Stephen Hawking recently published the book The Grand Design. Besides apparently trying to say that something comes from nothing (see here), the book makes a few more mistakes. A great review of the book has been published by Christian philosopher William Lane Craig. You can find it here.
Stephen Hawking and his co-writer Leonard Mlodnow have apparently made a similar mistake that many Christians have made over the centuries. As Craig points out, “The professional philosopher will regard their verdict as not merely amazingly condescending but also as outrageously naïve. The man who claims to have no need of philosophy is the one most apt to be fooled by it. One might therefore anticipate that Mlodinow and Hawking’s subsequent exposition of their favored theories will be underpinned by a host of unexamined philosophical presuppositions.”
Many people over the centuries have denounced philosophy as so much useless fluff. Christians have blamed it for a host of heresies. While many philosophers have indeed been guilty of heresy, so have many theologians, and most of those theologians who have wandered astray from the true Biblical path have done so because they do not recognize bad philosophy when they see it. If bad philosophy puts on a suit and is disguised with enough god-words, the average pastor will not recognize it, for they have not studied enough philosophy to recognize it when they see it.
Apparently the same is true for physicists. As William Lane Craig points out, no matter how brilliant Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodnow are in physics, they have commited some rather blatant errors in reasoning without knowing it. Again, as Craig says, “The man who claims to have no need of philosophy is the one most apt to be fooled by it.”