In this DVD, by Discovery Channel, Stephen Hawking gives his reasons that there be no god required to explain the existence of the universe by pointing out firstly that the mass in the universe is balanced by the negative energy of space such that this could all have come from nothing thus needing no creator and secondly that time only started with the big bang leaving no place in which a creator could have created the universe. This part of the DVD is fine.
A 20 minute discussion on the existence of god is included in the DVD including some scientists but only those who believe in god such as Paul Davies a well known science author. Comment is made refuting Stephens views while ignoring other reasons to believe in a lack of god such as the commonly understood view of Richard Dawkins that the god itself is too complex to have just come into being or always existed so that by the logic that demanded the existence of the god to create a complex universe you would also need an infinite number of gods each having been created by another. The god itself is attributed with the complex traits of self awareness, the cognitive ability to understand the universe, and the ability to bring the universe into being. Thus the use of god to account for the creation of the universe only puts the question of the origin of complexity back a step rather than resolving it, and further shows the existence of such a complex thing as a god to be extremely unlikely as follows.
The argument raised against Stephen's ideas involved the use of the idea of the multiverse but makes no mention of the well known idea that with an infinite number of universes in the multiverse that the apparent unlikely nature of physical laws in the universe just happening to allow for the existence of life is no longer a valid argument in favour of the need of a creator because an infinite number of such universes each with their own laws will statistically likely create some that allow for life. Nor is it mentioned that as we learn more the apparent impossibilities of various aspects of a naturally caused 'creation' become understandable as natural occurrences, such as evolution showing how complex organisms and eco-systems could exist without the need of a god creating them, and that as we learn more again, and hypothetically everything, then more again, and hypothetically everything, could be explained without the need to resort to a god. There is, however, no such explanation that would allow for the complexity of a god to have come about. I think Stephen Hawking refers to the use of god to explain the shrinking number of unexplained aspects of the universe as the "God of the gaps".
Not to mention the likely hood of a god creating such cruel eco-systems where almost all animals are torn to pieces by predators or starve when to old to hunt if they don't first die from terrible injury or one or more of god's hideous diseases.
I emailed Discovery Channel asking the following questions but they said that their data base, although containing much information, did not contain that which I had asked for. That is to say they did not answer the questions.
- was Stephen Hawking or others given opportunity to reply?
- did he know a discussion only involving those of religious beliefs that often had poor logic and failed to even mention other well known reasons for the lack of existence of god would follow?
- do you think that such a biased and poor discussion effects the credibility of the Discovery Channel?
Possibly Discovery Channel was concerned for market reasons that in a very superstitious country, such as the USA, that many people could react against such a DVD if it lacked Christian propaganda. It is also possible that such propaganda was included because of superstitious beliefs of those involved with Discovery Channel.
The inclusion of superstitious propaganda in this manner harms the credibility of both Discovery Channel and those involved in the discussion, including Paul Davies, who would have been knowledgeable of the above mentioned major floors and omissions of the arguments used for the existence of god and the apparent lack of opportunity of others to reply to criticisms made.
When I watch documentaries I want information presented to be both correct and complete so due to their lack of credibility I will never buy anything from Discovery Channel again, nor from Paul Davies.
People who are interested in the above could read from the following books concerning various aspects of religion from child molesting in the Catholic Church to the existence of god:-
The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse, by Geoffrey Robertson QC, dealing with child molesting in the Catholic Church;
The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder, and the Mafia, by Paul L Williams, dealing with the Catholic Church's association with Hitler, Mussolini, the mafia and other similar issues;
Attack of the Theocrats: How the Religious Right Harms Us All - and what We Can Do About It, by Sean Faircloth, dealing with superstitious fanaticism in the USA,
The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, dealing with the extremely low probability of the existence of god,
The Faith Healers, by James Randy, dealing with the methods, motivation, and harm done by faith healers,
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, by Richard Dawkins, dealing with the reasons to believe in evolution,
Why I am not a Muslim, by Ibn Warraq, dealing with the problems of Islam,
Root of all Evil? (DVD), by Richard Dawkins, dealing with problems of superstition,
Telling Lies for God: Reason vs Creationism, by Ian Plimer, dealing with creation science, although it's out of print and expensive on some web sites,
Deceit and Self-Deception: Fooling Yourself the Better to Fool Others, by Robert Trivers, dealing with why and how people deceive themselves over various issues,
Kepler's Witch, by James A. Connor, dealing with the work of Kepler and the religious perils he and others faced in the 1600's during the lead up to the 30 year war,
Origins of Us (DVD), presented by Dr Alice Roberts, dealing with human evolution.
There are of course other books on these subjects but I've included those I have at least read. I included above a book on creation science but did not include one on intelligent design as I am waiting for one to arrive called God, the Devil, and Darwin: A Critique of Intelligent Design Theory, although not having read it yet I can't say more than that it exists. There are also books on the psychology of why people maintain superstitious beliefs even in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence but I have not yet got around to any.