[quote="GoodGuyGreg, post:10, topic:251300"]
Most respectfully, I feel compelled to clear up some of the misconceptions about what Stephen Hawking was presenting in "Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe". For clarity's sake, I think that it would be best if we present Hawking's arguments in proper form so that may see exactly where, if any, disagreement may be had.
Hawking's Argument for the Spontaneous Universe (Three Parts)
1. The universe is made up of positive energy (electromagnetism, mass, nuclear forces, etc) and negative energy (quantum potential energy of a vacuum).
2. Both the positive and negative energies of the universe, if added, are equal to zero. This is not to hard to believe if we recognize that an atom is mostly empty space, a solar system is mostly empty space, and the universe is overwhelmingly empty space.
3. Therefore, there is no need for any energy to be added or subtracted to create the universe since the total is equal to zero.
1. According to Big Bang Theory, the universe began from an infinitely dense and infinitely small state, referred to as a "singularity".
2. This singularity is similar to black holes since both share the characteristics of being infinitely dense.
3. In a black hole, the closer you get to the event horizon, the more time slows because of relativity. At the center of a black hole time stands still because the gravity well created in the time-space continuum is infinitely deep.
4. In a singularity, the entire time-space continuum is contained within the singularity so time does not exist before the Big Bang.
1. At the quantum level, subatomic particles like bosons and mesons may spontaneously come in and out of existence.
2. The singularity of the Big Bang is very similar to these elementary particles.
3. Therefore, the singularity could have come into existence without cause.
With this, Hawking's makes his case for a universe that does not necessitate the creation nor the causation of a god. However, this says nothing about the existence of a god, which may exist if your definition of it does not depend upon it creating the universe.
Is this accurate? I took a quantum mechanics this past semester, and though it was just introductory, I can't understand this. It would make more sense to me for fermions, as opposed to bosons, to spontaneously pop into and out of existence, but like I said it was only introductory.
He clearly said in the show that God does not exist. He made this view absolutely crystal clear. Did you watch the show? You're giving him way too much credit for modesty. Even the non-theologian scientists in the discussion panel said it was too bold and arrogant of a conclusion.
His concluding argument was nicely summed up in the later half hour discussion program as "there was no time before the Big Bang, therefore God does not exist." This conclusion is hardly coherent. From my Christian perspective, God created time. It makes sense to me that there was no time before the Big Bang. How the heck does that indicate there is no God? I don't think Hawking has an understanding of what the Judeo-Christian God is to His people.
Simply because we cannot fathom a state of being in which time does not exist does not mean such a state of being is impossible. Ants can't fathom a state of being characterized by our state of consciousness, but we certainly exist.
A big gripe I had with the discussion panel was even the theologian shied away from the idea that God intervenes in the Universe. Why shy away from that? Science will never be able to answer that question. How does a chemical reaction proceed? By the spontaneous transfer of energy (or by an ignition source). I can certainly believe, as a Christian, that God's hands hold all engery, and when we detect the transfer of energy, God is perfectly waving his hands. This is not testable, and will never be testable. A physical observation used as an explanation for phenomena does not dismiss a higher meaning behind what we observe. We can only observe energy in motion. We can say that the Universe has set up laws to keep this going infinitely, but I can believe that God is doing all these things while we speak by employing certain modes such as gravity, nuclear fusion, etc. I can believe that gravity is just one of God's many hands.
We'll never know, and that isn't even essential to faith, but my point is simply that science as a paradigm is incapable of supporting or falsifying belief.