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The Fifth Horseman

After 9/11, four atheists started to write books criticizing religion. While the media has dubbed these atheists “New Atheists,” Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett have jokingly labeled themselves as “The Four Horsemen of Atheism.” Now I think there is a fifth horseman, Stephen Hawking.

At the beginning of the month, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow released their new book, “The Grand Design.” While I have not yet read the book, according to reviews and interviews the book seems to address the First Cause argument. According to the Multi-verse Theory described in the book, God becomes unnecessary in the role of Prime Mover. While Leonard Mlodinow insists in interviews that they are not arguing against the possibility of a God, just the necessity of a God, Stephen Hawking has made no apologies.

While promoting the book, Hawking has been extremely critical of religion. One of my favorite of his criticisms was when he stated, “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.”

Interestingly enough, before promoting the book, Leonard Mlodinow was vocal in his criticism of religion. During the Nightline debate between Sam Harris and Deepak Chopra, Mlodinow was in the audience and had some questions for Deepak. He actually grilled him on the issue of Quantum Mechanics.

But on the book tour, it is clear that Mlodinow is playing good cop and Stephen Hawking is playing the bad cop. This is why I now consider Hawking to be the Fifth Horseman.

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