Stephen Hawking is a world-renowned physicist, most famous for his book ‘A Brief History of Time’, which became the world’s all-time bestselling science book.
His latest book, ‘The Grand Design’, is one of the most enlightening readings ever. A journey through science since classical antiquity till our present day in an attempt to explain the mysteries of the universe and try to answer its most challenging questions: When and how did the universe start? Did it need a creator? How does it look like? What laws govern it? Why are we here? How will it all end?
Hawking is an atheist, but he believes that if there is God, then once we discover the ‘theory of everything’ (a theory that binds together all the laws of nature and explains everything in the universe) which he has been working on with others, we will have ‘seen into the mind of God’.
Until this theory is discovered, here are some quotes from the book:
“Though the medieval period had no single coherent philosophical system, a common theme was that the universe is God’s dollhouse, and religion a far worthier study than the phenomena of nature.”
“Our universe and its laws appear to have a design that both is tailor-made to support us and, if we are to exist, leaves little room for alteration.”
“The division of natural forces into four classes (gravity, electromagnetic force, strong and weak nuclear forces) is probably artificial and a consequence of our lack of understanding. People therefore sought a theory of everything that will unify the four classes into a single law (…). This would be the holy grail of physics.”
“Gravity, in Einstein’s theory, is not a force like other forces; rather, it is a consequence of the fact that mass distorts time-space, creating curvatures. In Einstein’s theory, objects move on geodesics, which are the nearest things to straight lines in a curved space.”
“In 1992 came the first confirmed observation of a planet orbiting a star other than the sun. We now know of hundreds of such planets, and few doubt that there exist countless others among the many billions of stars in our universe. 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 as evidence that the earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings. Obviously, when the beings on a planet that supports life examine the world around them, they are bound to find that their environment satisfies the conditions they require to exist.”
“The M-theory is the only candidate for a complete theory of the universe. If it is finite, it will be a model of a universe that creates itself (…). If the theory is confirmed by observation, it will be the successful conclusion of a search going back more than 3,000 years. We will have found the grand design.”