September 2, 2011

A Divine Review

An unconventional book review of Dr. Stephen Hawking’s “The Grand Design”, fittingly enough by one who’s as distinguished as Dr. Hawking himself. Dr. Hawking’s books, “A Brief History of Time” and the new bestseller “The Grand Design” are delightful and belong on every bookshelf.

Dear Dr. Hawking,

Thanks to the non-linear nature of time, I’ve had the opportunity of reading your latest book “The Grand Design” even before you conceived it. In it, you state quite emphatically that there is “no need for a creator for the universe”, which came about only through the “laws of nature”, and “science will win because it works”.  Nothing pleases me more than to hear that.

Dr. Hawking, I do not have the benefit of an Oxford education. I possess neither pedigree nor experience , and am not qualified to engage you in debate on scientific matters. Nevertheless, I must press on, as I’ve a few things that I’d like to get off my chest.

Let me confess to my awkward shortcomings. It appears that you’re already aware of these.

I possess neither skills nor desire to create. Truth be told, universes have this disconcerting habit of arising spontaneously out of nothing, “under the right conditions”, as you’ve rightly described them. Why they arise, from what they arise, I know not. Or maybe I do. I don’t understand notions like time. When you live like me, in the timeless eternal moment, grasping abstractions like past or future may be impossible. Or, may be it’s not.

On your part – why deny what you believe does not exist in the first place? I’ve been watching the universe for eons, and the most disappointing moments have come when brilliance has worn itself out in pursuit of the imagined adversary. You and I are sides of the same coin. Being thus located on opposite faces, our twain may well never meet. But, that does not make us adversaries.

I believe we are in agreement that there always is, and will be, an explanation for everything, and, it’s just a matter of finding it. Is it the explanation that you’re after? Or, is it the experience? You, Sir, are no Captain Ahab. And, if you will be so kind as to agree, I’m no whale.

I don’t have a dog in this fight. I’ve never had one. The question you should really ask is  –  should you?

If you’re interested, do drop me a line. I may have a few answers, thanks to the non-linear nature of time.

Kind Regards.


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