I’m an avid Discovery Channel watcher. In fact, I would admit that more than 70% of the time that my TV is on… it’s tuned the Discovery Channel. As my friends and family know, I enjoy Science and learning more about the Natural World and our Universe. So when a new show called “Curiosity” was advertised, it caught my attention. Curiosity is described by the Producers as “an expedition to uncover the truths behind life’s most challenging questions”. Their first episode “Did God Create The Universe?”… and their first guest… Stephen Hawking. You might know that Mr. Hawking is revered by many as one of the greatest Scientific Minds the World has ever known. He’s often considered on par with Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. In fact, Mr. Hawkings held the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge from 1979 until 2009… the same job Isaac Newton held in 1669.
I’ve read Hawking’s book “A Brief History of Time”. He does a great job helping people like me understand extremely complex Physics and how applied, defines the Laws of Natural Science. He brought a similar approach to the show. A particularly interesting part was when he explains the relationship of energy and negative-energy… which is also described as matter and anti-matter. He explains that we could create a hill on a flat piece of ground simply by digging a hole. We understand that the pile of excavated dirt is the hill we’ve created… but you also have a hole (or in my own words “the anti-hill”). He explains the balance between the hill and the hole is nothing… zero. Hawking says in the same way, the Universe is made up of both matter and anti-matter… the balance of which is also zero.
Ok – I’m with you so far Mr. Hawking.
Enter the Big Bang Theory and the discussion of Black Holes. I won’t go into detail on either of these because it would make this blog a novel; I’ll leave that for your own study. But Mr. Hawking’s description of what it was like before the big bang is similar to a black hole. He states there was simply nothing, and the universe spontaneously appeared through the Big Bang. He relates this to a phenomenon observed on the subatomic level; in Quantum Physics, where protons can appear, hang around for a while then disappear. He later describes the Universe as “The ultimate free lunch”.
So where does God fit in? Hawking boldly states “I don’t mean to offend anyone of faith, but there is no need for a God to create a Universe”. Now I’m a big boy, so I can accept it when people view things differently than I do…. but at that moment I nearly turned the channel anyway. I hesitated, because “no need for a God” does not mean “no God”… so I grit my teeth and continued to watch.
Hawking then describes the environment of a black hole… and how its extreme density can actually bend and trap light. He also explains that the further you travel into a black hole, time itself begins to slow down… and eventually… it stops all together. (I’ll point out this is theoretical)
At the end of the program, Hawking draws the final conclusion that since time stops in a black hole, there is no God. I could write several paragraphs in a feeble attempt to translate his reasoning… but that really is an accurate account of his final point in the show. No time before the Big Bang = No God.
I don’t know about you, but I was wildly disappointed. It’s a Science show on a Science Channel that is known to be anti-creationism… so I was expecting to hear the “No God” banter. That said, I also expected to hear the latest and greatest, deeply sophisticated and highly technical arguments. After all, the show touted off something like “It took man over 3000 years to finally understand our origin”… and all they come up with is “If there’s no time, there is no God.” Really?
I won’t attempt to argue Physics with anyone, all I’ll do is point out that the God Mr. Hawking describes is bound by the Laws of Natural Science. It’s a God bound by energy, matter and time. So I guess I agree… there is no need for a God like that.
Now let me tell about a God we do need…
– He is the beginning and the end (Genesis 1:1, Revelations 1:8, 21:6 and 22:13)
– He is our creator (Genesis 1:26)
– He is our savior (Luke 2:11, 2 Samuel 22:3, Psalms 17:7 and 106:21, Isaiah 43:11, Acts 13:23)
– He is our counselor (Psalm 23)
– He is our redeemer (Psalm 19:14, Job 19:25, Isaiah 44:22)
If given the opportunity, I would say to Mr. Hawking – “I recently learned that I can consider it a gift from God to mourn in this life, because I am apart from my creator… but I will rejoice in his presence someday. I mean no offense to you, but I hope and pray that you too will open your heart to him… and we can rejoice in his presence together.”