Stephen Hawking, one of the better known physicists since Carl Sagan made the science palatable for us common folk (at least at the most basic levels) has come out with a new book. Entitled The Grand Design, which was released on September 7th and is available for purchase, the book has garnered significant criticism for what it has to say on the subject of God. An example of such controversy:
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. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.
I won't entertain such controversy further, however, because my focus is on another claim made by the indelible Hawking, and that is that he now believes we may never find the unified "Theory of Everything," as so many have hoped for so long (myself included). While no one ever believed that the discovery of such a set of equations would be simple or straightforward, the notion of such a grand mathematical set seemed exquisitely elegant, a true testament to the universal nature of numbers.
The book does not contend that the theory cannot exist, citing several major breakthroughs in the field of physics over the years, including String and M-theory, which offer strong solutions for major problems in the field. Rather, it argues that it may be imprudent to continue to believe that the discovery of such a unified explanation for all things is inevitable.
The 68-year-old Hawking is certainly not afraid to talk about the tough subjects, something I admire in any man, and especially so someone with an advanced neuro-muscular disorder, such as he. Whether you agree with his stance or not, you must hope that someone so desperate to try and uncover all the truth that the universe has to offer, no matter the costs, continues living for at least a little while longer...