In his 2010 book The Grand Design, celebrated cosmologist Stephen Hawking sets out to continue what he started in 1988’s A Brief History of Time – trying to explain where the universe came from and where it is going. Hawking now claims that a single “theory of everything” is tantalizingly close, and explores several enduring mysteries with the hope that he can provide some answers. Why is there a universe? Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why are the laws of nature what they are? While acknowledging the fine-tuning of Earth that allows for favorable life conditions, Hawking promotes the multiverse theory, which holds that our universe is only one of countless others, each with their own forces of nature. The evidence provided for this and other explanations of Hawking’s is experimental and conjectural. Indeed, it takes strong doses of imagination and faith to adhere to some of the theories now being pursued enthusiastically by many in physics and cosmology today.
John Lennox, author and professor of mathematics at Oxford University, writes a response to Hawking’s claims in a new book called God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway? On August 19th, 2011, Lennox gave a public talk where he presented highlights of his response to Hawking. Among other things, Lennox questions Hawking’s attempts to refute the need for a creator. “To offer people a choice between God and science as explanation is like offering people a choice between Henry Ford and mechanical engineering as an explanation for a Ford motor car! In order to explain it completely, you need an explanation in terms of science and in terms of agency. It is the same with God and the universe.”
In The Grand Design, Hawking writes: “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.”(p.180)
Is philosophy dead, as Hawking claims? Are scientists the new (self-appointed) torch-bearers of truth? Is the so-called M-theory the “only viable candidate” for a complete ‘theory of everything’?
Watch Lennox’s response in this exclusive full-length video.