Tuesday, 7 September 2010

More on Hawkins and the universe

Further to my link to John Lennox's article on Steven Hawkins' latest pronouncements about God, I came across an interesting piece by Dr James Anderson who is a Scot working in the USA and who specialises in 'philosophical theology'!! He comments on the quote from Hawkins' book which many of our papers picked up on,
"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."

To which Anderson replies..
"If Hawking thinks there is some law or principle that explains the very existence of the universe, he must have in mind a metaphysical law rather than a physical law. Unless I’m much mistaken, the law of gravity is a physical law. It appears that Hawking intends to leave behind physics (a subject on which he is eminently qualified to speak) and enter the realm of metaphysics (a subject on which he has no particular expertise, so far as I know). It’s more than a little ironic therefore to find Hawking declaring on the very first page of his new book that “philosophy is dead.” If philosophy is dead, why is Hawking now turning his hand to philosophy? No, philosophy is in very good health, despite its frequent mistreatment at the hands of scientists"
It's well worth reading the entire comment here. It's pretty heady stuff, but the conclusion I do understand,

Unfortunately even the best physicists aren’t immune to embarrassing themselves when they turn their hands to metaphysics — and they’re most at risk when it comes to religiously controversial topics.
.
Post a Comment

The Long Walk

It's always a bit chancy to give someone a book. A little like recommending a restaurant. Will others like it? Will the service be as go...