luke warm, on Mar 30 2006, 11:39 AM, said:
hawking says (in 'a brief history in time')
"The idea that space and time may form a closed surface without boundary also has profound implications for the role of God in the affairs of the universe. With the success of scientific theories in describing events, most people have come to believe that God allows the universe to evolve according to a set of laws and does not intervene in the universe to break these laws. However, the laws do not tell us what the universe should have looked like when it started it would still be up to God to wind up the clockwork and choose how to start it off. So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?"
it makes it obvious (to me at least) why it was imperative to prove the existence of an infinite universe... and if the only way to do that was to use imaginary numbers, well that's better than having to use God, right? notice that even hawkings admits that if there was a beginning, God (or at least a creator) exists... to me hawkings is saying that the universe is either infinite or created... since it can't be created (his mindset), ergo ...
Hawking [no 's' please] does not say "if there was a beginning, a creator exists". He is actually arguing for the converse statement, that is, "if there was no
beginning, then there was not a creator". Note that even if you accept that this second statement is true (and Hawking is careful to avoid making such a concrete statement in this passage), it does not imply the first.
An atheist would say that there are two possibilities - either there was a beginning, or there wasn't - but that neither requires a god in order to work.
Hawking also seems to have a rather unusual idea of what God is - "God allows the universe to evolve according to a set of laws and does not intervene in the universe to break these laws". This premise seems completely incompatible with any religion that I know of.