Stephen Hawking is a renowned British theoretical physicist and best-selling author known for this theory on time and space. In a recent interview with a reporter of El Mundo, he decreed that science offers a more convincing explanation of the origin of the universe than “religion,” and pointed out that scientific facts do not go along well with the miracles that religion believes in. He claims that the creation of the world is a scientifically explainable phenomenon and not something that has to do with God.
When it comes to physics, I do not hold a candle to Stephen Hawking. In fact, I would probably not even be able to understand most of the stuff he was talking about if he were explaining his theory about time and space. In this case, however, Hawking is not dealing with science, he is dealing with a philosophical concept – and frankly, he has no idea what he is even talking about.
The truth is, there is NO science which can demonstrate where the material came from which makes up the material universe. There is also NO science which can show where the laws which govern the material universe came from. And, in fact, Hawking doesn’t even try to make an argument regarding these. All he does is make a pronouncement that “God does not exist.” His statement is a religious pronouncement which has nothing to do with scientific evidence.
It is not uncommon for people to tell me that I need to “keep my religion out of the public square.” Well, if I have to do it, I think people who think like Hawking should also keep their religious beliefs out of the public square.
The problem is, it is impossible! Every person’s notions about the structure of reality are based on belief. The real question is: Which belief represents the truth. This is not settled by silencing people who disagree. It is settled by exploring the different possibilities and comparing them with the way we experience reality in real life. In that process, everyone takes their beliefs and works to apply them in the world we live in. This goes for Atheists, Christians and everyone else.
If Atheists want to proclaim their belief in public, that’s fine. But if they are going to try to silence me from doing the same thing, then I insist that they demonstrate the truth of their beliefs based on the same principles they demand I use. Hawking simply can’t do it because his belief cannot stand up to the scrutiny of his own philosophical presuppositions. Crazy, isn’t it?