It was reported just a couple of weeks ago that new discoveries reveal…
LONDON (Reuters) – God did not create the universe and the “Big Bang” was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking argues in a new book.
In “The Grand Design,” co-authored with U.S. physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking says a new series of theories made a creator of the universe redundant, according to the Times newspaper which published extracts on Thursday.
“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” Hawking writes.
“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”
I am going to appeal here from as neutral a position as possible because I think that each polar party deserves the respect of an objective platform to rule from. In other-words, my goal with this thinking is to search for an end result of truth.
Let me start with the article itself; given that the above article is accurate, (I did a comparison of news reports and they are very similar), let me make some comments. I am not a theoretical physicist but I am given to logic and analytical thinking and it seems that Mr. Hawking has missed the point about the argument from Cosmology. The argument is, for those who are not familiar, that everything that exists has a cause for its existence. Hawking’s claim is that new scientific information reveals that prior to the “Big Bang at least the law of physics (Laws of Nature) existed to enable such an event to occur. But Scientists majoritively believe, that at the “Big Bang”, something came into existence from nothing, even these laws of nature themselves came into existence. This seems then more like theoretical speculation rather than involving causal principles, something from nothing. Logically, Hawking theory is now a contradiction of a causal nature, for even the laws of Physics to exist there has to be matter to adjudicate with. These laws then must come into existence when matter, space and time were instituted (regardless of Intelligent Design or Evolutionary processes).
To be forward and say, it is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going, is a non sequitur. The conclusion (God did not initiate existence) does not follow from “the Big Bang is a necessary derivative of the laws of physics” – the conclusion does not follow the premise. Let me clarify more; to claim the laws of Physics are the necessary origin of the Big Bang, fails to say anything about God’s existence or his possible involvement in starting something from nothing. It could be (not that it is) that God initiated the laws of Physics thereby initiating something from nothing. Who or what was intelligent enough to “light the blue touch paper”?
One of the other issues here is that Hawking, as an evolutionist, postulates from an intelligent argument (Laws of Physics) as the genesis of the start of the known universe. But this also is contradictory, this is not part of his evolutionary worldview; an intelligence claim is that of the Theistic worldview. Could it be that Hawking’s latest research might indicate that intelligence was responsible for the start of everything in this universe.
But contrary to what Hawking claims, physical laws can never provide a complete explanation of the universe. Laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions.
What Hawking appears to have done is to confuse law with agency. His call on us to choose between God and physics is a bit like someone demanding that we choose between aeronautical engineer Sir Frank Whittle and the laws of physics to explain the jet engine.
These laws of nature are explanatory laws, intelligence constitutes there function and consistency is there perpetual existence. These laws of nature are the how certain physical parameter functions. To use these laws in a foundational manner for theoretical construction of the origin of the universe is to deposit more responsibility then they really can contribute.
My last comment is sort of observational intuition that really has more to do with an honest pursuit toward truth. Its common knowledge that Theists are charged consistently with narrow-mindedness, and though such a faction exists and represents too many, there is a rising rich resource of theistic thinkers. With a quick search one can easily find this accusation of narrow-mindedness highly fallacious given the quality and quantity found. A recovery of thinking in such areas as apologetics, philosophy, science, history, archeology, and so-on reveals the multiplicity of studies the theists have engaged in their effort toward sound truth. The narrow-mindedness seems to develop in our social and cultural emphasis of scientism – the use of science single-handedly being the catalyst to unveil truth.
As a human looking at the determination and all-inclusiveness of the above argument, the impression is the theist succeeds. Even if the theistic argument was not entirely accurate, still based on their open-minded pursuit for truth it is easier to put my trust in their conclusion. We live in an age of information, but often times this information is still unstructured. Our effort of resolution through theoretical means restricted to science will continue a path of limited postulations and perpetual speculation.
“God did not create the universe, says Hawking”
John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science
William Lane Craig, Research Professor, Biola University
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