Critique Of Stephen Hawking’s Book The Grand Design

We submit a review of Stephen Hawking and co-author Leonard Mlodinow’s latest book, The Grand Design. The authors cite both physics and metaphysics viewpoint. Yet, physics excellence does not guarantee metaphysics expertise. Only syllogistic reasoning from the only true source can decide the rightness or wrongness in monotheism disciplines.

In attempting to critique The Grand Design, this author must confess to more than just a casual interest in ‘the nature of things.’ In my own small intellect, in the history from now, resides a reasonable assumption of beginning to matter: whatever its dimensions and product of force. Outside of reasoned debate arises the scientists’ claim of ‘something from nothing.’ They state: “… the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing… that our known universe is only one among uncounted billions of universes.”

Here, Hawking and Mlodinow opine Universe beginnings through spontaneity by Physics or creation by Super-intelligence. They accept the givens in physics observation and theory from experience or experiment; they acknowledge the infiniteness of Special and General Relativity and quantum mechanics; yet, they neglect to consider the experience and experiment of established theism. Rightfully, they cite religion’s lack of mathematical precision; wrongly, they succumb to impreciseness in their own speculative consensus of multiple universes and equation theory. Ben Winter would question even the ubiquitous application of E=mc2. It cannot effectively prescribe more energy than is contained in the Ultimate Particle mass.

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Their debate on God existence is also subject to the following logic: where, Emanuel Kant, states: “No man has the intellect to deny another man’s god“. Such reasoning must be accepted as truth in the absence of insight to evaluate another’s inherent gnosis. Ben Winter would add to the observation: “A god can be instantaneously created by anyone at any instant and without need for verification.”

We comment on additional opinion offered in The Christian Chronicle; where, noted PhD Rubel Shelly, longtime minister, author, and president of Rochester College in Michigan, also critiqued The Grand Design and made the following observation: “If there had ever been a time when absolutely nothing existed, nothing could exist now. Since something clearly has existed forever, you make the more intuitive, reasonable, and consistent-with-experience choice… Creative God or quantum mechanics?

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Respectfully, we wonder if the good Doctor’s definition of ‘forever’ came from the traditional misconception of Bible semantics. In either event, Dr. Shelly is also in error. For, the word defines as ‘until the set time’ in biblical frame of reference.

So much for challenging everyone’s perspective of everything! The Grand Design is a good way to refresh the mind on physics and metaphysics; however, in summation, this book is more dedicated to speculation than substance and leaves a huge gap between cause for the Universe basis and cause for modern religions. These issues are resolved in additional study.


by Bennie N Winter