Stephen Hawking (1942- ) is a British theoretical physicist and an outstanding summarizer of recent ideas in physics. His bestselling book, A Brief History of Time (1988, 1996), helped to catapult him into the public eye.
In that work Hawking didn’t entirely dismiss the idea of God. However, his comments about God were usually couched in the language of theories that depend on sense observation (e.g. The Big Bang, Black Holes, Relativity Theories, the Beginning and End of Time).
Not much serious discussion is given to the possibility of immanent, spiritual powers (and realms) existing beyond yet influencing the observable universe. This isn’t surprising because Hawking is a leading physicist, and not a leading mystic nor theologian.
Having said that, Hawking is open-minded enough to rethink the nature of time and consider the possibility of backwards causality. And his use of the phrase “angel-eye’s view” to describe this process suggests that he’s not averse to using metaphors that, at least for others, would point to a spirituality existing beyond sensory and conceptual realities (although Hawking’s usage here does seem entirely literary and whimsical):
“Observations of final states determine different histories of the universe,” says Hawking. “A worm’s-eye view from inside the universe would have the normal causality. Backwards causality is an angel’s-eye view from outside the universe.”¹
To this Rob MacRiner adds:
Answer to Question: Why does time seem to exist only in a forward direction?
Time seems to only exist in a forward direction because the universe is expanding. If the Universe reaches Critical Velocity and starts to contract ….then time, as we measure time will reverse according to the Big Bang / Big Crunch Theory. The reason for this is that time does not exist without change or movement….. (change or movement of particle matter or energy as we know it). If matter has no movement either expanding or contracting then time does not exit for that matter. However Time can exist around non moving particle matter if something is either expanding or contracting around it.
If the expansion of matter increases as in the case of our universe, or an expanding object, or even light…then time increases relative to the rate of expansion. Example: if carbon A is heated and expands faster than carbon B (which is not heated) then time increases in carbon A relative to carbon B…However as Einstein pointed out…time is relative to the observer…and you need something of contrast to make that comparison….fortunately our universe offers lots of contrast …otherwise we would have a very difficult time figuring this out. Time being relative to the observer can exist at different speeds based on the rate of expanding matter. If you are on riding on a beam of light than time is much different than your friend riding on a sound wave.Of course time is relative to the observer, therefore your time is much faster only to him, or any body else who is not on a beam of light.
If matter contracts or condenses then time actually reverses…as in the case of a contracting universe…so Planks Quantum would be measured as zero time for the entire Universe…and time starts at the point of the Big Bang (once matter is on the move again)… In the case of a black hole, relative to our expanding universe)… there is also no time. (except for matter being sucked into a black hole….this matter would be reversing in time, until at which point it becomes part of the black hole mass, then time (in a Black Hole) as in Planks Quantum is zero….which is odd because the Universe is still expanding around the black hole…but it is consistent with the theory that. Time can exist around “non moving matter” if something is either expanding or contracting
Time as we know it is measured in a forward direction and will continue until the point of critical velocity…at which point time starts to reverse…and for a brief moment…the point where the Universe changes from expanding to contracting…time will again be zero…as in Planks Quantum. However…during the forward direction of time…(while the Universe is expanding)…black holes are continuing to suck up matter…and should in theory at some point converge with other black holes….Therefore…as the universe is expanding from the big bang…there is multitude of matter which is not expanding (black holes)…which might well be unexploded Planks Quantum matter from the big bang…and the black holes with their massive gravitational force are sucking up matter which was attempting to expand but was not able to overcome the stronger force of the black hole…like mini-Plank Quantum’s converging within the universe …When the Universe reaches Critical Velocity and then all matter in our Universe starts to contract…heading towards the Big Crunch….the multitude of black holes converging (up to that point) should in theory rapidly increase the speed of reverse time …acting as an accelerant force of a contracting Universe with there collective gravitational force …so the reverse of time.(the journey the contracting Universe is taking towards the Big Crunch)…should happen much quicker than the time it took for the Universe to go from the Big Bang to Critical Velocity…That is of course Time relative from the Big Bang to Critical Velocity ……in contrast to …….Time Relative from Critical Velocity to the Big Crunch..… » See in context
More recently, Hawking has argued that our universe has no need for an intelligent creator.
The laws of nature themselves tells us that not only can the universe have popped into existence like a proton and have required nothing in terms of energy but also that it is possible that nothing caused the big bang.²
¹ New Scientist, “Exploring Stephen Hawking’s Flexiverse” 20 April 2006, Amanda Gefter, cited at http://okgrouputer.blogspot.com/2006/05/heisenberg-lsd-stephen-hawkings.html.
- Guest Post: Don Page on Quantum Cosmology (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- Stephen Hawking (whatdidyoulearninschooltoday.wordpress.com)
- Stephen Hawking – English Physicist (newsreminder.wordpress.com)
- Stephen Hawking: “Humans Have Entered a New Stage of Evolution” (chrishoeller.wordpress.com)
- The Physics Book by Clifford A. Pickover (neatorama.com)
- The Universe’s Dark Ages: How Our Cosmos Survived (livescience.com)
- Planets smashed into dust near supermassive black holes (eurekalert.org)
- Endless Void or Big Crunch: How Will the Universe End? (livescience.com)
- Rewind TV: Origins of Us; Holy Flying Circus; The Kid’s Speech; Brave New World with Stephen Hawking – review (guardian.co.uk)