Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking recently said in an interview that, “Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now [what he calls] science offers a more convincing explanation.” Hawking has spent much of his life and career trying to show that God is not necessary for the creation of the universe but that naturalistic processes can account for everything. Why does he spend so much of his time trying to fight against Someone he doesn’t even believe exists? But does “science” really offer a better explanation than Scripture?
Well, this reminded me of my debate with Bill Nye “The Science Guy” last February. When he was asked where the “atoms that created the big bang” and consciousness came from, Nye had to reply “this is a great mystery” because naturalistic explanations simply cannot answer these (and many other!) questions. However, like I said to Bill Nye during the debate, “there is a book” that tells us where everything—including atoms and consciousness—came from. It is no mystery to Christians who accept the clear teaching of Scripture; everything was created by God in six, literal, 24-hour days about 6,000 years ago.
Even though Hawking says that science (and by this he actually means unobservable, unrepeatable, untestable historical science) has made the idea of a Creator obsolete, Scripture makes it clear that Stephen Hawking knows that God exists but that he is suppressing this truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). Trusting in naturalistic historical science gives Hawking a feeble way of explaining life without a Creator. As Romans 1 explains, he has exchanged God’s truth for a lie (Romans 1:25). So the “science” he is referring to is really his religion—his blind faith to explain the universe and life without God.
Hawking goes on to clarify a point from his famous book A Brief History of Time, where he says that eventually scientists will “know the mind of God.” He explains that, "What I meant by 'we would know the mind of God' is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn't. I'm an atheist.”
He later declared that “there is no aspect of reality beyond the reach of the human mind.” Basically, he is saying that someday humanity will know so much that we will be like God. This sounds very similar to Satan’s sly words to Eve in Genesis 3:5, “you will be like God.” Humanity—right from the beginning—has always tried to become like God but it has always resulted in tragic consequences. So what Hawking has declared is nothing more than the same old lie the devil gave to Adam and Eve.
Whether or not Stephen Hawking chooses to admit it, there is a God and He knows infinitely more than our fallible, sinful minds will ever know (Isaiah 55:9) as Job acknowledged when he said, “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” (Job 42:2) God has graciously revealed what we do need to know about our history, our sin condition, salvation, and our future in His Word, the Bible.
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