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The Theory Of Everything

by Stephen Hawkins

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Credits: nobeliefs

This short book consists of a compilation of several lectures by Stephen Hawking. Many of the ideas from them appear in several of his past books. Hawking attempts to explain sophisticated and complex mathematical ideas in an unsophisticated, perhaps childlike (but charming) way. He briefly covers the history of ideas about the universe from Aristotle, Augustine, Newton, Einstein, Hubble, and Feynman. He then explains the Big Bang, black holes and space-time and incorporates these thoughts into the search for a unified theory of everything. Although Hawking does not announce the arrival of the Theory of Everything, he does explain, in simple metaphors, the flavour of what such a theory would encompass.

One of the more important concepts of his involves the idea that the beginning of the universe does not necessarily imply a singularity (or in holistic terms, a oneness). If we wish to hold consistency with quantum mechanics (the most successful scientific theory to date) then a no-boundary condition would best describe the beginning. Needless to say, this contradicts many religious ideas about a creation (although he empathizes that these ideas represent only a proposal).

Hawking represents one of the most brilliant theoretical scientists of our time. He advocates the idea of communicating the ideas theoretical science in a way to make it understandable, in principle, to everyone, not just scientists. Hawking has an acute awareness of the religious impact of his theoretical studies and explains in a clear but inoffensive way that the universe does not conform to the common belief of an all powerful creator.