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Why is Stephen Hawking Wrong about God?

Post Author: Bill Pratt

the grand design cover Why is Stephen Hawking Wrong about God?In Stephen Hawking’s latest book, The Grand Design (I haven’t read it yet, but I have read Hawking’s introduction and pre-release interviews), he offers explanations as to why our universe exists and why there is such incredible fine tuning in our universe to support advanced life on earth.  His answer seems to be that the laws of physics are the explanation.  There is no need for God.

Enter Professor John Lennox.  He wrote an excellent piece recently dealing with Hawking’s claims head on.  Lennox begins:

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.

Lennox then goes on to further explain the mistake that Hawking is making:

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.

The rest of Lennox’s article takes on other aspects of Hawking’s arguments and is well worth reading.

*Another response: Alister McGrath has also written a brilliant article addressing Hawking’s book.

 Why is Stephen Hawking Wrong about God?

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Comments

  • http://rericsawyer.wordpress.com R. Eric Sawyer

    I would agree that his argument is flawed in that it sets physical law as an alternative to a creator God.
    From where do the physical laws arise? Why are they as they are? Saying “they just are” doesn’t help much. That treats them as the self-existent prime cause –perhaps that is what Hawkings means, but I don’t find that very satisfactory unless you also posit an infinitely repeating universe. I understand that a repeating universe built around a big bang to big crunch cycle is out of favor, but that there are other ideas as to how it could be. You would have to prove one of them.

    As a side note, I find the “argument from fine tuning” to be problematic for God, simply because of the same possibility: IF (and that is a BIG if) there is some mechanism for a repeating universe, then in an infinite regress of possible universes, statistically all possibilities will occur. We happen to inhabit the one that worked out right for us. Much like if you deal an infinite number of poker hands, a royal flush will come up from time to time.

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  • Maury

    Very interesting article. Is it just me or does it seem that secular science drastically overcomplicates things in their efforts to “remove” God but are tripped up by the most simplistic principal that mas at rest will remain at rest. There can be no “reaction” without an “action”. Big bang… who lit the fuse? Bullets do not fire unless heat is generated.

    Grace and peace,

    Maury

  • Bill Pratt

    Maury,
    The clear mantra of secularists is “any explanation except God will do.” It doesn’t matter how goofy the explanation, be it infinite numbers of universes or universes popping out of nowhere – these explanations are always to be preferred over the God hypothesis. And we are supposed to be the ones operating on blind faith….

  • Maury

    Excellent point – Even more interesting, the quantum physics gurus in my opinion are simply proving the “God hypothesis”. Just when they think that they have unlocked the final door they find themselves behind three more. Example string theory lead to membrane theory; what will that lead to? They are not on the verge of discovering paralell universes, they have simply come up against the separation of the spirit world and the physical world. They really get stuck because of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. I honestly believe they are so close to God immanent within the science but they do not see the forest for the trees. Heisenberg reveals our limitations and reveals God’s transcendence as only God can function at that level of thought and process. But I digress, I am just an architect. :)

    Grace and peace,

    Maury

  • http://rericsawyer.wordpress.com R. Eric Sawyer

    Maury, you say that you are an architect, and yet you do not understand that buildings arise spontaneously out of piles of building materials, both powered and ordered by the various building codes and properties inherent in those materials?

    (BTW, don’t ask where the materials came from –that’s none of your business)

  • Maury

    Lightning hit a puddle of water on the job site… Of course! :)

  • Boz

    I have found the blogosphere response to this book to be quite peculiar.

    Normally, when there is atheism/theism related news, the news gets roughly proportionately equal attention from both atheists and theists. But with this Hawking/Mlodinow book, atheist blogs aren’t really interested, while theist blogs are giving it a lot of attention. Strange.

    Though, this is just an anecdotal observation from the few hundred blogs that I read, I haven’t measured the level of attention.

  • Boz

    Bill Pratt said: “The clear mantra of secularists is “any explanation except God will do.” It doesn’t matter how goofy the explanation, be it infinite numbers of universes or universes popping out of nowhere – these explanations are always to be preferred over the God hypothesis. And we are supposed to be the ones operating on blind faith….”

    I started typing out why “God did it” is a bad explanation, but Luke Muehlhauser is much more eloquent than I am.

    :

    So why is “God did it” a bad explanation? It’s not because God himself is unexplained. It’s for other reasons.

    Let’s look at a list of arguments for the existence of God:

    You’ve got cosmological arguments: God is the best explanation for why something exists rather than nothing.

    You’ve got design arguments: God is the best explanation for certain complex things.

    You’ve got moral arguments: God is the best explanation for why some things are really right and wrong.

    And here are some other arguments proposed by Alvin Plantinga:

    He says: God is the best explanation for the existence of mathematical sets.

    God is the best explanation for our experience of flavor and color.

    God is the best explanation for our appreciation of Mozart.

    God is the best explanation for our experience of nostalgia.

    So by now you might have noticed a problem. How does saying “God did it” explain any of these things? How does “God did it” offer a solution to any of the problems that philosophers and scientists are working on? When you’re confronted with a difficult problem, you can’t just say “Well, I guess it was magic.” That doesn’t solve anything!

    “Poof! Magic” is not an explanation.

    But I can’t just say that “Poof! Magic” is not explanation. I have to argue for it.

  • Boz

    [continued]

    Scientists and philosophers, when looking for a best explanation, have identified some qualities that are often associated with good explanations. What is it that makes something a best explanation? What is it that makes one thing a good explanation, and another thing a not-so-good explanation?

    Well, the first thing is that they are testable. In fact, if a theory wasn’t testable, it wouldn’t make much sense to say it’s the best explanation of something, because there’s no way for you to test whether it’s true or not! These theories render specific predictions, so you can go out in the world and see whether those predictions are true or false.

    And of course, it should be not only testable, but it should pass the test. Astrology is very testable.

    For example, many astrologers say that a woman’s menstrual cycle corresponds to the phases of the moon. That’s testable! And guess what? We tested it; it’s false.

    Our most successful explanations also tend to be consistent with our background knowledge. If your new theory requires that we throw out everything we know about gravity and light and animals and humans, then that’s probably not the right theory. Consistency with background knowledge is important for a best explanation.

    Successful explanations also tend to be simpler than alternatives. If a cookie is missing from a cookie jar, that’s probably just because Timmy took the cookie. It’s possible that the FBI and a gang of poltergeists conspired to use a time-stopping machine to freeze time and walk right past you and steal the cookie and then get away and unfreeze time again. That’s possible. But it’s extremely unlikely. Why? Because every element in that story is by itself unlikely, and the theory requires that they all be true, which is even more unlikely. So don’t add things to your theory that don’t need to be there.

    Successful explanations should also have good explanatory scope, meaning they should explain a wide variety of data. Take, for example, the theory that those puffy white lines you see in the sky sometimes are from government planes dropping mind-control gas on all of us. One problem with this theory is that it might explain why New Yorkers see them, but it does not explain why you see lots of puffy white lines in the sky over deserts and oceans, where there are no minds to control. So that theory might explain some of the data, but it doesn’t explain all the data. It has weak explanatory scope.

    So this is just the start of what scientists and philosophers look for in a good explanation, but we can already see there are major problems for the “God did it” theory.

    For example, is the God hypothesis testable? No. Saying “God did it” renders no specific predictions for us to test, because God is all powerful and he could be responsible for anything. And theologians are very insistent on this because if they started to make the God hypothesis more specific and he would render specific predictions, it usually turns out that he fails the test. So they’ve been very careful to make God this mysterious, all-powerful thing and we don’t understand his purposes and he could be doing just about anything and we wouldn’t understand why. So there are no specific predictions that come out of the God hypothesis; there’s no way to test it. And it doesn’t make sense to say God is the best hypothesis if there’s no way to test whether or not that hypothesis is true.

    What about the second criterion? Is the God hypothesis consistent with our background knowledge? Not at all. God is an extreme violation of our background knowledge about how things work. God is a person but he doesn’t have a body. God thinks, but without the passage of time. He knows everything, but he doesn’t have a brain. God is a terrible violation of our background knowledge in many serious ways.

    Is the God hypothesis simple? If you’re talking about the God of the Bible, definitely not. The God of the Bible is an extraordinarily complex person; a being with thoughts and emotions who loves and hates and condemns and forgives; a being who turns a staff into a snake and a woman into salt; a being who changes his mind; a being who starts fires and throws rocks from the sky; a being who kills and resurrects; a being who takes part in personal relationships and political struggles; and a being who incarnates himself as a complex biological organism known as Jesus of Nazareth. The God of the Bible is far from simple.

    And even if you’re talking about a more generic kind of God, God is not simple. Christian philosopher C. Stephen Layman lists four ways that a hypothesis can simple, and in all 4 ways he admits that the God hypothesis is more complex than the atheistic hypothesis. But I don’t have time to go into that here.

    What about explanatory scope? Does the God hypothesis have good explanatory scope? Again, no. I’ll give just one example. If you invoke God as the explanation for apparent design in the universe, you immediately run into the problem of all the incompetent and evil “design” in the universe.2

    So why is “God did it” a bad explanation? It’s because “God did it” lacks all the virtues we look for in successful explanations, and instead has many of the qualities that appear in terrible explanations, like explanations from pseudoscience and superstition.

    So, when someone gives an argument for God, pick out the part where they’re saying God is the best explanation for something and ask: “How is ‘God did it’ a good explanation for that? How does ‘Poof! Magic’ explain anything? Please tell me exactly how magic is a good explanation for that.”

    And when you do that, it becomes immediately clear what’s really going on here. Believers aren’t really offering a ‘best explanation’ for anything, what they’re offering is a good-old argument from ignorance.

    “Woah! Lightning! I don’t know how that happens, so… it must be an angry magical being in the sky throwing down lightning bolts!”

    “I can’t explain the bacterial flagellar motor, so… it must be the work of an all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing, non-physical, timeless, spaceless, personal magical being!”

    These are arguments from ignorance and they’re really bad. When you say “We don’t know,” you don’t say, “… it must be… anything!” When you say “I don’t know,” that’s where your sentence should stop.

    So when you ask people to explain “How is ‘poof! Magic’ the best explanation for this?” it becomes clear that believers are just offering arguments from ignorance and dressing them up with the language of ‘best explanation.’

  • Bill Pratt

    Boz,
    Do infinite universes and universes being created out of nothing meet the criteria that you’ve laid out?

  • Boz

    I don’t know the details of the hypotheses involving infinite universes or universes appearing out of nothing, so I can’t determine the goodness of those explanations.

  • Maury

    Boz,

    You assume that we (Christians) want to throw out science, math and knowledge in general in favor of simply stating that “God did it”. That is not the case at all. I will go out on a limb and suggest that any “Christian” scientist or mathematician does not approach his work that way.

    We look at the same physical, verifiable facts and evidence that secular scientist and mathematicians do, the difference is that we look at it from the perspective of God designed. To paraphrase Hawking, we see that God “lit the blue touch paper”. There is no poof magic with God.

    God created the physical laws that govern the universe in which we live and is immanent within them. What secular science struggles with and what Christians take by faith is that God acts internally on all points of natural law at the same time. Yes that is a difficult concept to grasp but again has nothing to do with poof magic.

    Grace and peace,

    Maury

  • Bill Pratt

    Boz,
    Meaning no disrespect, but you also don’t know the details about the God hypothesis either, yet you feel free to make comments about the goodness of that hypothesis. When Hawking says something, you withhold judgment, but when Christian scholars say something, the verdict is swift and almost always negative. Where is the consistency in your method?

  • Maury

    All,

    Here are the nuts and bolts of this whole dialogue. Stop and consider for a moment what the secular/humanist/atheist portion of the world is really saying. At the very core lies the issue of accountability. If there is an absolute one and only true God then they can be held accountable for their actions. Believe me that is a very frightening thing! It is uncomfortable to be called out for something we have done wrong.

    On the other hand if there is not an absolute one and only true God then man is only accountable to himself and can make up the rules as he sees fit. It all comes down to accountability and accepting responsibility for our own actions.

    Grace and peace,

    Maury

  • http://sandwichesforsale.blogspot.com DagoodS

    Maury,

    I am sorry, and I say this with the gentlest of intentions. But you are so very wrong, and if you approach non-believers with such a predisposition in place, you are sure to fail at your interactions.

    Completely and utterly fail.

    Because you are imposing a motivation that does not exist, resulting in a complete mis-read of everything we say.

  • Maury

    Dagoods,

    I am sorry, and I say this with the gentlest of intentions. But you are so very wrong in your assumption that I (or any true Christian for that matter) approach non-believers with anything at all.

    It is the Holy Spirit that flows THROUGH us like living water to those that God draws to himself. I make no apology for stating the truth; we are not to quinch the Holy Spirit.

    Is the statement that I made incorrect? That is the argument of the secular humanist that man is the source and norm for truth? Therefore man is only accountable to himself?

    If the secular humanists recognize that there is a “creator” then they are accountable to that “creator” as the absoulte moral giver.

    That is not me being judgemental, unloving, or uncompasionate because I am held accountable just as much as everyone else. My burden is to be a vessel for the light of Jesus Christ. My failure comes when I speak on my own and think that my understanding is better. :)

    Grace and peace,

    Maury

  • http://sandwichesforsale.blogspot.com DagoodS

    Maury,

    In answer to your questions…

    Yes, you are incorrect. No, secular humanists do NOT say humans are the source and norm for truth? As to the third question, it would depend what you mean by “accountable.”

    If you mean on a moral basis, yes humans are only accountable morally to other humans. But we shouldn’t just gloss over this quickly. Think of all the human-creations we are accountable to. If you live in the United States, you are accountable to local municipal ordinances. Township mandates, county laws. State statutes, Federal laws, the Constitution. Not to mention numerous administrative agencies such as motor vehicles and fishing licenses.

    As well as cultural norms and business expectations

    In light of all the accountability we live with each day, I have no idea why anyone would think we non-believers would have a problem with accountability to one more agency—that being God.

    Even if there is a creator, it does not necessarily follow we are accountable to that creator. It depends on what type of creator it was. Perhaps it doesn’t care. And if it does, we are still stuck with the lack of communication to determine what…exactly…that moral code is we should be following.

    Not even Christians (even the “true” ones) can agree; what chance does a poor skeptic have? *grin*

  • Boz

    Maury said: “To paraphrase Hawking, we see that God “lit the blue touch paper”. There is no poof magic with God.”
    Maury said: “God created the physical laws that govern the universe”

    Maury, how did Yahweh do that? without using a euphemism for, or synonym of ‘magic’.

  • Boz

    Bill Pratt said: “Boz, Meaning no disrespect, but you also don’t know the details about the God hypothesis either, yet you feel free to make comments about the goodness of that hypothesis. When Hawking says something, you withhold judgment, but when Christian scholars say something, the verdict is swift and almost always negative. Where is the consistency in your method?”

    Well, I have more exposure to the god hypothesis, it has been in existence for several thousand years. Hawking’s and Mlodinow’s hypotheses in their book have only been publicly available for a few weeks. I try to be consistent in not jumping to conclusions.

    In relation to the Yahweh hypothesis,
    Is it testable?
    Is it consistent with our background knowledge?
    Is it simple?
    Does it have good explanatory scope?

  • Maury

    Boz,

    God spoke and the universe came into to being; by the word of his mouth.

    Grace and peace,

    Maury

  • Boz

    So, Yahweh said some special words, and then the universe appearead?

    Kind of like a spoken incantation?

    “Wingardium Leviosa!”

    :p

  • http://rericsawyer.wordpress.com rericsawyer

    Wellm Boz, I doubt He spoke comic-book Latin, but I am told that all things were made by the Word of God. I take that to mean, at the least, ex nihilo, as an expression of who He is.
    Saying that in a silly fashion doesn’t seem to advance your argument; rather it suggests that my position has not been understood.

    I think the more central point is not just “goddidit” , it is whether it was done or not done by any agency. I have suggested, probably to my allies consternation, some ways that a prime cause might not be needed. I don’t believe them, partly because an infinitely repeating series of universes violates entropy. Entropy may not work at that scale, Newtonian mechanics fall apart at the other end of the size spectrum; but as we have never observed a closed system operate without entropy, I have to go with it. Even a infinitely repeating series of universes neeeds an energy refill from outside.

    But the issue is just this simple:
    Is a “prime cause” (of any discription) needed or is it not?
    and if not, why not?

  • http://rericsawyer.wordpress.com rericsawyer

    But as to your more serious 2-part post –
    I think your points are very reasonable, except that they confuse “how” and “why”
    If I say “we appreciate Mozart because of God.” (and I do say that – and the converse),
    I should not be surprised if someone protests that I have not told him anything about how it works- sound and composition –melody and harmony –rhythm, counterpoint and voicing –cultural memory etc.; even mathematical series in the harmonic and inharmonic pitches. All these affect what we find pleasing and displeasing, strange or enrapturing. But none of that says “Why?”

    You may have forgotten it, but you probably heard the illustration of “why is the kettle
    making that whistling noise?”
    One answer comes from combustion, heat flow, vapor pressure, and sonic waves.
    The other answer –“because I wanted a cup of tea”

    Both are accurate, and can reasonably claim to be complete. But neither is.

  • Greg

    Boz,

    You said:

    Scientists and philosophers, when looking for a best explanation, have identified some qualities that are often associated with good explanations. What is it that makes something a best explanation? What is it that makes one thing a good explanation, and another thing a not-so-good explanation?

    Well, the first thing is that they are testable. In fact, if a theory wasn’t testable, it wouldn’t make much sense to say it’s the best explanation of something, because there’s no way for you to test whether it’s true or not! These theories render specific predictions, so you can go out in the world and see whether those predictions are true or false.

    Doesn’t the term “Best Explanation” imply that you do not have a 100% concrete explanation and that what is proposed is just the best one? If not, then why not just call it “The explanation”? Also, you state that the “best” explanation is verifiable. Is the creation of the universe (by nothing from nothing) verifiable in science? Can a scientist observe a universe being created by and from nothing?

    You even said above that if a “theory” is not testable then to call it the best explanation is nonsensical. Do you not see that you are actually against the “scientific” view of the beginning of the universe because there is NO WAY to test any theory about it that Hawking or any other scientist has come up with?

    It’s great to finally have you on our side!

  • http://rericsawyer.wordpress.com rericsawyer

    Greg said:

    Is the creation of the universe (by nothing from nothing) verifiable in science? Can a scientist observe a universe being created by and from nothing? You [Boz] even said above that if a “theory” is not testable then to call it the best explanation is nonsensical. Do you not see that you are actually against the “scientific” view of the beginning of the universe because there is NO WAY to test any theory about it that Hawking or any other scientist has come up with?

     Even though I agree with the position that creation is necessarily a work whose origins are outside itself (i.e. God), I don’t think this argument will fly. While it is true that the beginning of the universe is not testable by the same way we test the freezing point of water, that does not prove that it is not testable.If (and I’m neither a physicist nor a mathematician) we can describe mathematically certain principals, and prove those principals empirically, we can then apply those principals to other situations, such as the beginnings of time. By the “law of non-contradiction” these physical and mathematical laws apply everywhere if they apply anywhere. Thus, the ramifications of such laws and principals are powerful evidence for the way events occur which we cannot replicate or observe.

     Do note that I said “powerful evidence,” and not “proof.” When we apply these things in such a way, there is always the possibility that there is more to the story than we yet know, and our model will have to be revised, or even scrapped. Nevertheless, such a model can be tested mathematically, and be the best explanation extant. It can be the “most testable” of the ideas. 

    There is though this caveat – preference for the “Most Testable” model does not prove it. This line of thought can only explain things if we assume a closed system. Science must make that assumption, or it can describe nothing. If we are describe and predict the motion of balls on a pool table, we must assume that no one is going to knock one off course. But even though science must work under that rule, it has, and can have, no opinion on the possibility of such “outside interference.” It can only say what will happen to the balls after I interfere.

  • Greg

    Eric,

    Ok, we can “test” the creation of a universe from nothing by nothing but what will the observation be…….NOTHING.

  • http://www.rericsawyer.wordpress.com R. Eric Sawyer

    I expect the math, working back to the origin, goes something like the series 1/100, 1/99, 1/98, …, 1/2, 1/1, ?

    It all makes perfect sense up until that final step, then the result is undefined.

  • Boz

    rericsawyer said: “I think the more central point is not just “goddidit” , it is whether it was done or not done by any agency.”

    I agree.

    There are an uncountable number of possible entities or agencies which may have started the universe, of which Yahweh is one possiblity. So, “An agency started the universe” is more likely than “Yahweh started the universe” or “Quetzalcoatl started the universe”. And the agency question needs to be determined in the affirmative before we can look at what type of agency.

    rericsawyer said: “I think your points are very reasonable, except that they confuse “how” and “why””

    This distinction is significant only when there is agency. So, your whistling kettle example has agency, so ‘how’ and ‘why’ have distinct answers.

    And take the example of a wave crashing on to the beach. How did the wave crash on to the beach? The answer involves fluid dynamics, the gravity of the moon, tides, the shape of the beach etc. Why did the wave crash on to the beach? There is no distinct answer. There is no agency.

    So the question comes back to, whether or not the universe was started by any agency!

  • Anonymous

    Those laws inhere in Nature. Indeed, God would have to depend on them in order to act, and thus cannot be that Primary Cause! Yes, to the everretetition! Yes, that would help account for our being here. Yet, even without that, we should not speculate that there was divine intent for Nature to cause us to evolve but rather that randomly with the non-progarmming, anti-chance agency of Nature, natural selection we evolved!
    A sentient puddle could say that the hole around it was just right for it and thus was there for it, but no, holes come about only should rain fill them up do puddles arrive- no directed outcome!
    Per atheologian Lamberth’s teleonomic argument, science vouchsafes only teleonomy- no directed outcomes such that He’d have to comply with the new Omphalos argument that He so hides Himself that we don’t have those mountains of evidence that theists find!
    This follows from the presumption of naturalism.
    Google arguments about Him-that square circle, the ignostic-Ockham,the presumption of naturalism, the teleonomic argument and the problem of Heaven.

  • DonS.

    Very thoughtful post, Mr. Sawyer.

    I might add that the idea of a “repeating universe”, or also known as an oscillating universe, could only work if the universe halts its expansion and slowly collapses back to form another Big Bang.

    The problem there is that scientists have shown that the universe will continue to expand until the last star burns out – it will not collapse upon itself. So my logic says our universe and all the physical laws within is a one-time event.

    Sorry, Mr. Hawking.

  • http://questionablemotives.wordpress.com/ tildeb

    Any time your reasoning leads you to the conclusion that Oogity Boogity is the only logical explanation, you know you’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere in your inquiry. And that’s what god seems to be: the mother lode of Oogity Boogity. Calling those who recognize a wrong turn when they see it to be following ‘blind faith’ (because such a conclusion is an inquiry stopper) is rather silly in this context.

  • Guest

    Tildeb,

    If you don’t like the nature of this forum (i.e. faith-based religious belief), why don’t you excuse yourself?

  • http://questionablemotives.wordpress.com/ tildeb

    Who said i didn’t like the nature of this forum? Faith-based beliefs impact on my life all the time. Why do you think my voice in the matter needs to be excused from the conversation? Don’t you think that what’s true in reality should have some say in claims made about it, some amount of respect to better balance claims about reality based primarily on belief in some other reality? Don’t you think this a rather important reminder? Or do you think the only forum worth visiting must be an echo chamber?

  • sean

    This is a very interesting idea being discussed, and I’d like to add to the conversation.

    “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.”

    See the interesting thing is, under our current understanding of quantum physics, we don’t have to call on Sir Frank Whittle to explain jet engines. It is incorrect to say he is needed for a jet engine to exist. It’s pretty crazy stuff, but it is possible, due to the nature of the sub-atomic world, for a jet engine to spontaneously come into existence based on the random arrangement of the sub-atomic particles. Indeed, Whittle isn’t needed at all to explain jet engines. Now it happens that we know the explanation of jet engines here on Earth is due to a maker, but it’s not because of the existence of the engine looking designed, but because we know people build jet engines.

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