He's considered one of the brightest theoretical physicists since Isaac Newton. He's sold millions of books concerning the beginning of time and the creation of the Universe. Now, Stephen Hawking is at it again.
His newest release aptly called The Great Design, will discuss the rules of the universe and how there is definitive evidence there is no need for God. Click Here for a Video
I've been traveling the blogosphere all morning, and it's interesting as I read the reactions of people. Some are thankful to have the heavy hitting Hawking in their corner to argue with their crazy religious friends, while others are insulting Hawking at every turn trying to demonize his scientific findings. It's pretty incredible to watch the cries from both sides.
The popular UK paper The Telegraph even headlined, "Has Hawking Ended the God Debate?"
The God debate?
I guess they are referring to the debate concerning the creation of the Universe and the need for God to begin a process developing all that we see.
As I sit here and try to wrestle with the question, not having read the book yet, I wonder if leaders of faith have missed an opportunity here.
We talk so much about the power of God and His greatness.
We speak of God's incredible attributes.
We say things like, "Greater is He that is in Me."
But when the first sign of dissent presents itself, we turn into vile accusers without the ability to see the value of the work Mr. Hawking has done.
After all, if greater is He…then we don't have to worry. We don't have to defend God. He's God, after all. So maybe a different way of approaching such a claim is to look deeper into the debate. What is actually going on here?
It's quite simple to see Science is an academic discipline just like Philosophy or Theology. The questions Science tries to answer deal with the "how's" of the universe.
How does the frog's digestive system work?
How does the sun rise?
How does the ocean function as it does?
Science can't ever answer the "Why's" of the universe? It's outside the academic discipline to try to give a "Why" to answer any of the "How."
Go to biology and ask, "Why does the frog exist?" There's no way to answer, under the guise of the scientific method. You can't observe why. You can't repeat why. You certainly can't test why? You can only move to why when you implore faith.
So don't fear.
The why's of the frog will always be answered in the hallways of philosophy departments and seminaries.
It's not that you have to fear Hawking. You just have to make sure the debate is being held in an arena whereby each discipline is allowed to answer it's own questions.
I think we've given science WAY to much of a leash to answer the why's of the world, and so Christians and people of faith are running in fear of science. Science is an observable discipline that helps us understand the world and how it works. Science can't answer the deepest questions of life, "Why am I here?" "What purpose do I have?" "Where can I find Truth?" No, It can only observe what we can see in the moment, and try to predict. By the way, faith is the only way to answer the questions, "Where did it all come from?" no matter which side of the argument you sit on.
I'll be reading Mr. Hawking's book this week, and I'll report at a later date.