Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sunday Quote: Stephen Hawking on the Big Bang

"The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the big bang are enormous... I think clearly there are religious implications whenever you start to discuss the origins of the universe."1

- Stephen W. Hawking

1. Stephen Hawking's Universe, page 109.


Sean said...

good quote mining,shame that Hawking is an atheist,unrepentant and convinced.

Brian said...

Henry F. Schaeffer differs on the conclusion that Hawking is an atheist. See here.

"Now, lest anyone be confused, let me state that Hawking strenuously denies charges that he is an atheist. When he is accused of that he really gets angry and says that such assertions are not true at all. He is an agnostic or deist or something more along those lines. He's certainly not an atheist and not even very sympathetic to atheism."

Sean said...

Stop it you xians. Youve got the millions who believe. Inventing and bending quotes of the most intelligent people in the world does you no credit. Just have your faith and enjoy it. What do you care your not xians because of anything Hawkins says?

The quote from Hawkings where does it come from? Agnostic, whats that?

We are all agnostic even you of the fairy at the bottom of your garden. It just might be there, who knows, who can say.

Brian said...

Thanks for your feedback, Sean.

Do you disagree with the quote by Hawking, then?

Sean said...

I'd like to know its provenance thats all.

Brian said...

Sorry, I didn't gather that from your previous comments.

Stephen Hawking's Universe, page 109.

Hope that helps!

Take care.

Sean said...

Thanks I will check it out. Ilive in France and its getting late.So bonne nuit.

Please forgive my shortness of response I do not have a copy to hand but I have read all Hawkings' non technical work,to my certain knowledge, perhaps I have wronged him and he is an agnostic,deist something or other. To you I ask if you feel that perhaps he has a subtle religious sensibility which requires you quote him as if he has the same beliefs as you so as to seem he agrees with you. Surely your own convictions are enough?

Thomas said...


I'm curious to know how you are able to determine that Brian is "quote mining" and "inventing and bending quotes" when you don't even know where the Hawkings quote comes from. How does that work?

Brian said...


France, huh? I was just in France last month with our band and had a great time - and the weather was hot!

It sounds like you have read much more of Hawking than I have read yet. He is such a brilliant mind and I hope he is with us for many more years.

Me quoting him isn't really because he believes in God or doesn't believe in God. I'm not claiming anything of that nature by quoting him. What I found interesting is that such a brilliant man (who seems to understand the universe and the big bang better than most) would say that, in essence, the universe doesn't look accidental. He sees religious implications partly because of its unlikelihood.

Of course, you are free to disagree with him. If you do I would be interested in your reasons for disagreeing. It seems like a harmless observation on his part. However, definitely worth considering when we are thinking about the big questions in life.

Late here too. Bonne nuit.

The Armchair Geek said...

Ironically, I think that Stephen Hawking means "religious implications" in a way that would be generally foreign to Biblically informed Christians. Without reading the original quote in context, I would guess that Stephen means "religious implications" as a synonym for "gigantic, epic implications"...but that's just a guess.

According to Jane Hawking, in her book "Travelling to Infinity: My life with Stephen", Jane Hawking talks about how Stephen was an ardent atheist and often mocked her religious views to her face. He apparently thought of her as an idiot for being a believer (though she had a PhD in medieval Spanish linguistics) and thought that any sort of religious discussion was an epic waste of time.

Just throwing that out there...

Brian said...

That is good information to have, Armchair Geek. Thanks for providing. Assuming that neither his wife nor Henry Schaefer are lying (here), I wonder what time in his life he was so ardent in his view in the way that Jane says.

To illustrate what I meean, the wife of Antony Flew could have very well said the same thing about Antony in a past memoir. So I wonder what he believes now.

I disagree that he meant something else by the word "religious" - as later he says, "There must be religious overtones. But I think most scientists prefer to shy away from the religious side of it."

Sean said...

has the ring of truth to me Armchair Geek. On another topic briefly, nobody can say that Brian does not do a bang up job with this site. Congrats. on that. However the content,well,congrats.Brian.

Huseyn Gurbanov said...

Logically complete cosmological concept. /due to lack of knowledge of the English language was not able to correct the translation Implemented by Google/

In order to present the unlimited space originally:
1. homogeneous - enough to postulate the presence in it of two elements with Simple and Complex /closed systematically/
2. heterogeneous - enough to postulate the presence in it of one more element - the Most High and Almighty God - with open systematically.
It is easy to assume that even at the lowest possible deployment of the intangible component of the essence of God - the Spirit of God - for the level of the original downwardly directed the permanent deployment of the material component of the essence of God, there is a curtailment of Simple and Complex /i.e.. It is their decay due to blocking of origin upwardly directed constantly deploy intangible components of the entity / as much as possible heterogeneous to God's essence minimum possible number of cell uniformity (1H), and God on the basis of the material components of the 1H deploys the minimum possible heterogeneous to its essence as possible numerically elemental homogeneity (2H). Coagulation process will begin in 2H known God start time since the completion of its deployment. curtailment of the Spirit of God to the level of initial deployment again unfolds 1H - God potential for transformation 1H into 2H and 1H into 2H limitless!

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