Against the modernist, materialist view that the universe created itself

(Comments on this entry begin here.)

The physicist Stephen Hawking argues in a new book that the universe created itself. Here is the gist of John Lennox’s response to him, in the Mail:

According to Hawking, the laws of physics, not the will of God, provide the real explanation as to how life on Earth came into being. The Big Bang, he argues, was the inevitable consequence of these laws. ‘Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.’

Unfortunately, while Hawking’s argument is being hailed as controversial and ground-breaking, it is hardly new….

… contrary to what Hawking claims, physical laws can never provide a complete explanation of the universe. Laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions.

What Hawking appears to have done is to confuse law with agency. His call on us to choose between God and physics is a bit like someone demanding that we choose between aeronautical engineer Sir Frank Whittle and the laws of physics to explain the jet engine.

That is a confusion of category. The laws of physics can explain how the jet engine works, but someone had to build the thing, put in the fuel and start it up. The jet could not have been created without the laws of physics on their own—but the task of development and creation needed the genius of Whittle as its agent.

Lennox’s simple, commonsensical argument pleases and persuades me, while Hawking’s argument, that physical laws by themselves created the universe, reminds me, if this doesn’t seem too far afield, of the neoconservatives’ abstract view of America. The neocons are forever stating that certain ideas, certain ideas about universal rights and self-government, certain ideas on their own, certain ideas that are contained in our founding documents, created America and indeed are America. Furthermore, they believe not only that the ideas by themselves were sufficient to create and maintain America, but that the same ideas, by themselves, are sufficient to create and maintain copies of America everywhere in the world, in every country on earth. In reality, of course, America along with its founding documents could only have been created and maintained by human beings, and not just by any human beings, but by human beings with particular intentions and particular qualities. The neocons’ bloodless view of America is like Hawking’s godless view of the universe.

Stephen Hawking is to the universe
what the neocons are to America

Here is the whole of Lennox’s article:

As a scientist I’m certain Stephen Hawking is wrong. You can’t explain the universe without God
By Professor John Lennox
3rd September 2010

There’s no denying that Stephen Hawking is intellectually bold as well as physically heroic. And in his latest book, the renowned physicist mounts an audacious challenge to the traditional religious belief in the divine creation of the universe.

According to Hawking, the laws of physics, not the will of God, provide the real explanation as to how life on Earth came into being. The Big Bang, he argues, was the inevitable consequence of these laws ‘because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.’

Unfortunately, while Hawking’s argument is being hailed as controversial and ground-breaking, it is hardly new.

For years, other scientists have made similar claims, maintaining that the awesome, sophisticated creativity of the world around us can be interpreted solely by reference to physical laws such as gravity.

It is a simplistic approach, yet in our secular age it is one that seems to have resonance with a sceptical public.

But, as both a scientist and a Christian, I would say that Hawking’s claim is misguided. He asks us to choose between God and the laws of physics, as if they were necessarily in mutual conflict.

But contrary to what Hawking claims, physical laws can never provide a complete explanation of the universe. Laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions.

What Hawking appears to have done is to confuse law with agency. His call on us to choose between God and physics is a bit like someone demanding that we choose between aeronautical engineer Sir Frank Whittle and the laws of physics to explain the jet engine.

That is a confusion of category. The laws of physics can explain how the jet engine works, but someone had to build the thing, put in the fuel and start it up. The jet could not have been created without the laws of physics on their own—but the task of development and creation needed the genius of Whittle as its agent.

Similarly, the laws of physics could never have actually built the universe. Some agency must have been involved.

To use a simple analogy, Isaac Newton’s laws of motion in themselves never sent a snooker ball racing across the green baize. That can only be done by people using a snooker cue and the actions of their own arms.

Hawking’s argument appears to me even more illogical when he says the existence of gravity means the creation of the universe was inevitable. But how did gravity exist in the first place? Who put it there? And what was the creative force behind its birth?

Similarly, when Hawking argues, in support of his theory of spontaneous creation, that it was only necessary for ‘the blue touch paper’ to be lit to ‘set the universe going’, the question must be: where did this blue touch paper come from? And who lit it, if not God?

Much of the rationale behind Hawking’s argument lies in the idea that there is a deep-seated conflict between science and religion. But this is not a discord I recognise.

For me, as a Christian believer, the beauty of the scientific laws only reinforces my faith in an intelligent, divine creative force at work. The more I understand science, the more I believe in God because of my wonder at the breadth, sophistication and integrity of his creation.

The very reason science flourished so vigorously in the 16th and 17th centuries was precisely because of the belief that the laws of nature which were then being discovered and defined reflected the influence of a divine law-giver.

One of the fundamental themes of Christianity is that the universe was built according to a rational , intelligent design. Far from being at odds with science, the Christian faith actually makes perfect scientific sense.

Some years ago, the scientist Joseph Needham made an epic study of technological development in China. He wanted to find out why China, for all its early gifts of innovation, had fallen so far behind Europe in the advancement of science.

He reluctantly came to the conclusion that European science had been spurred on by the widespread belief in a rational creative force, known as God, which made all scientific laws comprehensible.

Despite this, Hawking, like so many other critics of religion, wants us to believe we are nothing but a random collection of molecules, the end product of a mindless process.

This, if true, would undermine the very rationality we need to study science. If the brain were really the result of an unguided process, then there is no reason to believe in its capacity to tell us the truth.

We live in an information age. When we see a few letters of the alphabet spelling our name in the sand, our immediate response is to recognise the work of an intelligent agent. How much more likely, then, is an intelligent creator behind the human DNA, the colossal biological database that contains no fewer than 3.5 billion ‘letters’?

It is fascinating that Hawking, in attacking religion, feels compelled to put so much emphasis on the Big Bang theory. Because, even if the non-believers don’t like it, the Big Bang fits in exactly with the Christian narrative of creation.

That is why, before the Big Bang gained currency, so many scientists were keen to dismiss it, since it seemed to support the Bible story. Some clung to Aristotle’s view of the ‘eternal universe’ without beginning or end; but this theory, and later variants of it, are now deeply discredited.

But support for the existence of God moves far beyond the realm of science. Within the Christian faith, there is also the powerful evidence that God revealed himself to mankind through Jesus Christ two millennia ago. This is well-documented not just in the scriptures and other testimony but also in a wealth of archaeological findings.

Moreover, the religious experiences of millions of believers cannot lightly be dismissed. I myself and my own family can testify to the uplifting influence faith has had on our lives, something which defies the idea we are nothing more than a random collection of molecules.

Just as strong is the obvious reality that we are moral beings, capable of understanding the difference between right and wrong. There is no scientific route to such ethics.

Physics cannot inspire our concern for others, or the spirit of altruism that has existed in human societies since the dawn of time.

The existence of a common pool of moral values points to the existence of transcendent force beyond mere scientific laws. Indeed, the message of atheism has always been a curiously depressing one, portraying us as selfish creatures bent on nothing more than survival and self-gratification.

Hawking also thinks that the potential existence of other lifeforms in the universe undermines the traditional religious conviction that we are living on a unique, God-created planet. But there is no proof that other lifeforms are out there, and Hawking certainly does not present any.

It always amuses me that atheists often argue for the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence beyond earth. Yet they are only too eager to denounce the possibility that we already have a vast, intelligent being out there: God.

Hawking’s new fusillade cannot shake the foundations of a faith that is based on evidence.

[end of Lennox article]

- end of initial entry -

Patrick H. writes:

Lennox is too kind to Hawking, who made a fool of himself in that essay. Hawking confuses the “fine-tuning” argument with the cosmological argument, thinks asking why the universe is the way it is the same as asking why the universe exists at all, that empty space isn’t empty but is somehow the same thing as nothing even while it teems with activity, and that spontaneous emergence of the universe (possible in some sense) is the same as self-creation of the universe (gibberish in every sense). And that’s just the physics part!

The essay ought to be treated as yet another instance of a scientist running his mouth about things of which he knows nothing. Hawking is no doubt a nicer man than Richard Dawkins, but like Dawkins, he seems to think that his narrow if deep expertise in a single area of human inquiry gives him magisterial authority on, well, every other area of human inquiry. And without even having to do the reading!

Why does he think this? And why does everybody else seem to think it also? Why does anyone care at all what Hawking thinks about the existence of God? The answer isn’t that he is a scientist. He could be a great oceanographer and no one would listen to him go on about anything but the oceans. He could even be a physicist proper, an expert in, say, solid-state physics, and no one would view him as an authority on anything but solid-state physics.

But Hawking, like his preachy counterpart before him, the astronomer Carl Sagan, thinks he is an expert on God because he is an expert on … the sky. You see, in primitive, i.e., religious thinking, God is the Old Man in the Sky. But he, Hawking, is a cosmologist, and cosmology is about what goes on up in the sky, especially the deep dark sky of outer space. Since Hawking is an expert on the sky, it follows as directly as a mathematical proof, that he is also an expert on God.

And guess what? When Hawking runs his models about the sky, the deep dark sky with black holes in it, or the dense hot sky of the very early universe, God doesn’t show up in the output! He’s nowhere to be found, just like Zeus and Thor and Quetzalcoatl and all those other primitive, i.e., religious, Big Sky Guys!

Of course, to any philosopher, theologian, or pretty well any scientist from before the advent of the deeply unserious, staggeringly ignorant, philosophically inept “new atheist” movement, there would be nothing at all surprising about not seeing God no matter how closely you peer at nature, even the big dark part of nature called outer space. Because, you see, God does not live in the sky. Not even far, far away in deep outer space or long, long ago in olden times when the world was young and everything fit inside space the size of a golf ball and had a temperature of a hundred and eleventy jillion degrees.

Hawking is a serious scientist who deserves respect for his work in his field. He is a deeply unserious philosopher who has no more expertise to impart on the question of God’s existence than a first-year undergraduate in business administration or engineering … or physics. He ought to laughed out of the discussion as the ignorant incompetent out-of-his-depth fool he revealed himself to be in his latest bumbling attempt at philosophizing (he tried it before, just as badly, in A Brief History of Time).

Hey, Stephen, the Gospel of John says, “No man has ever seen God.” Not even with a great big telescope. And not even in the most complicated equation. And not surprisingly, since that’s where you spend all your time looking, neither have you.

Doesn’t mean God doesn’t see you, though.

Charles T. writes:

I like this argument/comparison Professor Lennox makes:

It always amuses me that atheists often argue for the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence beyond earth. Yet they are only too eager to denounce the possibility that we already have a vast, intelligent being out there: God.

I made the same statement several years ago when I was in school to a group of my fellow students about Carl Sagan. He—Sagan—was only too willing to dismiss any type of supernatural agency for the existence of the cosmos because he could not see God, but was all too willing to accept the existence of alien civilizations, whom he also has not seen. I was dismissed by one member of the group quickly; he dismissively stated that it had too do with statistics. And that was his answer and the end of the subject. No one else pressed him. I did not press it, did not think it worth the argument at the time. Today, I would press the issue.

The scientists, and other people, who believe the cosmos is all there is and all that will ever be, will believe that the cosmos has given rise to their existence, and will eventually worship the cosmos as their god and sustainer and giver of life. They will protest they do not worship the cosmos, but I do not believe them because of their rapturous descriptions of the cosmos. No one is truly an atheist. All humans, even proclaiming atheists, have a theology about their existence and will ultimately worship themselves, someone else, or the cosmos, etc. Mankind will worship something.

Ben W. writes:

Conflating two VFR stories, or doing a mash-up, can Hawking’s two “false” eyes\spectacles (impaired cosmic vision) be compared with the two false boobs VFR featured a few weeks ago? A pair of falsies?

Alexis Zarkov writes:

I think Lennox is taking the hype about Hawking’s book too seriously. The conservative theoretical physicist (a rare thing indeed) Lubos Motl writes about Hawking’s new book, and the hype around it here. I provide a few choice excerpts, but one should read the original. Motl starts off with:

[God is] no longer needed: M-theory has taken His place. Now, every physicist will realize that this is a kind of metaphor or a marketing slogan or a joke: physics and religion haven’t interacted that directly for centuries. Physics doesn’t operate with the term “God” and His existence. And if it talks about creation, it means something substantially different than the religious people do. The logical systems of science and religion are not compatible.

This is really important to understand. Science and religion play different games, and while they sometimes use the same words, the meanings can be completely different. The publishers realize they can increase sales if they create a lot of buzz about science and religion. And it worked.

At any rate, the provoking statements have abruptly catapulted Hawking and Mlodinow’s new book to the first place among all the bestsellers at—and I really mean all titles, not just the scientific titles. And in this case, I do think that Hawking kind of deserves the success, despite the superficially cheap marketing. He has quite a lot to revenge for to the non-existent God. ;-)

How can something come from nothing? I agree with Motl, this is a meaningless question in the context of science, but perhaps not religion.

Can physics on its own “settle the question of why there is something rather than nothing”? Well, maybe it can’t. But it’s a physically meaningless question because the obviously correct answer is almost tautologically that “there must be something rather than nothing; otherwise nothing, and not even this question and answer, would exist.”

While physics (and science) may fail to offer a “deeper cause” for similar tautologically true propositions (such as that there is something), what it can do is exactly that it may falsify some interpretations of what the existence of something implies.

The essence of Motl’s response to Hawking’s religious critics. But remember “creation” means something different to scientists. Something from nothing is not new in science. After all what is vacuum energy, and zero-point energy, but a kind of something from nothing? Of course physicists don’t consider the vacuum to be nothing. This is of course very mysterious to the non-physicist.

Dear archbishops, you can’t really prevent science from extending its reach of validity. And indeed, Hawking is right that the creation of matter but also space and time out of nothing has become a legitimate scientific question that is studied by the same, and quantitative, scientific method. And we have probably found the right framework in which these questions can be addressed at some point—to put it rather mildly. Religious apparatchiks cannot do anything about it.

Now, you may admit that the laws of M-theory could create matter, space, and time. But you may also ask: “Who created M-theory?”

From a scientific viewpoint, this is, of course, a meaningless question. A priori, M-theory is a mathematical structure that “always” exists in a Platonic world of ideas. It happens to be relevant for the physical worlds that obey its laws—such as ours. But M-theory itself is not a physical object within any space and time. So we can’t talk about its “coming to the existence.”

When we talk about “coming to the existence,” we mean that an entity “E” did not exist before it came to the existence, but did exist after it came to the existence. Clearly, this logic presupposes the existence of time and it cannot be applied to mathematical structures such as M-theory that exist “outside space and time.” So the question “Who or what created M-theory” is just a misleading bogus rhetorical exercise designed to confuse the gullible people who are ready (or eager) to get confused.

I think we have to wait for the book to come out to see what Hawking actually says. But I can read Lennox, and he sounds pretty confused.

Sage McLaughlin writes:

Stephen Hawking has always been a drearily conventional, uninspired anti-religious adherent of scientism and has spent his life promising that soon—any second now!—we are going to come upon a grand unified theory of the physical universe that could reconcile the contradictory predictions of quantum and astrophysics and permanently put the whole God idea to rest. His Brief History of Time contains yawn-inducing, predictable references to Galileo, and one chapter on the origin of the universe concludes with a non-sequitur, “So much for a divine creator” (or words to that effect), when nothing in the chapter even approaches any demonstration that such a Creator has been disproved. In describing the mechanism by which the Big Bang could have occurred, he seems to believe that he has discovered conclusive proof that the universe is uncaused, revealing an astonishing cluelessness about the nature of the cosmological question. Indeed, from his tired stream of sophomoric pronouncements on the subject it is obvious that he is unacquainted with the existence of real metaphysics. Perhaps he imagines that all natural philosophy before Bacon was just pure Biblical creationism. He would not be alone in this silly delusion.

Would it be unkind of me to remind your readers that Hawking probably doesn’t even rank among the top ten most influential physicists of his generation, much less of the last century? And that he does not rank among the top five hundred philosophers of any era one might choose? Very well then, I am unkind. But someone needs to state plainly every now and again that while Stephen Hawking is an extraordinarily talented mathematician, he is not a revolutionary intellect who has revealed anything useful about the origins of the universe whatsoever. In fact, his theories have become more bizarre, speculative, disconnected from the mainstream of modern physics, and generally unsupported by direct observation as the years have passed. His is a classic case of the triumph of celebrity over substance which we see engulfing our public life ever the longer the more.

As I understand it, he seems to have been kind-of-sort-of right about his principal thesis, developed when he was at the height of his powers, that a black hole can emit radiation. Am I the only one who finds this mildly interesting discovery irrelevant to pretty much everything, but especially to the existence of God?

Kristor writes:

I have not read Hawking’s book. But I read the excerpt that appeared in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, which was enough to see that Hawking is making another basic, freshman-level metaphysical mistake, in addition to the one Lennox has noticed: he is confusing nothingness with the lawful quantum vacuum. A state of affairs in which there exists a quantum vacuum capable of giving rise to fundamental particles in a lawful way is not nothingness. The quantum vacuum and the system of natural laws are things; if they exist, then nothingness does not. Nothingness is a state of affairs in which there is nothing at all, of any kind. Indeed, in nothingness there is not even such a thing as a state of affairs, for to have such a state would require affairs, which are things.

Because the lawful quantum vacuum is not nothing, the generation of the cosmos from the quantum vacuum is not creation out of nothing. Even if the cosmos did arise spontaneously out of the quantum vacuum, there is still the problem of explaining the quantum vacuum, and the laws. Hawking has not escaped the logical requirement of a First Mover.

But let us say that Hawking is right and the cosmos did arise spontaneously—and, by implication, still does arise, from each moment to the next, there being no reason why its spontaneous generation might not spontaneously cease altogether. In that case, the foundation of the universe, and its orderly progression from one moment to the next of its existence, are utterly devoid of intelligible order. The world is then, rather, sheer happenstance, through and through. But in that case, all talk of natural law and science and understanding and explanation is just nonsense. To say that the world arises spontaneously is just to say that it happens for no reason at all; and if there are no reasons why things happen, we can have no hope of understanding why things happen. So if Hawking is right, everything he says is by definition sheer noise.

I’m not saying this to be catty, but just to point out that Hawking’s hypothesis reduces immediately to an utter absurdity, that renders his life’s work void and meaningless.

Alan M. writes:

I sent the below message two years ago and you (rightly) pointed out that it needed a better explanation.

I was reminded about this by the article today about “agency.”

Leftist thinking always requires playing “hide the agent” when acknowledging it would hurt their argument. Conversely, it always requires playing “expose the agent” when helps their argument.

The simplest case is the rate of Democratic vs. Republican mentions when reporting on political scandals. If politicians are involved in a scandal and no political affiliation is mentioned, then the politician is almost certainly a Democrat.

I think you are on to something very important in pointing out that this aspect of missing agency is central to their irrational thinking.

Here is my earlier message, from October 2008:


Hi Lawrence:

In reading this interesting thread and thinking back to previous arguments, I’ve noticed that there are two aspects hidden in the false thinking of atheists (and most other people taught how to not think in our school systems).

1. Any and all judgments require (a) the thing to be judged, (b) something to compare it to, and (c) a measure by which to compare it.

For example, Kobe Bryant is a better basketball player than I because he has a much better vertical jump capability.

Most people leave off the comparison: Kobe is a great basketball player (notice the hidden comparison with others).

They then take the next step: Kobe is great (here, we have lost the comparison and the measure).

In Julien B.’s comment, he said that some things are objectively good or objectively bad. Again, hidden in this argument is the measure and the comparison.

Objective goodness requires measurement against an absolute goal/statement of ultimate reality. Therefore, in his statement he is either assuming (a) a God or (b) some ultimate values determined to be ultimate by man. There is no other choice. Therefore, we end up with either God is God or Man is God.

Everyone has a God (or gods, when our thinking is not integral) or believe themselves to be God.

Making any judgment requires that. When arguing with these folks, we have to play “Cherchez le God” and help them see their chosen god.

2. Atheists inject hidden actors, decisions, and will into their scenarios through their use (abuse, actually) of language through the passive tense, e.g., “A species evolved,” “Natural selection.” I even heard Dawkins give a presentation at the brilliantly flawed TED conference where he said that horses evolved man to husband them (of course he was being facetious) but it allows me to get to the point …

Philosophies like atheism, Darwinism, materialism CANNOT be explained without falsely inserting hidden actors who make decisions and have apparent will in how they describe it. To remove those would require every sentence to be reduced to “it happens” or “it is.” Now, that’s very eastern spiritual and all, but not very scientific.

3. The hidden actor(s) is/are their hidden, assumed god(s)…. and atheists would rather have either matter, or Man, as god rather than God. This is the final thread that ties everything together. Judgments and language assume/require a god. Atheists cleverly hide their god through the abuse of language. We must help them by pointing out their god and comparing him with our God.

I hope I have explained this well enough. I think it supports your arguments, shows us the flaws in their/our thinking, and gives us some tools to think our way out of the web of illusion their strange language has created.

Josh F. writes:

One can’t help look at Hawking and see a man still bitter at the God that physically crippled him. But then again, we are really at the end of theoretical physics. It’s God or it’s something from nothing. And what makes it even more pitiful is that this extremely intelligent man decides to manifest as atheist “scientist” in his last days (does he really feel liberated now)? These mutually exclusive states of existence mean one can’t be himself and someone else UNLESS he is radically autonomous. Hawking doesn’t seem to understand that you can’t invoke God in an ONLY material universe WITHOUT empirical evidence of such God. It is physically impossible. But he has done it. The atheist “scientist” can do it.

Josh continues:

Something from nothing …

That’s how man conceived God.

Kilroy M. writes:

Lennox writes: “It always amuses me that atheists often argue for the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence beyond earth. Yet they are only too eager to denounce the possibility that we already have a vast, intelligent being out there: God.”

The scientific atheist will deny the possibility of an a priori uber intelligence designing the universe and its laws, but not the possibility of random mutation forming life within that universe according to those laws. There is no contradiction here.

But the problem is that Hawkins is using the product of God’s creation, ie science, as a device to disprove His existence. How could an intelligent man do such a thing without either (a) already starting from a pre-determined conclusion and crudely rationalising it, ie not acting like a scientist at all, or (b) being mentally unhinged. I don’t believe it is ‘b’ so I suggest it must be ‘a’, or in other words: Hawkins is animated by an anti-religious animus, he is just a bigot with a degree.

I don’t know whether this is true or not, but I heard anecdotaly once that Einstein was an atheist but actually started believing in God later in his life. Science made him realise that God indeed does exist, hence his comment that he would “like to know God’s thoughts, the rest are details”. The thing with bigots like Hawkins is that they observe things that would not be there without some form of genesis that brought them forth, yet they harp on “I see no evidence”.

It’s like looking at a baby and saying: “there is no evidence of there ever being a mother that gave birth to it. Anybody who says otherwise is just a dangerous flat-earther who does not belong in the academe.”

LA writes:

Materialists/atheists are denying the existence of God all the time. I am curious as to why this particular God-denying statement by Hawking has set off such an intense protest.

Brandon F. writes:

I must say that picture of him you posted is disgusting to look at especially with the knowledge of his apparently new atheism. Too bad all atheists don’t look like that on the outside.

Van Wijk writes:

I’d like to expand a bit on what Charles T. wrote. Cosmologists, almost to a man, have replaced belief in God with belief in the Alien. (There is even an organization dedicated to making contact with the Alien called SETI, which has been criticized as being faith-based.) The assumptions made about our interstellar neighbors are what give the game away: the Alien is almost always described as being benevolent, unthinkably advanced, and willing to show us how to live in perfect harmony with the Earth. The Alien is a source of salvation.

I recently listened to a radio program where the host was interviewing a cosmologist. The cosmologist described the size and shape of the universe, but when questioned about what exactly might lay outside of the universe, she said “Well, now you’re getting into philosophy.” So the intrepid scientist gets all the fat and none of the calories. She gets to state with authority that the universe is finite and has a shape, but when her hubris is challenged she gets to politely bow out of the conversation. Typical liberal.

September 6

Daniel S. writes:

I think it important to ask why should so much authority be placed on Stephen Hawking’s ill-informed theological musings. While his knowledge of astrophysics is undoubtedly matched by few, how does this translate into knowledge of theology or the philosophy of religion? If he were not a celebrity would his views on God matter any more than those of the local high school science teacher? Why should we throw out Plato, Aristotle, Anselm, Maimonides, Aquinas, and Leibniz for Hawking and Carl Sagan?

James S. writes:

I appreciated your counter to the genius’s statement, but wish you’d also gone here:

If “law” created the universe, “law” was pre-existent. Who wrote “law”?

(And besides, smartypants, what is “gravity”?)

September 8

Ferg writes:

If I understand Hawking’s argument correctly, it is as follows: “Assume gravity.”

September 17

Shrewsbury writes:

Shrewsbury especially liked your elegant assimilation of Stephen Hawkings’s simple-minded notion, that the existence of physical laws somehow precludes the existence of a Lawgiver, with the smug, infuriating dogma of America as a “proposition nation” strangely beloved of right-liberals; two instances of abstract thought which do not even generalize from any underlying reality, but simply do away with it; which celebrate the ideas which proceed from a particular source, whilst discarding the source without which the ideas could not exist. This line of thought could be developed into a book. (It might also be suggested, that if these physicist dudes are going to believe in an infinite number of universes, for which there is no evidence, they might as well believe in a God, for which there is.)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 05, 2010 09:29 AM | Send

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