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Tag Archives: cosmology
Stephen Hawking doesn’t know what created the universe, but he’s sure God didn’t do it.
So says Mr Hawking in his recent follow-up to his best selling book “A Brief History in Time”.
In his 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, Hawking had seemed to accept the role of God in the creation of the universe. But in the new text, co-written with American physicist Leonard Mlodinow, he said new theories showed a creator is “not necessary”.
Interesting that he won’t say what created the universe, but somehow he is absolutely sure God isn’t a candidate. Odd how that works.
“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”
Ok, well then _what did_? Mind you, purely physical theories won’t work here specifically because physical forces do not decide to create and, being physical, fall prey to the simple laws of thermodynamics and entropy. So a metaphysical force is needed (as Hawking himself noted in his first book). So what is it? And why does he feel confident in ruling out God as a possible answer?
“The fact that we human beings – who are ourselves mere collections of fundamental particles of nature – have been able to come this close to an understanding of the laws governing us and our universe is a great triumph.”
How can a guy who is so brilliant commit the most basic of logical fallacies? He is assuming exactly what he supposedly is setting out to prove. Sorry, but it is far from settled that we “are ourselves mere collections of fundamental particles of nature”. That’s exactly what is at issue! However, assume we accept this at face value. Why does it not follow that mere particles of nature can understand anything?
So it seems that Mr Hawkings, in his quest to rid the universe of the God particle (which logically follows since as mere physical particles of nature, there must be a particle in some of us that predisposes us to belief in God), Mr Hawkings is willing to embrace a larger epistemological issue.
Good luck Mr Hawkings.
While debating with a fellow Brother in Christ1 whether Darwinian evolution could be reconciled with the creation account of Genesis I was recently asked whether it’s plausible the earth could have been created with the appearance of age. Here’s my response:
The short answer is: no.
Simply put; it is impossible for God to lie according to Hebrews 6:18 and deliberate deception surely falls into that category.
That said, I do agree with you that the earth is, in all likelihood, far older than 10,000 years and animals did probably live and die long before the Genesis account of creation.
I hold to a modified version of the gap theory and have no problems with long time frames or the notion of micro-evolution or change within a species.
However, when it comes to humans, we are told that mankind began with a literal Adam and a literal Eve. Jesus himself also confirms that life began with a literal Adam and Eve in the New Testament, and if he was mistaken then we have much bigger problems (of the theological nature) to deal with.
I wholly agree that there is much we don’t know. But there are things we do know (especially things that have been revealed to us by an omniscient being) and we should strive to keep our beliefs between the lines (so to speak) of what has been clearly revealed. Speculation on the rest (like why God created the mosquito) is all well and good.
However, since science has been proven faulty far more than God has (not that the two are inherently at odds) so I suggest that a wise approach would be to not allow our scientific findings to color our theology. Mostly because it generally leads to the unfortunate consequence of revising our theology every time scientists change their minds/interpretations.
- As far as I can tell anyway. [↩]
Here’s a quote by Robert Jastro that I’ve heard in several debates around the compatibility of science and religion.
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
– Robert Jastrow
(God and the Astronomers, W.W. Norton, New York, 1978, p. 116)
A recent article on the excellent Intelligent design website, Uncommon Decent, made the case that intelligent design is not simply warmed over creationism and that some ID proponents even hold to common decent.
Many, many people seem to misunderstand the relationship between Intelligent Design and Common Descent. Some view ID as being equivalent to Progressive Creationism (sometimes called Old-Earth Creationism), others seeing it as being equivalent to Young-Earth Creationism. Ihave argued before that the core of ID is not about a specific theory of origins. In fact, many ID’ers hold a variety of views including Progressive Creationism and Young-Earth Creationism.
But another category that is often overlooked are those who hold to both ID and Common Descent, where the descent was purely naturalistic. This view is often considered inconsistent. My goal is to show how this is a consistent proposition.
The author goes on to argue that, while he personally is not an adherent of the theory of common decent, a person who holds to ID is well within their epistemic grounds and how intelligent design does not require one to hold specific beliefs in regard to the nature of the designer.
This will hopefully help dispel the myth that intelligent design is merely warmed over creationism as an attempt to sneak Biblical Christianity into the public classroom.
In recent times it has been popular to think of the prime mover in terms of a cue ball which starts a chain reaction of balls hitting other balls on a pool table so that, while the prime mover was involved and required for the initial impact, it’s effect and influence on the resulting chain reaction of causes and effects is essentially nill.
However, in Aristotle’s view, the prime mover was required not only for the initial cause (ie. big bang) but for subsequent reactions as well since they all derive their energy from the prime mover1 which must remain in the picture for there to be any subsequent causes or effects.
For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ -Acts 17:28
- Aristotle considered the prime mover to be raw energy or a ‘force’. [↩]