The guy has a book coming out, so you can’t blame him for wanting to get front and center and give his 1 cent (for the other cent, pick up Stevie’s book “The Grand Design” next week at your local book merchant!). Still, he seems to be popping up quite a bit lately. His quotes afflict my feed reader like a sort of Definitive Statements on the Universe Tourette’s Syndrome.
From this Yahoo piece:
In his latest book, he said the 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting another star other than the Sun helped deconstruct the view of the father of physics Isaac Newton that the universe could not have arisen out of chaos but was created by God.
“That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions — the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass, far less remarkable, and far less compelling evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings,” he writes.
It would seem, given the vastness of space, that a reasonable person would have expected that such a planet would exist (in fact, 490 Extrasolar planets have been detected so far). I suppose the discovery of it really brings the room together, but for a thinker such as Hawking, that seems more a validation than an event to cause a rethinking of the cosmos and its birth (and the God issue).
He’s smarter than I am, so I’ll just assume something got lost between the book and this article and my early morning thought process. I should just read the book myself (co-authored by Leonard Mlodinow). I get it, but it seems that none of these discoveries or thought exercises has actually brought people from the two sides any closer together. The 1992 event did not convince anyone that wasn’t already convinced (or well on the path) that the Universe did not require divine intervention.
Michael Moorcock’s take on the book sounds more pleasing and more likely to get me to read some of it.