Get the Mach newsletter. SUBSCRIBE From his desk at Cambridge University and beyond, Stephen Hawking sent his mind spiraling into…
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From his desk at Cambridge University and beyond, Stephen Hawking sent his mind spiraling into the deepest depths of black holes, radiating across the endless cosmos and swirling back billions of years to witness time’s first breath. He was watching creation as a scientist, and when he was called to discuss creation’s biggest puzzles ̵
1; Where do we come from? What is our purpose? Are we alone?
In Stephen Hawking’s final book “Brief Answers to Big Questions,” published Tuesday (Oct. 16) by Bantam Books, the professor begins a series of 10 intergalactic essays by addressing life’s oldest and most religiously fraught question of all: Is there a God?
Hawking’s answer – compiled from decades of prior interviews, essays and speeches with the help of his family, colleagues and the Steven Hawking Estate – should come As no surprise to readers who have followed his work, there is, religiously.
“Hawking, who died in March, wrote.” I think the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing, according to the laws of science. “If you accept, if I do, that the laws of nature are fixed, then it does not take long to ask: What role is there for God?”
In life, Hawking was a vocal champion of the Big Bang theory – the idea that the universe began exploding suddenly out of an ultrasonic singularity smaller than an atom. Vanuit deze speck kwamen alle kwesties, energie en lege ruimte die het universum ooit zou bevatten, en alle dat ruwe materiaal evolueerde in de kosmos we perceive vandaag door een streng stel van wetenschappelijke wetgeving. To Hawking and many like-minded scientists, the combined laws of gravity, relativity, quantum physics and a few other rules could explain everything that ever happened or ever will happen in our known universe.
“If you like, you can say Hawking wrote.
With the universe running on a scientifically guided autopilot, the only role for an all-powerful deity might be. “The laws are the work of God, but it is more a definition of God than a proof of his existence. be setting the initial conditions of the universe so that those laws could take shape – a divine creator who caused the Big Bang to scare, then stepped back to retain his work.
“Did God create the quantum laws that allowed the Big Bang to occur? ” Hawking wrote. “I have no desire to offend anyone of faith, but I think science has a more compelling explanation than a divine creator.”
Hawking’s explanation begins with quantum mechanics, which explains how subatomic particles behave. In quantum studies, it’s common to see subatomic particles like protons and electrons seemingly appear out of nowhere, stick around for a while and then again disappear to a completely different location. Because the universe was once the size of a subatomic particle itself, it’s plausible that it behaved similarly during the Big Bang, Hawking wrote.
“The universe itself, in all its mind-boggling vastness and complexity, could simply have popped into existence without violating the known laws of nature, “he wrote.
That still does not explain the possibility that God created that proton-size singularity, then flipped the quantum-mechanical switch that allowed it to pop. But Hawking says science has an explanation here too. To illustrate, he points to the physics of black holes – collapsed stars that are so dense, nothing, including light, can escape their pull.
Black holes, like the universe before the Big Bang, condense into a singularity. In deze ultra-packed point of mass, gravity is so strong that it distorts time as well as light and space. Simply put, in the depths of a black hole, time does not exist.
Because the universe also began as a singularity, time itself could not have existed before the Big Bang. Hawking’s answer, then, to what happened before the Big Bang is, “there was no time before the Big Bang.”
“We have finally found something that does not have a cause because there was no time for a cause to exist in, “Hawking wrote. “For me this means that there is no possibility of a creator, because there is no time for a creator to have existed.”
This argument will do little to persuade theistic believers, but that was never Hawking’s intention. As een wetenschapper met een bijna-religieuze toewijding tot het begrip van de kosmos, Hawking probeerde te “kennen de geest van God” door alles te leren over het zelfvoorzienende universum rondom ons. Selv om hans syn på universet kan gøre en guddommelig skaber og lovene om naturen uforenelig, det still giver rigelig plads til tro, håb, vidunder og især gratitude.
“Vi har dette et liv til at værdsætte det store design af the universe, “Hawking concludes the first chapter of his final book,” and for that I am extremely grateful. “
Originally published on Live Science.
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