There has been a bit of a buzz about Stephen Hawking’s latest book The Grand Design.
I haven’t read it, and since I’m not all that familiar with intricate physics and cosmology I probably won’t read it (another reason is that my existing research interests are keeping me more than busy enough). But the impression I get from the buzz is that there are people out there who are treating the book as though it reveals something new and exciting about big bang cosmology that creates a new problem for the cosmological argument for God’s existence.
As a novice in the subject, and as someone who is unlikely to read the book, the best I can do is offer the perspective of people who hold a very different view on God from Dr Hawking and who do in fact have expertise in big bang cosmology.
Here are William Lane Craig’s comments on the articles about Hawkings’ book (note, Dr Craig freely admits that at the time of his comments the book had not come out, and he was relying on the new articles written by Hawkings about the contents of his book):
The overall impression Craig clearly got – and for that matter this is the general impression commentators online seem to have as well – is that Hawking’s book doesn’t have a new argument. The reasons Hawking gives for saying that God did not create the universe are the same that he has always used.
(Incidentally, there’s a dirty wee rumour going around thanks to Victor Stenger that Dr Craig had earlier misrepresented what Hawking had said in his earlier book A Brief History of Time. For an explanation of why this rumour is not correct, see here.)