I note in the passing of Stephen Hawking, arguably the greatest mind of our contemporary mathematical-physics community. Someone once said “a mind is terrible thing to lose.” Certainly true of Hawking.
As one who has traveled this same space-time cosmological history I can claim no distinction in Hawking’s world — I freely admit that I flunked calculus in kindergarten and it’s been downhill ever since. However, as a commoner I claim equal citizenship in the field of common sense.
I believe the key to the problem is semantics. When Hawking says “something from nothing” his definition of nothing is not the same as mine. My definition of nothing is just that, no forces, no particles — nada, zip.
The essence of the problem is that there are only two common-sense conclusions – either there was a beginning to the universe (cosmos) or there was none. It was and is continuous.
Religion affords some Christians relief in the statement of a famous 19th American theologian-philosopher Joseph Smith in his comment that there “never was a Father without a Son nor a Son without a Father.”
Ray Heidt, Marsing