Comments on Hawkings’ New Book; “Grand Design” – Why God did not create the universe.
I just finished reading an excerpt of Stephen Hawkings’ new book; “The Grand Design” in the Wall St. Journal (9/4-5/10). Most of the excerpt gives observable evidence that because of the delicate balance of the material universe in which the slightest change would make life as we know it impossible. For example, Hawkins writes that “if protons were 0.2% heavier, they would decay into neutrons, destabilizing atoms [the building block of matter]” He gives many more examples like the former example, and also quotes from Newton and Einstein who point to the idea of a designer of the universe.
However In a few brief paragraphs Hawkins proclaims “cosmology explains why the laws of the universe seem tailor-made for humans, without the need for a benevolent creator”, and “As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing . . . It is not necessary to invoke God . . . [to] set the universe going.” Mr. Hawkins is asking us to accept the priesthood of scientists’ theories as the answer to existence when all the observable evidence points towards a wonderful artist creator.
The tone of Hawkings comments imply that it is primitives who lack the “scientific understanding” who believe in an intelligent Designer/Creator. I thought science was based on observable and reproducible evidence. How does one observe something coming out of nothing? For that matter how does one observe or conceive of nothing? How would “the laws of gravity” exist in nothing? The observable facts point to an unique arrangement of the cosmos, and material reality that under girds life.
Try to think of nothing. And, then try to imagine nothing producing something. To me it gets down to rebellious people trying to come up with theories that do away with a Creator to whom we are accountable. Because people cannot conceive of a being that is powerfully and perfectly able as to create this universe, they prefer to do away, by their un-provable theories, with God’s existence.
As far as an alternative to a Creator God consider the following mathematical observations in regard to the possibility of the universe arranging itself by chance (from http://www.faizani.com/news/news_2003/math_impossibility.html)
The calculations of British mathematician Roger Penrose show that the probability of universe conducive to life occurring by chance is in 1010123. The phrase “extremely unlikely” is inadequate to describe this possibility.
THE PROBABILITY OF THE OCCURRENCE OF A UNIVERSE IN WHICH LIFE CAN FORM
Taking the physical variables into account, what is the likelihood of a universe giving us life coming into existence by coincidence? One in billions of billions? Or trillions of trillions of trillions? Or more?
Roger Penrose*, a famous British mathematician and a close friend of Stephen Hawking, wondered about this question and tried to calculate the probability. Including what he considered to be all variables required for human beings to exist and live on a planet such as ours, he computed the probability of this environment occurring among all the possible results of the Big Bang.
According to Penrose, the odds against such an occurrence were on the order of 1010123 to 1.
It is hard even to imagine what this number means. In math, the value 10123 means 1 followed by 123 zeros. (This is, by the way, more than the total number of atoms 1078 believed to exist in the whole universe.) But Penrose’s answer is vastly more than this: It requires 1 followed by 10123 zeros.
Or consider: 103 means 1,000, a thousand. 10103 is a number that that has 1 followed by 1000 zeros. If there are six zeros, it’s called a million; if nine, a billion; if twelve, a trillion and so on. There is not even a name for a number that has 1 followed by 10123 zeros.
In practical terms, in mathematics, a probability of 1 in 1050 means “zero probability”. Penrose’s number is more than trillion trillion trillion times less than that. In short, Penrose’s number tells us that the ‘accidental” or “coincidental” creation of our universe is an impossibility.
Concerning this mind-boggling number Roger Penrose comments:
This now tells how precise the Creator’s aim must have been, namely to an accuracy of one part in 1010123. This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full in the ordinary denary notation: it would be 1 followed by 10123 successive 0′s. Even if we were to write a 0 on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe- and we could throw in all the other particles for good measure- we should fall far short of writing down the figure needed.
In fact in order to recognize that the universe is not a “product of coincidences” one does not really need any of these calculations at all. Simply by looking around himself, a person can easily perceive the fact of creation in even the tiniest details of what he sees. How could a universe like this, perfect in its systems, the sun, the earth, people, houses, cars, trees, flowers, insects, and all the other things in it ever have come into existence as the result of atoms falling together by chance after an explosion? Every detail we peer at shows the evidence of God’s existence and supreme power. Only people who reflect can grasp these signs.
References:* Roger Penrose, The Emperor’s New Mind, 1989; Michael Denton, Nature’s Destiny, The New York: The Free Press, 1998, p. 9
Article adoped from The Equilibrium in the Explosion, by Harun Yahya”