Stephen Hawking

A Brief History of Time

"It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us."

"In fact, if one considers the possible constants and laws that could have emerged, the odds against a universe that has produced life like ours are immense."

"Why did the universe start out with so nearly the critical rate of expansion that separates models that recollapse from those that go on expanding forever, that even now, 10 thousand million years later, it is still expanding at nearly the critical rate? If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in 100 thousand million million, the universe would have collapsed before it ever reached its present size."

"The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life ... For example, if the electric charge of the electron had been only slightly different, stars would have been unable to burn hydrogen and helium or else they would not have exploded. It seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the numbers that would allow for development of any form of intelligent life."

"Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?"

"If we discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable by everyone, not just by a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we should know the mind of God."

"Our Solar System is certainly a prerequisite for our existence ÉBut there does not seem to be any need for all these other galaxies." p126

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In interviews with Gregory Benford, "Leaping the Abyss: Stephen Hawking on Black Holes, Unified Field Theory and Marilyn Monroe", Reason 4.02 (April 2002) p 29.

"The overwhelming impression is one of order. The more we discover about the universe, the more we find that it is governed by rational laws." "You still have the question: why does the universe bother to exist? If you like, you can define God to be the answer to that question."

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The Grand Design

"Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing in the manner described in Chapter 6. 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." p180

ABC Television 20/20 Interview, 1989

"It is difficult to discuss the beginning of the universe without mentioning the concept of God. My work on the origin of the universe is on the borderline between science and religion, but I try to stay on the scientific side of the border. It is quite possible that God acts in ways that cannot be described by scientific laws."

Quote about theory of everything - source uncertain.

"Some people will be very disappointed if there is not an ultimate theory that can be formulated as a finite number of principles. I used to belong to that camp, but I have changed my mind. I'm now glad that our search for understanding will never come to an end, and that we will always have the challenge of new discovery. Without it, we would stagnate. Godel's theorem ensured there would always be a job for mathematicians. I think M-theory will do the same for physicists."

Interview with Manchester Gaurdian, May 15, 2011
"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,"

Windows of Creation
Evidence from nature Is the universe designed?
Hawking
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