The Grand Design: Something out of Nothing?

I have recently finished reading Stephen Hawking's new book The Grand Design.  With the help of author Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking has crafted an impressive book outlining his theory of everything (called M-Theory).  He claims this theory - once developed - will be the answer to Einstein's search for a unified scientific theory to explain everything.  A theory that will explain how everything is scientifically determined, right down to the last living single-celled organism.  I knew Hawking would have some interesting points, though I have to admit I didn't find the text very compelling.  In chapter one he states that "philosophy is dead."  From there he proceeds to lay out his personal philosophy on how our universe can exist without God.  A fascinating circular reasoning mistake from one of the brightest minds of our time.  But ignore that for now, let's talk about the book's denouement for a minute.  That is where things get interesting.

In the last chapter, Hawking says, "Because gravity shapes space and time, it allows space-time to be locally stable but globally unstable.  On the scale of the entire universe, the positive energy of the matter can be balanced by the creation of whole universes.  Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing in the manner described in Chapter 6 [Choosing our Universe].  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."

That laws like gravity exist and might govern something the size of a universe is interesting, but it doesn't answer the question of who or what ordered that law in the first place.  Hawking addresses this earlier in the same chapter by employing one of atheist Richard Dawkins' favorite counter-arguments for God.  In essence, if there is a God, then who created Him?  This counter-argument has always seemed too simple to me.  We know from the Bible that God is described as having always existed, with no end and no beginning.  Since we have things that exist as complicated as entire universes or black holes (where we cannot see an end or beginning), is this concept of eternality really so hard to imagine for people like Dawkins and Hawking? 

At any rate, I cannot mask my disappointment after reading the conclusion of the book.  I believe he is basically telling us that because there are laws that exist which use positive and negative energy as a balance, everything can just "spring up" from nothing - and we are supposed to call it "M-Theory."  Have I oversimplified this concept?  Perhaps.  I am not a scientist or an expert in quantum physics.  This book however WAS written for the common and ordinary person.  The problem is that the reason we are given as to why anything exists is a little too common and ordinary.  Anyone can choose not to believe in God, but it is something entirely different to disprove Him.



  1. In "The Grand Design" Stephen Hawking postulates that the M-theory may be the Holy Grail of physics...the Grand Unified Theory which Einstein had tried to formulate but never completed. It expands on quantum mechanics and string theories.

    In my free ebook on comparative mysticism, "the greatest achievement in life," is a quote by Albert Einstein: “…most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty – which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive form – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of all religion.”

    E=mc², Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, is probably the best known scientific equation. I revised it to help better understand the relationship between divine Essence (Love, Grace, Spirit), matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and consciousness (f(x) raised to its greatest power). Unlike the speed of light, which is a constant, there are no exact measurements for consciousness. In this hypothetical formula, basic consciousness may be of insects, to the second power of animals and to the third power the rational mind of humans. The fourth power is suprarational consciousness of mystics, when they intuit the divine essence in perceived matter. This was a convenient analogy, but there cannot be a divine formula.

  2. Thanks Ron - very interesting thoughts. I even read some of your book. I enjoyed the concept of anything worthy doing takes dedication - even in the afterlife!

    - Jon

  3. Jklaus, I'm glad your are reading it. I wrote it at age 70 after retirement, but was introduced to mysticism in 1959 by a Nobel astrophysicist.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts