Stephen Hawking upsets Religious World

This post was written by marc on September 4, 2010
Posted Under: Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Many people in the religious world are now upset that Professor Stephen Hawking, in his new book “The Grand Design”, dismisses the idea that God created the universe. Some in the religious world have said that he’s going to Hell for choosing not to believe in God.

What the religious world doesn’t realize is that in the world of science one does not simply choose to believe or not to believe in something. The world of science is about determining what reality really is based on evidence. If Stephen Hawking had found evidence that the world was created by God then that is what he would have concluded. But the facts are that the evidence that God exists just is not there.

If God exists and interacts with the real world then the evidence would be everywhere. Scientists would be able to find it and there would be information as to the nature of God, what he is made of, how he came to be, and how he created the universe. We can find evidence of snails that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. We can see stars that formed billions of years ago. But when it comes to God the scientific world has nothing, and in the world of science you simply do not believe in things without having a reason other than you simply wish to believe it’s true.

Reader Comments

This is a argument commonly made by atheists, but it is fatally flawed.
God by definition has no limits, and therefore violates the Principle of the Excluded Middle (which in simplest form states that a thing must be either A or not-A). This means that the existence of God is not subject to either proof or disproof by logical means, including (but not limited to) the scientific method.

We can, however, subject the notion of belief in God to logic. While there are many solid logical arguments one can bring to bear (which I will detail in an upcoming book) taken even by itself the proven fact that Theists – as reported in The New England Journal of Medicine – experience better health and longer lives is enough reason to make belief in God the rational choice.
While this does not prove that God exists (as shown above, no logical argument can prove or disprove that), given that over time Natural Selection shapes living organisms for maximum survivability – which is to say, it shapes them into greater accordance with the universe and its laws – it is one of the many indications that the universe is structured *as if* God exists…therefore belief in God is in line with the universe as we know it, and therefore should be part of the “Church of Reality.”

#1 
Written By SergeiRostov on September 12th, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

Oh, in addition the science-fiction and science-fact Arthur C. Clarke pointed out many years ago that a competent workman – and God by definition is ultimately competent – would not need to keep fiddling with his work. He would simply set it up and let it “run.”

Further (addressing the last part of your argument/claim more directly) while mathematicians have proven that the work of all known artists/craftsman/workmen shows distinct and identifiable patterns, for this *by itself* to be true of God would a limitation, and so not the case by definition. God’s nature by definition does not conform to the Principle of the Excluded Middle, so for God to leave logical evidence of his nature is by definition not possible but at the same time possible without contradiction, since God is not subject to logic. So science cannot provide any details on this score either.

I haven’t read the book, however, in his recent TV series, Hawking said something like “Was the universe created by God? Not necessarily.” To be scientifically accurate, he should have said, “Science, due to its limitations, is unable to answer this question one way or the other.”

Even further, you state,

“What the religious world doesn’t realize is that in the world of science one does not simply choose to believe or not to believe in something. The world of science is about determining what reality really is based on evidence.”

This is simply not true. The scientific method itself is based on mulitple non-evidenciary assumptions – multiple beliefs, in other words, which are unprovable and taken on faith: the existence of an “objective physical world” outside the researcher, the existence of the researcher himself, the existence of other researchers, and the notion that there is a sufficiently strong one-to-one correspondence between the data emmitted by the objective physical world and the data received by the researcher, to name just a few.

#2 
Written By SergeiRostov on September 12th, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

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