Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Controversial Stephen Hawking

Billions of people in the world believe in God, in a Supreme Being, who is Creator and Sustainer. Billions of people believe in God's inspired Word, the Bible. Or other holy books and wisdom writings. Billions of people rely on prayer to offer them inner strength and courage in dealing with day to day anxiety and stress and also the crisis of life. They have a real sense and conviction as I do, that prayer helps, in one way or another. At times, throughout salvation history people witness and experience miracles that cannot be rationally explained by science. There is no question, that religious beliefs help people to be better human beings (the majority of time). Religion helps them to be more compassionate, giving and hopeful. Believers come from all backgrounds and educational levels, from intellectuals, (even scientists) to children (I taught religion to children for many years and from personal experience I can say they are open to mystery and the belief in God). It makes perfect sense to them. And yes, even in the scientific community there are believers. 
As far as I'm concerned (and there are billions who would agree) there is proof for the existence of God. It can be found in the order, diversity and beauty found on our planet and in the Universe. That is proof enough for me. But my deep faith also reinforces that knowledge. I use my intellect and rational thought, as well as my deep faith, to try and understand the big questions in life. Some of the things I've read support my belief in God.
Interestingly, our Solar System is located in one of the "quieter," and less chaotic places in the Milky Way galaxy. Thank God for that! The magnificent colors on our planet and the diversity and order is proof of a Divine Creator/Artist who created with intent, purpose and exactness. I took a walk today, in the glorious sunshine and was admiring the beautiful colors of the flowers in my neighborhood and I thought to myself what if every bush, flower and tree were the same color-grey-how would our world look then? There is so much beauty in the colors present on Earth. The mathematical equations are perfect. What are the chances of that? The carbon levels needed to support life and sustain life on this planet were exact at the moment of creation. That is not a coincidence. There is a unique plan and design that points to an Intelligent, Supreme Being/Creator. 
I'm responding to the latest claim by scientist Stephen Hawking who has created a controversy by stating in his new book, "The Grand Design," and in interviews, his belief, "that God had no role in the creation of the Universe." He furthers states that, "because of the existence of gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing." In his book, he attempts to answer the "ultimate questions of life." But he does so without deep faith and so he misses the truth. I'm not a scientist so I really don't understand why he discounts a Creator because of the existence of gravity. But the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Westminster-Vincent Nichols, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Ibrahim Mogra as well as other religious leaders and intellectuals in England are "fighting" back with words of wisdom, as they should. 
Perhaps Stephen Hawking is bitter about his fate. Whatever his reason, there are enough believers in the world to "defend" belief in God, using classical proofs of the existence of God as well as the fact that billions of people believe. Billions of us can't be wrong.   And we will continue to believe, regardless of what anyone says, because God is real and Ultimate Reality.

Physics on its own will not settle the question of why there is something rather than nothing.  (Archbishop of Canterbury- 9/10)