Late last week Stephen Hawking announced that he no longer considers theism a sensible explanation for the existence of the universe. Rather, God is “redundant” because physical laws can explain the formation of the cosmos:
“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,” Hawking writes. . . . It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” (Emphases added)
Let us assume for the moment that he is correct that gravity can create universe(s). I personally have no idea how that works and it seems a bit ridiculous to me, but I suppose that I don’t know everything so maybe it’s possible. But regardless of any of that, why is there a law such as gravity? Answer that one, brainiac!
Imagining the “evolution” of the universe becomes a much easier job once you steal one creation from God (in this case, gravity) and then use it to build (“evolve”) the rest of the world on your own. Crude Ideas states the real issue rather elegantly:
Arguing that God is not necessary to explain this or that because your theoretical “physical” explanation can describe the event/phenomena in question without talk of God is like arguing that giving a complete physical description of a computer and software renders talk of a programmer redundant.
Stephen Hawking also has somehow decided to call this evolution “spontaneous creation.” That seems a good bit like planting a seed in the ground and giving it water and then acting amazed that the seed “spontaneously” turns into a flower.