I read a lecture by Stephen Hawking about Space and Time Warps. It’s not that I had extra time on my hands (no pun intended) but because of a comment on my post regarding Blind Faith or Logical Reasons to Believe God Exists. His comment was that the laws of physics break down prior to the Big Bang, so the state of things prior to the singularity is irrelevant because there is no standard for measuring them. It’s a great observation and shows he is a well-read person.
In another lecture on the origin of the universe, Hawking says,
“The General Theory of Relativity and the discovery of the expansion of the universe shattered the old picture of an ever existing and ever lasting universe. Instead, general relativity predicted that the universe, and time itself, would begin in the big bang.”
In the Space and Time lecture, Hawking addresses time travel, technology, wormholes, warped space, and even what I call “Back to the Future” issues. Hawking says:
We thus have experimental evidence from the bending of light, that space-time is curved, and confirmation from the Casimir effect, that we can warp it in the negative direction. So it might seem possible, that as we advance in science and technology, we might be able to construct a wormhole, or warp space and time in some other way, so as to be able to travel into our past. If this were the case, it would raise a whole host of questions and problems. One of these is, if sometime in the future, we learn to travel in time, why hasn’t someone come back from the future, to tell us how to do it.
As a fan of the Sci-Fi Channel, the lecture was definitely interesting for me, but the quote above caught my attention… Hawking, who is perhaps the greatest scientific mind in our generation, admits we have only “experimental evidence” in what he addresses.
Rather than comment on my previous post, I thought a new post regarding this new topic was in order.
If laws of physics break down prior to “creation” of the universe as we know it, does not the Bible also claim to reveal the same information? Genesis 1:2 says that prior to the creation singularity the earth was formless and void, which many biblical commentators would translate “chaos.” OK, let’s leave the Bible out of this since many people do not see it as an authoritative document.
I find myself looking more at the philosophical side of arguments to “prove” God’s existence. The argument from creation (the cosmological argument) states that since science and philosophy would indicate the universe had a beginning (therefore not eternal), and for the universe to have a beginning it would have to be caused by something outside of the known universe. Since infinite regress is not possible, the universe must have been caused by an uncaused, always existing, eternal Being (which many people call God).
As far as the Big Bang and life on this planet, the logical first question would be, “Where did the elements that caused the Big Bang come from?” Hawking’s lecture on Life in the Universe does not seem to address this concern, rather stating, “The early appearance of life on Earth suggests that there’s a good chance of the spontaneous generation of life, in suitable conditions. Maybe there was some simpler form of organisation, which built up DNA.” To me it takes more faith to believe that something spontaneously comes from nothing, unless God (the first uncaused cause) is part of the equation.
But as I read Hawking’s lecture, I was amazed at the wonder of the universe and how much we cannot even fathom. Then came my next logical question, “Since this universe is so vast and complex, and great thinkers like Hawking can communicate such complex ideas, does this not logically indicate that there must be a Designer of all of this?” For example, a walk along the beach might reveal interesting sand designs caused by the waves. On the other hand, if I notice “Billy loves Suzie” written in the sand, I must assume this information came from a literate person who is capable of loving someone else. There is complexity in the message that assumes there is an intelligent sender of the message.
So, when we see the complexity of this universe, or even of the human body (made up of nerve cells, brain cells, skin cells, bone cells, all different from each other, yet similar) we must assume there was an intelligent Designer (which we may call God). Evolution does not explain how life moves from a simple cell organism to what we see in the complexity of, let’s say, an eye. Can the eye and an optic nerve be the product of time + chance?
The second law of thermodynamics tells us that the amount of usable energy in a closed system (like the universe) is decreasing, which means that everything tends to move from order to disorder, complex to simple, life to death. This is why we have to paint the house every few years, things run down rather than get better over time.
To me, this teleological argument also points to a beginning for the universe. And since the universe has a wonderful and complex order, there must be a Designer that set it in motion at some point in the past. Laws of physics do not need to break down before the Big Bang if we recognize a Creator that not only created matter, but also time and space as well.
Blind Faith? It’s a leap of faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), but when one chooses to believe in God after proper research, it is anything but blind.