Is there a god? How did it all start? Will we survive on earth? How do we shape our future? The now published “Short answers” of the dead physicist are shockingly naive.

stephen hawking

“There is God,” noted Viennese singer-songwriter Sigi Maron (1944-2016) on his latest album titled this simple phrase. And before the refrain, he listed what everything in his eyes is very well: namely, good, bad, left, right, down, up, Vienna, Leoben, G’scheite, idiots, meadows, steppes, black and red.

Well, for quite so decided statements of existence, the English physicist Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) in the first chapter of his now published book “Short answers to big questions” did not arrive. After all, it carries the title “Is there a god?”. This is “a legitimate science question,” Hawking said, three pages after assuring, “I have nothing against God. In no case do I want to give the impression that my work is about proving the existence of God. ”

One may contradict him posthumously. That’s exactly what he wrote in his popular science books, and that was one reason for his fame. “If the universe is really completely self- contained,” he wrote in the “Short History of Time” (1988), “then it would have neither a beginning nor an end: it would be easy. Where would there be room for a creator? “He did not remain faithful to this view:” The theorems proved by Roger Penrose showed that the universe must have had a beginning, “the new book says.

From mathematical theorems to conclusively follow a statement about the physical world: What a crazy belief! Physicists who adhere to this belief can only be asked to read Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, at least in a Reader’s Digest version. Apparently, Hawking never did that: Kant believed that time was absolute, he writes, “in other words, it ranged from the infinite past to the infinite future.” This may have said (forgive the cheap ridicule) Kant in another universe, in which he saw space and time as “forms of intuition,” depending on the knowing subject. And that in principle we can not say whether the world has a “beginning in time” or not.

The quasi-transcendental assertion that, as Hawking says, the universe was born
“spontaneously out of nothing” where space and time does not help us out of the dilemma of pure reason. The presumption of straining them beyond their field of responsibility has brought to theoretical physics in the last two decades a huge, perhaps even infinite, flood of universes which, just because theory allows them, should exist even if they are inaccessible to experience. “The string theories,” writes Hawking, “predicted that a large number of universes, according to the many different possible stories, have been created out of nothing.”

One could now ponder whether this (capitalized) nothing is the same as the above-mentioned one, which is without a particular article and is therefore written in small letters; In any case, Hawking is (or was) certain that his transformation into a universe – or indeed into many universes – was “entirely in accordance with the laws of nature”. And those who know them (the physicists who write them themselves) know the thoughts of God. “My prediction is that we will know what God is thinking at the end of this century.”

Hawking’s digressions about artificial intelligence are also staggeringly naïve: he does not believe that “there is a qualitative difference between the brain of an earthworm and that of a computer,” he writes. So the computers would “overtake people for intelligence over the next hundred years”. And he even prophesied to the quantum computer that it would “change the biology of man.”

Enough. Does anyone still want to know from Hawking if we will survive on Earth? We have to go to the stars, as he has often said, and that’s what you read in this strange compendium.

Spoiled up with sentences that were previously more attributed to Matthias Strolz: “We are all time travelers who are on their way to the future together. So let’s work together to make this future a place we like to visit. Be brave, curious, determined and overcome all odds! We can do it!”

Sources: Die Presse