Monday, November 22, 2010

God is not Necessary - Thus Spake Stephen Hawking

As the latest findings in his search for the “Theory of Everything” got press attention yet again, did Prof. Stephen Hawking got it right in concluding that God is not necessary in the creation of the Universe?

By: Ringo Bones

Back in September 2010, there had been a huge uproar over Prof. Stephen Hawking’s latest book titled “The Grand Design” where the eminent theoretical physics professor openly spoke out that God or any other contrived deity isn’t necessary or has nothing whatsoever to do with our Universe coming into being and its day to day operations. The remark may seem somewhat opinionated from the standpoint of “soft agnostics”, but even if Professor Hawking is right, many did question if he has the right to speak out such a conclusion.

From a theoretical physicist’s point of view, Hawking’s The Grand Design is a strong proof-based implication that “God” or any other dogmatically contrived deity is not needed on the creation of the Universe – i.e. the Big Bang. In this day and age, the strong consensus of the collection of evidence-based knowledge of the scientific community could easily trump theological dogma. Unfortunately – even in some affluent nations – religious dogma still reigns supreme and even reserves the right to deny the rights of ethnic minorities and women.

In a stark comparison to scientific consensus, even organized Christianity’s various denominations and sects can’t even agree on or even established an evidence-based consensus about the ontological empiricism defining “God”. Yet, the Archbishop of Canterbury who has the good fortune of establishing himself as the first and “loudest” critic of Professor Hawking’s latest opus – says that “physics” can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God. Even Brian May – guitarist of premier British rock band Queen – who also has several science degrees also voiced his criticism on Professor Hawking deciding to pit science with religion / spirituality.

Unfortunately, despite being now entrenched in NY Times’ Bestseller List, Hawking’s The Grand Design – like his previous works – will more likely than not be soon forgotten because an overwhelming majority who bought it only bought it as a conversation piece and for its novelty value, as opposed to their genuine fascination of the subject of cutting-edge theoretical physics. The science versus religion rift will probably never heal because religion still has the bigger war-chest that enables it to achieve its ends no matter how devious the means are.