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Stephen Hawking & God [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-4-28 08:34:21 |Display all floors
Today, on the front page of China Daily Online, I saw the photo of the world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking, as he enjoyed "weightlessness" on his space flight.  

Seeing his photo reminded me of some things I've been reading recently from Hawking's book A Brief History of Time and also from some of his lectures that can be found on his website.

It seems that Hawking's physics research points to the fact that the universe is not infinite, but it had a definite beginning, (and also, he believes, a definite end).  Hawking refuses to be labeled an atheist (one who believes that there is no God) because he believes that if the universe had a beginning, it must have a creator (God).

"So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator"
(Hawking, "A Brief History of Time")

At the end of his book, as he completes his discussion on boundaries and so forth, he says, "However, if we do discover a complete theory. . . then we would know the mind of God"

Can one "know God" or know the "mind of God" through Science?  Two thousand years ago, Paul wrote, "Ever since the creation of the world, God's eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things He has made" (Romans 1:20).   

Hawking seems to wonder if there is SOMETHING behind it all: "Even if there is only one possible unified theory [here he's talking about the unification of quantum mechanics with an understanding of gravity], it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?"

Hawking also admits that there are things that science cannot explain: "When one goes back to the real time in which we live, however, there will still appear to be singularities . . . ," he wrote. "In real time, the universe has a beginning and an end at singularities that form a boundary to space-time and at which the laws of science breaks down"

When asked whether he believed that science and Christianity were competing world views, Hawking replied, "...then Newton would not have discovered the law of gravity." He knew that Newton had strong religious convictions.

Hawking then goes on to say: "It is difficult to discuss the beginning of the universe without mentioning the concept of God. My work on the origin of the universe is on the borderline between science and religion, but I try to stay on the scientific side of the border. It is quite possible that God acts in ways that cannot be described by scientific laws, but in that case, one would just have to go by personal belief."

[ Last edited by karenb at 2007-4-28 08:38 AM ]

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Post time 2007-4-28 08:50:57 |Display all floors

So what are his "personal beliefs"

Hawking's science points toward God.

But he believes (based on his personal ideas, not his science) that God is distant.

"These laws may have originally been decreed by God, but it appears that he has since left the universe to evolve according to them and does not now intervene in it"

"We are such insignificant creatures on a minor planet of a very average star in the outer suburb of one of a hundred billion galaxies. So it is difficult to believe in a God that would care about us or even notice our existence."

Difficult to believe yes.  Such an idea was reflected by the ancient songwriter more than 3000 years ago:
" When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have put in their places; What is man, that you keep him in mind? the son of man, that you take him into account?"  (Psalm 8, The Bible)

I would submit  that, insignificant as we are, God does keep us in mind.

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Post time 2007-4-28 10:25:52 |Display all floors

Hawkins and Embryonic Stem Cells Research

Some time back, I wrote about the different types of stem cells researches, of which embryonic stem cell research is just one. Many western governments, the Vatican and ethicists do not approve of it on ethical grounds.

I think it is horrific for such a fertile mind to be trapped in a paraplegic body and if embryonic stem cells reseach can help the likes of Hawkins, I am all for it. He has certainly been granted a spark of divinity which he can share with the rest of us mere mortals.

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Post time 2007-4-28 10:36:30 |Display all floors
we should take a respectful attitude towards life . it's ok for human beings to ask for a better comfortable lives but it 's supposed to  have some horizons for us to be banned .

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Post time 2007-4-28 17:09:33 |Display all floors
Originally posted by cestmoi at 2007-4-28 12:25
I think it is horrific for such a fertile mind to be trapped in a paraplegic body and if embryonic stem cells reseach can help the likes of Hawkins, I am all for it. He has certainly been granted a spark of divinity which he can share with the rest of us mere mortals. ...


Hea hear. Well said Cestmoi, I fully agree.
"他不是救星, 他是一个非常淘气男孩" - Monty Python

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Post time 2007-4-28 19:35:45 |Display all floors
Media characterizes Christianity as a religion of the stupid.

Usually it is the most moronic Creationists that receive media attention because many in the news media wish to portray Christianity as a religion of the most stupid.   So Hawking's own beliefs on religion would not gain attention because he is very smart, holding the Isaac Newton Chair at the University of Oxford.  Isaac Newton is a real dude in science, not a just creation of a public relations machine.

It's not just the big bang theory that imlies a creation and a creator.  It is the edges of the universe itself too.  Scientists have long asserted that the universe is expanding at a fast rate and is very large from end to end, top to bottom.  However, if it is expanding, then it is existing inside something else.  What lies beyond the edges of the expanding universe?  Of course no one knows.
龙年顺顺利利

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Post time 2007-4-28 19:53:01 |Display all floors
Originally posted by matt605 at 2007-4-28 21:35
Media characterizes Christianity as a religion of the stupid.
Usually it is the most moronic Creationists that receive media attention because many in the news media wish to portray Christianity as a religion of the most stupid.  ...


Actually I think those moronic creationists do the job nicely themselves without any media help.

They are the ones who say the earth is 5000 years old and think that the because the universe was created in "seven days" it literally means 168 hours. They are the same as those who want "intelligent design" to be taught as a scientific theory.

In fact some of these scientists, like Hawking and Paul Davies know there are many unanswered questions and ponder that which is outside science. That is a good thing.

The known scientific facts of "life, the universe and everything" are not wholly incompatible with something more spiritual and outside our present understanding. However what we do know about the universe, evolution and so on, is not so compatible with some of the more fundamentalist literal interpretations of religious teaching.
"他不是救星, 他是一个非常淘气男孩" - Monty Python

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