On The Grand Design once again

A few years back I have written an article ‘Stephen Hawking’s Hotchpotch’1 in which there was some criticism of Hawking’s book The Grand Design. Recently I have posted some selected portions from it in one YouTube comment thread in reply to someone else’s post. The portions which were posted are given below:

1) ‘In The Grand Design Hawking has really messed up things. In his earlier book A Brief History of Time he advocated a no-boundary model. According to this model the universe will have no beginning and no end, it would simply be. It means that the universe has never begun, it was always there. Only that it has gone through unending cycles of expansion and contraction, but it has never completely died down. When the universe had come to a zero size due to contraction, all the physical laws of the earlier universe remained intact. From there the universe had again started a new life. But this beginning cannot be said to be an absolute beginning and this beginning should not be confused with the beginning of a universe practically from nothing due to a vacuum energy fluctuation in a void. The latter beginning can be called an absolute beginning, because in this case there will be no prehistory, no prior universe that has left its seed at its demise.

‘In The Grand Design Hawking has never said that he has abandoned his earlier model. Rather he has written in one place that in no boundary model the universe will have no beginning. Or, if it was having a beginning, then that beginning was governed by the laws of science and was not needed to be set in motion by some god. This generation of the universe cannot be called a spontaneous generation from nowhere, because the seed of the universe was already there. Therefore an atheist scientist who is advocating the no-boundary model cannot at the same time say that as because there is a law such as gravity, so the universe can and will create itself from nothing. A universe that would simply be cannot again pop into existence from nothing. So it is presumed that Hawking in his book The Grand Design has mixed up two distinct models of cosmology that try to explain the origin of the universe:

(a) The no-boundary model; and
(b) The popping-up model.’

2) ‘Perhaps the most serious objection that can be raised against the no-boundary model is this: Even it is conceded that in no-boundary model beginning of the universe will be governed by known laws of science, still one thing is sure and certain in this scenario. The beginning of any universe can never be governed by its own laws, because a universe that has not yet come into existence cannot have any laws in it. Its beginning can only be governed by physical laws left by the universe just prior to it. If what I have said here is correct, then how could Hawking apply the quantum gravitational law and Feynman’s sum over histories at the beginning of our universe? So, how could he say that there would be no singularity at the beginning? How did he come to know that the physical laws left by the earlier universe just prior to ours were an exact replica of the laws of our universe?’

Almost three months have elapsed after that when an atheist came into the picture and asked me the question whether I am a cosmologist.

So I have to reply to him that I am neither a cosmologist nor a scientist.

His reply comments was this: I have written Hawking has messed up things. ‘Messed up things’ also means ‘mixed up things’. Such things should not be said about a scientist’s work.

So I have to write back to him this: ‘What I have written in my first comment was taken from my article 'Stephen Hawking's Hotchpotch'.

‘Scientist Victor J Stenger wrote a review of the book 'The Grand Design' in Huffpost (Ref: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-stenger/the-grand-accident_b_77724...) in which he praised the book very highly. The last sentence of his article was this: 'This important book deserves its position on the bestseller list.'

‘But when I sent my above article to him in an e-mail, his reply e-mail was this: 'If you will look at my book The Comprehensible Cosmos, you will see that I showed that the NB solution could also be interpreted as tunneling from a previous universe. See also the link to my Philo paper on this at

‘Here you will find that he has said not a single word in support of Hawking, although in my article I have severely criticized Hawking's book. Rather he has tried to draw my attention to the NB solution which he has offered in his book.

‘Why? Because my criticism of Hawking appeared to him as not unjust.

‘So, what you are to say about it does not matter at all.’

This time he asked me this question: If I am not a physicist or more specifically a cosmologist then why do I think I am qualified to critique his papers?

My final reply to him was this: ‘Here the question is not whether I am a scientist or a cosmologist. The question is whether my criticism of Hawking's book was just or unjust. If it were unjust, then Victor Stenger being a scientist could have pointed it out to me. But he has not done any such thing, which means my criticism did not appear to him as unjust. If it were unjust, then only he could have raised the question as to why not being a scientist or a cosmologist I had gone to criticize his book, because my unjust criticism had exposed that I was not qualified to do that.

‘As no such thing has happened, so the question does not arise as to whether I am a scientist or a cosmologist.

‘When an atheist criticizes a philosopher's doctrine, then should anyone ask him this question that not being a philosopher why he has gone to criticize a philosopher?’

This time the atheist did not reply.

1. https://scigod.com/index.php/sgj/article/view/128/149