THE GRAND DESIGN by Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow

by |September 7, 2010

The book that has the religious world asking :  Why does Stephen Hawking harbour such ill will against God?

A controversial new theory on the origins of the universe from the world’s most famous living scientist.

In the last thirty years of his life Albert Einstein searched for a unified theory – a theory which could describe all the forces of nature in a single framework. But the time was not right for such a discovery in Einstein’s day.

Neither was the time right when, in 1988, Professor Stephen Hawking wrote A Brief History of Time in which he took us on a journey through classical physics, Einstein’s theory of relativity, quantum physics and string theory in order to explain the universe that we live in. He concluded, like Einstein, that science may soon arrive at the long sought after ‘Theory of Everything’.

In this ground-breaking new work, Professor Hawking draws on forty years of research and a recent series of extraordinary astronomical observations and theoretical breakthroughs to reveal an original and controversial theory. They convincingly argue that scientific obsession with formulating a single new model may be misplaced, and that, instead, by synthesising existing theories we may discover the key to finally understanding the universe’s deepest mysteries.

The Grand Design is Stephen Hawking’s attempt to understand the universe, and our place in it, at the deepest level – the laws that determine how it behaves, why we are here, and what is the ‘grand design’ that made it possible for us to have found a home in the one universe, out of zillions, where human life is possible.

The press has gone a bit mad with this one – declamatory headlines abound:

God Not Needed! God is Useless! God’s Redundant!

They obviously hadn’t done their homework… In 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche famously proclaimed God is Dead and, what’s more, according to REBECCA COFFEY, he left us this recipe. (Not seen on MasterChef)




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1. Allow the angel to reach room temperature. Then kill it.

2. Kill God. Set Him aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

4. Ecstatically whip, as if possessed by a storm-wind of freedom, 1-1/2 cups of excellent egg whites with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1-1/2 tsp. cream of tartar. Continue until peaks are as if raised to their own heights and given wings in a fine air, a robust air.

For the rest of the recipe  – Click Here

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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  • September 8, 2010 at 6:58 am

    In “The Grand Design” Stephen Hawking postulates that the M-theory may be the Holy Grail of physics…the Grand Unified Theory which Einstein had tried to formulate and later abandoned. It expands on quantum mechanics and string theories.

    In my e-book on comparative mysticism is a quote by Albert Einstein: “…most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty – which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive form – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of all religion.”

    Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity is probably the best known scientific equation. I revised it to help better understand the relationship between divine Essence (Spirit), matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and consciousness (fx raised to its greatest power). Unlike the speed of light, which is a constant, there are no exact measurements for consciousness. In this hypothetical formula, basic consciousness may be of insects, to the second power of animals and to the third power the rational mind of humans. The fourth power is suprarational consciousness of mystics, when they intuit the divine essence in perceived matter. This was a convenient analogy, but there cannot be a divine formula.

  • Udaybhanu Chitrakar

    June 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    “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.”
    – Stephen Hawking in “The Grand Design”
    “As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously 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.”
    – Stephen Hawking in the same book.

    Here three questions can be asked:
    1) Which one came first, universe, or laws of gravity and quantum theory?
    2) If the universe came first, then how was there spontaneous creation without the laws of gravity and quantum theory?
    3) If the laws of gravity and quantum theory came first, then Hawking has merely substituted God with quantum theory and laws of gravity. These two together can be called Hawking’s “Unconscious God”. Therefore we can legitimately ask the question: Who, or what, created Hawking’s unconscious God?

  • June 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    magine you were forced to parachute yourself on to the Alps with a bottle of water in your hand. As you touch ground, it starts snowing heavily and so you take cover inside a cave. Keeping down the bottle in your hand, you clean the snow off your attire and then go out to gather rest of your gear. When you return in a few minutes, you observe that the bottle of water has frozen. What was water in liquid form is now ice. You panic and frantically try to search for someone who did this act, but there’s nothing in the cave. Eureka ! you cry out, nothing can convert water in to ice, and you write a book on the theory of everything and try to explain that God is now fully kicked out from the equation.

    This is exactly what Stephen Hawking’s new book “The Grand Design” is trying to explain mankind, about how everything that is, has come in to being. Stephen’s book although has not ignited physics, as the theory proposed by him is just an old idea in a new garb. It is a simplistic approach, yet in our secular age it is one that seems to have resonance with a skeptical public. The reason the book has sparked lot of discussion is the philosophical conclusions that he is drawing from his proposed theory.

    Stephen Hawking who was till date teasing people whether or not his theories leave room for God, has now clearly made a move to the other side, which is what people like Richard Dawkins and others conclude and harp about, after the words of this book.

    An excerpt featured in London’s The Times reads as follows“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going,” The Big Bang was a natural event which would have happened without the help or involvement of God, he argues.” 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,” Hawking writes.

    Now lets look at it logically : When we say x creates y. It presupposes that x existed before y, in order to bring y in to existence. So when Stephen says that x created x, he presuppose the existence of x in order to bring x in to existence, however x always was in existence. This is self contradictory, is logically inconsistent & incoherent.

    But perhaps it’s much worse than that when He says because the law of gravity exists the universe will create itself from nothing. So setting aside the logical problem let’s look at the other noose that Stephen ties around himself. Stephen states that gravity already existed for spontaneous creation; but that’s not nothing. Indeed when physicists talk about nothing, they mean much more than simplistic nothing, they normally mean or refer to quantum vacuum. Hence what Stephen is referring to is not exactly about nothing. But like every other atheist he too can take his freedom to choose to call the cause behind all the effect – nothing. However its impotent to negate the fact that there was a great cause behind all that is.

    Now the other problem Stephen shies away from is to explain how the gravitational forces ever existed when there was absolutely nothing – Remember he is giving us a theory how everything came in to being from nothing.

    We all have enough common sense to know that Laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of how things behave under certain conditions. To use a simple analogy, Isaac Newton’s laws of motion in themselves never sent a cricket ball racing across the green fields. People using a cricket bat and the actions of their own arms can only do that.

    What Hawking appears to have done is to confuse law with agency. His call on us to choose between God and physics is quite demanding – its like someone asking us to chose between Thomas Edison and the laws of physics to explain the light bulb. I would say that Hawking’s claim is misguided, when he asks us to choose between God and the laws of physics, as if they were necessarily in mutual conflict.

    Its quite evident that we need more faith to believe that gravitational forces from nothing, created the intensely complex and highly fine tuned world that exists, than to say, as the Bible puts it – In the beginning God….

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