One of the world’s top physicists has retreated from his earlier, more balanced view of how the universe was created. In his new book The Grand Design, Professor Stephen Hawking says the universe didn’t need God to “get going,” according to the BBC. Instead, the creation of the universe, as proponents of the Big Bang Theory believe, was just as the term “Big Bang” suggests: “spontaneous.”
Hawking’s book, which is currently being excerpted in the Times of London, has gotten the respected physicist into hot water, since until now, he has suggested it is possible to believe in both God and evolution. The new book appears to refute this claim, and Hawking has received public criticism from religious leaders, including the UK’s Chief Rabbi, for the stance.
In his 1988 bestseller A Brief History of Time, Hawking wrote, “If we discover a complete theory [of the creation of the universe], it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason––for then we should know the mind of God.” But in his new book, co-written with US physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking sings a distinctly different tune:
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.