I Fought the Law (of Gravity) and the Law Won

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.”
-Stephen Hawking

Believe me when I tell you that there are few greater pleasures in this world than waking up and realizing you are smarter than Stephen Hawking!

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” For a supposedly smart man, he sure can say stupid things! Sorry, Stephen, but your thinking has jumped either a few steps or the shark here!

Let us consider for the moment, the “law” of gravity. According to Wiki:

Every point mass attracts every single other point mass by a force pointing along the line intersecting both points. The force is proportional to the product of the two masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

The force of gravity is a form of energy, which my old astronomy prof used to call “The Glue of the U”. The law is not an edict such as “Let there be light”, but describes the immutable relationship of mass to this force. With me so far? Good. We’ll go over some of the math, but if your eyes start to glaze over, please feel free to jump ahead. Hawking did.

The equation, nicely illustrated again by Wiki shows


F is the force between the masses;
G is the gravitational constant (6.674×10−11 N · (m/kg)2);
m1 is the first mass;
m2 is the second mass;
r is the distance between the centers of the masses.

Note where it says: “F is the force between the masses”. In order for there to be a force between the masses, there must first exist…two masses. Fairly simple, nicht wahr? So, according to the Hawking theory of spontaneous creation, there was a force attracting the matter that did not exist yet which created the matter. Or there was matter that did not exist yet exerting the force!

That presupposes that matter predated the creation of the universe. Or energy which became matter, or both.

Hawkings theory of spontaneous creation must be based on the idea that either matter or energy or both are eternal. And if they are eternal, that is not an explanation of how they came into being. This is nothing more than a cosmological sleight of hand: the matter in the universe that did not exist created the matter in the universe.

In other words, the universe can create itself out of nothing because of the way Hawking defines “nothing”. Except if matter and energy are eternal, then the universe didn’t create itself out of nothing, but combined that which is eternal in a new and different way. Or is it just the law of gravity that is eternal? But, gravity is the force that exerts itself between two or more bodies of mass…so if gravity is eternal, then matter must also be eternal, else there could be no attraction? And can you have force without energy?

Hawking’s argument reminds me of an argument from “The Naked Ape”. It identified a certain era in time and stated the during this age, man’s tree dwelling, ape-like creature ancestors climbed out of the trees and began walking on two legs. This must have happened in this exact way, he explained, because…here we are!

Hawking says the universe created itself out of nothing, using matter and energy that are eternal, without giving us the origin of either matter or energy, without the Hand of a Creator God, because this must have happened in this exact way, because…here we are!

Color me unconvinced.

Consider the practical application: a man falls from a twenty story window. As gravity pulls him to the earth, and to a lesser degree, the man pulls the earth towards him, almost miraculously, a spongy, marshmallow like substance forms between them and cushions his fall! What? Not buying it?? You mean gravity doesn’t create matter?? Huh! (Although it might create a certain red stain at the base of the building! Just sayin’!)

Consider the “Big Bang Theory” (the cosmology, not the sitcom that jumped the shark several years ago). Again, according to that modern oracle of Delphi, Wiki:

“The model describes how the universe expanded from a very high density and high temperature state.”
My understanding of the theory is that gravity attracted this vast cloud of matter in the universe (again presuming that both matter and energy are eternal), into a very dense compressed space, and when the energy of all those atoms compressing against themselves (think Al Franken in a crowded elevator) became too great, there was an explosion (scientific term: “Bang”) that dispersed the matter throughout the universe, where it became planets, trees, monkeys and Stephen Hawking.

Or, in the words of that ancient cosmologist, Genie:
Phenomenal cosmic powers! Itty bitty living space!

I have an alternate to the Big Bang. Imagine if you will, an empty lot in your fair city. Above the lot, swirl the atoms of concrete, steel, aluminum, copper and Chinese made retail merchandise. One day, the pressure of all these elements becomes so great that BANG! a Wal-Mart appears! (I call this the “Big Box Theory). This must have happened in this exact way, because…here it is!!

An alternate scenario?

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
– Hamlet

If you wish to ponder or dispute the eternal nature of almighty God, then please feel free! Although note that the discussion you have wandered into is theological, not cosmological. To state that the universe created itself out of nothing (and peculiarly used the word “will”, which implies purpose), by utilizing the elements of the universe that predated its creation, is Harfian** in its error and its simplicity.

**Harfian: after Marie Harf, who recently credited the Trump administration’s victories over ISIS to “a strategy that was laid out during the Obama administration”, even though, during her tenure with that same administration, she stated that terrorism was caused by the lack of jobs. Bless her Harf!

Editor’s note: The Genesis of this post (Genesis? I crack myself up!) was a lengthy comment I made on a similar post at my friend Curmudgeon’s Political Clown Parade.

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