Canuckster1127 wrote:Interesting. Years ago Hawkings conjectured that a theory of everything was forthcoming in 20 years and at that time we'd either understand the mind of God or prove his non-existance.
We're well past that time ... no closer to such a theory and yet Hawkings claims to have determined the non-existance of God. That would seem to indicate to me that Hawkings is responding either from disappointment or frustration. I haven't read the new book however. I have read his old ones. Hawking's opinions in this regard carry no more weight than any man's.
Bart, I believe Hawking's in his recent book "The Theory of Everything" waffles on the subject greatly. He certainly goes back and forth on the subject in this book, in a way seeing the way of a designer, then denying it. This is the forward in the book by Marcelo Gleiser PHD.
"A universe of being, where no change ever happens, is a
self-contained entity that needs no creator, while a universe
with time and thus with a singularity always has room for God.
So, God or no God? There is no resolution for this enigma, at
least for now. However, Hawking admits that science can only
go so far in explaining everything. Even in a universe where
time is imaginary, "[God] still had the freedom to choose the
laws that the universe obeyed." Science, at least as it exists now,
cannot breach this limitation. There is nothing new here. In fact,
this is an old philosophical dilemma, known as the problem
of the First Cause. If everything with a beginning has a cause,
then what caused the universe? Although science got much
closer to the actual moment of creation, it still can't move all
the way into it. Religions get away with this by making use of
supernatural arguments such as "God exists outside time and
hence is uncreated and uncaused." It is quite hard to argue with
statements like this while sticking to naturalist (as opposed
to supernaturalist) reasoning. So, the limitation of science, at
least from the point of view of understanding the origin of the
universe, is that it can't cheat itself. In my opinion, it is best to
admit that science is a narrative we create to describe Nature,
and as such has no obligation or commitment to explain what
is beyond its jurisdiction. Whatever theory we come up with, it
will necessarily rely on a scientific framework that makes use of
hypotheses, mathematics, and a handful of fundamental physical
laws. Asking science to answer nonscientific questions forces
it into a defensive position which is completely unwarranted.
Instead, we should be in awe of all that science has accomplished
in only four hundred years, thanks to a large extent to minds
such as Hawkins." Forward Theory of Everything" pg. 9