Stephen Hawking – The Grand Design of the Universe

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6 thoughts on “Stephen Hawking – The Grand Design of the Universe

  1. In “The Grand Design” Hawking says that we are somewhat like goldfish in a curved fishbowl. Our perceptions are limited and warped by the kind of lenses we see through, “the interpretive structure of our human brains.” Albert Einstein rejected this subjective approach, common to much of quantum mechanics, but did admit that our view of reality is distorted.

    Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity has the surprising consequences that “the same event, when viewed from inertial systems in motion with respect to each other, will seem to occur at different times, bodies will measure out at different lengths, and clocks will run at different speeds.” Light does travel in a curve, due to the gravity of matter, thereby distorting views from each perspective in this Universe. Similarly, mystics’ experience in divine oneness, which might be considered the same “eternal” event, viewed from various historical, cultural and personal perspectives, have occurred with different frequencies, degrees of realization and durations. This might help to explain the diversity in the expressions or reports of that spiritual awareness. What is seen is the same; it is the “seeing” which differs.

    In some sciences, all existence is described as matter or energy. In some of mysticism, only consciousness exists. Dark matter is 25%, and dark energy about 70%, of the critical density of this Universe. Divine essence, also not visible, emanates and sustains universal matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and cosmic consciousness (f(x) raised to its greatest power). During suprarational consciousness, and beyond, mystics share in that essence to varying extents. [quoted from my e-book on comparative mysticism]

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  2. Philosophy is dead. Is Logic dead also?

    “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 laws of gravity and quantum theory?
    2) If the universe came first, then how was there spontaneous creation without the laws of gravity and quantum theory?
    3) If the laws of gravity and quantum theory came first, then Hawking has merely substituted God with quantum theory and laws of gravity. These two together can be called Hawking’s “Unconscious God”. Therefore we can legitimately ask the question: Who, or what, created Hawking’s unconscious God?
    Not only this, but there are other problems also. If the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes spontaneously appearing from nothing, then initially there was nothing. Then wherefrom appear those laws of gravity and quantum theory to allow universes appearing spontaneously from nothing? In which container were those two laws of nature?
    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.
    Now the next question to be pondered is this: How did the scientists come to know that an entire universe could come out of nothing? Or, how did they come to know that anything at all could come out of nothing? Were they present at that moment when the universe was being born? As that was not the case at all, therefore they did not get that idea being present at the creation event. Rather they got this idea being present here on this very earth. They have created a vacuum artificially, and then they have observed that virtual particles (electron-positron pairs) are still appearing spontaneously out of that vacuum and then disappearing again. From that observation they have first speculated, and then ultimately theorized, that an entire universe could also come out of nothing. But here their entire logic is flawed. These scientists are all born and brought up within the Christian tradition. Maybe they have downright rejected the Christian world-view, but they cannot say that they are all ignorant of that world-view. According to that world-view God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. So as per Christian belief-system, and not only as per Christian belief-system, but as per other belief-systems also, God is everywhere. So when these scientists are saying that the void is a real void, God is already dead and non-existent for them. But these scientists know very well that non-existence of God will not be finally established until and unless it is shown that the origin of the universe can also be explained without invoking God. Creation event is the ultimate event where God will have to be made redundant, and if that can be done successfully then that will prove beyond any reasonable doubt that God does not exist. So how have they accomplished that job, the job of making God redundant in case of creation event? These were the steps:
    1) God is non-existent, and so, the void is a real void. Without the pre-supposition that God does not exist, it cannot be concluded that the void is a real void.
    2) As virtual particles can come out of the void, so also the entire universe. Our universe has actually originated from the void due to a quantum fluctuation in it.
    3) This shows that God was not necessary to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going, as because there was no creation event.
    4) This further shows that God does not exist.
    So here what is to be proved has been proved based on the assumption that it has already been proved. Philosophy is already dead for these scientists. Is it that logic is also dead for them?

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    • @Udaybhanu Chitrakar

      Hello! How are things in the UK? Thanks for your comment, and welcome to my blog.

      First, I’m a little unclear on the exact intended meaning of your questions, and a wee bit uncertain of the reasoning or factual basis of your claims.

      Second, valuable though I find your commentary, your questions, and your argument with them, in no way invalidates the hard labor and painstaking inquiry of several centuries of science done by countless researchers throughout the world.

      So I’m afraid that as the party making claims that have yet to be established as fact, the burden of proof properly rests on you, not science, which has amply demonstrated its own claims and established its worth by getting results that work, like the computer servers which host this blog and the device you’re using to read this.

      Citations, please?

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  3. In “The Grand Design” Hawking has really messed up things. In his earlier book “A Brief History of Time” he advocated a no-boundary model. According to this model the universe will have no beginning and no end, it would simply be. It means that the universe has never begun, it was always there. Only that it has gone through unending cycles of expansion and contraction, but it has never completely died down. When the universe has come to a zero size after a contraction, all the physical laws of the earlier universe remained intact. From there the universe has again started a new life. But this beginning cannot be said to be an absolute beginning, and this beginning should not be confused with the beginning of a universe practically from nothing due to a vacuum energy fluctuation in a void. The latter beginning can be called an absolute beginning, because in this case there will be no pre-history, no prior universe that has left its seed at its demise. In “The Grand Design” Hawking has never said that he has abandoned his earlier model. Rather he has written in one place that in no boundary model the universe will have no beginning. Or if it was having a beginning, then that beginning was governed by the laws of science and does not need to be set in motion by some god. This generation of the universe cannot be called a spontaneous generation from nowhere, because the seed of the universe was already there. Therefore a scientist who is advocating the no-boundary model cannot at the same time say that as because there is a law such as gravity, so the universe can and will create itself from nothing. A universe that would simply be cannot again pop into existence from nothing. So it is presumed that Hawking in his book “The Grand Design” has mixed up two distinct models of cosmology that try to explain origin of the universe:
    1) The no-boundary model,
    2) The popping-up model.
    In case of no-boundary model we will not raise any question regarding the origin of the physical laws that will govern the beginning of the universe, because all those laws will already be there in the seed of the universe. But in case of popping-up model we will ask just those questions. Whence appeared those laws that governed its beginning? In case of no-boundary model we will rather question the validity of the model itself. This model is valid only if time is imaginary, not only at the beginning of the universe, but throughout its life, from beginning to end, because Hawking himself has written in “A Brief History of Time” that if at any point of its past history the universe had entered from imaginary time into real time, then there would be a singularity, and all the laws of science would break down there. Scientists will also be at a loss to specify as to how the universe began its course. Here is a quote from Hawking’s book: “…the universe could be finite in imaginary time but without boundaries or singularities. When one goes back to the real time in which we live, however, there will still appear to be singularities.” Here he is admitting that we live in real time and that in real time there will be singularities. Only in imaginary time there will be no boundaries or singularities. Then he goes on to suggest that the so-called imaginary time is really the real time, and that what we call real time is just a figment of our imagination. So as per Hawking himself the no-boundary model is a valid model so long time is imaginary, not real. Imaginary time behaves just like space, and so in imaginary time the universe instead of having three dimensions of space and one dimension of time will have only four dimensions of space and no time dimension. If imaginary time is another dimension of space, and if present time is imaginary time, then present time must also exhibit all the characteristics of space. Time is imaginary means we can go back to the earlier periods of our life if we wish. But I can go back to the place where I have spent my childhood days, but that does not mean that I can go back to my childhood period also. So there is no evidence that present time is imaginary time. If present time is real time, then as per Hawking there was a singularity in the past, and therefore this present universe was having an absolute beginning. But Hawking proposed the no-boundary model in order to eliminate this singularity at the beginning of the universe, and if singularity again comes back, then there is no reason for upholding that model any more.
    Perhaps the most serious objection that can be raised against no-boundary model is this: Even if it is conceded that in no-boundary model beginning of the universe will be governed by known laws of science, still one thing is sure and certain in this scenario. Beginning of any universe can never be governed by its own laws, because a universe that has not yet come into existence cannot have any laws in it. Its beginning can only be governed by physical laws left by the universe just prior to it. If what I have said here is correct, then how could Hawking apply quantum gravitational law and Feynman’s sum over histories at the beginning of our universe? So how could he say that there would be no singularity at the beginning? How did he come to know that the physical laws left by the earlier universe just prior to ours were exact replica of the laws of our universe? So here there was a presupposition without any evidential support.

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    • @Udaybhanu Chitrakar,

      With all due respect, that’s all well and good, but I’m no cosmologist. I’m afraid you’ll have to discuss this with Professor Hawking, perhaps through correspondence. He can defend his position far better than one with my paltry understanding can. Cheers.

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  4. @Udaybhanu Chitrakar,

    I repeat: Citations, please? Give me a reference to verify your statements.

    And not to be rude, but your argumentation seems to involve presuppositions of its own…

    …presuppositions equally without evidential support as you claim Hawking’s statements to be, and disputed by my own reading of his books.

    And if you’re trying to debunk Hawking’s science, this blog is not the proper forum.

    Do a study, and publish your results in the peer-reviewed literature; debate Hawking at a scientific conference, since those are the best ways to get your ideas vetted and accepted; Surely your superior logic will win the day and make you world-famous.

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