Stephen Hawking Quest for a Theory of the Universe by Ferguson Kitty

Stephen Hawking Quest for a Theory of the Universe by Ferguson Kitty

Author:Ferguson, Kitty [Ferguson, Kitty]
Language: eng
Format: azw3
Publisher: Goodreads Press
Published: 2019-02-06T16:00:00+00:00

The Elusive Moment of Creation

In the 1970s Hawking's primary interest was black holes. In 1981 he turned his attention once again to the question of how the universe began and how it would end. At a conference at the Vatican that year, the pope warned Hawking and other scientists that humans shouldn't inquire into the moment of Creation: that was the work of God. At the same conference Hawking proposed the possibility that there was no "beginning," no "boundaries" for the universe. Did that mean there was no "Creation"? Or was Hawking's idea possibly consistent with the Judeo-Christian concept of a God existing outside time—the "I Am" of the Bible—for whom it is believed there is no beginning, no end, nor anything like our chronological time, but for whom everything happens simultaneously? An entirely new way of looking at time was to be a major part of Hawking's "no-boundary proposal."

The work Hawking had done in the late 1960s, in his Ph.D. dissertation and afterward, seemed to prove that the universe had begun as a singularity, a point of infinite density and infinite spacetime curvature. At that singularity all our laws of physics would break down, and it would be useless, regardless of whether the pope approved, to try to investigate the moment of creation. Any sort of universe could come out of a singularity. There would certainly be no way to predict that it would be a universe just like ours. In fact, Hawking told John Boslough in the early 1980s, "The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous. I think there are clearly religious implications whenever you start to discuss the origins of the universe."9


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