Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Does the Universe Need God?


In his newest book, The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking finally clears up all the confusion over the existence of God. Well, actually his program is not quite so grand. Hawking concludes that the universe simply does not need God. But what Hawking proves in The Grand Design is that some scientists make poor philosophers. Richard Dawkins proved this embarrassingly so in The God Delusion.

Frank Tipler of Tulane University suggests that Hawking has actually proven the existence of God.

In 1966, Stephen Hawking published his first — completely valid — proof for the existence of God. Over the next seven years, he followed this with even more powerful valid theorems proving God’s existence.

So how did Hawking, who successfully proved God’s existence, remain an atheist? Simple. He simply denied that the assumptions he used in his proofs were true. As a matter of logic, if the assumptions in a proof are not true, then the conclusions need not be true. What assumptions did the young Hawking make? He assumed that the laws of physics, mainly Einstein’s theory of gravity, were true. In the summary of his early research, namely his book The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, Hawking wrote:

It seems to be a good principle that the prediction of [God] by a physical theory indicates that the theory has broken down, i.e. it no longer provides a correct description of observations.

Hawking then began working on quantum gravity, in hopes that God would be at last eliminated from the equations. Alas, it was not to be: God was even more prominent — and unavoidable — in quantum gravity than in Einstein’s theory of gravity. In his latest book, The Grand Design, Hawking has pinned his hope of eliminating God on M-theory, a theory with no experimental support whatsoever, hence not a theory of physics at all. Nor has it been proven that M-theory is mathematically consistent. Nor has it been proven that God has been eliminated from M-theory. There are disquieting signs (for Hawking and company) that He is also unavoidable in M-theory, as He is in Einstein’s gravity, and in quantum gravity.

In spite of what the atheist press is telling you, it’s looking bad for atheism today. And it is extraordinary the lengths an atheist like Hawking will go to avoid the obvious: God exists.

The alert reader will have noticed that in the above quote, Hawking did not actually use the word “God.” But this is what he really meant. To see this, let us recall just what the word “God” means.

Consider the opening words of the (original) Nicene Creed: “We believe in one God, the omnipotent Father, Maker of all things visible and invisible.” These words give the basic definition of “God” used by Christians and Jews: God is the Cause of everything, but He Himself has no cause. God is the Uncaused First Cause. In his Second Way, Thomas Aquinas proves the existence of the Uncaused First (efficient)Cause, and Aquinas concludes, “to which all give the name ‘God’ (quam omnes Deum nominant).”

So now let us return to the theorems of the young Hawking. By following the history of the universe back into time — in other words, by following the causes of the current universe back into time — Hawking proved that all of these causes had a common cause; a common cause that did not itself have a cause. This common cause was an Uncaused Cause that was beyond the control of the laws of physics, beyond the control of any possible laws of physics. Rather, the entire universe began at this Uncaused First Cause.

In exactly the same way that Aquinas used the word “create,” we can say that the Uncaused First Cause, whose existence was proven decades ago by Hawking, “created” the universe.

Hawking called this Uncaused First Cause a “singularity.”

But given the properties of this “singularity,” it is God. So I have replaced the word “singularity,” which Hawking actually used in the above quote, with what it really means according to Aquinas.

Read the rest HERE.

8 comments:

Nicholas said...

Ravi Zacharias had a good bit related to this in his book "Jesus Among Other Gods" (pg. 64). When presented with the fact that a singularity is the point at which all the laws of physics break down and that their starting point is not scientific, the scientist he was speaking with paused and replied "we scientists do seem to retain selective sovereignty over what we allow to be transferred to philosophy and what we don't."

Nicholas said...

I should add Ravi's conclusion which is the part I liked best:

There is the truth in cold, hard terms. The person who demands a sign and at the same time has already determined that anything that cannot be explained scientifically is meaningless is not merely stacking the deck; he is losing at his own game.

Ron Krumpos said...

In "The Grand Design" Stephen Hawking postulates that the M-theory may be the Holy Grail of physics...the Grand Unified Theory which Einstein had tried to formulate and later abandoned. It expands on quantum mechanics and string theories.

In my e-book on comparative mysticism is a quote by Albert Einstein: “…most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty – which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive form – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of all religion.”

E=mc², Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, is probably the best known scientific equation. I revised it to help better understand the relationship between divine Essence (Spirit), matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and consciousness (f(x) raised to its greatest power). Unlike the speed of light, which is a constant, there are no exact measurements for consciousness. In this hypothetical formula, basic consciousness may be of insects, to the second power of animals and to the third power the rational mind of humans. The fourth power is suprarational consciousness of mystics, when they intuit the divine essence in perceived matter. This was a convenient analogy, but there cannot be a divine formula.

Harley A. said...

Ron, I think I speak for most when I say "huh ?"

Todd Pruitt said...

I revise Einstein in my spare time.

Ron Krumpos said...

This was a convenient analogy, but there cannot be a divine formula.

Harley A. said...

Ron, that is not a convenient analogy. It is pantheistic mumbo-jumbo. There is no "divine essence" in matter. Matter is a creation of the personal Divine Being - God. He made us and all of the material world we interact with - as well as our spiritual natures. He is not us and we are not Him. We can have relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, however.

Ron Krumpos said...

Harley,

Most of the mystics were panentheistic: the divine is within and beyond all, both immanent and transcendent.

You mentioned God and Jesus, but should include the Holy Spirit. When the Trinity is regarded as three persons, the Nicene Creed might be called "The Special Theory of Relatives." I was raised a Christian; that is meant to be funny.