A big stir was aroused in the media when the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking argues that God did not create the universe and the “Big Bang” was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics in his new book “The Grand Design,” co-authored with U.S. physicist Leonard Mlodinow. Hawking claims a new series of theories made a creator of the universe redundant, as he writes:
“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.” “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”
Ironically, Hawking is the Cambridge University’s Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a position once held by Sir Isaac Newton, considered by many the greatest physicist of all time, and credited with the discovery of the Law of Gravity. Newton was also known to be a devout Christian and Bible student who wrote about the prophecies of Daniel. Stay tuned … I will tell you more about Newton vs. Hawking and let you decide who is more believable.
Hawking’s latest comments suggest he has become more skeptical of the existence of God. Previously, he wrote that the laws of physics meant it was simply not necessary to believe that God had intervened in the Big Bang, as quoted in his best selling 1988 book “A Brief History of Time.” “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God.”
Now in his latest book, Hawking said the 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting another star other than the Sun helped deconstruct the view of the father of physics Isaac Newton that the universe could not have arisen out of chaos but was created by God.
“That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions — the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass, far less remarkable, and far less compelling evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings,” he writes.
Let me stress an important comment here about believability. The news you receive from the newspapers, TV, science journals, etc. are all biased toward believing what modern scientists tell us. They announce a discovery of a planet outside our solar system that is orbiting a distant star. Then they proclaim that life likely exists on this planet! This conclusion is drawn from the presupposed model of how life could form by chance, which is based on the evolutionary model of life arising on Earth. Remember this is a model and not actual scientific fact as you are led to believe. Now, if you examine Hawking’s statements closely you will see his underlying philosophy behind the facts. Even if other planets exist orbiting other suns; does that make life on Earth any less unique? I think not. The remarkable, probability defying combination of physical, chemical and biological factors, any of which being altered would make life on Earth impossible … remain unexplainable without an intelligent cause. In order to reject the need for God, Hawking needs you to believe there is nothing special about our Earth and its location in the universe. There is nothing special about the life here on Earth, either. Note also that we are considered self-centered bad guys for thinking we are special. Can you see how this parallels the modern sociological paradigm shift in America?
There are basically two philosophical models for the existence of the universe … I call them philosophical because we do not have any actual proven or verified scientific model … either the universe was created or came into being by itself. Accepting a Big Bang model rules out the ancient Hindu belief in an eternal or steady state universe, because the universe must have had a beginning. First, let’s look at the Big Bang, including quotes form Hawking. Note he admits to his theory being an assumption.
“Now at first sight, all this evidence that the universe looks the same whichever direction we look in might seem to suggest there is something special about our place in the universe. In particular, it might seem that if we observe all other galaxies to be moving away from us, then we must be at the center of the universe. There is, however, an alternate explanation: the universe might look the same in every direction as seen from any other galaxy too. This, as we have seen, was Friedmann’s second assumption. We have no scientific evidence for, or against, this assumption. We believe it only on grounds of modesty: it would be most remarkable if the universe looked the same in every direction around us, but not around other points in the universe!” Why the big bang: Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, p. 42:
‘However we are not able to make cosmological models without some admixture of ideology. In these earliest cosmologies, man placed himself in a commanding position at the centre of the universe. Since the time of Copernicus we have been steadily demoted to a medium sized planet going round a medium sized star on the outer edge of a fairly average galaxy, which is itself simply one of a local group of galaxies. Indeed we are now so democratic that we would not claim that our position in space is specially distinguished in any way. We shall, following Bondi(1960), call this assumption the Copernican principle'[emphasis added]. The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, Stephen Hawking and George Ellis.
We see how these cosmology models are driven by Darwinian evolution in this quote: ‘The Copernican revolution taught us that it was a mistake to assume, without sufficient reason, that we occupy a privileged position in the Universe. Darwin showed that, in terms of origin, we are not privileged above other species. Our position around an ordinary star in an ordinary galaxy in an ordinary supercluster [the local group of galaxies] continues to look less and less special. The idea that we are not located in a special spatial location has been crucial in cosmology, leading directly to the [big bang theory]. In astronomy the Copernican principle works because, of all the places for intelligent observers to be, there are by definition only a few special places and many nonspecial places, so you are likely to be in a nonspecial place’ J. Richard Gott, III, “Implications of the Copernican Principle for our Future Prospects,” Nature 363:315-319, 1993. So just how believable is the Big Bang? You probably thought it was believable because it was based on our most advanced scientific data … but it is based upon an assumed model and conclusions drawn from a limited amount of observational data. In a nutshell you are asked to believe…. that nothing produced something. It appears to me more reasonable to believe the old adage “from nothing, nothing comes.” How believable is evolution? Something that is believable can be shown to be logically true based on experience and observation. How believable is creation? My next article will look at both creation and evolution in terms of three factors: Logic, Historical Fact, and Scientific Fact.