In his book, Hawking argues that God did not create the universe and that science provides the best answer for the creation of the world. Thus, according to Hawking, one does not need God to explain order in the universe. Hawking argues that the fine-tuning of the laws of nature explains why the universe seems “tailor-made for humans, without the need for a benevolent creator.”
Hawking and Mlodinow wrote:
If one assumes that a few hundred million years in stable orbit is necessary for planetary life to evolve, the number of space dimensions is also fixed by our existence. That is because, according to the laws of gravity, it is only in three dimensions that stable elliptical orbits are possible. In any but three dimensions even a small disturbance, such as that produced by the pull of the other planets, would send a planet off its circular orbit, and cause it to spiral either into or away from the sun.
The emergence of the complex structures capable of supporting intelligent observers seems to be very fragile. The laws of nature form a system that is extremely fine-tuned. What can we make of these coincidences? Luck in the precise form and nature of fundamental physical law is a different kind of luck from the luck we find in environmental factors. It raises the natural question of why it is that way.
Many people would like us to use these coincidences as evidence of the work of God. The idea that the universe was designed to accommodate mankind appears in theologies and mythologies dating from thousands of years ago. In Western culture the Old Testament contains the idea of providential design, but the traditional Christian viewpoint was also greatly influenced by Aristotle, who believed "in an intelligent natural world that functions according to some deliberate design."
The quote above was taken from the excerpt of the book published in The Wall Street Journal. Visit the Journal online and read the full text of the excerpt.
When it comes to the creation of the universe, the old popular saying still holds true: “Nothing comes from nothing.” Hawking may argue that “the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing.” He also argues for “spontaneous creation,” that is, that the universe is self-generated, that it exists without an external cause: “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”
Hawking’s view of the creation of the universe reminds me of God’s dialogue with Job in response to Job’s questioning of God’s control of the universe. God asked Job: “Who is this that obscures divine plans with words of ignorance?” (Job 38:2 NAB).
If Hawking were confronted by the God he denies, how would he answer God’s questions:
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4).
“Do you know the laws of the universe? Can you use them to regulate the earth?” (Job 38:33 NLT).
Neither Job nor Hawking could answer these questions with any deal of certainty. As God told Job, he created the universe and he set the universe’s laws in motion and only he, God, possesses the power to govern his creation.
Stephen Hawking may not believe that God created the universe. However, one thing is true: God created Stephen Hawking.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
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Tags: Stephen Hawking, The Great Design, Leonard Mlodinow, Creation