By the grace of a higher power - the laws of physics and evolutionary biology - one of the greatest theoretical physicists / cosmologists the world has hosted, he has bequeathed to posterity some Brief Answers To The Big Questions.
Insisting that his life’s work was not about proving or disproving the existence of God but rather was directed towards providing a rational framework with which to understand the universe, Hawking nevertheless quickly arrives at the conclusion that a universe of fixed laws that was spontaneously created out of nothing has little room for a Creator: no Yahweh, no great god Bumba.
Subtract Heaven and the afterlife from the equation - Hawking regards both as wishful thinking – there remains the conundrum that humanity is nevertheless racing towards hell in a handcart. Self-interest has trumped common interest, with Hawking insisting that humanity must assert the common over the self if the reverse gear is to function.
A book that conveys complex ideas even more briefly and clearly than the much-lauded Elegant Universe by Brian Greene, it appeals to the layperson, including those with at best a rudimentary knowledge of science.
Paradoxically, it seems something of a miracle that Hawking packed such breadth into so narrow a bandwidth – a work of just over 200 hundred pages. He seeks to answer ten questions fundamental to our past present and future. The big bang, black holes, time travel, intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, colonizing of space, artificial intelligence are all subject to the power of his mind.
It can be read on a plane journey, but do not expect a flight of fancy.
Stephen Hawking, 2020, Brief Answers To The Big Questions. Publisher: John Murray. ISBN-978-1-473-69599-3
|⏩ Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre.|