Here's Why Stephen Hawking Says There Is No God

Updated on October 18, 2018
CatherineGiordano profile image

Science, philosophy, politics, and religion are frequent topics for writer and public speaker, Catherine Giordano.

There is a grand design, but it is not God.
There is a grand design, but it is not God.

Stephen Hawking believed that there is a "grand design" to the universe, but that it has nothing to do with God. With continual breakthroughs, science is coming closer to "The Theory of Everything," and when it does, Hawking believes all of us will be able to understand and benefit from this grand design. Let's take a look at the life, work, and worldview of the late Stephen Hawking who was widely acclaimed as one of the most brilliant minds in the world.

Stephen Hawking Says, “I’m an atheist.”

Before his death at the age of 76 on March 14, 2018, Stephen Hawking was generally considered one of the smartest people on Earth. He was a world famous theoretical physicist and cosmologist who received many honors for his work in the field of cosmology, quantum physics, black holes, and the nature of spacetime.

So, when Hawking said that God didn't exist and added the sentence, "I am an atheist,” to his statement, the world took notice.

Hawking made this controversial statement in 2014 during an interview with Pablo Jauregui, a journalist from El Mundo, a Spanish language newspaper. Read the full quote below:

“Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation. What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.”

When Did Hawking Become an Atheist?

Hawking has probably been an atheist from an early age. His family was nominally Christian, but in reality, they were intellectuals and atheists.

As a school boy at St. Albans school, he argued with his classmates about Christianity. During his college years at Oxford and Cambridge, he was a well-known atheist.

His first wife, Jane, whom he married in 1965 and divorced in 1990, was a devout Christian. It is clear they were never on the same page about religious matters, and this was perhaps one of the reasons why the two decided to go their separate ways.

Hawking’s statement denying the existence of God should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Throughout the years, Hawking has made many statements in opposition to religious beliefs. A few are listed below:

  • “We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”
  • “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.”
  • “We are each free to believe what we want, and it’s my view that the simplest explanation is; there is no God. No one created our universe, and no one directs our fate.“ This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.”

Stephen Hawking asserts that "there is no God."
Stephen Hawking asserts that "there is no God." | Source

Did Hawking Ever Say Anything Suggesting Belief in God?

Hawking has made some ambiguous statements about God. For example, in his 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, he discusses what it would mean if we were to ever discover why we and the universe exist. He wrote, “It would be the ultimate triumph of human reason–for then, we would know the mind of God.”

This statement has been misinterpreted by some to mean the Hawking believed in God. In the El Mundo interview, Hawking made clear that this quote was only a metaphor:

“What I meant when I said we would know 'the mind of God' was that we would know everything God would know if there were a God, which there isn't."

When Hawking wrote that "we would know the mind of God," he meant it as a metaphor.
When Hawking wrote that "we would know the mind of God," he meant it as a metaphor. | Source

Do Scientists Tend to be Atheists?

Stephen Hawking had lots of company among his peers with respect to atheism. According to surveys, as many as 93% of top-tier scientists do not believe in God. In comparison, about 83% of Americans believe in God.

Nature magazine conducted a survey in 1998 among members of The National Academy of Sciences, a prestigious group of top scientists. They found that only 7% of these scientists believed in God. Further, they showed the group of believers was shrinking when they compared their study to prior studies of a similar nature (28% in 1914 and 15% in 1933), so perhaps the proportion of believers is even lower today. (Nature 394,313:23 July 1998)

A similar study was conducted among British scientists, specifically the Fellows of the Royal Society of London. Among the British population as a whole, 42% believe in a personal God, but among British Scientists, only 5% do. (Evolution and Outreach, December 2013 6:33)

Did ALS Influence Hawking’s Religious Beliefs?

Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 21. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. This causes the brain to be unable to initiate and control muscle movement. It eventually leads to total paralysis.

At the time of diagnosis, Hawking was given only two years to live. He defied that prediction and lived to the age of 76. During the latter half of his life, he was almost totally paralysed and used a voice synthesizer to speak, which he controlled with a cheek muscle.

Some have said that Hawking’s long life was a miracle. Hawking did not believe this, saying, “Religion believes in miracles, but they are not compatible with science.”

Thus, Hawking's illness played no part in his view toward God: just as he does not need God to explain the existence of the universe, he does not need God to explain his survival. Hawking attributes his longevity to a fierce will to live and a stubborn desire to not let his illness keep him from having a full life. Hawking has said:

“However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope.”

Adhering to this motto, Hawking lived his life as normally as possible. He had three children with his first wife Jane, remarried in 1995 to his caretaker Elaine Manson (they divorced in 2006) and continued to write, teach and lecture up until his last days. Hawking has received numerous awards and honors for his work, and is the author of several books intended for a general audience, including an autobiography.

Hawking’s scientific achievements may have even been fostered by his illness. Being unable to live a normal physical life meant he could devote himself to the inner life of the mind. Also, the feeling that he did not have long to live likely spurred him to work harder in order to accomplish as much as possible in the time he had.

Some say Hawking's longevity is a miracle, but Hawking doesn't believe in miracles.
Some say Hawking's longevity is a miracle, but Hawking doesn't believe in miracles. | Source

How Does Hawking Explain the Universe?

In his 2010 book, The Grand Design, written with co-author and physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking takes the reader on a journey from the earliest beliefs about the creation of the universe to the cutting edge of modern cosmology, which includes quantum physics, string theory, multi-verses, and M-theory. Together, these theories are bringing us close to what scientists call, “The Theory of Everything," one theory that unifies all.

This book doesn’t play coy about belief in God. Right away, on page 8, Hawking writes “M-Theory predicts that a great many universes were created out of nothing. Their creation does not require the intervention of some supernatural being or God. Rather these multiple universes arise naturally from physical law.”

Something from nothing? It doesn’t immediately make sense. We have this reaction because, at the level that humans experience the universe, we see cause-and-effect. But cause-and-effect does not exist on the quantum level in the same way that we experience it.

At the end of the book on page 180, Hawking sums everything up:

“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.”

In the El Mundo interview, Hawking said:

“When people ask me if a God created the universe, I tell them that the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the Big Bang, so there is no time for God to make the universe in. It’s like asking directions to the edge of the earth; The Earth is a sphere; it doesn’t have an edge; so looking for it is a futile exercise.”

M-Theory shows how "something can come from nothing."
M-Theory shows how "something can come from nothing." | Source

What Was the Response From the Religious Community?

As might be expected, there was a huge outcry from religious leaders offering vigorous rebuttals to Hawking’s statement that God did not necessarily create the universe.

Their arguments were weak, petty, and often showed little to no understanding of science. They even sometimes misquoted Hawking in order to set up straw men to knock down. The rebuttals boiled down to, “God exists because I say so.”

The Arch Bishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, said “Belief in God…is the belief that there is an intelligent, living agent on whose activity everything ultimately depends for its existence. Physics on its own will not settle the question of why there is something rather than nothing.” (DailyMail.com 9/23/2010)

The Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Lord Jonathan Sacks, said, “Science is about explanation. Religion is about interpretation. The Bible simply isn't interested in how the universe came into being." (DailyMail.com 9/23/2010)

Some said that Hawking did not disprove the existence of God, but this comes as no surprise. No one can prove or disprove the existence of an immaterial, invisible being. What Hawking did do is show how the universe could come into existence without a Prime Mover to set things into motion.

Others said that you cannot get something from nothing and everything has to have a cause, with God being that cause. I don’t think these critics actually read Hawking’s book, because he explains these points.

Thjere were some Christian publications which took aim at scientists themselves, claiming that God is merely the laws of the universe as physicists understand them. The Christian Post wrote: “Hawking’s redefinition of ‘nothing’ in no way removes God (and actually introduces us to something like God), but instead only reacquaints us with the standard debate between two eternal ‘somethings’–the uni/multiverse and God.”

Some pointed out that string theory and M-theory are not accepted by all scientists. This is true, but that doesn't mean that Hawking is wrong. Many scientists do accept these cutting edge theories, and the fact that some do not does not disprove them. The methodology of science is based around postulation and experimentation.

Finally, some tried to discredit Hawking by attacking his character rather than his work. For instance, Hawking has said life might exist on other planets, and that these "aliens" might be hostile to Earthlings. His antagonists retort that there is no proof of this, so everything Hawking says must be wrong. They try to conflate mere musings (that many other scientists have also speculated about) and his scientific work.

Should Hawking Have Stuck to Science and Left God to Theologians?

Some critics have stated that Hawking should have stuck to science and left God to theologians.

But Hawking did stick to science.

His views about God are informed by his study of science. Hawking was not discussing theology, which would encompass issues like whether God is one or three, whether God cares about the eating of pork, or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Hawking had nothing to say about theological issues, for theological issues assume the existence of God or Gods.

Hawking’s opinion about God is a scientific opinion. Since the laws of physics can explain the creation of the universe, there is no need to have a Supreme Being to create it. Hawking explains that we do not need a God who is outside spacetime and who Himself was created from nothing to create the universe. God is superfluous.

Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Brief Answers to the Big Questions
Brief Answers to the Big Questions

This book tackles 10 of the big questions. It begins with "Chapter One: Does God Exist?" In this chapter, Hawking elaborates on the statement he made in his prior book "The Grand Design" about how we can get something—the universe—from nothing. He gives a very concise and clear explanation to show how the laws of physics support his conclusion that God does not exist because there is no need for Him to exist.

Having dealt with that very big question, he then moves on to time travel (Chapter 6), space travel (Chapter 8), artificial intelligence (Chapter 9), the likelihood of other intelligent life in the universe (Chapter 3) and the future of mankind (Chapters 7 and 10) as well as other issues, all explained by the laws of physics.

He is writing for a general audience. His explanations are very clear and concise and he uses lots of analogies make it easy for us non-scientists to understand. I raced through this book because I was eager for the answers, but then I went back and reread it one chapter at a time so I could take my time to ponder the issues.

Hawking was writing this book when he died, and it was completed by his family and associates based on his notes and posthumously published. It is a fitting coda to his life's work.

 

Why Was Hawking’s Funeral at a Church?

There were 500 invited guests at Stephen Hawking’s funeral held on March 31, 2018 at St. Mary the Great Church in Cambridge, England. Although Hawking was an atheist, his children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim, chose St Mary the Great, the church of Cambridge's prestigious university, to say their farewell. The family chose the Church of England funeral service customarily given to longtime fellows at Cambridge University. (Hawking did his graduate work at the University and was a fellow at the University for 52 years.) About 1000 people lined the streets to view his funeral procession.

The children issued a statement saying "Our father's life and work meant many things to many people, both religious and non-religious. So, the service will be both inclusive and traditional, reflecting the breadth and diversity of his life."

The Hawking family arranged and paid for a three-course Easter weekend meal for the homeless at the Wesley Methodist Church in Cambridge served on the day of his funeral. The tables were adorned with flowers and a card reading, “Today’s lunch is a gift from Stephen… From the Hawking family.”

Hawking was cremated and a memorial service was held on June 15, 2018. His ashes were interred at London’s Westminster Abbey near the remains of the renowned scientist lsaac Newton.

What Do You Believe?

Which of these statements comes closest to your own beliefs?

See results

A Video of the "El Mundo" Interview in which Hawking Talks about His Atheism

Questions & Answers

  • If time didn't exist before the Big Bang (and I'm not arguing that), how is it possible that anything happened in no time? If God can't create it because there was no time to, how could the laws of physics create it in no time?

    I'm not a physicist, but I don't think Hawking is saying that the "laws of physics" created the universe. I think Hawking is saying that the universe, time, and the laws of physics are all part of the "Big Bang."

    It is hard for most of us to understand this because we are used to "cause and effect." But quantum physics goes against everything we "know" in our everyday life. And the idea of a multi-verse which creates new universes is mind-boggling. The fact that the universe is expanding is mind-boggling.

    I wasn't trying to explain astrophysics in this article. I was only trying to discuss Hawking's beliefs about God and religion. If you want to understand astrophysics a bit better, read Hawking's books or the books of other theoretical physicists or astrophysicists.

  • Did Hawking ever consider the universe to be like a Mobius band; i.e. having no beginning or end?

    I don't know if Stephen Hawking ever used the Mobius strip (also called Mobius band) analogy, but I do think he believed that the multi-verse had no beginning or end as we understand those terms.

    I checked the index in his book "A Brief History of Time" and the term "Mobius strip" is not there.

  • I believe that Steven Hawking was correct. If mankind did not exist, there would be no God; therefore, it is fair to say God equals mankind. As it is mankind that has everlasting life and we are the body of mankind, we are made in the likeness of mankind. All that matters is your life and to live a purposeful life is our value to mankind. Is this what he meant to say?

    No, Hawking wasn't saying that at all. Hawking was a theoretical physicist, not a philosopher or a theologian. Hawking meant to say exactly what he did say and that is what he said in his book "The Grand Design" and elsewhere. The universe can exist with the need of a supernatural "First Mover."

    I don't know if Hawking agrees with your theory or not because he has never said anything about it.

    I am not saying that your idea is a bad idea, just that you can not attribute it to Hawking.

  • Is it in the right sense to question the existence of God?

    Yes it is just fine for people to question the existence of God. Just as it is right to question the existence of leprechauns and Abominable Snowmen. Everything should be subject to rational examination.

    Scientists, especially, must question everything. Do quarks exist? Show me why you think they exist. If a scientist can question the existence of quarks, why not also question the existence of God?

  • Why do people not recognize that scientists are the ones responsible for atheism?

    Maybe the reason people don't recognize that scientists are the ones responsible for atheism is because it is not true.

    Atheism means without god (from the Greek "a" which means without and "theos" which means god/gods). Every human being is born an atheist. We have to be taught to believe in gods. That is why almost all people have the same beliefs about god and religion as their parents.

    Some people are never taught this so they never believe in god/gods. Some people are taught to believe, but later reject these beliefs because they don't seem true or they don't make sense. They then look to alternate explanations for existence and find them through the application of science, philosophy, logic, or other disciplines. But even uneducated people can be atheists.

    Far from not recognizing that scientists are responsible for atheism, science is frequently credited with causing atheism. However, there are some scientists that continue to believe. For instance, the eminent scientist Stephen Jay Gould (American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science) posited NOMA--non-overlapping magisterium. Science was one and religion was the other. Neither should be used to try to explain the other.

    Some religious people say that science is the way man can understand God's creation. For this reason, the Catholic Church was the main supporter of science during medieval times and beyond.

    However, for many people, science and religion are mutually exclusive. One relies on fact; the other relies on faith. So they arrive at different conclusions.

    I think that Stephen Hawking was an atheist even as a child. In his autobiography, Hawking says that his father was an atheist. Science did not make Hawking be an atheist, but appears to have resolved any doubt he might have had on the matter.

© 2017 Catherine Giordano

I welcome your comments. Please keep them brief and on topic.

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    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 weeks ago from Orlando Florida

      Alan: I was so happy to see your very intelligent comment. I agree with you entirely. I too don't have the background to 100% understand Hawking's physics, but it is enough for me that other well-respected physicists do and they find him persuasive. And of course I entirely agree with his statements concerning atheism.

      You mentioned the religiously-based comments on this article. I only allowed a few of them to show. There were probably 100 more that I did not allow because they said nothing new. I thought it would be very boring for readers to read comment after comment all saying the same thing, sometimes using the exact same wording.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 

      3 weeks ago from Tasmania

      Catherine, thank you so much for this hub. It is filled with your own humility while at the same time giving due respect and recognition to Stephen's life and work.

      I have recently purchased a copy of "Grand Design." Much of the deductions are mathematical and beyond my understanding: that does not matter. I can appreciate his questioning and expansive mind.

      Hus book begins with several questions and ends with an "if...."

      I note that most of the religiously-based posts here are from those who feel a need to defend their God and their beliefs....which are easier to sustain without inconvenient questions and without a "what of."

      Stephen had the mind which was open to infinite possibility.

      Religion confines itself to a supposedly infinite god which is petty in the extreme.

      IMHO

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 weeks ago from Orlando Florida

      Firdous: Thanks for letting me know that this article was useful to you.

    • profile image

      Firdous 

      3 weeks ago

      This was so good and helpful about Stephen hawkings

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      2 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Brianna S: What makes you think Hawking did not carefully consider his beliefs about God? Did you not read the above article? Also, where is all this proof of the existence of God? I have never heard of any proof. There are claims, but no proof. Proof requires facts and that is why religion relies on faith.

    • profile image

      BrianaS 

      2 months ago

      I want to know why Hawkings didn't believe christianityto be truth?

      I would bet a ship load of money that he tossed religion aside drawing conclusions before examining it thoroughly.

      There's astronomical, and mathematical proof that God was the true author of the holy bible. But so many scientists have a one track scientific mind, and will not even bother with anything seemingly unrelated, like the holy bible.

      Amazing prophecies that have come true point to biblical truth as well.

      Hawkings didn't want to believe in a personal god, whether it bears truth or not, because I think he resents god, that's why.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Mike cisneros: Hawking did theoretical physics. It is based on mathematics. You can read Hawking's books or the books of other astrophysicists to understand how the math backs up Hawking's claims. I am not an astrophysicist, but Hawking's theories are widely accepted by those who are. It is far more than just one person (or many people) just "saying so." If you are competent enough to follow their reasoning, I think you will agree.

      In everyday life, we often accept the opinions of experts. I don't have to understand how to build a house to trust that my architect does; I don't have to understand aviation mechanics to ride in an airplane; I don't have to understand medicine to trust my doctor to safely remove my appendix.

    • profile image

      Mike cisneros 

      3 months ago

      What proof or evidence did hawking find that suggest there are multiple universes or that our universe came into existence on its own. Seems like its just because he says so

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 months ago from Orlando Florida

      andy tompkins: Thank you for your comment. You have done a good job of explaining why we can trust the truth of science.

      One someone self-identifies as "the decadent one," he reveals a lot about himself. But mainly he reveals that we shouldn't trust the truth of anything he says.

    • profile image

      andy tompkins 

      3 months ago

      Dear "Mr Decadent One": you assail the scientist/atheist with the words "Please forgive my attitude, but I tend to get a little antsy when I run into atheists being smug and all knowing without the evidence to substantiate it. " But that is the exact opposite of what is going on. To be a scientist is an admission that one is NOT all knowing. That is what science is! It is the process of learning what is yet unknown! And the only things that ARE known are the things for which we have a body of evidence and a theory that is supported by it. And new evidence may at any time prove prevailing theories wrong, and good scientists, and there are many, will be the first to admit it. In fact, one reason you can be assured that a theory like the Big Bang is our best theory so far to explain the origins of our universe is because if new evidence was discovered that knocked the Big Bang off its pedestal, that scientist's name would soon replace "Hawking" (and others) as perhaps the greatest scientist that ever lived.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Gerrey Marshall: Thanks for your comment, but I am at a loss to figure out what you mean. How do any of the things you mention "prove" the existence of God?

    • profile image

      Gerrey Marshall 

      3 months ago

      I have found that there are certain facts, ironocally that exists within science that leads to the very existence of a God and it all starts with gravity, the first law of thermodynamics, a expanded version of Newton's first law and the very existence of our own conscious awareness, which in fact shows ultimately what had to have been before the Big Bang and what actually brought it about.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      4 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thedecadentone: Scientists change their mind, so to speak, all the time. The whole scientific method is to use new evidence to get closer to the truth. I don't know if Hawking made the statements you attribute to him--perhaps I missed that when I did my research on Hawking--but, if he did, it is because he came across new evidence. This would show that Hawking had an open mind. An open mind is a very good quality in a scientist.

      Perhaps the multiple-universe that Hawking posits is infinite, but our own universe has a definite age, whether it is 13 billion years, or 15 billion years, or some other number.

      You were quite snarky in your comment so let me respond in kind. Stephen Hawking was widely considered to be a genius. Has anyone ever called you a genius (and not said it sarcasticly.)?

    • profile image

      Thedecadentone 

      4 months ago

      Too bad all of these atheist scientists keep taking their crystal balls and time machines with them to the grave. I would love to have 100 % infallible knowledge that all there is is the physical world as well. Maybe one of you fine living specimens will be so kind as to help this poor deluded moron understand existence the way you do? No? Pity. Please forgive my attitude, but I tend to get a little antsy when I run into atheists being smug and all knowing without the evidence to substantiate it. All that intellect and it's wasted trying to prove a negative, which is impossible.

      Hawking couldn't make up his mind whether the universe was 13.8, about 15 billion, or infinity years old, so I find it hard to take everything else he says as the unadulterated gospel of reality. Science keeps changing, but God is supposed to be unchanging, so one won't be able to use science to even try proving the non-existence of God for a very, very, very long time, if ever. I could go on a tangent about the scientific theories which have been altered in recent years, but I digress.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      4 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jojo john: It is hard to make a break with family. I wouldn't worry about the baptism. If you know that the Catholic religion is false, then obviously the baptism is false too.

    • profile image

      Jojo john 

      4 months ago

      I really appreciate your patience Catherine. I born and raised in a catholic family in India. Without knowing about Christianity I became christian by infant baptism. I would say i was forcefully became christian because my parents were. Till now I didn't understand one thing Jesus Christ got baptised at the age of 32 then why catholic do infant baptism? because they scared about dwindling the numbers of Christians. I do agree with Hawkins. I saw many comments stating that there is God. My answer is prove it. My family and christian church think that I am devil worshipper. So funny. I don't believe God means I am Devil haha...

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      4 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Ric Harris: I can't print your comment because of the "curse" words you used and your generally hateful language and tone, but I did want to address a very important misunderstanding about science vis a vis religion exemplified in your comment. Science has not, and never will, disprove the existence of God. What science does is offer more valid alternative explanations for the universe--explanations that have a much higher probability of being correct because they explain all of the known facts better.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Qadosh Gibbowr: First congrats on the "gotcha". You are correct that "most unique" is gramatically incorrect, but most people understand that "most" in this phrase is being used as an intensifier.

      .

      Second Hawking does an excellent job of explaining how there can be a grand design without a designer. I summarized his reasoning in this article. For more information, I refer you to his book, "The Grand Design."

      If you are trying to say that the "proof" for the existence of God is stronger than the proof found in science then you are the one demonstrating "undisciplined thinking."

    • profile image

      Qadosh Gibbowr 

      6 months ago

      Before committing much time to essentially cleaning up after this elephant parade of an article, I want to see if there is any intellectual honesty on the other end (the author) to ensure that it will be worthwhile to myself and other readers. Since we are confined to the internet for this discussion, I think we can agree that words chosen to communicate ideas, especially complex ideas, are of the utmost importance. Let's start with two easy examples.

      Firstly, you state in your opening paragraph that Hawking had "one of the most unique minds..." I would like you to confirm that there is no degree (i.e. "most") to unique. Either something is unique or it is not. We all have unique minds. Secondly, you quote Hawking as stating (quite accurately) that there is an obvious grand design to the universe. Please explain if you believe it possible to have a design without a designer. Do not change the definition of design as I am familiar with the linguistic contortions others attempt. We already have plenty of examples of storytellers in lab coats that do just that to sway the gullible public and secure funding. This is a test of pride and intellectual honesty. I think we will find that his choice of words was just as careless as your own. Now this may put you off a bit, but if you can get through this, we can move to the more interesting and challenging notions behind theoretical physics and how Hawking, out of necessity, had to abandon the scientific method to advance his models (many aspects do not even qualify as "theories"). This is not to say there is no value to be found here, but we are going to lose another generation to flawed and undisciplined thinking if we allow hyperbole, assumption and good storytelling to replace the solid application of the scientific method. Regards.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Brad Brown: If your concept of God is that He lives outside the laws of physics, maybe he doesn't need time to exist. When you invent a superhero, you can give him any super powers you want. For more detail, you should consult an actual theoretical physicist who may be able to explain to you how the universe works.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Alan Borrow: You are restating Pascal's wager. It is a totally illogical proposition in so many ways. Pleas see my article on this: https://owlcation.com/humanities/Pascals-Wager-Is-...

    • profile image

      Brad Brown 

      6 months ago

      There was no time before the big bang, as the bang creates time as we know it....let's say I accept that. It is still a non sequitur that there is no God. What evidence did Hawking have that God needs what we perceive as time in order to exist?

      I accept that we know a very tiny percentage of what is knowable. I wish I knew more.

    • profile image

      Alan Borrow 

      6 months ago

      maybe that is true, and there may be arguments about why God does not exist, but it is really part of you, if you believe or not believe, since we won't know until we actually die. But if it is true, then I should prepare before I die because if I don't believe right now, and God is actually a true entity, when I want to start believing it, it is too late. Thanks for your feedback on your last question, and have a nice day

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Alan Borrow; It sounds like you do not understand the Big Bang theory at all. It has nothing to do with the collision of rocks. Please read a good book about astrophysics written for layman. Neil de Grass Tyson has written a good one:"Astrophysics for People in a Hurry."

      And I agree with you. There can never be any conclusive proof about the existence of God. Therefore I go with the probabilities. My research leads me to agree with Hawking: God does not exist. There is no need for any supernatural entity to set the universe in motion. There is a very high probability that God does not exist based on the evidence that is available to us.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Akoch12: I just read a quote from Steohen Hawking. The Genesis story has no basis in fact. Hawking said somethng like "It is fairy tales for people who are afraid of the dark." I suggest you read a good Life Sciences textbook for the answers to your questions.

    • profile image

      Alan Borrow 

      6 months ago

      Stephan Hawking : Time did not exist before the big bang so there is no God.

      If time didn't exist before the big bang, then that means there is no way the big bang could have happened (scientifically). Time not existing means that the 2 rocks that *supposingly* collided into each other are frozen without time, and the big bang has never or could have happened and never will. Nobody will know if God really exists because we have never met him in real life before, until our lives end, and only after we die we can know the truth. If you haven't experienced a miracle from God, and only heard from other people, there is only 2 choices, believe, or not believe. I am personally a Christian, I am not the smartest of all, but if there is a statement that counters the fact that God does not exist, there will be a answer to it, because Hawking only had Intelligence, and only science facts, but not wisdom so that made him say that God did not exist.

    • profile image

      Akuch12 

      6 months ago

      Well... I honestly think the universe can't just come together randomly like that. I believe that God created Everything, but where do they think we come from? If a science wanted to learn more about the world and universe, I suggest reading the Bible. The first pages tells about how to world was created.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Hunter Davidson: Please reread the article. I give a summary of Stephen Hawking's reasoning in the article. You could also browse through some of my other articles on this website for further information on this.

    • profile image

      Hunter Davidson 

      6 months ago

      Do you mind explaining some proof or reasoning behind the theory that God is not real?

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Duffin Dave: Your comment is thoughtful and clearly presents your point of view. My reply: Stephen Hawking could be wrong about astrophysics and about his views on God, but at least he presents evidence to support his conclusions. Your argument for "spirit" seems to boil down to "It's true because I believe it is true." Also, there has been some scientific experiments and research into "spirit." The findings always come up negative when studied by independent objective researchers. s

    • profile image

      Duffin Dave 

      6 months ago

      I appreciate this intellectually stimulating article, the many comments, and the author's thoughtful and respectful replies. It is refreshing to observe a civil conversation regarding a highly provocative topic. That is a rare find, especially on the internet. Having said that, personally, I believe in God, and I am confident in my own intellectual ability to make that determination. Stephen Hawking was an incredible human being, and gifted intellectually. Only a fool would argue otherwise. I simply disagree with his interpretation of scientific data, and the suggestion that we are somehow on the verge of knowing everything there is to know about everything. While the scientific method has revealed immense understanding, it is still in its infancy in infinite areas of study. We have only scratched the surface of limitless knowledge to be gained through science. And, I believe, science will never lead to an understanding of everything until it's practitioners are willing to consider every possibility, including serious experimentation on the existence of God. My belief is that the planet earth, everything living on it, every similar planet in the universe with life, and everything in the universe including God, all existed spiritually before they existed physically, and the spirit continues to exist forever. And I also believe that the spiritual universe, including God, can only be discerned and understood with spiritual senses. As far as I know, the scientific community has no theories or even interest in the existence of spirit matter, spirituality, or even the nature of God. Perhaps that is because they claim no experience with spirit matter to justify the time, energy, and resources required to investigate. But I find that to be ironic when I consider the wealth of study around so many phenomena that we cannot see, feel, hear, smell, or taste...such as radio waves, gravity, atoms, molecules, etc. Is it really so difficult to imagine that just because we don't have the technology right now to observe and measure it, spirit matter could be a reality? Are we so advanced that we have to deny the possibility of anything that cannot currently be observed by science? Until the great thinkers like Stephen Hawking open their minds and honestly experiment with spirituality, God, and divine design, they cannot hope to understand it, let alone offer intelligent hypotheses, theories, or data to be supported, believed or disbelieved.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Michael Hoornstra: I don't know why the "probably" is in his statement. Maybe he was just being polite.

    • profile image

      Michael Hoornstra 

      6 months ago

      Was Hawkins really sure there is no God or was he not so convinced himself when he said; "This leads me to a profound realization that there (probably) is no heaven and no afterlife either."How sure or even intelligent was he to say his conclusion of no God was profound, but in the same breath say probably? Hawkins was not so sure after all he said it in the comment above.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Kerry Hull: I can't explain gravity in a comment. Read Hawking's books.

    • profile image

      Kerry Hull 

      6 months ago

      " Since the laws of physics can explain the creation of the universe, there is no need to have a Supreme Being to create it. Hawking explains that we do not need a God who is outside spacetime and who Himself was created from nothing to create the universe."

      I notice Hawkings indicates in his book that the laws of gravity can and will create everything out of Nothing [Nothing being quantum fluctuations in a vacuum]. The explanation leads me quite void since I am quite sure gravity is not Nothing and I am left with questions about the existence of gravity apart from the void. Care to explain? (Learning).

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Critical Friend: I think Hawking supported his claim about God. I think many others have also done so and will continue to do so.

    • profile image

      Critical Friend 

      6 months ago

      You said that Hawking's claims about the existence of God are much supported. I said that Hawking never provided support for the claim that "God isn't real." but has only stated that God is not needed as a sufficient reason for the universe, science can provide that. I would like the claim "God isn't real" to be supported, but unfortunately, Stephen Hawking passed.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      unsaticfied [sic] reader: [I assume you meant "unsatisified."] I try to satisfy my readers, but obviously I am not 100% successful in that, especially when it comes to accepting and replying to comments. In my judgement, your issues were already addressed either in the article itself or in my replies to others who made similar comments. I'll take this opportunity to remind people that comments should not be repetitive. No one wants to read 50 comments all saying the same thing.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      JackJones25: I did a lot of research when I wrote an article on NDE. I am convinced that an NDE occurs in a living brain. https://owlcation.com/stem/The-Truth-About-Near-De... Also, for every person who has an "almost died" occurrence and experiences visions, there are thousands who almost die and have nothing to report.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      riktopus: The design of a leaf arose over millions of years. Just imagine where a computer might be after millions of years. Computer are already "designing" themselves. They can "learn." Nonetheless, it is a bad analogy because the universe is not like a computer.

    • profile image

      JackJones25 

      6 months ago

      Stephen Hawking said "The Universe created itself". So that means the Universe created everything, including us. That's the definition of God.

      As for an afterlife, there are many who have had near death experiences. So many that they cannot just be dismissed as the brain producing the experience. Look up Dr. Jeffery Long on NDE and make up your own mind. He has done more credible research on the topic than most.

    • profile image

      riktopus 

      6 months ago

      Everything in the human experience shouts one simple fact.

      Is a leaf a more perfect design than the most complex computer or machine? Yes by a million miles it is. We cant duplicate photosynthesis. A single living cell is like a city, but perfect in operation and able to repair and replicate.

      Design? Yes. Designer? Of course.Thats the simple fact.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Hayden: I can never understand why some people have so much trouble just accepting that we are here because we are here. There is a Grand Design--the design is inherent in the laws of the universe, no creator god needed.

    • profile image

      Hayden 

      6 months ago

      All gods and god are the creation of man's small mind trying to find security in an unsecured world where anything happens.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thanks, Don. You might change your mind about my patience if you saw that I am not allowing about two-thirds of the comments because they are over-the-top insulting, puerile, ungrammatical, and just plain boring. Plus, they are repetitive, adding nothing new to the conversation.

    • profile image

      Don 

      6 months ago

      I admire your patience.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Krissy: YOu can define God however you want. When I say God, like Stephen Hawking, I am referring to the traditional definition of God. And yes, science has a lot to say about love. For one thing, it is based on hormones, but there are other scientific facts about love.

    • profile image

      Krissy 

      7 months ago

      I think the concept of God and religion is unique and personal to those of us that have faith. I think his statements are made about some traditional aspects of religion. What if you believe that God is unconditional love? How can Stephen Hawking ever prove, with factual evidence, the fierce unconditional love that I have for my family? It can’t ever be proven or measured or created in an experiment or lab. Would one say then that love does not exist? Just like atheist question the existence of god and religion, science must also be questioned as to being the answer to everything. There are some aspects about life that can never be explained. The inner depths of ourselves are unique and personal and individual.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Zach: Scientists don't try to prove "purpose." They try to prove fact. Consciousness makes purpose. The universe has no purpose.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Zach: I don't think you have thought through your comment. If scientists created a Big Bang, it would destroy the entire universe.

    • profile image

      Zach 

      7 months ago

      If there really is no god and the big bang theory is true then why cant scientists create a big bang that creates a planet and life? Scientists today can surely have the right materials, particles, atoms, etc. to create a big bang, cant they? No they cannot, only God can create the big bang because i dont recall any experiments that have actually proved that the big bang therory is 100% true.

    • profile image

      Zach 

      7 months ago

      If there is no god then why were we created? we have a purpose in life, everyone does. Can science explain why we have what we have now instead of the nothingness in the time before the big bang?

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Grace: Everything dies. Even stars die. Death is a natural process. There is so much to say on this topic that it will require a new article. I have made a not to write this article.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Tim: By your reasoning either God choose to use Hawking to lend credence to atheism or there was no God to do any choosing. I favor the latter explanation.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Critical Friend: I agree the poll lacks nuance. It is the nature of polls. You just have to choose the statement that is the best fit.

      Hawking's claims about the existence of God is very much supported. It is the claims for the existence of God that are unsupported. That is why belief in God requires faith whereas science requires no faith, just fact and evidence.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Rosalene Fernandez: I agree with you. I susuect Hawking would have also agreed. We just think the the things you mention don't require a God.

    • profile image

      Grace 

      7 months ago

      If science has an answer to everything, can it explain why we die?

    • profile image

      Tim 

      7 months ago

      I think it was a tragedy that Hawking was not a Christian. I think God could have used him to show some to the mysteries that are embedded in the bible. Even as in the old bible days when the earth was supposedly flat. Isaiah described God as sitting “upon the circle of the earth.” Isaiah 40:22. The Book of Job said He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing Job 26:7. Even with all the technology and resources that is God given. We still can not produce a spontaneous life. No one can reason out where the big bang or elements of the universe come from. Even rock, and gases had to come from something or somewhere. Never heard science describe a big bang for them. Next time you go outside and pick up a rock to through in the water . Ask yourself when was that rock created or formed in the universe. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep - Genesis 1. I believe God was the head physicist and there are things in the bible that we have not even discovered yet. Hawking was intriguing and brilliant in physics. I think he was as intelligent as any scientist, physicist or philosopher. But I have heard him even question why things in the universe happen. If you want to discover the universe, discover the bible.

    • profile image

      Critical Friend 

      7 months ago

      I have criticisms to the "What Do You Believe?" poll. It is extremely black-and-white and people are able to have all 3 beliefs, except they cannot be represented because it is select one, strictly. Also, Stephen Hawking makes several claims without any support mentioned. "if there was a god which there isn't" - is an unsupported claim. "His views about God are informed by his study of science." Doubt it. It should be "misinformed by his study of science." Correction should be made. He should be informed about God by his study of philosophy, NOT science. This explains his apparent naivety.

    • profile image

      Rosalene Fernández 

      7 months ago

      Is not physics about manifestation of matter... I am more than matter... as is the universe... I marvel at the soul, mind, spirit... as I observe the love and dedication of my pet dog, the breathtaking beauty, the will to live in all, the magnificent design, I am reminded I, too, being a universe within the universe, am far more than matter which is the object of physics.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Tam Dl: I am replying to your comment a second time.The phrase you used ending in "...knows the value of nothing" is wrong, insulting, and trite, to boot. How dare you insult Stephen Hawking by suggesting he had no values! He loved his family, worked hard, lived honestly, showed great courage in the way he ealt with his disability, and had all of the "values" (except belief in God) that churchgoers like to think only they have. Hawking was like most other atheists in this. You owe all of us an apology.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Hawking is important because he made great contributions to theoretical physics and astrophysics. I highly doubt that his work has anything to do with bombs. If you think that, you have no understanding of his work. I am glad that cutting-edge medical science twice saved your life. Your story is a testament to the importance of science.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Reinz: It seems that you had not time to read the article either. Hawking's views on this issue are summarized in the article..If you don't have time to read the whole article, just read the section headed "How Does Hawking Explain the Universe

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jerry a: Hawking did a lot of good for the world in his scientific work and as a role model for how to live with a debilitating illness.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Tam Dt: Your comment is off topic, but I will allow it this time. The job of science is to find facts. They should never allow value judgments to affect their work. That is called bias.

    • profile image

      Reinz 

      7 months ago

      Hello,.

      you wrote "He (hawking) just said there was no need of a "Prime Mover."

      could you help me, did he explain why he said that and what was his arguments ? sorry I have no time to read his book, ?.

    • profile image

      TamDl 

      7 months ago

      What things? You could say that is the wrong question. Science is powerful at explaining things, It's knows the function of everything and the value of nothing.

      Science doesn't tell us why SH was important. In fact from a scientific point of view, he isn't. He is just an occurrence no more important than an ant. Maybe some day his labours will allow up to make a larger bomb, or a better dishwasher, but we won't know why that maters.

      Ideas like Grand Design, and gratefulness are just romanticism in science.

      "Science will win because it works.” Which at a certain level is true, i'm typing on a computer. But the Bible suggests that knowledge will destroy us, and while I am wholly supportive of academics, and science, it is passing strange that here we are, with half a dozen technologies that are far more likely to wipe out the world than human generated global warming (not that it can be ignored). And they stand on the shoulders of a relatively recent scientific discoveries. So if science is winning, I would like to know what race.

      In fact, at 56 two years ago, I gratefully crossed over into those who are only alive due to cardiac surgery, and in 97 I survived a plane crash only due to medical technology. So I am already on the winning side in the race to global destruction. But yeah, it is a race that science will probably win, in my children's lifetimes.

    • profile image

      jerry a 

      7 months ago

      there is no god, but there is good

      just live your fortunate existance in goodness for all

    • profile image

      TamDl 

      7 months ago

      What things? You could say that is the wrong question. Science is powerful at explaining things, It's knows the function of everything and the value of nothing.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      EL:M again: What things does religion explain better than science?

    • profile image

      ELM again 

      7 months ago

      This is in response to your reply.

      I am referring to Gould and his non-overlapping magisteria. I just wanted to throw this opinion out there. I wasn't necessarily saying I believe in his idea. I just wanted to give someone else's input.

      You are right, there are things science cannot understand. And maybe religion does nothing to expand human knowledge, but I think religion is a tool used by some people to help them understand the things science cannot understand.

      I am not saying I necessarily think this, but this is what some people believe.

      My comment about Gould's non-overlapping magisteria being a comfortable idea: I think *for some people* it is easier to put science and religion in their own boxes so they don't come in contact with each other. Again, I am not saying this is what I believe. But I can see how this idea can be appealing to some people.

      Please don't confuse my input with criticism. I said that I liked this article and that I am interested in this topic. I did not say nor did I imply that religion expands human knowledge. You are right, Hawking did increase human understanding, and that is why he is and will always be celebrated. Nothing that I said took away from his contributions to science or our world. I am not arguing with anything you wrote in your article.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jose Pedro: I can't explain "space and time." I can only accept the conclusions of people I have good reason to believe understand it. Hawking is one of these people.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      R. W. You have understood the central point. Hawking never tried to disprove the existence of God, and he never claimed that he had. He just said there was no need of a "Prime Mover."

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      First the word nothing to theoretical phsicists like Hawking does not mean the same thing as it does in everyday conversation. As to your other point, I can best respond by directing you to my other article: "Pascal's Wager: Is it a Food Bet?" https://owlcation.com/humanities/Pascals-Wager-Is-...

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Are you referring to Stephen Jay Gould and his idea of non-overlapping magisteria. This idea has not gained traction in either the scientific or religious camp.

      There are things that science can't understand, but religion does nothing to expand human knowledge. Hawking is so celebrated becaaue he DID increase human understanding.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      The best way to respond to your comment is to direct you to another one of my articles "Is the Universe Fine-Tuned for Human Life?" https://owlcation.com/stem/Is-the-Universe-Fine-Tu...

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Maloy: I'm sorry to have to tell you your comment is just silly. First, Hawking never tried to prove there was no God. As the article states, that conclusion was incidenat to his work. Second, his field of study was not medicine. He had a team of doctors for medical advice.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Mo: Hawking was not trying to prove the existence or non-existence of God. He merely said that our universe could come into existence without any help from God, and this finding was another support for atheism.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Venkatachen: Scientists agree that not everything is known. However, what is unknown is not a proof that a non-factual explanation is the answer. See: God of the Gaps

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Bodkins: I seems there as many definitions of God as there are human beings. With science, there is initial disagreement and then consensus because of a thing called facts. When new facts come to light, the process begins again. It is highly unusual for a major theory to be totally disproved; instead new facts refine existing theories.

    • profile image

      Maloy 

      7 months ago

      The time he spent trying to prove there is no God, he should have worked towards finding a cure for his illness.

    • profile image

      Daniel. 

      7 months ago

      Look around and be amazed. If this is chance then we all have won the lottery. I’ve played the lottery and loose every time. Don’t think science can ever explain the theory of everything. Beyond imagination.

    • profile image

      ELM 

      7 months ago

      I just wanted to say that this is a really great article. I am taking Philosophy of Religion in college right now. I was thinking of writing a short paper on this topic, so I am happy to have stumbled upon this. I am majoring in both biology and philosophy, so I have had questions about my own beliefs.

      For philosophy of religion, I had to read something that discusses the 'fight' between science and religion. This reading basically said there are two 'bubbles,' one for science, and the other for religion. The two bubbles do not and should not overlap. I'm not sure if I believe that, but I think it is a comfortable idea.

      Before I started taking philosophy classes more seriously, I thought biology and science asked the only relevant questions and provided the correct answers. Since I've taken existentialism, I am starting to realize that science does not have all the answers. I do believe in science, but there are things science cannot answer.

    • profile image

      Gail Dressel 

      7 months ago

      Einstein, for all his brilliance, couldn't tie his own shoes. It does not surprise me that Mr. Hawking, "does not believe in God"; it's too fundamental and it's too easy, by Divine design, like all life. If Hawking were still with us I would pose the query, why the "Big Bang" Something does not come from nothing. Nothing comes from nothing. Or, as once posed in a jovial story of a competition of a scientist and God, God replied, "Get your own dirt".

      If I choose to believe in God, and he doesn't exist, I have lost nothing. If I choose not to believe, and God does exist, I have lost everything.

      Surely, I am not so egotistical to believe, I am the only living person to have stood in, felt and experienced the presence of Jesus.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Gia spanoza: It is more than a right to belieie whatever we want to believe. It is about belieiving in things that have been proven with scientific evidence. .

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      BMC: I'm glad to see that you don't accept the "God is the Laws of the Universe" argument. It not a valid argument. It is a cop-out.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      I believe I addressed this isssue at the end of the article. Hawking has every right to express his opinions on the subject of God. The heading is "Should Hawking Have Stuck to Science...?"

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      I don't spend eternity anywhere since upon my death I cease to exist. My atoms continue on, of course, and I live on for as long as anyone remembers me. And please do not say that Creationism and the Big Bang are both equally valid theories. The Big Bang is backed up by fact and Creationism is backed up by no more than wishful thinkng. I have another article that addresses this. https://owlcation.com/humanities/Creationism-Creat...

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Orlando Huaman: As Dr. Spock would say, "That is a logical question." (Or words to that effect. The answer is that humans created God. To be more precise, humans created the concept of God.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      pr walsh: I am talking about science and fact and you are talking about your belief.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      The book does not address it specifically. It sticks more with science. It is not a book about religion and so it does not discuss the various arguments for or against the existence of God.

    • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Giordano 

      7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      It could be God or it could be 10,000 othyer things, some not even thought of yet.

    • profile image

      Jose Pedro Heins Reus 

      7 months ago

      Lets set things clear:

      It makes no sense that God would exist before universe because there was no space and time, therefore no time for God to be; The next step is to explain the Creation of universe by the Laws of Nature and, therefore, the creation of time itself by the same laws, wich logically exists indepentently of time.

      You have 2 options here:

      1. To admit that there can be timeles and spaceless forces (for they have to exist before universe), in wich case you would be getting out of science and entering Theology, or

      2. You can say that the laws of nature were also included in time, therefore would be part of the creation of another timeless and spaceless force (wich is the first option).

    • profile image

      R. W. 

      7 months ago

      GRRRR these people frustrate me, why is it a religious debate. he never said in this that there is no god, just that he could see a universe existing without one......what is the big deal people. You can't force him to believe in anything he doesn't want to and it is none of your business to in the first place. Don't dare try to poke wholes in such a brilliant man's ideas. You will be trampled. Not only that but there is no reason to in the first place. Plenty got burned alive for saying the world isn't flat......you wanna be one to lite those fires ?

    • profile image

      Mo 

      7 months ago

      I think Hawkin is missing knowledge of God when he says there was no time for God to create something. Maybe his knowledge about God all came from the bible. AS A BELIEVERS we can say that existence of God cannot be disproved by mathematics, as a doctor I can say that our knowledge about human is in the beginning. I don't know how Hawkins says that we are close to knowing all the God knows? we diagnose many diseases before hundred years till now we don't know the exact cause of them! we should always ask why we are here? why are all these itellengancey belong to us? why we are the only creature that has a choice ? could science answer these questions? I don't think sow.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      7 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Your article is a beautiful tribute to this great person who contributed so much to Cosmology and Science.

      But, I believe we can never explain everything with the help of science. Nobody can reach to the depths of all this wonderful universe.

    • profile image

      Bodkins 

      7 months ago

      On the face of it, the god Hawking didn't believe in was not the Christian God. He was a fine genius but a terrible philosopher or theologian.

      "Since the laws of physics can explain the creation of the universe, there is no need to have a Supreme Being to create it. "

      That's the classic 'god-of-the-gaps': we explain what we can with science and technology, and anything we can't must be down to god. This god shrinks further and further, the more we can explain natural phenomena - to eventually dissapear altogether, obviously. It's not the God of the Bible. The Jewish and Christian way of thinking is that God uphold the universe by his will and power - every bit of it. That's why God's people could thank him for the rain that produces their food crops, even though rain can perfectly adequately be explained in terms of weather and the water cycle, and crops in terms of plant physiology; not only did God create everything, he upholds every system and every atomic force.

      "For by him [Jesus] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

      (Colossians 1:16-17)

      By comparison, the god that is only behind what you can't explain is a pathetic god. Of course that means God can't be disproven/proven in a scientific sense, but not everything that is important and directs our life can be. Eg. I live my life convinced my wife loves me, I'm convinced the holocaust was real. The evidence for God is chiefly historical. Christians believe that the Director stepped out from behind the stage and entered our world in the form of weak and sinful humanity. That the infinite God has revealed himself in a personal way that his limited creatures, created in his image, can understand.

      Thank God that it doesn't take a theoretical physicist to work that out.

    • profile image

      Gia spanoza 

      7 months ago

      I totally agreek with Mr. Hawking , that there is no God. The belief in a god comes from the fear that when life is over it is done, we are no more. There is a need to create an after life because we just can't stand the thought that once life is over, it's over. What we seem to forget is is that we were dead to life before we were born. When we die we go back to where we started, dead to life. OK let the religious people come after me now. We all have the right to believe or not to believe. If not we would all be programed robots.

    • profile image

      BMC 

      7 months ago

      I am writing from a Christian point of view. I think that the idea that belief in God means that God is somehow detectable in any mechanism of the laws of the universe(s) is a straw man, because that is not a supposition supported anywhere in the Bible. So saying God is not detectable in any mechanisms does not prove that the God undetectable by mechanisms does not exist. I grant that study of the mechanisms also doesn't prove God's existence either.

    • profile image

      Lance Kuse 

      7 months ago

      First off, it is childish and illetrate for a scientist to even speak of something outside the domain of science (whatever beyond singularity or nothingness). Is nothingness the subject of sicnece? then why the hell Hawkings talked about something science has nothing to do with? Ego?

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