God did not create the universe, gravity did, says Stephen Hawking
God did not create the universe and the “Big Bang” was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking argues in a new book.
In “The Grand Design,” co-authored with U.S. physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking says a new series of theories made a creator of the universe redundant, according to the Times newspaper which published extracts on Thursday.
(Photo: Stephen Hawking, June 20, 2010/Sheryl Nadler)
“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,” Hawking writes. “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”
Hawking, 68, who won global recognition with his 1988 book “A Brief History of Time,” an account of the origins of the universe, is renowned for his work on black holes, cosmology and quantum gravity. His latest comments suggest he has broken away from previous views he has expressed on religion. Previously, he wrote that the laws of physics meant it was simply not necessary to believe that God had intervened in the Big Bang.
(Photo: Pope Benedict greets Stephen Hawking at meeting of scientists at the Vatican, October 31, 2008/Osservatore Romano)
For an initial sceptical reaction, see Mark Vernon’s Philosophy and Life blog.