“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”
There is no question that Stephen Hawking is a brilliant man; he is probably the only living scientist that can be positively compared to Albert Einstein. I don’t consider myself an expert on physics or cosmogony, so I am not going to be stupid enough to take on Professor Hawking on his own turf, but there is a serious issue with his claim when we consider the goals of science.
The reason that most scientists, even those with strong atheistic tendencies, can keep their scientific credibility in the science vs. faith “argument” is that they recognize that the goal of science is solely to explain the natural universe by objective, observable means. It is this goal that allows reasonable people of faith to trust in science. The goal of science is neither to prove nor disprove a God/creator/Intelligent Designer. It is here where Hawking has crossed the line from neutral scientist to dogmatic ideologue.
We can dispute Hawking’s claim about the creative powers of gravity forever. His theory relies on huge leaps of faith that can never be empirically proven nor denied (sound familiar?). He relies on the assumption that gravity is a naturally existing force that, instead of being a function of mass, may exist across universes (multiverse theory is for another day, but Hawking’s theory, logically, presupposes multiple universes); even leaving open the possibility that electromagnetism and strong and weak interaction do not also cross universal barriers. Hawking’s problem is that he seems to have proposed a scientific theory for the sole purpose of disproving God. Hawking no longer appears content with allowing for the idea that God lit the fuse on the Big Bang as he certainly was when he wrote A Brief History of Time. He wants to exit the arena of science and take on Aquinas; that round little monk was wrong…science and faith cannot coexist!
Perhaps it is his insatiable need to be written about in mainstream media, but Stephen Hawking is now no better than the most ignorant young-Earth proponent. Any time science adopts an agenda, science is damaged. I would have never thought that one of the world’s greatest scientists would be the one doing the damage.