Twitter isn’t usually the forum by which society ponders the fundamental questions of life, that is, unless you consider trying to decide what kind of panini to get for lunch a fundamental question. But as of today, the top trending topic is Stephen Hawking’s recent declaration that he will argue against the existence of God in his upcoming book, The Grand Design, and users on both sides of the debate and across the spectrum of grammatical ability are deliberating the origins of the universe.
Twenty-two years ago, in his classic work A Brief History of Time, Hawking appeared to at least tacitly accept the possibility of a God, but the world’s best known physicist says his latest theories show an all-knowing deity to be “not necessary.” The Grand Design will be just the latest in a series of books supporting, and often advocating, atheism, the most popular of which have been Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. Clearly, the magisteria are starting to overlap.
If all of this debate over the existence of God has stirred up such a Twitter hubbub, can you imagine the fracas if Hawking had said he had incontrovertible evidence disproving the existence of Justin Bieber?