I find it amusing that the Discovery channel introduced a new series called “Curiosity” by asking the big question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Douglas Adams would have been proud.
I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the answer, so I won’t make you suffer any longer. Did God create the universe, and did the universe need a creator? Stephen Hawking says no.
Are you surprised? I’m not. Hawking explains away the need for a creator because, according to the laws of nature, a universe can pop into existence without causation. According to his science, time didn’t exist before the big bang, ergo there was nothing, no God, no thing, no Thing. There wasn’t.
He believes this is so because the laws of nature are incontrovertible. In other words, the law of natures are firm and cannot be changed. That’s a fact.
Here’s another fact. Science is unable to explain some things. What is the source of these immutable laws? Where do the laws of physics come from? Scientists don’t know. Why did the universe pop into existence? Again, scientists don’t know.
Hawking gave a perfect example of a question that can’t be answered: “Where is the edge of the world?” It’s not that the question can’t be answered. It’s the wrong question.
That doesn’t mean there’s no room for science. Religion and theology ask the question of why, not how. Science answers as many questions as it can about the ultimate physical nature of reality. But religion – my version of religion, anyway – isn’t concerned with that. Whether or not God is the Creator is the wrong question.
There are far more important, more meaningful questions. Why? For what purpose? And what is my role?
Hawking ended the hour by saying that there is no heaven or hell, and that he’s very grateful for that. It makes me sad that a man who has spent decades trapped in a body that can’t move, isn’t able to conceive of an afterlife in which he is finally freed. For his sake, I hope he’s wrong.