It’s common in sports to see an athlete play past his prime, searching for something he never achieved or fearing life without the spotlight. Think Muhammad Ali losing to Leon Spinks or Willie Mays batting .211 for the New York Mets.
That phenomenon is occurring with physicist Stephen Hawking. Hawking made headlines recently with a pronouncement, coinciding with the release of his book (imagine that), that he has concluded the universe could have come into existence without the assistance of God.
But has he really discovered something scientific? Nope. Stephen Hawking is in a Walter Mitty fantasy. Throughout his career he longed to make that announcement and no doubt repeatedly pictured himself in that moment of atheist glory. He retired last year without achieving his goal.
Unable to resist attention, he went ahead this year and announced it anyway with no more physics in his book to prove that God didn’t make the universe than a priest has in his Bible to show God did.
The Holy Grail for physicists is to find a unified theory that explains the whole universe, large and small. The problem is the physical laws we know of that govern small things like atoms don’t translate to big things like galaxies, so there is no “God excluding theory.”
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