Stephen Hawking and the Non-Existent God

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Stephen Hawking and the Non-Existent God

11 February 2020 Hits:1900

I have enormous respect for Stephen Hawking. He was one of the greatest minds of the last century, a genius with an IQ of 160. His contribution to science and our understanding of the Universe and our place in it has been immense.

In 1962 Hawking was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and given two years to live. He passed away two years ago at the age of 76! His quirky humour and cheeky attitude were beautifully captured by Eddie Redmayne in the movie, The Theory of Everything. His humour is displayed in his comments about computer viruses, “I think computer viruses should count as life. Maybe it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. Talk about creating life in our own image.”

Although Hawking’s body may have weakened, his intellect stayed sharp. He said, “I don’t have much positive to say about motor neuron disease. But it taught me not to pity myself, because others were worse off and to get on with what I still could do. I’m happier now than before I developed the condition. I am lucky to be working in theoretical physics, one of the few areas in which disability is not a serious handicap.” He advised that other people suffering from serious illnesses to not “be disabled in spirit.”

I’ve recently read Hawking’s final book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions. I like to read widely, and some of the topics in this book intrigued me. I wanted to find out what Stephen Hawking thought about time travel, black holes, artificial intelligence, and life on other planets. I was particularly interested in what he had to say about the existence of God and how the Universe began.

The Universe Coming into Being

Stephen Hawking believes “the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing, according to the laws of science.” No argument there. In times past, many scientists would ask the question, “what was before the Big Bang?” Hawking finally concluded that there was nothing. That’s where we part ways.

He writes, “You can’t get to a time before the Big Bang because there was no time before the Big Bang. We have finally found something that doesn’t have a cause, because there was no time for a cause to exist in. For me this means that there is no possibility of a creator, because there is no time for a creator to have existed in.”

While I affirm that time, space and matter began with the start of the Universe, I don’t agree that “there is no possibility of a creator because there is no time for a creator to have existed in.” If God is truly as remarkable as many people believe God to be, then dwelling outside of time would be no problem. Hawking stated elsewhere, “One can’t prove that there wasn’t a creator.” So, like Richard Dawkins and other atheists, Stephen Hawking was probably more agnostic than atheist.

Big Creator, Small Creatures

I don’t believe the human mind can fully grasp the concept of an eternal God. We are limited by time, space, and matter. It’s our frame of reference. To consider a being that has no beginning and no end, who chooses to dwell in the eternal now, but is outside of time itself, is totally beyond our comprehension. Outside of time, there is no duration, no beginning, no end, no space, and no matter. The finite human mind cannot begin to grasp this concept

When I was young, my dad and I discussed the Universe. I was fascinated by the fact that the Universe had no end. I asked him what if there was a brick wall at the edge of the Universe. He answered by asking me how wide the brick wall was and what was on the other side. Try and meditate on that for any length of time, and your head will do a double backflip!

For many years I taught Religious Education to Grade 6 primary kids. Every year one bright spark would ask me, “who made God?” I loved answering that question. I’d say, well, if God had a maker, then God’s maker is God, but who made God’s maker? And if God’s maker had a maker, then who created God’s maker’s maker? I’d keep going for a while until all the kids were laughing.

Case in point, either the Universe, galaxies, solar system, and Earth are all the product of a spontaneous explosion 13 plus billion years ago, or they are the result of an incredibly intelligent divine mind with an IQ far higher than 160.

Creating Out of Nothing

I believe God “spontaneously created out of nothing” and that the creation works according to the laws humans have discovered ever since and chronicled in the discipline known as science.

In his final book, Stephen Hawking writes, “We do not know how DNA molecules first appeared. As the chances against a DNA molecule arising by random fluctuations are very small, some people have suggested that life came to Earth from elsewhere – for instance, brought here on rocks breaking off from Mars while the planets were still unstable – and that there are seeds of life floating round in the galaxy. However, it seems unlikely that DNA could survive for long in the radiation in space.” And so, we still don’t know how the most basic structure of life came into being unless we attribute it to divine intelligence.

While I understand people being agonistic, I have come to strongly believe that we are here on this planet for a purpose. We are not some random chance mishaps floating around in the Universe on a planet called Earth. We are not the product of a monkey who got lucky.

I am grateful that, at the age of 19, this God, who I wasn’t looking for, looked for me. I have progressively come to know and love this God who is expressed so beautifully in the man, Jesus. God is not an impersonal divine force but rather a profoundly personal being who knows, loves, and cares for all, for you.

 

 

Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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One reply on “Stephen Hawking and the Non-Existent God”

Andrew Stuartsays:

The late Stephen Hawking once stated that, “One can’t prove that there wasn’t a Creator!”

Stephen also then went on to ask, “What was God doing before the divine Creation? Was he preparing hell for people who asked such questions?”

Answer: Well, He has already told us that since the creation He has been ‘busy’ preparing for and creating heaven – for those that love the Lord! (and considering that the first creation took only 6 days, God’s creation of heaven has thus far, only taken 2020 years…..big difference, hey!)

Just in the same way in which atheists simply CANNOT prove that the world was created out of two single-cell microbes “suddenly” colliding out in space, nor amoeba sludge progressively mutating into some metamorphosis representation of a pre-humanoid being that “evolved” all by itself (and of course they have to add the “billions-of-years” clause).

The fact is, in relation to matter, you can’t get ‘something’ out of nothing! Something had to create matter/gases/microbes/bacteria – in the first place. Time or relativity means nothing to God, He always was, has been, and is, and will always be the “I am”….of all time, as God is a spirit being.

There are many, many other phenomena’s that atheists also seem to simply ‘forget’. Oh you know, things like Time – where did that evolve from? Or how about the law of gravity – where did that one come from? How about ALL the laws of nature/physics – what, all ‘evolved’ through evolution also? How about an atom, what created a photon and an electron, and more importantly why is one positive and one negative? What, also an “evolutionary change” over millions of years???

Can atheists or even evolutionary biologists, explain in clear terms ‘how’ the laws of nature evolved over time? No – not even close!

Fundamental laws of physics are by definition absolute, universal, timeless, immutable and also irrefutable. However, ‘if’ they are not absolute, universal, timeless and immutable, then they are either no laws at all, or they are not fundamental. God created them to be universal, timeless, immutable and also irrefutable. God created all laws of physics, all the laws of nature – this is also an absolute! Why? – to simply demonstrate His omnipotent power in doing so.

It requires a heck of a LOT more FAITH to believe in evolution, than it does to simply believe in the Almighty God as Creator of the universe. Atheists simply create more questions and doubts, than they do any real answers – because they simply do NOT know.

Stephen Hawking once stated, “What was God doing before the divine Creation.” Answer: Whatever He wanted….it’s both immaterial and irrelevant, but one day, we may well get the opportunity to ask.

So why are Stephen Hawking’s statements about “there being no God” foolish talk? For someone to make an absolute statement like, “There is no God,” you would need not only to be omnipresent, but you’d also need to be omniscient. Someone that’s omniscient is someone who has 100% knowledge of all the knowledge in the universe. So, for Stephen Hawking to make the absolute statement that there is no God, is quite a miss-statement.

So, unlike like Richard Dawkins and many other atheists, Stephen Hawking was probably more agnostic than atheist.

But what I find the MOST fascinating thing about all atheists and agnostics – they sure do talk a lot about God, and they have also written so many books about Him also––this FACT surely fascinates me no end!

It’s also interesting to note other famous scientist’s statements: “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use” (Galileo)

How about the evolutionary ‘theory’ inventor himself, Darwin once said: – “The impossibility of conceiving THAT this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide.” (Charles Darwin).

It’s interesting to note that Darwin also had great concerns that there was a complete lack of EVIDENCE regarding the fossil records. He admitted that “we cannot find nor can we prove that a single species has changed.” Two centuries later, does the fossil records now prove macroevolution as a scientific fact? NO – not even close!

Renown Evolutionist W.R. Thompson also once wrote: “A long-enduring and regrettable effect of the success of ‘The Origin of Species’ was the addiction of biologists to unverifiable speculation…..This situation, where scientific men rally to the defence of a doctrine they are unable to define scientifically, much less demonstrate with scientific rigour, attempting to maintain its credits with the public by the suppression of criticism and the elimination of difficulties, is both abnormal and undesirable in science!” (Introduction to ‘The Origin of Species’ 6th Edition New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1956, p.xxii)

In contrast, Sir Isaac Newton once said, “We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever.”

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