Quark Ex Nihilo?: Stephen Hawking's Flight from God
Here is the article I wrote 6 years ago about the man who died today. He was on of the most notorious contemporary deniers of the existence of God. His book The Grand Design ended up by saying that, even though everything in the universe seems to be part of a Grand Design, there was NO Grand Designer. Go figure. But really how can you presume to make theological statements when you are simply dealing with "matter and energy in motion"? Maybe by the same presumption that has tax attorneys and real estate agents speaking about ecclesiology. May God have mercy on the soul of brilliant yet completely scandalous man.
Quark Ex Nihilo?: Stephen Hawking’s Flight From God
By: Dr. Peter Chojnowski
The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible – Albert Einstein
Even though he was scheduled to speak at the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, Australia in mid-April 2012, Richard Dawkins, one of the illuminati of the new British atheist movement, has been forced recently to admit that he is not an atheist at all but rather an agnostic. This recent admission by one of the high priests of atheism that he “cannot be sure that there is no God,” was made during a “discussion” at Oxford University with Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Even though most of the discussion involved simply Dawkins expounding on evolution, and the Archbishop sitting by passively in perfect acquiescence, Dawkins was forced to admit that he was not certain that there was no God, but was “6.9 out of 7” sure of his position. When the moderator, Sir Anthony Kenny interrupted and said, “Why don’t you call yourself an agnostic?” Dawkins said that he did. When Sir Anthony retorted that “But you are known as the world’s greatest atheist,” Dawkins tried to justify his seeming revocation of a position that most of mankind has found to be completely counter-intuitive by stating, “I think the probability of a supernatural creator existing is very very low.”
The recent death of Christopher Hitchens and the complaint of the chairman of the British Conservative Party, Baroness Warsi about “a tide of militant secularism challenging the religious foundations of British society,” has focused attention on a debate raging in Britain concerning the place of religion in British society and the very reality of God Himself. As regards, this current manifestation of the apostasy of the Great Britain from its foundational traditional Catholic faith, there has been a positive breakthrough which should not escape our notice. Professor Anthony Flew, another one of the Englishmen praised as “the world’s most famous atheist” and a philosophic expert on “debunking” miracles, including the miracle of Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Resurrection, has in recent years completely dropped his atheism and has had to admit that he believes there is a Creator who is both omnipotent and omnipresent, since these two attributes must be present to a Deity that has brought forth all things from nothing. Even though he still shies away from anything other than affirming the raw existence of a Creator God, namely anything relating to Divine Revelation, an after-life, the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, or, even, the attribution of basic goodness to God, Flew, in an interview with Dr. Gary Habermas, has affirmed that, it has been due to recent scientific advancements, he mentions specifically the research into DNA, that he has had to admit the existence of an all-knowing and all-powerful Creator.
After reading some of the various writings and interviews of the New British Atheists, I have found it to be evident that the most profitable encounter for a Catholic philosophical critique of this movement, would be one with a mind that uses modern science, or at least his spin on modern science, particularly quantum mechanics, to substantiate his conclusion that there is no God. Much of what the other British atheists use to “debunk” God’s existence are psychological “proofs,” which tell us what it is about God that does not appeal to the post-modern domesticated British intellectual, like the existence of Hell or the prevalence of evil in the world, or, if a debate is going poorly, the Crusades.
- The Universe as Quantum Enigma: Hawking’s dislocation of Common Sense
It is for this reason that I have decided to focus my attention on the writings of Stephen Hawking, the Oxford celebrity physicist, and, in particular, his most recent work, written in 2010, The Grand Design. It is here where Hawking makes his most forceful apologetic for a scientifically based atheistic nihilism, which is meant to be a final patronizing “farewell” to the idea of a Creator God and a purposeful universe. What we will also find in this work is an attempt, by Hawking, to draw the “proper” conclusions from his attempt at deicide. Hence his claim that his book will attempt to answer, “the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.”
What is incredible about Hawking’s text is not only the title The Grand Design, while the whole book is dedicated to arguing against the existence of a Grand Designer. What is more, much of the text is dedicated to presenting overwhelming evidence supporting the Anthropic Principle, the scientific and philosophic principle which holds that the entire solar system, and indeed the whole universe is constructed in such a singular way that even the slightest changes in the microcosmic and macrocosmic aspects of its structure would render human life on our planet impossible. In in other words, modern science is coming to realize that the entire universe is exactly structured in order to render human life possible. For example, even though Hawking will try to use what happens at the sub-atomic level as “proof” that something can come from nothing “spontaneously,” it is specifically the precise order that can be found at the subatomic level, which provides an astonishing confirmation of the Anthropic Principle. According to the evidence cited by Hawking himself in his book, “Most of the fundamental constants in our theories appear fine-tune in the sense that if they were altered, by only modest amounts, the universe would be qualitatively different, and in many cases unsuitable for the development of life.” Again to quote Hawking, “calculations show that a change of as little as .5% in the strength of the strong nuclear force, or 4% in the electric force would destroy nearly all carbon or all oxygen in every star, and hence the possibility of life as we know it.” Thus the perfect order at the mico-level; at the macro-level we find the same kind of order “amazingly” prepared for the existence of rational life on earth. Quoting Hawking himself again, “We are lucky in our relationship to our sun’s mass to our distance from it. And yet, assuming the earth-sun distance as a given, if our sun was just 20% less or more massive, the earth would be colder than present-day Mars or hotter than present day Venus.” The habitable zone is sometimes called by cosmologists the “Goldilocks zone,” because of “the requirement that liquid water exist means that, like Goldilocks, the development of intelligent life requires that planetary temperatures by ‘just right’. The habitable zone in our solar system…is tiny. Fortunately, for those of us who are intelligent life forms, the earth fell within it.”
What is interesting about the missionary atheist Hawking, however, is the way in which he does not draw from this order the obvious conclusion that was drawn, for example, by Sir Isaac Newton who said that our habitable solar system did not “arise out of chaos by the mere laws of nature.”