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Stephen Hawking squares off with God again, says universe still creating itself

Stephen Hawking says God had nothing to do with creating the universe and that the “laws of science” explain how the universe created itself from nothing.

He says he has no problem with the idea that the universe just popped into being from nothingness.

In the premiere episode of the Discovery Channel’s new science series “Curiosity,” which debuts Sunday evening, the theoretical physicist, author and professor tackles the question “Is There a Creator?”

Hawking, who has declared there is no heaven, is considered an expert on topics such as time travel, parallel universes and black holes. He says that God was not necessary for the creation of the universe — and in fact, proposes that the universe created itself out of nothing.


“Because these is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” Hawking wrote in his book, The Grand Design.

During the TV episode, Hawking talks about experiments in which sub-atomic particles have been observed to appear from nowhere. He feels this is proof that the universe is self-creating, as the Big Bang started out as a particle smaller than an atom.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Udaybhanu Chitrakar

    “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.” – Stephen Hawking in The Grand Design

    “As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” – Stephen Hawking, Ibid

    Here three questions can be asked:

    1) Which one came first, universe, or law of gravity and quantum law?

    2) If the universe came first, then how was there spontaneous creation without the law of gravity and quantum law?

    3) If the law of gravity and quantum law came first, then Hawking has merely substituted God with quantum law and law of gravity. These two laws together can be called Hawking’s “Unconscious God”. Therefore we can legitimately ask the question: Who, or what, created Hawking’s unconscious God?

    Now regarding the M-theory: I have already written something on multiverse theory (not yet published anywhere). There I have come to the conclusion that if there are an infinite number of universes, then only within that infinite number of universes there will certainly be at least one universe in which life will emerge.

    If the number of universes is only 10 to the power 500, then it is very much unlikely that any one of them will support life, because no universe will know which set of values the other universes have already taken, and if everything is left on chance, then there is every probability that all the universes will take only those set of values that will not support life.

    There will be no mechanism that will prevent any universe from taking the same set of values that have already been taken by other universes. There will be no mechanism that will take an overview of all the universes already generated, and seeing that in none of them life has actually emerged will move the things in such a way that at least one universe going to be generated afterwards will definitely get the value of the parameters just right for the emergence of life. Only in case of an infinite number of universes this problem will not be there.

    This is because if we subtract 10 to the power 500 from infinity, then also we will get infinity. If we subtract infinity from infinity, still then we will be left with infinity. So we are always left with an infinite number of universes out of which in at least one universe life will definitely emerge. Therefore if M-theory shows that it can possibly have 10 to the power 500 number of solutions, and that thus there might be 10 to the power 500 number of universes in each of which physical laws would be different, then it is really a poor theory, because it cannot give us any assurance that life will certainly emerge in at least one universe. So instead of M-theory we need another theory that will actually have an infinite number of solutions.

    British Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees has said in a conversation (published in The New York Times, November 22, 2008): “I believe an infinity of different universes actually exist, and we could find ourselves in any one in which the governing laws allowed life to exist.”

    When no evidence can be given, we have no other option but to believe. As theists believe in their God, so scientists believe in their multiverse.

  • downtown dave

    Then explain it, Mr. Hawking.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Makes more sense to me than a “heavenly creator:.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ted

    Mr.Hawking, have you ever considered the physical health condition that you are presently enduring is because of your ludacris denial of the Almighty G-d. Miracles do happen by keeping FAITH in G-d.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    IMO, Stephen Hawkings current condition has nothing to do with his belief in a God or lack of a belief in God. If that was the case, why does that God allow those that do believe in him to face horrible conditions, disease etc. He apparently has lived much longer than expected for a man with his disease—-not a great way to live, admittedly, but look what his genius has contributed to the world.

  • Ellie Dee

    Mr Hawkins brilliant mind, may be disproven one day. He will pass from this earth, missed by those who agree with his opinions. God lives forever, in a place or thoughtform that Mr Hawkins may eventually enter when he leaves his own mind and joins the mind of God.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment MaryC

    Appears some one is angry at God and uses their position of intellect to denounce God.Praise God that Mr. Hawkins has such great knowledge and capacity to share with the world.So sad to use it looking for ways to denounce God. I wish him luck.Another true test of who will continue to believe no mater what our afflictions may be.
    I wonder had Mr. Hawkins been born without his affliction would his believes be different.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Alden G

    Ah Vell … Stephen and co-harts face the ‘great darkness’ with ‘nothingness’ … I on the other hand .. through God’s infinite love and mercy (and I will need lots of both) face the Great Light .. Light is better than darkness … bet even Stephen leaves a light on at night??

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment paul

    Seems strange to me that subatomic particles have been observed to appear from NOWHERE.Just because no human has been able to identify this NOWHERE doesn’t mean it is nothing. Big Bang started as a particle smaller than an atom. Smaller than an atom is still something. And it was somewhere when it exploded. Could have been God’s will. Personification of his thougt to create heaven and earth. With all the brains theorizing, they still can’t convincingly put forth an argument that disproves existience of God. Just could be He is the nowhere. There will always be those who hate the idea that some of us believe in a creator. That is our faith. Just as faith, against such existence, is all those who do not believe possess.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jacob

    “Stephen Hawking says God had nothing to do with creating the universe and that the “laws of science” explain how the universe created itself from nothing.”

    Ok then who or what created the “laws of science” ???????? And how does something that did not exist (the universe) create ‘itself’ from something that doesn’t exist(Nothing). The statement is just completely illogical. This theory seems to violate law of conservation of mass. If nothing was there and suddenly there was something where would it have come from? Did that law of science not exist then? If it did how do you rationalize it? There is no way in an unbiblical worldview that you can. Without Yahweh none of this is even possible.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Felicia

    Mr. Hawkins is foolish and so is Pagansister. All bad things happen in the world because of Sin. It does not have to be your sin but because of the sins of Man – the 1st original sin – Adam. God is a free-WILL God and he does not control us. He wants us to choose him freely. All bad things that may happen to any of us is because of our choices. Example: you can start smoking today and you wont get Cancer today but the possibility is there. example #2: you can spend your money badly and not pay your bills on time and it will catch up with you and you will have bad credit. SO PLEASE STOP BLAMING EVERYTHING ON GOD! START TAKING OWNERSHIP OF YOUR OWN MISTAKES!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment JDVelazquez

    Mr.Hawking, It takes a whole lot more faith to belive in time travel, parallel universes and black holes than that God that created the heaven and the earth.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment David

    Dr Hawking is a speculator, he has no idea how the universe was created nor does any one else. He uses his scientific knowledge and gives his opinion to speculate the beginning of creation. Only God knows that answer!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bob

    In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
    The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
    1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (ESV)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Art

    I must say that I really enjoyed Stephen Hawking’s show. I really liked the special effects and different animations of space. The commentary just didn’t quite make any logical sense. This huge complex universe just appeared from a Big Bang? If living things don’t just appear out of nowhere, how can ones mind grasp the appearance of such a large galaxy by chance?

    If Yahweh doesn’t exist, where did love come from, by chance? a big bang? Why does everything fall into place like oxygen, water, plant life, human life, and animals all go in cycle with one another. Just doesn’t make sense IMO!!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rodger D

    God told Adam and Eve: “If you eat of it you will surely die!” You need to take life again thru Jesus Christ. You can’t look upon what you can’t see.

  • Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

    It’s as if we have a choice: We can put our faith in nothing, trusting that it magically created everything out of nothingness … or we can take a more reasonable approach: there’s an Architect and He really likes us a lot! (And there’s the real mystery!)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Janna

    Let’s just remember who else thought he could “outsmart” God!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment John

    I watched the Curiosity rerun last Sunday, I find that Stephen Hawking is Right to a extent and can see how his idea could work out. I would like to put on record, That I personally am a firm believer that science is nothing more then an juvenile attempt to understand Gods workings. I am curious though and maybe someone smarter then I can explain this. Stephen Hawking stated that in the earliest moments of the big bang time did not exist, Without time how could a chain of events unfold, or start? In the special Stephen Hawking stated this was his reason for denouncing God that before the Big Bang time did not exist thus there was no time for a creator to start events. I wonder if there simply is another level or spectrum of time that we are currently not yet aware of. I would greatly appreciate some feed back on this. I defiantly am not a smart man but would like to be able to understand the thoughts of other rational people on this subject.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Janna

    I believe that God created time and is thus outside of its constraints. God is infinite and is not bound by linear time. That’s how he was able to exist before what Stephen Hawking considers the “start” of time. That is how he’s been able to reveal to us everything from the beginning to the end of “time”. He states in the Bible “I am the alpha and the omega… The beginning and the end”.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    This is the third time I have tried to respond to Felicia—for her compliment—placing me in the honorable company with Stephen Hawking. Tried yesterday and about 20 minutes ago.

    If I’m foolish Felicia…I appreciate being placed in that catagory with Hawking. Thanks.

    There is good and “evil” (if you will) in this world. Human beings are the cause of both. However, IMO, if there is a divine being/god/creator/ who is considered by many to be benevolent, what’s with the severe drought in Northern African right now,(killing hundreds of children and their parents) or Texas with over 100 degrees for over a month—and hurricanes etc. that cause the deaths of millions of innocent folks?

  • http://Notmuchofafight. Jim

    God isn’t really worried about what Stephen Hawking thinks. After all, He created him, so He already knows the outcome of the fight.

    One question for Mr. Hawking.
    How do you get order from chaos either randomly or by chance? The diversity of DNA and it’s sheer complexity denies the possibility of random chance.

    What is sad, is the likelihood of where Hawking will spend eternity, how this “brilliant” mind will gain complete knowledge at the moment of his death, only to then spend it in eternal torment.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sharyn Selskey

    While I respect and delight in your brilliance, your theology is a bit off. It says in the Bible “We are but a moment in the mind of G_D.” Further, the Universe is a creation in the mind of G_D… Jewish theology…..if it is expanding it is because G_D is still creating it……

  • http://Meaningweassume..everyatomisacomplexformoflife..itisalive..sotheuniverseisfulloflife Jerald Noronha

    Meaning we assume..every atom is a complex form of life..electron is smaller but has a life it’s alive..cant believe it..form of light is travels so fast…to the end it’s still dead..? still converted to other form of life..which we do not know…? simple form of created..decay time.. living time..death at billions of years life’s not the life as we know bio life..which is shortest living complex life..on earth only we know combination of hydrocarbon complex has been created for the environment suitable on earth, compare with penguin to coldest, and camel to hottest,… Similar fragments of life high temperature elements too are also possible on the most hottest place over the sun..we should not only search for life like on earth, not only estimated way of hydrocarbon can create life here on earths environment, liquid water is suitable for earth, so that ocean is here..suit’s water for life..similar composite could exist oceans of liquid heavy metals are in combination to the environment of the sun could support life in different composition..with different kind of volcano..rivers..oceans..mountains..icebergs..etc..have their own life span..and life style here on earth…similar to the coldest planets could support life of it’s own having oceans of gases of nitrogen, helium, hydrogen, and the water could be a hardest metal on the planets coldest environment..and so the life may differ every where all over the universe.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Melissa Mason

    I just wanted to say that for many years I have believed in a creator of the universe and I have believed that one day all suffering will end, but today I really am confused because if the big bang theory is true, then how did the big bang theory happen without a creator. I cannot just believe that it just appeared. Something as beautiful as creation must have a master designer.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jason Tannery

    Refer to pertaining to dark energy.

    The following is the extract of the second paragraph under the sub-title of “Negative Pressure” for the main subject of the ‘Nature Of Dark Energy’:

    According to General Relativity, the pressure within a substance contributes to its gravitational attraction for other things just as its mass density does. This happens because the physical quantity that causes matter to generate gravitational effects is the Stress-energy tensor, which contains both the energy (or matter) density of a substance and its pressure and viscosity.

    As the phrase, the physical quantity that causes matter to generate gravitational effects is mentioned in the extracted paragraph, it gives the implication that physical quantity of matter has to exist prior to the generation of gravitational effects. Or in other words, it opposes the principality that gravitational effects could occur at the absence of matter. As it is described pertaining to Dark Energy, it implies that Dark Energy could only be derived from the existence of the physical quantity of matter. This certainly rejects Stephen Hawking’s theory in which dark energy could exist prior to the formation of the universe as if that dark energy could exist the support or influence from the physical quantity of matter.

    The following is the extract of the third paragraph under the sub-title of ‘Cosmological Constant’ for the main subject of the ‘Nature of Dark Energy’:

    The simplest explanation for dark energy is that it is simply the “cost of having space”: that is, a volume of space has some intrinsic, fundamental energy. This is the cosmological constant, sometimes called Lambda (hence Lambda-CDM model) after the Greek letter Λ, the symbol used to mathematically represent this quantity. Since energy and mass are related by E = mc2, Einstein’s theory of general relativity predicts that it will have a gravitational effect..

    E = mc2 has been used to be related to Dark Energy. As energy and mass are related in according to General Relativity and if m = 0, no matter how big the number that c could be, E (the dark energy) would turn up to be 0 since 0 is multiplied by c2 always equal to 0. Or in other words, E (the dark energy) should be equal to 0 at the absence of substance. Stephen Hawking’s theory certainly contradicts Eistein’s theory in the sense that he supports that dark energy could exist even though there could not be any matter existed prior to the formation of the universe.

    Every object in the universe attracts every other object with a force directed along the time of centers for the two objects that is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely separation between the two objects. Fg = G(m1 m2)//r2. (Fg is the gravitational force; m1 & m2 are the masses of the two objects; r is the separation between the objects and G is the universal gravitational constant. From the formula, we note that Fg (the gravitational force or in replacement of dark energy) has a direct influence from two masses (m1 & m2). If either of the m is equal to 0, Fg would turn up to be 0. Isaac Newton’s theory certainly opposes Stephen Hawking in which gravity or the so-called, dark energy, could exist at the absence of matter prior to the formation of this universe in this energy or gravity could create something out of nothing.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jason Tannery

    Big Bang theory has been used to support that this universe could be formed out of chaos.

    Refer to the 1st law of Newton’s Principle. It is mentioned that every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it. If this concept has been applied to the formation of this universe, it implies that this universe would remain nothing as it was until external force that would cause it to change. Or in other words, if there could be no external force or substance that could cause the formation of this universe, everything would remain as it was and the universe, that would remain nothing, would continue to remain nothing.

    If this universe could be created something out of nothing, there must be the external force that would cause something to be created out of nothing. Stephen Hawking might comment that it was gravity or quantum theory or etc. However, there must have external force that would cause gravity or quantum theory or etc., to be at work. If there would not be any external force to cause gravity or quantum theory or etc., to be at work in the formation of this universe, how could there be the formation of this universe since this world would remain nothing until eternity as supported by 1st law of Newton’s principle? Thus, the concept that this universe could be created something out of nothing is questionable from scientific point of view.

    Newton’s principle even mentions that every object in this universe attracts every other object with a force directed along the time of centers for the two objects that is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely separation between two objects. This theory gives the implication that there have to be some objects or masses in order to attract force, i.e. gravity. Thus, it opposes Stephen Hawking’s theory in which gravity could exist at the absence of objects or masses prior to the formation of this universe.

    Even if one insists that this theory could be correct, how could quantum theory or gravity or etc., be so efficient to manage the universe well in such a way that it could create sophisticated earth which plants and animals could survive here? What made the earth to be created far from the sun and not just next to it? For instance, if this earth was created a short distance just next to the sun, all animals and plants would not survive. Thus, the creation of this universe could not be co-incidence and this certainly puts quantum theory to be in doubts pertaining to its creation from something out of nothing.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Manmohan Nath

    Some how I like above writing, I wanted to know your present health condition please let me know. Thanks.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment g

    It seems to me that whenever a ;brilliant’ mind talks about ‘God’ or the absence of ‘God’ the arguments put forth describe ‘God’ as defined by various religions. In other words, usually these arguments really have as their aim to discredit ‘Religion’ in general. Given the track record of ‘Religion’ I can see why this is usually so tempting. However, if you generalize ‘God’ in a way that says’ The primal, creative intelligence from which everything is and proceeds..there is NO WAY to prove or disprove that from this side of things. Maybe there is, but no one has found it yet.
    Most of the arguments rebutting Stephen Hawking and others really stem from the ‘RELIGIOUS’ whose basic religious beliefs are threatened by such possibilities i.e: “If Stephen Hawking is right then everything I have believed is wrong and there is no eternal life, salvation etc”. This is frightening and unsettling to the religious. Sad thing is, many religious have themselves in a total victory or total loss position. They can’t accept the fact that perhaps God isn’t what they think or believe, but nevertheless is STILL real, and Present, and Loving and creative and eternal. For the religious that say ‘If the Bible isn’t literal then what I believe is a sham..they leave nothing for their followers to go on if and when science eventually chisels away at any ability to take the Bible literally. That is, when people finally have to accept the Earth as Being BILLIONS of years old, and evolution is the process that is working, and other pet dogmas are shown to be false, their followers will have to abandon faith altogether rather than adjust and find faith in the new understandings and TRUST and Believe that God isn’t mad that they are coming to an understanding of the TRUE nature of the Cosmos and have found a greater sense of awe and wonderment at ‘God’ who is unfathomable. Maybe in another thousand years or so??

  • Inengah Yudiarsa

    This funny statement, “Hawking talks about experiments in which sub-atomic particles have been observed to appear from nowhere”
    where did Hawking do the experiment? was it not within this Universe? then when the universe is something, how can he said, that sub-atomic particle come from nowhere!” unless he did it outside the universe, and that sub atomic particle appear, then it make more sense.

  • James M

    And if “the “laws of science” explain how the universe created itself from nothing,” God did not create the universe, because….?

    Even if Hawking is totally correct with the science, how does that mean God is not the Creator of all things ? This is bit like an orc arguing that Tolkien could not possibly have written The Lord of the Rings, because the orc in TLOTR can make perfect sense of Middle-earth without resorting to the ridiculous, baseless & uncalled-for theory of creation by a Tolkien. Whatever a Tolkien may be – for no orc, Elf, Dwarf, Ent, Man or Hobbit or Maia or Vala has ever seen one, or any trace of one, so the whole idea of a Tolkien is obviously nonsense.

    If Hawking knew one-hundredth as much about Christian theology as he does about physics, he would know that the Churches are very clear that God is not an entity in physics or in the universe, in any way; and that because God is “Wholly Other” than the universe, & not reducible to it or anything in it, there is no contradiction between saying both that God is the Creator of all things, & that the universe is a closed system with the capacity for bringing itself into existence. Though whether Hawking’s words make sense metaphysically, is another matter – for how can something that has no origin in anything, be the origin of itself ?

    Maybe Hawking should learn some theology, & what the Churches believe about God and creation, before venturing to say that creation by God, & the other thing he mentions, are incompatible. Atheists do themselves no favours by criticising theological ideas when their criticism shows they know nothing about them. If they want their criticisms to be taken seriously, they need to do their homework. He talks of God – but does he mean the God of Christians, the God of the Old Testament/TaNaKh, or what ? Clarity on such matters is needed if there is to be intelligent discussion about such things. A scientist ought to know that.

  • Inengah Yudiarsa

    I recall the wisdom in the Bhagavadgiita, Theo philosophy that say in simple but clear word, “nothing can come from nothing, something only can come from something.”

  • Inengah Yudiarsa

    Mean if we recognise this universe as something, it must has come from something. Vice versa if we deny thismuniverse as nothing, then only it is possible it came from nothing. It is up to us to decide.

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