1. What did the full article say? I never got past these words, because I was rolling on the floor.

    The Archbishop, who was born in the Swansea Valley and grew up in Mumbles….

  2. All right, I finally controlled my laughter and finished the article. The maths professor, John Lennox, answered Hawking best, better than the religious leaders:

    “…For me, as a Christian believer, the beauty of the scientific laws only reinforces my faith in an intelligent, divine creative force at work.

    “The more I understand science, the more I believe in God because of my wonder at the breadth, sophistication and integrity of his creation.”


  3. Indeed, I have to agree with Grandmere Mimi and John Lennox. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive ideas. In proclaiming that you must believe in one or the other, you place far too many restrictions on the Creator and the Universe.

  4. Only, Hawkins didn’t say that there is no God, only that it may be possible to understand the universe/s without referring to God. That’s like saying you can understand the chemical make-up of water without referring to God.

  5. Professor Hawking is saying that a god wasn’t required for the creation of the Universe because an unseen, eternal, omnipresent force spontaneously created all that is and was and ever will be.

    Of course, it can’t be proven and you wouldn’t understand the physics or maths behind it anyways, so just accept that science has the answers.

    What’s that you say, professor Dawkins?

    “Faith, being belief that isn’t based on evidence, is the principal vice of any religion. … Well, science is not religion and it doesn’t just come down to faith. Although it has many of religion’s virtues, it has none of its vices. Science is based upon verifiable evidence.”


  6. Although it has many of religion’s virtues, it has none of its vices.

    So, the atomic bomb, germ warfare, nerve gas, cell phones, oil spillages – these are all virtuous things?

    No, not really, but you can’t blame the scientists. They just made them all possible, they didn’t press the buttons. Like God, they are above morality.

  7. An intelligent agent behind the creation of the universe makes more sense to me than gravity, but perhaps that’s because I’m weak in knowledge of physics and math.

    Still, I see no contradiction between science and religion. However, a statement from a scientist that the universe is all due to gravity seems to require a leap of faith on the part of the scientist that certain scientists are reluctant to admit.

  8. With due respect MP, I would take issue with your sweeping condemnation. The advancement of scientific and technological endeavour has done both much harm and much good. Science and technology are methods and their products are things. None of those are either moral or immoral eo ipso, but rather it is the intent of their application which determines their morality or lack thereof.

    To toss the responsibility for the acts of depravity that have been abetted by the use of technology upon the scientists who developed them is analogous putting the blame for every arson upon the caveman who developed the technology of fire or, to put in a theological context, that every sin in the world is the fault of The One who created it.

    I am much more comfortable with the idea that each person is responsible for themselves and how they use the tools given to them as opposed to pushing blame off onto nebulous ‘others’. Guess it’s all that “To whom much has been given…” stuff.

  9. Let’s see…let’s take a gander at things that science believed over the centuries…miasma theorgy – that illness travels in bad air. or how about women not contributing to the biology of their children, just being a “vessel” – let’s use mercury to cure syphillis! any others?

    Science has never had all the answers, why should faith?

  10. Hawking says: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.

    “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.”

    If scientists prove that the law of gravity caused the creation of the universe, my faith would be affected not at all.

    I liked this that Prof. Lennox said, too:

    “It always amuses me that atheists often argue for the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence beyond Earth.

    “Yet they are only too eager to denounce the possibility that we already have a vast, intelligent being out there: God.


  11. “Professor Hawking is saying that a god wasn’t required for the creation of the Universe because an unseen, eternal, omnipresent force spontaneously created all that is and was and ever will be.” Now, to me, that IS God….. As someone once wrote, science explains how, and religion explains why. They are not mutually exclusive; they are complementary.

  12. Oh, so scientists can make sweeping statements about the history of Christianity but Christians are not allowed to reciprocate. My goodness, that’s what you expect off a pope not a physicist.

    And, no. The invention of the atomic bomb is not the same as the invention of fire. When the first caveman made fire I doubt if he did so thinking this will destroy Hiroshima. Whilst the scientists on the Manhattan Project were perfectly aware of the consequences of their actions because those consequences were their main aim.

    Tim, your argument, that I have heard so many times from scientists, is disingenuous. Scientists are as responsible for the consequences of their inventions as everybody else. It seems to me the reason they wish, so earnestly, to get rid of religion is that they see themselves as the new priesthood, beyond reproach, with no one to answer to (especially as they believe they have gotten rid of God).

    A plague on both your houses!

  13. So there didn’t need to be anything to create the universe. It started from nothing. And it would start from nothing, because of the Law of Gravity.

    But if there is originally nothing, how can there have been a Law of Gravity? Why wasn’t there a Law of No-Gravity? Why wasn’t there a, “Nothing, And Not Even Any Bloody Laws”? That would make more sense to me.

  14. A healthy number of scientists on the Manhattan Project had serious doubts about what they were doing…but at the same time we knew that Hitler was working on the same weapon. Even Einstein had his regrets. The use of those weapons ultimately was the decision of President Truman, not he scientists.

    But what the hey…(wv) “fuguit”

  15. I expect I would have done the same as them, given the circumstances. But I wouldn’t have wanted people to make excuses for my actions and then applied the same excuses to themselves in order to avoid their own guilt.

    Or have I missed the bit at the end of the 10 commandments where it says, “except scientists when carrying out pure research?”

    And don’t forget, the pope who ordered the crusades did so because he was scared the Muslims, who had already conquered much of Christendom, including the whole of North Africa and Spain, would invade Western Europe. Yet Dicky Dorkins and his gang aren’t as willing to forgive that pope’s fear as they are the scientists on the Manhattan Project.

    What gives, I wonder?

  16. I think you might mean Truman in that analogy – the Pope ordered the crusades and Truman ordered the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The scientists worked on various parts of the process – fusion for example vs. using fusion in a bomb vs. developing a trigger mechanism.

    In The Sea Inside – when Javier Barden’s character loses his appeals his friends all participate in helping him commit suicide – each one performs a task that is a part of the “assisted suicide” but cannot be prosecuted. This was how they cirumvented the law. One could argue that they were all guilty, however.

    Yet in the case of development of nuclear weaponry – all the individuals were working on behalf of the state vs. against the state – so if we want to say they are all guilty of violating “god’s law” I would argue that the society itself holds its own share of the responsibility – that can be expanded to include western society as the U.S., Germany, & Russia all were battling to perfect this use of a scientific discover – namely fusion (or is it fission?) Not long behind were other countries all struggling to get their own.

    By the way, I’ve always wondered why we are so horrified at H & N when a far larger number of people were killed in the firebombing of Dresden for example. Yet we tend to forget the other horrors commited by so called civilized nations.

  17. a far larger number of people were killed in the firebombing of Dresden

    Er, no. Nowhere near. Check it out.
    But we are far more guilt ridden in the UK about Dresden than we are about H and N (which we blame you lot for, whilst reaping the rewards of your action).

    The rest of your comment I agree with. We are all responsible – INCLUDING scientists.

  18. OK, I stand corrected – however, earlier version placed the estimated death toll in Dresden at 250,000 – the numbers I recall reading were 100,000. Apparently they have now dropped the Dresden number down to ONLY 25,000 civilian dead.

    Of course, Hamburg – 50,000
    Pfozheim – 18,000
    Tokyo – 90,000
    etc. etc. etc.

    My point being that the planners who creating incendiary bombing and the scientists involved and the civilian governments involved are guilty of the same “crime” if you will as those who developed the atomic weapons.

    And yes I agree – scientists should not be exempt from any responsibility but should also not be singled out – they are a part of the whole modern “machine” that seems hell bent on death and destruction.

    I keep waiting for people to wake up and realize that consumer capitalism only works when the whole world has ripped itself apart and destroyed everything in a massive war. Of course, I also live in fear of that realization – because it will only further justify in some warped mind the need for perpetual destruction in order to make more money. (see Iraq et al)