The extreme media reaction to this book was based on the simple sentence: ’It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.’ Apparently some theologians were so bent out of shape by the “audacity” of the claim they just had to attack a number of straw men, and assist the book up the best seller list in the process*. You would think they would be used to this by now. As far back as 1878 George Romanes, a biologist and lapsed catholic, wrote “There can no longer be any doubt that the existence of God is wholly unnecessary to explain any of the phenomena of the universe.”
In this interview Mlodinow expands a little on the extract and helps bring some sense into the discussion.
* One of the worst comments I read was by Mike Bara (see Hawking’s Latest Absurdity Spells the Death Knell for Scientific Materialism). He called Hawking ’arrogant and ignorant’, a ’self-appointed academic elite’, ’deluded’, ’a broken, ill and crippled man’, ’narcissist’ and a victim of ’the Darwinian delusion’. He added, for good measure, that ’science is an empty path bereft of meaning’ and ’the scientific materialists day is over, and Hawking, their champion, deserves not our wrath, but our pity.’
Move over Dawkins – we have another demon to stick pins in.
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