonable conclusion.”

    What we see is a cascade of cause-and-effect in cosmological history. Not design. What perplexes me is why do you and so many people think that any kind of causation proves God? Have you not heard of natural processes??

  12. Dan Says:

    And tech,
    “That would also apply to whether There is an Almighty God. Its just most people refuse to believe in Him.”

    Most people refuse to believe in the Invisible Pink Unicorn too. What’s your point? Should we be a little less critical of IPU believers then?

  13. MyOwnNoggin Says:

    Reason is a natural process, Dan. If reason were not natural there would be no science.

    If one believes in “God” what makes “God” unnatural? immaterial perhaps, but not necessarily unnatural.

    If saying the word creator necessarily says “God” then Mr Hawkings has said that there is a “God” since the universe creates (makes, fabricates, structures, effects, builds) and is therefore a creator.

    The fact that you can ask a question– for example, why does the body have an appendix? and come up with an answer is not accidental or even incidental but it is consistent with the understanding of design. Cause and effect to create complex systems that work in cooperation is science and nature and entirely reasonable which thing I have never seen without a reasoner.

  14. Simon Says:


    Observe phenomena, develop a theory to explain the phenomena, test the theory.

    No designs, designers or gods involved anywhere.

  15. Dan Says:

    Actually I agree with you. As I was saying to Tech, the fact that the Invisible Pink Unicorn is invisible (or immaterial) is no reason for people to stop believing in it.

  16. JustMe Says:


    0/0 has no meaning, it does not equal 0.

  17. MyOwnNoggin Says:

    Duly noted 🙂

  18. MyOwnNoggin Says:



    Scientific method:

    Observe phenomena, develop a theory to explain the phenomena, test the theory.


    Understand the phenomena enough to use it to our profit.
    Requires a reasoner.

    If a being can reason, how much more logically the source of his being.

    If creation is an accident, then given enough time we should eventually master the universe and create life– so far we can only manipulate what already exists and that usually to our own destruction.

  19. Mike G Says:

    I just want to clarify a few things for MyOwnNoggin:

    He isn’t saying that there isn’t a god. He is saying that the universe needs not be created by a supernatural entity, that it can arise from a singularity free of a god-like interference. Secondly, using simple mathmatics to argue quantum mechanics and astro physics is quite a false analogy.

    Tech: It is not that we refuse to accept a god, we would (atleast I would) if there were sufficient evidence.

    Have a nice day y’all.

  20. Dan Says:

    “If creation is an accident, then given enough time we should eventually master the universe and create life– so far we can only manipulate what already exists and that usually to our own destruction.”

    Of course life isn’t an accident. Why does that mean it must be intentional? It could just as easily be completely natural (i.e., not god-driven). (See MikeG’s comment).

  21. Atheist MC Says:

    There is a near infinite number of ways for there to be something and only one way for there to be nothing. The universe may well exist simply because of probability.

  22. MyOwnNoggin Says:

    Dan and MikeG

    “Of course life isn’t an accident. Why does that mean it must be intentional? It could just as easily be completely natural (i.e., not god-driven). (See MikeG’s comment).”

    The way you are using the term “completely natural” is equal to accident which is an unintended occurrence. It seems we are going to need an entirely different vocabulary to discuss this matter. For example what does not god-driven mean? If not accidental? Nature driven? Bigger creature than us driven?

    I’m not so much trying to convince anyone of a God here even though I do believe there is one– and BTW I don’t need a book to reason that out.
    I find the conversation quite thought provoking.

    And MikeG what would constitute sufficient evidence and how would it be rationally presented to be found acceptable?

    Please don’t say quantum mechanics or astro-physics for I shall be completely sunk. 😮

  23. Mike G Says:


    How are you today? I think I may be speaking on behalf of everyone when I say you are a sight for sore eyes!

    What I am trying to argue is that, left unaided, the natural world can, in fact, come to be without a ‘prime mover’. We know that there are ways in which an infinitely dense piece of matter can spontaneously expand, indefinitely. Now, as I tried to clarify before, this in no way states that “there is no god.” This is stating “there is no god needed for this event to happen.”

    Also, “completely natural” should not be confused with chance. (However, even with statistics considered, the universe could very well have arisen on its’ own.) “Completely natural” is a phrase used to convey the message “without supernatural force.”

    As for sufficient evidence, this is a toughie. All of us atheist must consider what would make us convert for me it would be:

    1. Suspension of known physical, chemical, biological, nuclear, etc. laws.

    2. A day to day phenomenon or interaction with god. Something that we could empirically test and say “Hey look, slaughtering this calf actually does help world hunger.” Because why bother praying if it falls on deaf ears?

    3. Holy books. Not lots of them. A single holy book that is completely innerant, and accesible to every human of every intelligence no matter what the language. A korean could understand the exact same copy of the holy book as a frenchman. An all powerful could make a language one could understand instantaneously simply by laying eyes on it.

    I know #3 is more of a religious thing, but still. The whole point of believing in a creator is so we can have some cosmic favorence (is this a word?) or protection. I guess I can relate to the deist stance…

  24. rasbania Says:


    you come across like a congenial, old, oh-so-tolerant grandpa talking to a
    5 year old. why dont you drop that folksy approach, and SAY WHAT YOU MEAN !

    also, it wouldnt hurt you to do a little exploring into quantum physics AND
    astro physics (try the IDIOTS or DUMMIES books ). you might be surprised how much of it lends support to your viewpoint…………..

  25. MyOwnNoggin Says:

    I really do stink at math rasbania! I generally use the internet to research things that I don’t get plus people like you will usually help and make less work for me.
    BTW I’ve found quite a few things that support my viewpoint but understanding where others are coming from helps a lot.

    I am folksy– but not as tolerant as you may think. Can’t please everyone.

  26. MyOwnNoggin Says:

    Mike G
    Thanks for the welcome and thanks for the clarification of the argument at hand. I have a lot of difficulty with these concepts. I’m from the old school “first law of thermodynamics” type. I was not aware until this week that that law has been challenged. My recent search of the internet has surprised me. I never expected to find scientists saying that order can come out of chaos I don’t believe it and have already looked to see how to begin answering that frame of mind. I’ ve got some ideas but I can’t argue against a point unless I fully understand the reasoning behind it.

    Thanks for letting me know your conditions of sufficient evidence. One and Two I’ve heard before. Number three was a bit of a twist.

    My point in believing in a creator is so that I can understand what I’m here for so that I can know how to live the right way. Every man has his own opinion so I need an opinion that I can prove to be right from God. I want “cosmic” favor. (favorance is a word but the wrong form for your meaning) I have found such evidence for myself. I don’t go into it on this forum because I didn’t see it as appropriate. The word ATHEIST being my clue.

  27. Dan Says:

    I’ll just respond to this bit:

    “The way you are using the term “completely natural” is equal to accident which is an unintended occurrence.”

    No, the way I’m using “completely natural” is not equal to accident, any more than it is not an accident that a given chemical reaction will always have the same chemical product(s). Or do you literally believe in “theories” such as “intelligent falling,” whereby gravity doesn’t exist and objects fall to earth because an intelligent being is moving every single falling object on earth??

    No MON, you need to disentangle the concepts of non-random and supernatural, because natural processes don’t occur by accident nor do they occur by “intelligent falling” or whatever. If they did, the universe would be unintelligible to us and scientists out of a job.

  28. Dan Says:

    Actually Hawking himself is better with words:

    Many people would claim that the boundary conditions are not part of physics but belong to metaphysics or religion. They would claim that nature had complete freedom to start the universe off any way it wanted. That may be so, but it could also have made it evolve in a completely arbitrary and random manner. Yet all the evidence is that it evolves in a regular way according to certain laws. It would therefore seem reasonable to suppose that there are also laws governing the boundary conditions.

    (From “The Quantum State of the Universe”, Nuclear Physics (1984))

  29. Ron Yother Says:

    Atheism a marvel of the world. Opposing god, is a good way to live.

  30. MyOwnNoggin Says:

    It’s amazing how often the “believers” in God live up to just that opposition.