Religious leaders hit back at Hawking on Godless creation
September 3rd, 2010
11:25 AM ET

Religious leaders hit back at Hawking on Godless creation

Religious leaders in Britain on Friday hit back at claims by leading physicist Stephen Hawking that God had no role in the creation of the universe.

In his new book "The Grand Design," Britain's most famous scientist says that given the existence of gravity, "the universe can and will create itself from nothing," according to an excerpt published in The Times of London.

"Spontaneous creation is the reason why there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist," he wrote.

"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper [fuse] and set the universe going."

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science • Culture wars • Europe • United Kingdom

soundoff (258 Responses)
  1. tOMMY

    believing in god is a creation of your own thoughts

    September 11, 2010 at 4:22 am |
  2. NL

    Maybe it's just part of people's romantic idea that our primitive ancestors were able to tap into some great wisdom that escapes our modern society. Christians talking about the everlasting truth of the bible are just like New Age groups going on about Indigo kids and reincarnation. Talk of the Second Coming sounds like talk of the Maya and 2012. Near-death experience are like shamanistic spirit walks. Jesus' miracles are like Merlin's magic. Interpreting the Book of Daniel is like interpreting Nostradamus.

    It's not just Christians. There's a whole lot of backward thinking out there.

    September 10, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  3. Mike of Vancouver BC

    The universe doesn't require a god and neither do I

    September 8, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
  4. Mike Wilson

    its sad to see a lot of religious despots inthis Blog Ready to defend their idea of God Whom they have not seen & have absolutely no proof of . These are weak minded Trolls who cannot live a fruitful life without this God Dogma hanging over their heads . They will accept no other explanation other than their God exists and they are willing to die and belittle others ..

    I Say – " Religion is a personal issue -. Belive it or not is YOUR problem – and Not to write these belittleling things on this Blog ..."

    Take Your GOD and Shove it in Your ASS , Mates .. This so called God , who had 3000 years to get a simple thing right and couldnt. SO , These Fearmongers can Shove It where it doesnt Shine . I Pity The Fools !!

    September 7, 2010 at 11:35 am |
    • Kate

      @Mike Wilson

      If God doesn't exist, then there's nothing to shove anywhere – ergo, by exhorting people to shove their God anywhere you're implicitly agreeing there's a God to begin with.


      Just jesuitin'

      September 8, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
  5. ShutUpJesusNuts


    At min 32, you will hear an explaination of the universe starting from nothing and the lack of need for a god to have created it.

    September 7, 2010 at 11:09 am |
    • ShutUpJesusNuts

      Oh, and if you listen to the whole thing you will start to realize how little you know. -Most of us are so ignorant that we are not even aware of all of the things we dont know. Maybe at that point you will stop pretending. Probably not though.

      September 7, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  6. Anotherlook

    This discussion will continue to go back and forth until God steps in to prove his own existence. Neither side will ever be able to truly prove they are right. We may think we have compelling evidence but we just don't have solid proof, so I'm not going to try.
    Let me start by saying I'm a Christian. I believe in God, the Creator of the universe. I believe in His word, The Bible. Not trying to argue with anyone else' belief, that's their prerogative. I encourage all who truly want to learn what is the truth to look not to the question of how we got here but, instead, to where we are going. That is a far more urgent and vital issue in our time. Therefore, instead of dwelling on the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, look instead at the book of Revelation, the last book. This is a book of end-time prophecy, which means, if it's true, time itself will prove it true, with no need for arguments. The Bible tells us that we will be able to read the signs of the end times. It's like being told what to look for and then seeing it come to pass before your eyes. I believe we only have to look at the progression of our global society and see that we are the generation that is alive in the end times and will see the fulfillment of the book of Revelation. For those of you who may not be familiar with Revelation, it prophesies that just prior to the return of Jesus Christ, a very charismatic figure referred to as the Antichrist will enter the world stage and sign a 7 year Peace Treaty with Israel. This will begin a period called The Tribulation. The use of cash will be done away with and individuals will be required to obtain a mark on their right hand or forehead that will link them to a global financial system whereby all buying and selling will be transacted. (Individuals' movements will be 100% trackable, virtually 24/7. Scary!) This mark is The Mark of the Beast, the Antichrist, he will be responsible for its inception. If a person accepts it, they are allowing themselves to be marked as belonging to the Antichrist and the system he controls.Therefore, they will be condemned along with him when Christ returns. (Anyone think this sounds plausible in light of our current direction with financial tools such as chip cards and the pressure to have credit cards for so much of our financial dealings today, as well as ever-increasing security issues such as identity theft, fraud, terrorism, etc? It you don't agree, try renting a car or booking a hotel without a credit card. They don't care how much cash you have, they are looking for a way to track and go after you if you don't pay. Sounds like we might be fairly close to moving to a permanent, built-in, secure, identity device.)
    All religions will be done away with in favor of a one-world belief system imposed by the Antichrist. (Many already hold the opinion that the conflict born out of opposing religious views has been the root cause of much of the problems in the world today. Eliminate religion, solve the problem.)
    There will also be a world government controlled by the Antichrist. (With the formation of the European Union, this sure is unsettling.)
    About 3 1/2 yrs into the Peace Treaty the Antichrist will break the treaty and turn on Israel. This will begin a period for the next 3 1/2 yrs known as The Great Tribulation, when things will become very difficult. The Bible describes all manner or troubles will come on the earth; war, famine, disease, pestilence, natural disasters, etc. (We're already seeing a global increase of problems in all these areas.)
    Nations will wage war on Israel. (Global hostility against Israel is at an all time high). Many people will perish as a result. Then, at the end of the 7 year period, at the height of all this trtouble, Jesus Christ will return in His full glory, to rule and to reign. He will defend Israel against its enemies and deal with the Antichrist and those associated with him, Nations and individuals alike.
    There's a lot more covered that I won't get into, and right about now I can imagine the skeptics thinking "this sounds like one 'fantastic' story", and it is. But, would you really expect anything less of an all powerful God. I can't speak for anyone else but if I were God, I'd make a sudden, spectacular and dramatic entrance too, just to see the look on the faces of all those who denied my existence and mocked me while they thought it was safe to do so. 🙂
    Like I said, looking at how we got here when we should be looking at where we're going is like looking in the rear-view mirror as we're headed toward a precipice.
    My message, don't allow yourself to be distracted from what is developing on the world stage by senseless unresolvable arguments about creation. The world stage is where the real story is unfolding, and that story WILL prove the existence of God, sooner than you might think.
    The Good News, even now, as you see the prophecy coming to pass, it's not too late to humbly admit you were wrong. God is looking for those who will humble themselves before Him, ask for His forgiveness and receive His grace and mercy. Christ died on the cross in your place, so that you could receive His forgiveness and live. It's really that simple. 🙂

    September 6, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
  7. moishe

    The christians pontificate all day, pulling random quotes and aphorisms from their social book, and mix them thoroughly before whipping them onto people, and acting as if they are compelled to do it (which I have no doubt of. Maybe they were shown some of the christian terrorist movies like "Left Behind" and the scare tactic worked.) If they weren't before, they are now acting out of fear of god and what might happen to them if they don"t get it right.. Most of us know that fear and love are polar opposites. So when you hear a christian quoting from their social book and say that people must "love god," they've just painted themselves into a corner. They do not love god. They fear it –mortally.

    I hope someone can come along and break the back of christianity's unholy trinity of doctrine, dogma, and denial.

    A good prayer I heard: "god, please protect me from your followers".

    September 6, 2010 at 5:16 am |
  8. moishe

    Hmm. Good point.
    Maybe its for the same reason that god is only a myth

    September 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  9. GiddyBiddy

    If evolution is real, how come it's just a theory?

    September 5, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
    • NL

      Look up what it means (not from your minister) for something to be called a "scientific theory." It has a much, much more definite sense of truth applied to it than our common use in English, which is a gross misuse of the term. In short, a scientific theory is a logical conclusion based on the collected data.

      There is overwhelming data on the origins of biodiversity on this planet, and it best fits evolution of species as the cause. What's more, the theory of evolution works in that we can use it to predict what intermediary species' fossils would look like before they are actually found. Modern biology wouldn't be able to function without the theory of evolution, and if you are planning to take any medicine or gene therapy in the future you would likely be a hypocrite in doing so because these advances wouldn't be possible without the theory.

      Creationism isn't good for anything scientifically. It doesn't fit any of the data and it can't be used in biology, genetics, medicine or any useful field. It's only redeeming quality appears to be it's ability to rally Christians against phantom menaces while sinister leaders tighten their control over them. Sound familiar? Creationism is like the rise of Dark Side, and I'm not kidding, one little bit!

      September 6, 2010 at 12:02 am |
  10. Carlton

    Since nobody leads the "religious" leaders, I guess this is where common sense and rationality get thrown out the window.
    Why do religious leaders push instead being examples to follow? Because they are hypocrites and morally bankrupt.
    Might as well join the Tea Party now and give it all a wash with the koolaide.

    September 5, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  11. God like Being

    John10:33 The Jews answered Him saying...
    "For good work we stone Thee not... but for blasphemy.
    And because that Thou... being a man... makest thyself God"
    Jesus answered them... "Is it not written... in your law,
    I said...YE are... Gods.
    If 'HE' called 'them'... Gods.... unto whom the word came.
    And the Scripture cannot be broken.
    Say Ye of 'Him'... Whom the Father hath sanctified... and sent into the World.
    Thou Blasphemest!... Because I said...I AM the Son... of God."

    September 5, 2010 at 11:47 am |
    • peace2all

      @God like Being

      And your point being...?


      September 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  12. God like Being

    Revelations5:14 The Faithful and True Witness. The Beginning of the 'Creation' of God

    September 5, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  13. moishe

    You surprise me Fast Eddie.

    Of course god cannot exist without human beings.

    We created all of the gods. How do you think that Allah, Jehovah, Shiva, Ahura Mazda, The Great Spirit and all of the other gods got created? If it weren't for us, none of them would exist.

    Watch your answer: you might just betray a huge gap in the information that you received (willingly or unwillingly) at Sunday School.

    September 5, 2010 at 1:50 am |
    • Fast Eddie


      You'll never be safe from surprise until you are dead, and maybe not even then.

      Sorry if my laughter wasn't clear..LOL
      I laughed at Meister Hora's post because it had the sound of a religious person trying to make an argument.
      But I welcome your response as an agnostic.

      If...and it's a pretty big "if"...a "supernatural" being exists with the sorts of attributes humans like to fling about like monkeys, then it would exist somewhere regardless of human beings.
      And..."if"...we discovered one of these "beings" hiding in a cave on the moon, wouldn't you feel silly?

      But (and my But here is a big one), nobody has come up with actual proof that their superst!tious beliefs are true, so, for the nonce, you are theoretically correct in your argument.
      "God" has had, and still has, plenty of chances and ways in which "He" could reveal "His" existence, yet this does not happen...repeatedly and constantly throughout recorded history.

      Really, I laughed because I was about to fall asleep on my keyboard and missed the fact that Meister Hora was speaking from an atheistic or agnostic viewpoint.
      Now I am laughing at my mistake. 😀

      September 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
    • NL

      Even if God existed, without us to worship him, he would not be a god anymore. He would have just been an ordinary, powerful being. He would have needed to find or create a lesser species like us to worship him in order to become God.

      September 5, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • Fast Eddie


      My eyebrows keep going up and down. Do you mean that a "god" is not a "god" unless somebody "worships" it?

      September 5, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Fast Eddie



      September 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • NL

      Fast Eddie-

      My eyebrows keep going up and down. Do you mean that a "god" is not a "god" unless somebody "worships" it

      Sure. Remember that people use to worship the sun. It wasn't considered a god before people started worshiping it, or after people stopped. People have worshipped all kinds of real things and people as gods. Roman Emperors were gods. Some tribe in the Pacific currently worships Prince Phillip as a god. Before that he was just another snooty British Royal.

      Things and people are elevated to godhood by our choosing, or our being raised, to worship them as such. In this way, when people finally stop worshipping "that which cannot be discovered by science" (i.e. God) the unknown will once again become just the unknown.

      September 5, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  14. clad

    It was fun reading everyones' comments. Anyways, what errors are in the bible? Jesus did appear a 2nd time, in spirit at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.Ever heard of the jewish war? They fought among themselves and then Titus with the roman army finish things off when they came to Jerusalem and burned the city and destroyed the Jewish temple ending all the Old testament law, government, rituals and priesthoods and genealogies of the people. Luke 21:20-22; Matt 24:1-2,15; Mrk 13:1-2,7-8 Another prophecy fulfilled by Jesus when He said He will come back in His generation..Matt 24:34. Jesus prophesied it will happen and it did. Also a non-christian Jewish Historian by Josephus recorded the actual events that took place during the Jewish war and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. fulfilling the series of visions in Revelation.

    September 5, 2010 at 1:22 am |
  15. Meister Hora

    What Dr. Hawking says is that the universe created itself on its own and there is no need to assume God's existence to explain how the universe was created. Ask yourself: How do you know God created the universe? For those who cannot understand his theory, whatever they cannot understand is God's creation. God doesn't exist without human beings. It's a really personal experience.

    September 5, 2010 at 1:03 am |
    • Fast Eddie

      @Meister Hora

      You say that God doesn't exist without human beings???



      September 5, 2010 at 1:39 am |
    • Kate

      @Fast Eddie

      We're back to the "If a tree fell on a philosopher in the middle of a forest, would anyone care?" question again?

      Just deforestin'

      September 5, 2010 at 1:50 am |
    • peace2all

      @Meister Hora

      Your post.... "whatever they cannot understand is god's creation" And you know that how exactly....? And, when we and the rest of science, create further understandings, so they are no longer a mystery... does that mean it is *not* god's creations then...?


      September 5, 2010 at 1:55 am |
    • peace2all


      Careful with the 'Philosoper' bit.... you know that ol' 'Philosopher's drinking song' is gonna be back swirlin' in your head again.

      You be wantin' to send off the J. Wits to my house...

      Just Philosophisin' 🙂


      September 5, 2010 at 1:57 am |
    • Kate


      Nope, decided to send them around to David Johnson instead for never replying to me 😛

      Just revengin' 🙂

      September 5, 2010 at 2:14 am |
    • Fast Eddie


      If a forest fell on a tree, would anyone be able to hear anything above the noise?

      September 5, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • Kate

      @Fast Eddie

      First you have to prove that it would make a noise, there's no empirical data available of forests falling on trees – are you suggesting we take it on faith?

      Then you haven't defined what const|tutes a "forest" ... a specific number of trees? What differentiates it from a grove, for example?

      Lastly, if the tree it falls on is part of the forest, doesn't that send it into an infinite loop? After all, the tree, being part of the forest, would be trying to fall on itself, which might very well result in the entire forest mass imploding and becoming a singularity – but then information paradox kicks in with a vengeance, since trees make wood pulp, wood pulp makes paper, paper makes books, books transfer information – ergo, if the forest fell on a tree and imploded into a singularity there'd be a loss of information on the quantum level which is impossible.


      Just absurdiumin'

      September 5, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • Kate

      @Fast Eddie

      Did I ever mention I could make Doc Webster whimper and Lady Sally blush?

      Just notin'

      September 5, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • Fast Eddie


      I concede this field of battle to your absurdities and will now fly away by flapping my buttocks.

      September 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  16. moishe

    This is one of the myriad happy reasons why it is good NOT to be a christian or, for that matter, anyone who has the disease of all-or-none thinking and behaving, like fundamentalist from any religion.

    I'm glad to hear one of our most distinguished thinkers say that the universe did not need a creator. What if the universe IS god? I'm not stuck on that idea, but, like all matters from religion, it's not to be taken seriously anyway.

    My prayer: "God, protect me from your followers."

    September 5, 2010 at 12:47 am |
    • NL

      If God is everywhere in the entire universe, then how could you tell where one begins and the other ends?

      September 5, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.