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Meyer: Quantum Cosmology, the Multiverse, and Stephen Hawking

Hawking zero gravity
Photo credit: Jim Campbell/Aero-News Network [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

A new episode of ID the Future continues the conversation between Stephen Meyer, author of the newly released USA Today bestseller Return of the God Hypothesis, and U.C. San Diego physicist Brian Keating. Here the discussion turns to quantum cosmology, multiverse hypotheses, Stephen Hawking, and Hawking’s now-you-see-it/now-you-don’t use of imaginary time to deny a cosmic beginning. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Meyer argues that Hawking’s imaginary-time trick doesn’t wash, there remains powerful evidence for a cosmic beginning, and that this beginning is best explained as the creation act of an intelligent, immaterial being. Also, Keating and Meyer tackle the question: Did Isaac Newton really blunder by invoking a “God of the gaps” to periodically tweak the solar system to smooth out perturbations? That is, was Newton led astray by his theism to opt for a science-stopping invocation of God to explain away a problem in his theory? Meyer’s PhD in the history and philosophy of science happens to be from Newton’s university, Cambridge, and Meyer says that he researched the issue in particular and no, the oft-repeated claim is a myth.

What is true, Meyer says, is that Newton, Kepler, and other founders of modern science were inspired to search out and find the rational order hidden in nature because they were theists, convinced that nature was the work of a rational Creator. Check out Keating’s website here, and get a copy of Meyer’s new book here.