eastwind journals 26 – REPLY TO STEPHEN HAWKING

You cannot disprove God based on a mere scientific theory
eastwind journals 26
by Bernie V. Lopez
Stepen Hawking, a celebrated British theoretical physicist and cosmologist, became controversial when he crossed the line from science to religion, and claimed that the Universe came from nothing and had no Creator.
He was a renowned professor at Cambridge for 30 years. His contributions in cosmology and quantum gravity catapulted him to fame in the global scientific community. He predicted that black holes emit radiation.
Hawking is almost completely paralyzed, having a spinal ailment of rapid progressive neuron deterioration called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He communicates through a speech generating device.
His book A Brief History of Time (1988), describing “the Universe in a Nutshell” became a best seller. It was however in his new book The Grand Design where he started veering away from science and making religious statements, which triggered mixed reactions, and undermined his credibility.
Hawking said that alien life exists based on a math model of probability. From the trillions of stars in the billions of galaxies, the chances of life elsewhere are almost beyond doubt. This is the problem with theoreticians. They tend to make conclusions about the reality of the physical world based on probability. You cannot prove alien life based merely on probability. Until we see real physical evidence and not mathematical, we simply do not know about alien life. It is this theoretical thinking that would be the downfall of Hawking.
In his bestseller, he suggested that the existence of God was unnecessary to explain the origin of the Universe. In his new book, and in subsequent media interviews, he clarifies that he does “not believe in a personal God”. He wrote, “The question is: is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can’t understand, or was it determined by a law of science? I believe the second. Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing.”
Critic Mike Bradley replied “The basic flaw of the Hawking logic is in the area of proving the universe came from nothing. There is only theoretical support for the idea of virtual particles appearing spontaneously in a vacuum. A vacuum is not ‘nothing’. It is a ‘something’… the vacuum and those virtual particles would be subject to existing physical laws. Anything that begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist. Therefore, the universe has a cause.”
Critics comment that Hawking perhaps was forcing through, in basketball jargon. He was exploiting his scientific fame to make a religious statement. But a religious statement from a scientist is instantly suspect. Some critics were not so kind, saying it was arrogance or even ignorance coming from a genius. But we should give Hawking the benefit of the doubt that he is truly simply sincere trying to theoretically prove there is no God.
The theoretical nature of Hawking’s proof that there is no God is based on his assumption that there was nothing before the big bang. If the big bang theory itself is in question, what more his nothingness theory. This is the problem with a noted scientist making religious conclusions from scientific theories.
At the very start of his new book, Hawking says “philosophy is dead” which triggered reactions from critics. He was implying that one can prove or disprove the existence of God from science alone. He said in 2010, “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority [imposed dogma, faith], [as opposed to] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.”
Hawking says philosophy is dead, then starts philosophizing guised as scientific proof. He says science is based on observation and reason. So is philosophy. It looks like Hawking, the famed theoretical physicist, is going beyond his turf.
Hawking explained that the M-theory (multi-universes as opposed to a single one) proves that the universe came from nothing. Critics said, a theory cannot be used as an argument to disprove God. This is also true for Chardin’s theory of the evolution of consciousness not being able to prove God. There is one more step after Chardin’s theory and that is faith. Faith requires a ‘leap’ from the logical and science frowns on things which are beyond logic. In fact, no one can prove or disprove God based on based on pure logic, based on science or religion. One ‘proves’ God from experience, which is unacceptable to scientists-atheists. That is why, a believer can never prove to the non-believer the existence of God.
It must be explained that opposing views of both Chardin and Hawking, just like Darwin’s evolution and Einsteins’s relativity, are all mere theories. Theories naturally evolve continuously and defy finality. Einstein’s theories are today being remodeled. His theory of relativity, a milestone, is constantly being ‘refined’ or clarified as we discover new cosmic phenomena that post-dates Einstein. In other words, the theory of relativity is a theory and is not final, meaning, subject to future changes. Theories are based on Man’s inferences of both physical and metaphysical realities, both science and religion. Thus, the theory of creation will rage endlessly. Chardin and Hawking will forever be acclaimed and condemned by religion and science.


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