I love physics. So, every now and then, I go off topic. Here we go.
I also love Steven Hawking. But his latest book, The Grand Design, is flawed on many levels. Hawking concludes that “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). The crux of Hawking’s reasoning is that “because there is a law of gravity, the universe can and will create itself out of nothing.” (p. 180).
Now, I’m not smart enough to debate the physics in his book, but his conclusions are so obviously “logically” wrong that we can actually see the flaws without delving into much physics.
So, the universe can simply erupt out of nothing due to the laws of physics. Really?
No, not really. Here’s why. The laws of physics merely describe the behavior of matter. These laws take the form of “if this, then that”. If an apple is dropped from a tree, then it will fall at X rate of speed. No one has ever, ever, ever, ever, ever seen a law “create” anything!
If the universe was created by a law, who wrote the law? Actually, that’s a whole other issue. The universe comes from “nothing”, but it comes from “something”, that ‘something’ is the law of gravity. The universe creates itself, but there are no “laws” of the universe without a ‘material universe’. Newton’s laws of motion (gravity, etc) describe what happens to the apple falling from the tree–but these laws didn’t ‘create’ the apple that fell from the tree.
The scientific facts are simple. No physical law in the history of laws has ever created anything. These laws merely describe what happens (even Newton himself didn’t know what gravity ‘was’, he just knew it ‘explained’ motion rather well). Again, laws predict what will happen.
Physics lesson for the day. The laws of physics: (1) Describe, yes. (2) Predict, yes. (3) Create? Not that’s we’ve observed. But hey, if a famous scientist says so, it must be true, right?