Several interesting conversations have turned up on Facebook in reaction to Stephen Hawking’s new book The Grand Design. He states that the laws of physics are quite adequate for explaining the Big Bang creation event and how everything came to be. God is simply not needed to bring anything to the scientific table.
I do have a dog in this hunt since I recently published a book with an opposing view called Proving God.
First of all, I am surprised by the boldness of his “new” view (since he seemed to be more favorable towards God earlier in his career) although controversy generates book sales. The title of his book suggests that scientists have got it all figured out. So I also question his boldness, considering that science has no answers for the following major issues:
1) Science does not know what was going on just before the Big Bang explosion. The Laws of physics (as we know them) simply break down in the essential singularity—out of which the entire universe was generated.
2) Science does not really know what is going on at the quantum level. The mathematics work fine but finding a connection between quantum weirdness (uncertainty) and the classical world of macroscopic measurement still eludes scientists.
3) Scientists embrace the idea that the universe is unified yet they are unable to unify the two pillars of modern physics—General Relativity Theory and Quantum Theory.
4) In spite of Hawking’s claim that the law of gravity explains the spontaneous creation of the universe out of nothing, scientists really don’t have a handle on gravitational order or the thermodynamics of gravitating systems to grow structure spontaneously. It seems that somehow an explosive force overcame the unimaginable force of gravity in the singularity, but after that, the two forces became wedded to each other just enough to create the all the coherent structures and rational order of the universe.
What this all means is that scientists have yet to adequately address foundational issues and the first causal principles in the universe.
At the other end of the spectrum, theologians offer little rational insight as to how God creates or acts in the universe. Such a spiritual model of reality would lead to a theistic science. The challenge here would be to find a causal link between an Infinite Creator and a finite world that would lead to a plausible scientific theory.
I believe scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg had discovered such a causal link between God and nature and it is his extraordinary visionary insights that I discuss in depth in my new book Proving God.
Whatever side you take, this has become a “hot” topic for inquiring minds.