Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hawking and Mlodinow as Theologians

"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. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

"We are each free to believe what we want and it is my view that the simplest explanation is there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization. There is probably 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 and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design. Bantam Books, 2010.

The two experts on Cosmology make profound theological statements apparently on the basis of their scientific study of God's creation. However, neither the view that Universe was born spontaneously nor the view that God is not needed for creation and that He probably does not even exist are not at all based on their deep scientific understanding of how the Universe works.

Leonard Mlodinow has affected Hawking's theological views towards atheism. I wonder to what extent the tragic murder of so many of Leonard Mlodinow's family in Auschwitz affects his lack of faith in God of Israel.  

Neither Hawking nor Mlodinow is qualified to answer the question they seek to understand as they have little or no understanding with the rest of the humanity what is human spirit.

God of Israel is spirit and beyond the intellectual reach of even the smartest among us. We only learn to know Him the way He has established for us to learn to know Him.


  1. Perhaps, like Mlodinow, Hawking lost faith also, in his case due to his illness, for which presumably at some stage he would have prayed for healing? In any event, I agree with you that the reality represented by the concept of God can not be apprehended through the intellectual mind...

    1. It would be the same argument also if Hawking would have stated that God is necessary for understanding the origins and developmen of Universe.

  2. I don't understand your point mikko, could you elaborate for me?.

  3. Hi Ben D,
    my argument is that modern Cosmologists and Astrophysicists are free to state their personal opinions and beliefs about God the Creator as Hawking does in his books.
    However, these opinions are not based on their scientific study of the Cosmos but on their own views and belief systems or lack of them.
    Accordingly, if Stephen Hawking writes that God is not needed to understand the Universe, it is not a scientific opinion. Similarly, if Hawking writes that God is needed to understand the Universe, it is not a scientific opinion rising from his work in Astrophysics and other areas of modern scientific exploration of the Universe.
    hope this makes the idea more clear - I am by no means the only one raising this criticism against this line of argumentation by Hawking and others that mixes Theology, Philosophy and Natural Sciences in very unhealthy and deceiving way.

  4. Thank mikko, quite clear. The nuance of which you raise hadn't occurred to me, but it is certainly a good you are saying that in Science, God is not a meaningful factor of consideration...and I suppose that in Astrotheology, it is a real factor.

    I must say I am guilty of making God the central theme of my reading of Science...much to the displeasure of the materialists who seem to treat Science as a Godless religion.