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Stephen Hawking still can’t explain how something came from nothing

Even if physicists had a Grand Theory of Everything, they could not solve creation

By on Thursday, 2 September 2010

Stephen Hawking says the laws of physics do away with the need for God (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Dave Chidley)

Stephen Hawking says the laws of physics do away with the need for God (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Dave Chidley)

So that’s that then. Stephen Hawking has assured us that the laws of physics are sufficient to explain the universe we live in – and that we have no need to posit the possibility of God. His book, The Grand Design, will be published on September 9.

This is neither the time nor the place to focus on the detail of his arguments, and no doubt plenty of description will be forthcoming in the popular press and elsewhere. I want to focus initially on one remark he makes: “philosophy is dead.”

Bang goes the wisdom of two and a half millennia. But philosophy is not only not dead, it was never needed as much as it is now. One of the most important tasks in philosophy is to ensure that the right questions are asked and that the arguments which proceed stand up to rigorous examination. No wonder Hawking would like philosophy to be dead because he is wrong on both counts.

The drive of Hawking’s approach is that the theory, or rather the family of theories, he espouses leads to the possibility of 10 to the power of 500 different universes (try that on your calculator and watch it explode). Thus the extraordinary fine-tuning required for a universe which would eventually be able to support human life is not evidence for a designer God; it has in fact come about by chance. Since our universe is, by definition, the only one we can experience, we are fooled into thinking that it is the only one which exists, or has existed.

M theory, as it is known, is highly controversial within the scientific community; indeed there are eminent names who claim that it cannot properly be called a scientific theory at all. The idea of multiverses to explain the fine-tuning has been known as the “last refuge of the agnostic”. But let us assume that it is true, that there is an infinity of universes, and that our universe is an inevitable result of chance at work – where does that get us?

First, we are reminded of the theory of evolution. We have no difficulty in reconciling our belief in God as creator with evolution in which myriads of tiny chances, inevitably filtered by fitness to survive, develop into higher forms of life. God is not some sort of inventive superman who performs in the same sort of way as we do – but at an infinitely higher level. He transcends the universe; his creative action is utterly beyond our ken. If we use terms like “designer” it is only because the human mind and human vocabulary has no further reach. Our descriptions are only useful if we always bear in mind their gross inadequacy.

Similarly, if all the physical laws had been explained and proved (known as the Grand Theory of Everything) – which is a million miles from the case – our understanding of the actions of God would not be one whit greater: his existence and his actions are of a different order.

Most particularly it would not touch the question of how something existing comes out from nothing. That is a question which science cannot answer, and will never answer, because nothingness is not within its domain. Hawking apparently does not address this question – which is the true and ultimate Theory of Everything. But what philosophy can teach us is that neither he, nor you, nor I will ever explain creation, except through faith.

  • Tribeless

    You patronising silly person.

    Do you not know the difference between atheism and agnosticism? Atheists and monotheists are absolutist. Agnostics will indulge the whims of you faithful without necessarily endorsing them. Atheists are inclined to think Abrahamic theists are all dangerously perverse sociopathic corrupters of humanity.

    I look at the appalling history of the Roman church and see an amoral human construct the foundation of which is built on myth upon myth and despair at the audacity its members have to bludgeon any harbinger of reason with a baton of “faith”.

    This comment (or one very similar to it) I found had been censored/removed. Don't do it again. Your faith should be unshakable.

  • http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/ The Catholic Herald

    The comment was removed because it broke a couple of our comment rules. We encourage you to have a read of our comment policy.

  • louella

    But people of faith also believe in science! In fact history shows that the greatest scientists have been Christians. And always will be I bet!

  • Rationality?

    Firstly, Hawking doesn't seem to me to be suggesting chance. He suggests that, due to a vast multiverse which is an inevitable consequence of gravity, there will inevitably be a universe with the physical conditions to support life.

    Secondly, even if there was merely one universe, there is no reason that the physical laws should have the purpose of “creation” of life. Many improbable things happen on a daily basis. That is just the consequence of many different possibilities and life's origin could just be another of these improbable events. The possibility of any reader of this comment having their genetic makeup is unlikely. This is because there are so many genetic combinations. Each of those would also be improbable so the reader's genetics will inevitably be improbable.

    Thirdly, Hawking is actually suggesting an explanation of how something can come from nothing and says that due to gravity it is inevitable. I imagine a more in-detail explanation will be found in his book or when M-theory is finalised. It will then undergo scientific analysis, peer review, and questioning. These things will determine its accuracy, not philosophy.

    Although philosophy can be interesting, it has no real value when it is merely unempirical speculation. Many questions are asked but assumed to be unanswerable whereas, if clearly defined, scientific studies can, or one day may be able to, attempt to answer it. For example, questions over the existence of a “soul” cannot yet be covered as it is poorly defined. If defined as a personality aspect or something similar, the part of the brain responsible could be located and would therefore prove or disprove it.

    As long as some claim a creator, there is a discrepancy between them and science as science (unlike philosophy based on logical and/or empirical knowledge) can attempt to answer these questions as Hawking is doing. To maintain “room” for a superstition such as a god, the arguments, as in this article, refer to lack of knowledge (real or imagined by those unable to Google). If the situation is that there is room for religion as long as there is a lack of knowledge, can religion not be synonymous with ignorance? A far as I can see, assuming Hawking is right (although I reserve judgement for now on that), unless God means the same as gravity, religion and science are incompatible. Any thoughts?

  • V. Jones

    Stephen Hawking still can’t explain how something came from nothing……….and, unfortunately, neither can faith. This must surely be simple for anyone to grasp.

  • Albertbogle

    Check out the prayers and thoughts on creation at http://www.sanctuaryfirst.org.uk

  • italker.org.uk

    Thank you for an interesting post. I think your right about the philosophy bit. Science will always be dealing with the how question. the why belongs to the philosopher and the theologian and need I say so the man on the street.

  • Marlenemessias

    No need to hear what Stephen Hawking says, consider his ideas or atheism as the sole truth. In fact, we Catholics must have compassion of that man, of his ignorance, lake of heart and feelings. Only hollow people have no faith and present themselves as Atheists, agnostics, etc. We, the ones who have faith, know that Pride, Arrogance are great mistakes in a man's character. I always considered Hawking a good example of that. In his books, which I had read, you notice a great lack of humbleness. Einstein, who was bigger than Hawking and not an arrogant person, once said: “I stopped my studies because I did not feel I deserve to see the Truth, because I know that if I finally discover it, I will see not numbers, theories or human ideas. I am gonna see the face of God Himself, and I do not deserve it”. He never denied God, he never defended the jewish belief or any other religion, because he considered himself a Humanist; he once said he never discovered anything especial in a Jewish that would put his community above other human beings. I've met many people in my life who once atheists all their lives, changed someday or had some kind of post mortem experience that changed their minds. This is another mistery that just because I cannot explain, it does not mean it is false or imagination. When Hawking dies, he will meet His Creator. I just hope it will not be so late! Henceforth, let the guy speak, speak and speak alone… as Shakespeare said: “I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart: but the saying is true 'The empty vessel makes the greatest sound”

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    ah but nothing is mathematically equal to infinitesimally small as 0.99999 recurring is equal to 1 thus 1-0.99999 recurring (infinitesimally small) is equal to nothing. And infinitesimally small is infinitely dense thus the creation of space forced matter out of the infinetely dense just as suddenly freeing millions of people from a tiny room will cause them to move apart thereby creating matter from nothing.

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    @Deepakmpalan You are clearly stupid but just so you know there are trillions of other galaxies in space full of billions more planets each so really if you compare the probability of us evolving by chance with the number of planets in space itself then one can see that it is extremely probable for us to exist rather like a strong wind blowing through billions of trillions of scrap heaps and building exactly one car except our evolution is more probable because of the precision of smaller parts of a car and how they fit together. And you keep saying omg everything is how it is did that happen by chance well everything has to be some way so whatever way it was you would use the same dumb argument.

    Maybe next time try reading up on some of the theory or finding out about it rather than spouting some dumbass criticism about something just because you don't understand it?

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    oh and another thing if my last 'argument' about nothing didnt persuade you, THE BIG BANG CREATED TIME. You can't say so there was nothing and then the big bang supposedly came along and made something. There wasn't anything before the big bang because there WASN'T A BEFORE. Now go back to playing with your barbie rev. juniors or whatever you guys do.

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    dude everything had to be some way didnt it? so whatever way it was you would keep using your stupid argument about how it could not possibly have come from chance. It's like flipping a million coins and then going oh my gosh these outcomes could not possibly have happened by chance there was only a one in two to the power of a million chance that these exact outcomes would happen!!! Wow some higher power must be controlling the coins!!! Well here's a news bulletin for you: What the hell did you expect from the coins? Maybe they were all going to roll into drains or some other spastic thing. Douchebag.

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    I have a brilliant metaphor for what I was saying to Deepakwhatever: Imagine tossing one trillion coins. As each one had a 1 in 2 chance of landing how it did (assuming they are fair and excluding any other possibility such as a coin landing on its side or taking a quantum leap into another dimension or whatever) the probability of the coins landing how they did was one in 2^onetrillion which obviously shows that God was controlling the coins as it couldn't just have happened by chance. NOT.

  • Bayardo

    The Big Bang theory isn't the only theory, the newest one is the Big Bounce theory (which avoids the absurdity of something coming out of nothing), just like String theory isn't the only theory, the newest is Loop Quantum Gravity.

  • http://twitter.com/bodley271 Ian Logan

    Hawking's belief that philosophy is dead is convenient, given his philosophical illiteracy. He thinks that nothing is a kind of something (as do some of the commentators on this blog). He does not realise that nothing is the opposite of any kind of something. If there is nothing, then the laws of gravity cannot bring something about, since there are no laws of gravity if there is nothing. When many physicists speak of nothing, they actually mean some kind of lack of physical objects (an empty space). But that is not nothing. They are making a category mistake. By showing (if unwittingly) the contradiction involved in saying that the laws of physics can bring something out of nothing, Hawking puts a strong argument for the existence of a Creator.

    It is not the case that quantum mechanics shows that something can come from nothing. There already is something (i.e. there already is a universe). If there is something, there is not nothing (tautology). Quantum mechanics is just not able at the moment to explain how some things come about. That's quite different from being able to show that some things come from nothing.

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    Nothing does not always mean an empty space as that is space not nothing. The big bang theory hypothetically created space itself so to say that nothing always means an empty space isn't necessarily true. You yourself by calling nothing the lack of objects in empty space are saying that nothing is not the existence of no laws, dimensions or objects. However, you criticise physicists who say that gravity exists in nothing. Therefore your argument is hypocritical.

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    Yes agnostics are obviously the ignorant ones who follow something blindly just because someone told them to instead of logically looking at the facts and concluding that it is unprovable one way or another whether there is a divine being. Oh wait that's the wrong way round…

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    What scales? Are we reptilian now?

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    Yes the badly put creating something from nothing through m theory is obviously more far fetched than an intangible divine being who just happens to be exactly how every religion describes doing the exact same thing themselves without having any space to exist in themselves or anything to create them. Oh wait…

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    Oh yeah and apart from the scales thing I don't see what that has to do with his book. Or something coming from nothing. Or stuff happening by chance. Or whether a divine being or divine beings exist. Also there are 5 and a half times as many non-Christians as Christians in the world just so you know. Also stating 'facts' with no argument as to why you believe said 'fact' doesn't help anyone if you are trying to persuade people. So again what was the point of the post?

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    Another thing when you say 'something' from nothing does no one understand what antimatter is? I hope you all have a decent enough grasp of maths to know that 0 = 2 – 2

  • Antonio Carlos de Souza

    70,000 people SAW the local and unexplainable miracle of the SUN previously

    predicted by the 3 children in fatima 1917, some monthes before. Among these

    70,000 people there were present ATHEISTS, religious, NON-ROMAN CATHOLIC

    persons,etc, who've seen and commented in details the UNEXPLAINABLE events

    during the SUN DANCE in locus. Stephen HAWKING is UNABLE to explain with LIMITED

    MODERN PHYSICS this 'previously predicted some monthes before' EVENT in locus

    and in time. Stephen Hawking is an inteligent creature BUT he is CREATURE.

  • Antonio Carlos de Souza

    How can a famous physicist like Stephen Hawking claim that God is out of

    Creation IF the THEORY of UNIFIED FIELD is INCOMPLETE? If, at least, there was a

    COMPLETE THEORY OF UNIFIED FIELD and all conclusions from CERN about

    subparticles and Higgs Bosons and Higgs Field were known and completed, this

    point of view of Creation of Universe without a designer could have some credit,

    but not even a complete theory of ALL is known, SO … Stephen Hawking and his

    american partner are plunged.

  • JerryC, NJ

    Mr. Hawking insists that gravity is the force which is responsible for all creation. Question: Where did gravity come from. I'm not talking of “curved space” ala Einstein, but what was gravity's causality? When that is answered by some other theory, then more questions will arise out of that creation out of nothing.

  • Jerry_C

    Silk….Of course you and other atheists don't need Hawking to validate your stance. You don't need anything, because none of these questions will ever be answered to the agreement of all and you can play around for a lifetime, attacking the existence of God and not be challenged enough to your satisfaction. Science is not the highest power.

  • ralph

    There is an explanation how cosmic creation happens. A genesis formula is discussed in the following website: www dot kinematicrelativity dot com

    Hawking is not the first to have advanced the idea of spontaneous creation. However, the one on the referenced website explains a different meaning for the word “creation”.

  • romanianusa

    Ok, i think Hawkins is totally wrong on this and will have a lot of explaining to do when facing God. He said the Universe exist because of gravity. Ok, where does gravity come from then?? Who created the gravity?? Who invented the laws of the Universe?? I bet he can't answer these questions. Other profound questions like who create thoughts and emotion?? Who create intelligence?? What is ghost?? Scientists TO THIS FUCKING DATE….still can not explain the existing of ghosts, there is so many un-answer questions…so how are you supposed to tell me that God does not create the Universe?

    He based everything on Multi-verses….that because of these infinite amount of universe…there must be one that have the same conditions like our that support life. Fair enough….because it is absolutely possible giving infinite amount of universes. BUT that only explain conditions that support life…it does not explain things like thoughts, emotion and idea. The thought of being evil and being good…where did it come from??

    Another thing is that because we're living in time, the infinite of time makes us think of all sorts of possibility. The possibility of life exist out of the blue but the fact is there is no such thing as time and that things have always been existed. We just don't see it because we're living in time where we can only see frame by frame like a movie.

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    duh their searching for the higgsbozon moron

    if you follow the path of faith through time you'll see that the divine was always introduced whenever something could not be explained any other way. Then it was explained some other way and the divine became redundant. It is the same sort of thing here

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    Well why don't you give one credible example of the existence of ghosts and I will explain it away for you. Obviously my explanations will not necessarily mean that it wasn't a ghost but will rather show that a ghost is not the only possible conclusion of the evidence.

    Why did the laws of the universe have to have an inventor? If you see my posts below I say everything has to be some certain way and no matter what way it was you would use the same arguments because you don't understand chance. Obviously thoughts and emotions are simply results of a combination of electrical messages and hormones produced by the body. Maybe you didn't take biology at school. From what you've been saying maybe you didn't go to school. Just because you are ignorant it does not mean that everything you don't understand is wrong.

    And also if you see my other post below you will know that the higgsbozon hypothetical causer of gravity is being searched for right now. Also what exactly do you mean by the infinity of time? (infinitE is an adjective, infinitY is a noun) You say things have always existed but there are several extremely viable and one probable theory which all hypothesise based on large amounts of data that time had a beginning.

    Ignorance may be bliss, but if you're going to be ignorant then don't pretend you're not.

  • AskelKana

    But the error you're making is that you ignore the fact that the fine tuning of the universe is necessary, whereas any result of your coin-tossing is as good as any other: specific, but hardly necessary. The universe could have been configured in more ways than your coin-tossing example, but almost all other results would end up being dead-ends. It's that fact that is suggestive of an intelligent origin for the universe.

  • AskelKana

    So if there was an intelligent source to the universe, it would have to exist outside of time. That would mean it would be eternal. Strange that….

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    Joe Nickell notes “Not surprisingly, perhaps, Sun Miracles have been reported at other Marian sites—at Lubbock, Texas, in 1989; Mother Cabrini Shrine near Denver, Colorado, in 1992; Conyers, Georgia, in the early to mid-1990s”[23]

    Nickell adds that at Conyers whilst pilgrims were witnessing a Sun Miracle [24] “the Georgia Skeptics group set up a telescope outfitted with a vision-protecting Mylar solar filter” and that “more than two hundred people had viewed the sun through one of the solar filters and not a single person saw anything unusual” [23]

    Professor Auguste Meessen of the Institute of Physics, Catholic University of Leuven, has stated that the reported observations were optical effects caused by prolonged staring at the sun. Meessen contends that retinal after-images produced after brief periods of sun gazing are a likely cause of the observed dancing effects. Similarly Meessen states that the colour changes witnessed were most likely caused by the bleaching of photosensitive retinal cells.[25] Meessen observes that Sun Miracles have been witnessed in many places where religiously charged pilgrims have been encouraged to stare at the sun. He cites the apparitions at Heroldsbach, Germany (1949) as an example, where exactly the same optical effects as at Fatima were witnessed by more than 10,000 people.[25] Meessen also cites a British Journal of Ophthalmology article that discusses some modern examples of Sun Miracles[26]

    Nickell also suggests that the dancing effects witnessed at Fatima may have been due to optical effects resulting from temporary retinal distortion caused by staring at such an intense light.[23]

    De Marchi claims that the prediction of an unspecified “miracle”, the abrupt beginning and end of the alleged miracle of the sun, the varied religious backgrounds of the observers, the sheer numbers of people present, and the lack of any known scientific causative factor make a mass hallucination unlikely.[27] That the activity of the sun was reported as visible by those up to 18 kilometres (11 mi) away, also precludes the theory of a collective hallucination or mass hysteria, according to De Marchi.[27]

    Despite these assertions, not all witnesses reported seeing the sun “dance”. Some people only saw the radiant colors. Others, including some believers, saw nothing at all.[28][29] No scientific accounts exist of any unusual solar or astronomic activity during the time the sun was reported to have “danced”, and there are no witness reports of any unusual solar phenomenon further than 64 kilometres (40 mi) out from Cova da Iria.[30]

    Pio Scatizzi, S.J. describes events of Fátima and concludes:

    The … solar phenomena were not observed in any observatory. Impossible that they should escape notice of so many astronomers and indeed the other inhabitants of the hemisphere… there is no question of an astronomical or meteorological event phenomenon… Either all the observers in Fátima were collectively deceived and erred in their testimony, or we must suppose an extra-natural intervention.[31]

    Steuart Campbell, writing for the 1989 edition of Journal of Meteorology, postulated that a cloud of stratospheric dust changed the appearance of the sun on 13 October, making it easy to look at, and causing it to appear yellow, blue, and violet and to spin. In support of his hypothesis, Mr. Campbell reports that a blue and reddened sun was reported in China as documented in 1983.[32]

    A parhelion in rainbow colors, photographed in 2005.Joe Nickell, a skeptic and investigator of paranormal phenomena, claims that the position of the phenomenon, as described by the various witnesses, is at the wrong azimuth and elevation to have been the sun.[33] He suggests the cause may have been a sundog. Sometimes referred to as a parhelion or “mock sun”, a sundog is a relatively common atmospheric optical phenomenon associated with the reflection/refraction of sunlight by the numerous small ice crystals that make up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. A sundog is, however, a stationary phenomenon, and would not explain the reported appearance of the “dancing sun”. Nickell suggests an explanation for this and other similar phenomena may lie in temporary retinal distortion, caused by staring at the intense light nor by the effect of darting the eyes to and fro so as to avoid completely fixed gazing (thus combining image, afterimage, and movement). Nickell concludes that there was

    likely a combination of factors, including optical and meteorological phenomena (the sun being seen through thin clouds, causing it to appear as a silver disc; an alteration in the density of the passing clouds, so that the sun would alternatively brighten and dim, thus appearing to advance and recede; dust or moisture droplets in the atmosphere, imparting a variety of colors to sunlight; and/or other phenomena).

    Paul Simons, in an article entitled “Weather Secrets of Miracle at Fátima”, states that he believes it possible that some of the optical effects at Fatima may have been caused by a cloud of dust from the Sahara.[34]

    Kevin McClure claims that the crowd at Cova da Iria may have been expecting to see signs in the sun, as similar phenomena had been reported in the weeks leading up to the miracle. On this basis he believes that the crowd saw what it wanted to see. But it has been objected that McClure's account fails to explain similar reports of people miles away, who by their own testimony were not even thinking of the event at the time, or the sudden drying of people's sodden, rain-soaked clothes. Kevin McClure stated that he had never seen such a collection of contradictory accounts of a case in any of the research he had done in the previous ten years (wikipedia – miracle of the sun – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Sun)

    Yep. Completely unexplainable (sarcasm). Before you start on the previous 'prediction' almost all of the explanations above are relatively easy to predict and the 3 children also claimed a 'miracle' would occur. However the explanations above show there was no 'miracle' at all. The number of 'miracles' that happen every day is vast; things that people cannot be bothered to explain such as Mars moving backwards (which it appears to do every day due to its orbit aroudn the Sun) and 'miracle' healings. The children could easily have said any 'miracle' that happened was proof of their words. Or maybe you haven't heard of lying. It's where someone says something that they know is wrong.

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    *they're

  • AskelKana

    Again, you are wrong. Life is sufficiently complex to rule out any appeal to chance. The staggering numbers of galaxies and stars is still almost negligible when compared with the numbers involved isetting the right condition for life to form and develop. The fact that life abounds is testament to intelligent source. It requires more faith to believe in random, accidental abiogenesis than it does to believe in an intelligent origin.

  • AskelKana

    What's wrong with 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you?' Does it really have to be more complicated than that?

  • AskelKana

    Bob, please get off your high horse and re-read the comment. He is not saying what you say he is. You're simply making a fool of yourself.

  • Julia Wait

    You are totally wrong to suggest that science cannot answer the question of how something could come out of nothing. Indeed, science has now proven beyond reasonable doubt that something MUST have come from nothing. Nothingness is most certainly within its domain. Please refer to the works and lectures (Youtube) of Lawrence Krauss for a more lucid explanation than I could hope to offer here.

  • Guest

    Forgive me if I am wrong – I have read a lot of the comments here but not exhaustively – but I have seen no mention of a serious and inevitable shortcoming in the human need to explain how 'something can be created from nothing'.

    I am not a religious person, though I choose not to be aggressively against religion either. However, many theists erroneously believe that, by postulating an omnipotent and omniscient creator God, they have done away with the problem of how something can exist if, as we often assume, at some point there was nothing. However, this creator God does nothing of the sort.

    In truth, the very concept of genuine and absolute nothingness is impossible to truly grasp. The logic that leads us to conclude that all that we see around us must have a cause seems perfectly reasonable. Problems arise, however, when, as we quickly realise, there comes a need to explain the start of such a chain of causality. Even a creator God would have to be considered to be 'something' rather than 'nothing'. If not in a material sense then at least in terms of an active consciousness. If he or she were 'nothing' then we are left with the creation of something from nothing. Whilst theists are comfortable with the conclusion that this God is either 'causa sui' or uncaused, they are often forced to ignore that such a conclusion results in a logical difficulty. Unfortunately, the very logic that lead us to the conclusion is destroyed by the conclusion itself, thereby sending us back to the beginning of the argument.

    The majority of theists will resort to this disappointing and limited argument, but will not accept that it remains so. By the same logic, it is perfectly reasonable to conclude that the universe itself is 'causa sui', without the need for one extra step in the process of creating something from nothing.

    Arguments about more complex ideas such as M theory remain much more drawn out. It's just a shame to see them being debased to the level of 'if there are laws, who made them?' and so on, since, as we have seen, such a discussion really gets us nowhere.

  • Vipin Kumar

    Even if the our universe is created by some God, I believe that it is some law of science that has created the ultimate God. the god can not come from a zero. I think it is only human mind which thinks to be or not to be, exist or not exist, zero nor non zero. this whole concept is programmed into us and we cannot think of beyond something and nothing. There can be a totally different explanation to everything and every phenomenon that is there in the universes. the puzzle may be a very simplest one but at the same time may not be solved in near future and appears to be very difficult. But when it is solved it will be the most simplest one.

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    My bad lol but I'm sure this fellow can read these comments which will direct him to many places to find out about something coming from nothing

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    Why is the fine tuning of the universe necessary? It seems you are leading on from your point below so if you please I will address that and we shall continue our intellectual sparring from there. And to clarify it is the point I am making that ignores the fact not necessarily me I just like arguing :P

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    Once again people are manipulating the theory so that it fits the facts. Conveniently the existence of a divine being cannot be proven nor disproven purely because there is always a chance either way that something could have happened by chance or that something could have happened due to the divine. I find it ridiculous that a divine being would be exactly as religions say as the probability of that is surely infinty to one albeit perhaps a bit higher naturally due to the fact that if someone says something is so that generally increases the probability as why would they say it was that way as opposed to another. Nevertheless I do not see why a massive invisible but to himself (I use himself loosely here as a divine being may have a sex or may not and may be male or female and calling a divine being it might offend) pink elephant shaped weak evil lazy intangible tv-watching being who created everything cannot also exist. However that sounds stupid doesn't it? Well to me it has the same chance of your supposed divine being existing. Help me out here give me specifics.

  • Mephistophiles

    Cuckoo…Cuckoo…

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    Firstly Richard Carrier provides arguments to contradict “any assumption that complex life ever arises by chance” (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/foster9.html). Secondly it isn't just the number of galaxies and stars but also the time element. Planets change, I'm sure I don't have to tell you that. I know that does not add to the numbers relatively significantly but you did overlook it so I'm just saying. Your argument appears to me to be this: 'Life is good. Therefore life is a point which it is good to reach. Life is complex. Therefore it had a very low chance of developing. A point that it is good to reach that had a very low chance to reach must have been reached by divine intervention. Therefore life had an intelligent origin.' Is this your argument? If so, why is life good? Why isn't no life good? Why do you or I have a special important significance? Why aren't other things good? When you say 'intelligent origin' what exactly or even generally did you have in mind?

    Oh and as I iterated above, my argument about chance was purely to do with people talking about insane chances as opposed to insane chances that result in something good. Assuming life is good. Which is something I'm not prepared to assume until you answer my questions.

    Finally oh my gosh the exact positioning of the stars throughout the known universe is incredibly complex the exact things that would have to have happened for them all to be where they are is too big for it to be put down to chance. The fact that this abunds is testament to intelligent source. It requires more faith to believe in random, accidental moving of stars to exactly where they are now than it does to believe in an intangible being that somehow exists but whom we never contact with our senses showing they cannot even be in another dimension. And before you say but any positioning of the stars is as good as any other, I say no it's not. The stars being exactly here is good because I feel that they are special and that no other movement could create the exact ratios which are so perfect in my head.

    Obviously the argument was sarcastic, I think you get the point by now.

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    Oh another thing (as this was written after what I wrote just below), check out Rationality's comment down below about multiverses which I'm sure you've heard of. Read what (s)he says. Understand it. Now resume your argument.

  • BobtheMathsWhiz

    Also check out http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/evolution-of-life-on-other-planets-even-the-gods-have-gods/ he explains about evolutionary metamorphosis

  • Mephistophiles

    So you've started with the premise that there was a creator god.

  • catholic mum

    There are lots of questions that science cannot answer at the moment. There were even more questions that science could not answer 100 years ago, and there are questions that science can answer that were not even questions 100 years ago! Who knows what science can answer in the next 100 years? The problem that people of faith seem to have is accepting that science changes when new evidence is found. This does not mean abandoning belief–it means adapting to new evidence, something which faith cannot do.

  • Thoughts

    It seems I am an atheist by definition, but I don't match the ropey, negative descriptions cast upon me by some religious followers. I have morals and I care about others (and a lot more about animals than the lowly status given to them by some ancient teachings). But I don't need a god for these attributes.

    The proposition of a 'nothingness' is inconceivable to a layman, or indeed a preacher whom I recently heard say: “It would be horrific that we die and then there's nothing”. I think he misses the point entirely – that there is an 'afterlife': our offspring. How selfish to think we ourselves need yet another go at life!

    Religion is born of the almost fanatical need for an insurance policy for our inevitable demise. And what a crazy notion that really is. The concept of a reconstituted entity after death is at best self-centred wishful thinking and at worst cruel deception of the gullible.

    Extraordinary scientific discoveries are made regularly requiring religions to move their ancient goalposts to suit the new enlightened conditions, so how much longer can they maintain the pretence?

    Of course there are difficult questions that need theories or solutions, but they are no more bizarre a proposition than believing in supernature. For God to exist in the mind of my 8-year-old son for instance, you would need to answer his question: “If there's a God, then who made him?”, and so on. The basics, of course.

  • A.Johnson

    The issue isn't “what science cannot answer,” but “what Christianity cannot answer.”

    For a totally different perspective – one that shows how modern physics is compatible
    not with Christian myth, but with Norse myth – check out “Stephen Hawking: The Myths
    and the Critics” at the Norse Mythology Blog.

    http://www.norsemyth.org/2010/09/stephen-hawking-myths-and-critics.html