December 20, 2010

THERE is no doubt that Professor Stephen Hawking is a brilliant scientist. His battle with motor neurone disease, surviving far longer than expected, has earned him widespread respect and sympathy.  However, even brilliant minds can be mistaken, and Professor Hawking is certainly mistaken in his recent claim that we no longer need God to explain the beginning of the universe.


This is not just the view of non-scientist Bible-believers, but of people with minds as brilliant as Hawking’s.  One of them, Oxford Professor John Lennox,  described Hawking’s approach as “simplistic” and his insistence that gravity alone built the universe as illogical. He writes: “As both a scientist and a Christian, I would say that Hawking’s claim is misguided... One of the fundamental themes of Christianity is that the universe was built according to a rational, intelligent design. Far from being at odds with science, the Christian faith actually makes perfect scientific sense.”1

Stephen Hawking is just trivialising one of secular science’s greatest problems: how you get from nothing, to something, then to everything. It’s no use saying that a “big bang” created matter from nothing, because nothing is nothing, and nothing can’t explode. In mathematics, zero plus zero still equals zero! It’s no use Hawking claiming that gravity created the universe, since  if there was nothing there was no gravity either.  


One crafty argument that secular scientists often use is “deep time.” They say that anything can happen given enough time. This is illustrated by this quote by Professor George Wald: “Time is the hero of the plot.... Given so much time, the impossible becomes possible, the possible becomes probable, and the probable becomes virtually certain. One has only to wait; time itself performs miracles.”2   However, Wald’s claim is nonsense. What is impossible remains impossible, no matter how much time you have. In fact, time is the enemy, not the hero, because the Second Law of Thermodynamics states that disorder increases with the passing of time. So the more time there was, the more disorderly the universe would have become! Yet we live in a highly ordered universe. Time can’t perform miracles. Neither can random, chance processes.


Christians believe that the universe and all that is in it were created by a God who can do the impossible. Jesus Christ said, “All things are possible with God.” (Mark 10: 27). And the writer to the Hebrews tells us that “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 11: 3). We believe that this God not only created the universe out of nothing, but that He has done other “impossible” things. He became flesh in the Person of Jesus Christ and lived among the beings He had created. Jesus died for our sins, but God raised Him from the dead. One day, we are sure, He will return to earth in glory as King and Judge, and there will be “a new heaven and a new earth..” It’s much easier to believe in a God who does the impossible than to believe that time and chance performed miracles. Those who say “There is no God,” however wise they may be in human eyes, are, by God’s definition, fools. (Psalm 14: 1).


  1. Daily Mail, 3rd September 2010
  2. “The Origin of Life,” Scientific American, August 1954.

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