Stephen Hawking vs. God

Everybody knows the following story: At one time, long ago, most or all people believed that when a tree branch fell and caused damage that a god or other spiritual entity caused the branch to fall. This belief was animate, in the sense that the god himself was pictured as pulling the branch or otherwise knocking it off the tree.

Reasons for the god’s behavior were ascribed, usually to sin, and perhaps a ceremony of propitiation was performed to forestall future baleful consequence. But over anything else, it was the fact of the branch falling that was used as evidence for the god’s existence. The branch fell, something caused it to, we can think of no cause, therefore it must be the god.

As time went on and fewer people imagined actually witnessing the god yanking on the tree, but they did not discard the idea that, somehow, that branch fell because the god willed it. Branches falling were still evidence of the god’s existence, but now weaker evidence. Some branches might have fallen on their own, who cares why.

Of course, magical thinking of this kind applied to physical events of all kinds; disasters were called, and not that long ago, “Acts of God.” Once more, these “acts” were a proof of God’s existence, but recently only in a vague sense. The causation really went one way: God to act, and not so much act to God.

Man’s existence, crucially his uniqueness and superiority over all other animals was, and still is, used by few, but a diminishing few, to infer the existence of God. The reasoning goes: because the universe is, God is.

The reason man’s uniqueness decreased in importance as evidence of God’s existence, is because physics itself could explain matters of fact like the biology of man more parsimoniously. That is, when the tree branch fell, we looked to physics or biology explain why. These new explanations worked, in the sense that their accuracy in foretelling future events was high.

Eventually, as far as explanations for any physical phenomena, science was a better theory than one relying on the moods and ineffability of God. Scientists were thus right to boast of their predictive and explanatory power, and they were right to claim their ascendancy over religion.

But then scientists made the same mistake in reasoning earlier people did: they argued that because we have a mathematical equation that describes falling tree branches, we can infer that God does not exist.

It wasn’t just falling tree branches, of course. Scientists became able to explain more of creation, even to the point of inferring that creation itself was a natural phenomenon, fully explicable using a few, minor assumptions.

We now have scientists like Stephen Hawking, in his forthcoming The Grand Design (as reported by the redoubtable Daily Mail), saying things like this: “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.”

This may be so; in fact, it is likely to be so. But then Hawking goes one step farther and says this: “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touchpaper and set the universe going.”

The key mistake Hawking makes is to forget what he started out saying, or to neglect its importance. He said, “Because there is a law such as gravity…” He did not ask why gravity? Why is there not something else that looks like gravity, but isn’t?

That, of course, isn’t a new question, and is usually answered by saying something like this: “We began in ignorance about tree branches, but eventually figured them out. We now understand gravity and various other forces, and they can explain the instantaneous, unforced creation of the universe. We might not now know why these forces exist, but we’ll surely figured out why they do in time.”

This, at first glance, is not an irrational argument, but it is flawed irreparably. While we might figure out why known forces exist, it will be because their origin is explained by other facts. Some of these facts might themselves be explained by other facts and so forth.

But there will eventually come a base beyond which no further proof is forthcoming. There will be, that is, a set of facts so fundamental that we will only know about them through our intuitions. These a priori truths cannot be seen behind. We will never be able to say why these facts are and why other facts are not.

It will be in that still small place that there will always be room for God. Thus, it will always be the case that the reason for what is is because of God.


  1. Why your god, instead of the law of gravity? Where the ontological argument fails is its special pleading, assuming that the believer’s god is somehow different from other causes, in being the satisfying end to all explanations. And of course, he is to the believers who are satisfied. But he’s not in any rational sense.

  2. Physicist blogger Lubos Motl makes this point:

    “Now, you may admit that the laws of M-theory could create matter, space, and time. But you may also ask: “Who created M-theory?”….

    “…when someone asks “Who created M-theory?,” he usually doesn’t ask the fully analogous question “Who created God?” Clearly, if we are comparing two possible entities that could have created the Universe, namely God and M-theory, we have to treat them fairly. So if it is legal to ask “Who created M-theory?,” it must also be legal to ask “Who created God?”.

    In reality, the believers are more likely to burn you at stake if you ask the latter blasphemous question. Only the annoying question about M-theory is allowed to be asked, as a trick to sling mud at it, while God remains protected against questions. ;-)”

  3. Catswold

    Russell, the difference lies in the “where did it come from” question. God’s existence is a tenet of faith and all believers freely admit to the necessity of faith in order to believe.

    Believers answer the question be replying that God has always existed and is the source of everything. It is faith that supports that belief.

    Non-believers basically say the same thing, but they refuse to admit that their premise requires just as much faith, if not more, as does belief in God. The truth is that such a belief requires greater faith, because it must rely on coincidence to explain why things which are essentially statistically impossible occur.

    Atheism and the belief that science can explain requires faith and thus is as much of a religion as are the traditional religions.

    Why does gravity exist? The answer “because it does,” or “when we learn all about gravity then we will be able to explain why,” is a profession of faith just as profoundly reliant on the inexplicable as any made by a Christian who says, “because God so ordained.”

    Any claim to atheism is just calling a religious belief in the inexplicable by another name.

    The difference between those who rely on “science” and those who rely on God is that we who believe in God freely admit to our faith. You still cling to “rational explanation” even though your belief is just as faith based.

  4. dearieme

    And if there is a God, what relation does he bear to the so-called gods that people worship? Why, for example, did he ascribe a special status to sundry vagabonds in and around the deserts of the Middle East? Or to a series of reincarnated children in Tibet? Or other tall tales that people believe? I am, like everyone else, a Thor-atheist, a Jupiter-atheist and so on. I just make the last small step to being a Jehovah-atheist too.

  5. Tim Thompson

    “we can infer that God does not exist.”

    Perhaps, perhaps not. But one can look at all the kids dying of parasitic infection to show that God, if he exists, isn’t a very nice being.

  6. Sander van der Wal

    I think I have proof that it impossible to prove that an all-powerfull god exists, even when an entity claiming to be an all-powerful god is available for questioning and willing to give demonstrations. The proof is valid when all-powerful means answering yes to all questions that begin with “can you show us a X” with X any sentence.

    The basic idea is that there are an infinite number of things that are impossible, like squares with more than 4 corners, and triangles with more than three corners, next to the infamous square circle. So you simply ask this entity to show each and every of these impossible things. A being thas is not all-powerful will at some point not be able to produce such a thing. An all-powerful being can, but it is impossible to check this without being shown all impossible things. And as there is always an infinite amount of impossible things left to check. Hence the impossibility of proving the entity being all-powerful.

  7. Thank you, Tim Thompson, for the “isn’t a very nice being” canard. The thread would not be complete without that illogical bunny trail.

  8. Bernie

    Nice, concise thought provoking piece.
    Why not ask this all powerful being of yours one single impossible thing? Make the Detroit Lions win the SuperBowl! If he can do that, he/she/it must be God!

  9. Bernie

    On the other hand there is Stephen Hawking.

  10. Luis Dias

    So you are asking us why this kind of gravity and not another? Well that’s in the theory as well. We just have to work it out. This is not a defense for God.

    And while your first part of the post is a very good one, very well written and I agree with it entirely, then you commit the fallacy of trying to state that the mistake Hawking did was to conclude that, because physics doesn’t require God to exist (Laplace et al), then God doesn’t exist. Except that he didn’t say that. He just pointed to His Great Uselessness, which is a completely objective fact.

    Of course, you end completely right: if we can explain the Big Bang with the M-Theory, then the believer can always ask, “Ok, so who built these rules anyway?”, but these are already stupid questions: the rules that the universe “obeys” are not in the same plane of existence as the universe itself.

    So we can say that, solving the mystery of how the universe came to be, and how possible it is that it came ex-nihilo, the “debate” is now shifted towards the “platonic” realm of ideas. It’s a qualitative shift, and if it is a qualitative shift, there’s room for some kind of an argument where one can stop the shenanigan and state something in the order of these kinds of “entities”, like numbers and mathematical theories are not bound to be created by God because of this (X) logical and empirical argument.

    I don’t know if this argument exists. Lubos Motl thinks that it does.

  11. Luis Dias

    Catswold, you don’t see, but there’s clearly a difference between God and Gravity: the latter is empirically verifiable every second. And it does exist, I do tell you. So anyone who claims that he “believes” in gravity is just making a joke.

    You say, I have to have faith to be an atheist. No, it’s exactly the other way around. It’s because I don’t have faith that I am an atheist. There’s tons of evidence pointing out that these kinds of superstitious entities are nothing more than figments of human imagination. OTOH, evidence for the existence of Gravity is overwhelming. You ask, but “what” created gravity? Gravity is the culmination of a myriad of forces between geometries and energies of time-space. It’s a phenomenon, that we can try to explain. To answer, “Goddidit”, is a no-answer. If you want *real* answers, you get your hands dirty and try to work it out from empirical sources and theoretical advanced physics.

  12. Richard M: The answer of course, is that believers in God do not invoke science to defend their belief. As Catswold says, it is a matter of faith, which we freely admit. We have no faith in a Theory M, so we don’t defend such a thing.

    Those who believe in science while excluding any possibility of God (as if the two were mutually exclusive) must indeed use that very science to explain how the law of gravity happened ex nihilo. You can’t claim Science Uber Alles on one hand then dismiss such first cause questions with a wave of the other hand.

  13. The way you put it, Briggs, it’s just a matter of semantics. You want to call the ultimate fundamental laws of Nature God? That’s fine with me. After all, it’s just choosing a name. We might as well go with ‘table,’ ‘cow,’ or stick with ‘ultimate fundamental laws of Nature,’ but if you prefer ‘God’ so be it

    The problem starts when you start mixing things: the God you have just made room for existence has very little to do with the God of the Bible, or the Coran, or basically any other sacred book ever written. Your new God has nothing to do with moral laws, the soul or an afterlife.

  14. Briggs


    Thank you. But, no sir, it is not only semantics. Suppose that the First Mover (to coin a phrase) is the reason the universe, or multi-verse, is the way it is. This, then, has consequences. It is beyond my ability to say what these are perfectly.

    P.S. Interesting, and useful, site you have.

  15. Teflon93

    The fundamental attribute of the atheist is arrogance. Their disdain for the deity is simply an inability to conceive of an intelligence greater than their own.

    A useful corrective may be found in Scientific American, stuffed to the covers with atheists. They run a little retrospective on bits having run in the magazine long ago. Most have been discovered to be completely wrong. All are presented with the same smug certainty current articles are presented, which in turn will undoubtedly be fodder for humor for generations hence.

    Those who have blind faith that human reason will know much more in the future fail to admit that much of what we think we know will inevitably turn out to be witch doctory.

  16. Catswold tries to play turn-about: “Non-believers basically say the same thing…”

    Well, no, we don’t. All we say about physical law is: This is what we’ve discovered so far, and what, if anything, explains that, we don’t yet know. We don’t claim that any theory is final, neither in the sense of being beyond revision as it is further put to the test, nor in the sense of being forever beyond further explanation. Far from “basically saying the same thing” as the believer, our attitude toward physics is almost the opposite of the believers’ toward their god.

  17. kuhnkat

    The main difference between believers in God and believers in “natural laws” is that GOD has intelligence and alledgedly provides a PURPOSE for the universe. What PURPOSE does “natural law” provide? In what way does the belief in physical principles enlighten existence or help us deal with our intelligence?

    A world without GOD is ultimately a futile, empty existence where we grasp at whatever we can gain while we are here. I grieve for those who are unwilling to replace emptiness and non-existence with SOMETHING!!

  18. Kuhnkat, there are two serious problems in your argument. The first is simply a logical error: you argue that because something is beneficial in your eyes — a god who provides purpose! — that it must be so, or at least, that you should believe it. An important part of growing up is learning that just because you want something doesn’t make it so.

    The second and more fundamental problem is thinking that you can be given purpose. You can’t be. Humans are too clever for that. They choose their own purpose. You fool yourself into thinking your purpose comes from outside yourself only by hiding from yourself how you choose that. Another important part of growing up is to stop hiding that from yourself.

  19. John Galt


    You certainly attract an interesting readership. I tend to agree with you, I don’t see how the existance of God can be proved or disproved. I don’t understand how we think we can develop a theory of what happened before time or the universe began. We can speculate all sorts of things about multi-verses, but how can we know? At some point, it comes down to faith.

  20. AusieDan

    Re your equation of atheist with arrogance.
    That, I’m sorry to say, is nonesense.
    I acknowledge that there are many humans that are more intelligent, wise, strong, loving and any other positive attribute you wish to mention – than myself.
    So What?

    I see no evidence that there is an all wise, all knowing, all kind god;
    or even a horrible, angry god either, who is willing to wreck vengence on me.

    Really – if god is the laws of physics or even created them – so what?
    That does not affect me in any way either.

    Show me the evidence please.
    Until then, I continue to accept the nul hypothesis.
    That does not require belief.
    Only observation.

  21. mt

    “It will be in that still small place that there will always be room for God. Thus, it will always be the case that the reason for what is is because of God.”

    The second sentence doesn’t follow from the first. Just because there is room for God, it doesn’t necessarily follow that God is in that room.

  22. JH

    Perhaps the discovery of Newton’s law of gravity has brought us closer in understanding the origin of the world, which, to me, is not exactly the same as the question of the existence of God. Who or what created the world? Big Bang? If God, the one who created the world, exists (existed?), I doubt “he” would be what many believers want him to be. Just my speculations.

  23. DAV

    Richard M.,

    Lubos of all people should also be painfully aware that warmers tend to have strong reactions to “heresy” as well but he does have a point.


    What purpose do comets, the Moon, mountains and thunder have? Must there be a PURPOSE?

    There is a growing theory that the need for an eternal entity is deep seated and fundamental to humans. There is one researcher in Canada who claims he can induce “religious visitation” experiences at will. If not “religious visitations” then at least dream-like experiences that could be interpreted as such in the proper context.


    It’s hard to believe that whatever came before the Universe and what will come after has been around forever but then, fundamentally, it’s essentially the same concept as God sans the intelligent PURPOSE is it not?

  24. DAV

    Some more thoughts:

    The idea that the vast Universe — with parts as yet unseen — is a show put on just for humans is indicative of the human mind’s tendency toward a centrist viewpoint and blends well with the need for an external and eternal driver. If the Universe has a purpose, how do we know it really isn’t for the benefit of mice instead?

  25. Mellors

    You’re all ignoring a clear manifestation of divinity.
    At the age of 65, Stephen Hawking, in spite all of his disabilities and physical vulnerabilities, managed efficiently to get rid of a disagreeable wife who did not wish to be got rid of.
    If that’s not enough to make him a believer in le bon dieu – well, heaven have mercy on his soul. It was enough, however, for me. One of the thieves was saved.

  26. Doug M

    It is not neccessary to invoke God, is not the same thing as saying that God does not exist.

    Any scientific theory that does invoke God has put itself into a bad place because the theory can neither be proven nor disproven. However in “A Breif History Of Time”, which I will confess I have not read, Hawking leaves his readers in a place that the laws of nature as understood at the time could not have intitated “the big bang”. The new book suggests that latest incarnations of string theory alow for creation as a spontateous event.

    Hawinking seems to be miles apart from Dawkins. Dawkins takes the arguement 2 steps futher. First to step from God is not necessary to God does not exist, and then goes on to argue that those who believe in God are delusional.

  27. Luis Dias

    So the believer’s arguments, for what I can see around the comments is that the atheists are “arrogant”, or otherwise “sad” because they can’t understand the idea of something very intelligent existing somewhere out there, or they can’t have any purpose in life.

    So if this is it, I declare atheism to win in this soap box. Sorry mr Briggs. Such is life 😉

  28. Teflon93

    AusieDan of course proves my point.

    I’m sorry, but atheists are not hyper-rationalists awaiting the compelling evidence that at last will flip the switch for them. They are rather impervious to the evidence that the great mass of humanity past and present accepts.

    They are impervious not because they simply are skeptical, but because they refuse to believe.

    Why do you believe in gravity? Can’t see it. I suspect you haven’t duplicated any of the experiments yourself. You certainly haven’t done so across so wide a swath of space as to proclaim its universality. Yet you no doubt espouse gravity exists; indeed, you probably hold that the burden of proof is clearly on any who claims it doesn’t to offer compelling evidence of their claim.

    This phony “just show me the evidence and I’ll believe it” pose is nonsense.

    Bertrand Russell was confronted by Christians who asked him what he would do if, upon his death, he found himself at the Pearly Gates themselves with St Peter and God in attendance. What would he say then?

    “I would tell him he didn’t show me enough evidence!” Russell replied.

    Notice what he didn’t say in this hypothetical, which most legitimate skeptics would: “I would say I was mistaken.”

    Never even considered the possibility.

    Neither do most atheists.

    And what will they do when they discover we don’t understand gravity?

  29. Teflon93

    As for Luis Dias’ claim, I said nothing about atheists having no purpose in life. Indeed, the evangelical atheists DO have a purpose in life: to make it seem that atheism is more than a fringe minority cult in a very theistic world. Always has been. The question, of course, is WHY they feel the need to waste time in such things. Were the piles of skulls of the officially atheist Communist and Fascist regimes not high enough that they yearn to build still higher?

    And his declaration of who wins is the height of arrogance, of course—who made YOU referee?

  30. Ari


    I border often on atheism, clinging only to a diminished belief in God thanks to my Jewish upbringing. I don’t fit your description, however, as I’m rather uninterested in making anyone believe that which I believe. Honestly, I couldn’t even care less. Still, I’m used to being equated with mass murderers– hell, I get that anyway thanks to Israeli politics and the tenuous link to communism (thanks, Karl!) I suspect that most atheists, the vast majority even, are not the evangelical types at universities who see fit to browbeat any confused theist into submission. We’re just quiet people wanting to do the same thing everyone else does.

    Sadly, it’s the people at the poles who define the dialogue and see to it that guys like me no longer feel comfortable even hinting that we’re perhaps not that concerned with belief.

    And even if I don’t believe, or don’t really put much faith in my inherited beliefs, I don’t worry much about it, seeing as I was taught that the conversation with G-d was largely personal, and that the worst punishment would be to find separation from H-m.

    Of course, that’s something that I suspect is more commonly believed in Judaism (salvation is in life, not in death.)

    That being said, I’m rather confused by your argument. Are you implying that having evidence in order to believe is folly? I believe in gravity because it’s everywhere in my daily life. I don’t need to perform experiments to know, through experience, that if I drop a hammer it will probably fall on my toe (or is that the Law of Murphy?) It’s the same reason I believe in light, though I can’t see individual photons. Experience.

    I have never, in my life, experienced God. Perhaps that’s because I wasn’t trained to look. Perhaps I’m not looking. I don’t know. But I do know that it’s not evidence that underpins religion. It’s faith. But there’s nothing wrong with that. And it’s that modicum of faith, tucked away in my Juden noggin, that makes me vacillate toward theism even when I often find myself doubting any reason to do so.

    Though I always thought the Yiddish had it best: Der mentsh tracht, un Got lacht. (Man thinks, God laughs.)

  31. Mark

    If Hawking has solved this question, then I say more power to him!
    Now, can we ask about the LHC/CERN and its quest to prove the existence of the God particle?

    It is beginning to sound like the LHC might have been an elaborate, and expensive, ruse for some people to indulge their high-tech hobbies.

    Can we get our money back?
    Or have the Bishops of Science ensured their congregations (various nation’s taxpayers) are obligated, by state enforced contracts, to continue their tithing?

  32. Sander van der Wal


    Being able to accomplish a single impossible feat is not enough. That way you cannot choose between an entity that is capable of performing just that single impossible feat, and all other entities that are able to perform that particular feat and at least one other.

    Making some sports team win some championship is easy, just pour money into it and get good players. Russian billionaires do this all the time in Europe.

    @mr Briggs

    Hawkins point is, that for the two competing theories of universe creation, the theory based on physics gets lots of observed things in the universe right. The theory based on some form of Abramic religion gets very few things right, it doesn’t even have bacteria, the single most important lifeform on earth. It doesn’t make any kind of useful prediction either. Greek religion had at least some explanation for the different human species that have existed on earth, and the himdus have a comparable timescale for the age of the universe itself.

    Yes, there is room for an abramic god even after Hawkins. As much room as there is for all the
    other things humans have imagined.

  33. Ron Durda

    When Hawking’s new book comes out it will be interesting to discover what kind of “pineal gland” he uses to make an immaterial abstraction, i.e.the “law” of gravity, the cause of the ex nihilo creation of physical stuff (any folks missing the pineal allusion should check out Descartes and his answer to the problem of how an immaterial mind can interact with a material body). In the meanwhile we’ll have to endure a few more days of the media’s exploitation of God to help sell a book that many will buy, but few will read. We could also speculate on the possibility that Hawking gets “light” into the early mix—something that some wandering desert herdsmen figured out a few thousand years ago.

  34. Teflon93, have you ever studied physics? In high school, we did inclined plane experiments to see what we measured for gravitational acceleration locally, tracked the planets through the sky for months, and compared what we saw them do to Ptolemy’s epicycles and to Kepler’s law. And then learned how Newtonian mechanics accounted for both kinds of data. One of the neat things about physics is that the data for so many areas is near at hand. It’s true, of course, that the issues quickly become complex, and the experiments start to require more finesse, effort, and equipment. But gravity, electricity and magnetism, optics, and even QM are areas that are explored experimentally in first physics classes. GR seems tougher for hands on experimentation.

    The burden of any claim is on the one who makes it.

    Doug M, I haven’t read Dawkins book, but I would point out that the claim that believers are delusional doesn’t require the claim that no god exists. The delusional character of belief pertains to how and why it is held. Someone who believes Barack Obama is US president is delusional if they believe that not because of the results of the 2008 election and subsequent electoral college process, but because they heard Obama inherited that position from his father and former president, Bill Crosby. It is believers’ own explanations of why they believe and the inspirational literature that bolsters their belief that provides evidence — quite strong evidence — about the irrational nature of that belief. Here in this thread, Ari provides the quintessential example: “I do know that it’s not evidence that underpins religion. It’s faith.”

    Now, suppose that statement was made about something else, say, the efficacy of a cancer treatment. In the area of medicine, such a statement is the last refuge of quackery. Last, because quackery first tries to disguise itself as science. In religion, and only in religion, is such appeal to faith taken as justification. Atheists like Dawkins and Hawking are just those who make no exception for religious belief.

  35. Alex Heyworth

    Like almost all discussions on the existence or non-existence of God, this one has foundered at the first hurdle. Before one can debate whether something exists, it is necessary first, to have an agreed definition of what that something is, and second, to have an agreed definition of what it means to say that something exists. It is clear to me that none of the contributors to this thread have so far come to grips with these issues.

    FWIW, I maintain that most people’s conceptions of what God is turn out to be incoherent or self-contradictory when analyzed carefully. This is certainly true of conventional beliefs about the Christian God.

  36. We will never be able to say why these facts are and why other facts are not. It will be in that still small place that there will always be room for God. Thus, it will always be the case that the reason for what is is because of God.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but stating that there is room for God is equivalent to stating that one may believe in God, whatever God is, as an article of faith. That is, it is not a claim that there is evidence of God or any particularly compelling reason to believe in God, just that there will always be room for faith, should one choose to have it.

    Again, correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems obvious to me that faith in God in no way implies that God serves as an explanation of what is. I may have faith in any number of things, but, as far as I can tell, the mere fact of my faith bears no logical or empirical relationship to the truth of the matter.

    It also seems to me that you’ve contradicted yourself by stating, on the one hand, that we will never know why the fundamental facts are what they are, and, on the other, that it will always be the case that the fundamental facts are as they are because of God.

    Perhaps the last sentence of the post should have been something along the lines of “Thus, it will always be the case that it can be claimed that the reason for what is is because of God.”

  37. Luis Dias

    Teflon, why do you hate so much atheists? Why do you pretend to know what they refuse or don’t refuse to believe? What evidence do you have of this knowledge of psychology? Russell’s reply is a joke, and you, without any sense of humour, didn’t appreciate it. Too bad for you.

    Also, the gall to state that the only possible purpose that atheists have in their life is to spread lies (make it seem that atheism is more than a fringe minority). Bah. And then you still question atheism’s victory inside this soap box? I mean, it’s not even a fight. The score is in, I need no referee, you do, remember?

  38. Alex Heyworth

    Further to my comment that most people’s beliefs about God are either incoherent or self-contradictory, readers might like to test their own beliefs for consistency:

    There are a few other amusing “games” at the same site.

  39. Sander van der Wal

    @Alex Heyworth

    Hear, hear.

  40. TomVonk

    The Hawking’s thesis is neither interesting nor orignal .
    It is sad that Hawking didn’t follow his classes when he was young .
    If he did , he would know that Platon has already said all that … more than 2000 years ago .
    On top Platon did so in a much clearer and understandable way , he didn’t need all the fancy vocabulary of Yang-Mills groups , compactified dimensions and other holographic principles .
    Space and time is all there is . Matter and energy are technicalities .
    Space and time obviously exist and we are creatures of space and time too .
    So Platon comes and asks “What is space and time and why does it exist ?”
    And he discovers the holographic principle 2400 years before the string theory 🙂

    Space and time are shadows projected on a wall . Shadows of fundamental beings living in the “world of ideas” which is outside of space and time .
    Do we know some of those beings ?
    Sure .
    M-theory is such a being which exists yet exists outside of space and time .
    How do we observe these beings so that we are sure that they indeed do exist ?
    With our brains . No need of eyes , ears or noses . A brain is the sufficient and necessary tool to observe beings existing outside of time and space .
    There is aditional evidence that these beings have a power to act on space and time : M-theory seems to reach out of the world of ideas and force planets , stars and the whole space time to obey .
    Is the M-theory the only being existing outside of time and space ?
    Well our observing devices , the brains , suggest that the answer is no .
    We actually suspect that there is an infinity of beings some of them unknown (the M theory itself was unknown 100 years ago) and some of them , those who interact only little with space and time , unknowable .
    Unfortunately now comes the conundrum that Platon didn’t solve and Hawking didn’t solve it 2400 years later either .
    The brain is a result of a natural evolution process which , over hundreds of millions of years , had for purpose to make sense of space and time .
    This process is very general and obviously ants , cats or men are indeed able to make sense of the space and time thanks to their brains .
    We are not random fluctuating matter assemblies submitted to a chaotic unpredictable Universe .
    Eventually the complexity of the brain becomes such that it reaches out of time and space and observes the M-Theory . Or God .
    The cats are sofar content with just time and space but when they catch a bird , their brains show a damn impressive ability to operate with classical physics (f.ex momentum conservation) and predict very accurately complex phenomena .
    And the conundrum is “What can it possibly mean that something exists outside of time and space if time and space doesn’t exist itself ?”

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