What Stephen Hawking Couldn’t Unlock About the Mystery of the Cosmos
After world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking died last week at the age of 76, there was an outpouring of positive remarks by commentators, politicians and celebrities from all over the world. People universally praised Hawking and unanimously agreed that he was one of the world’s most brilliant minds. But even though Hawking studied the universe for the majority of his life, he was unable to unlock the greatest mysteries of the cosmos.
Hawking was born in Oxford, England, in the early 1940s. His mother was a medical research secretary and his father was a research biologist. Hawking first attended University College–Oxford, where he studied physics and chemistry. He went on to study cosmology at the University of Cambridge.
It was during this time in his early 20s that he was diagnosed with a rare motor neuron disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (als). The disease causes the death of neurons that control muscle movement, causing Hawking’s muscles to shut down. Doctors gave him only a few years to live. Though he lived far longer, his illness confined him to a wheelchair and he was unable to speak without a voice synthesizer.
Hawking certainly accomplished a lot over the course of his lifetime. Most people know him for his work in cosmology, general relativity, quantum gravity and black holes. He also wrote 15 books—his most popular is A Brief History of Time, which was published in 1988 and sold over 10 million copies.
When he died on March 14, the world heaped all kinds of praise on him, saying things like: “he was utterly remarkable,” a “brilliant mind,” “a rock star scientist,” “a visionary scientist,” “he transformed our view of the universe,” and “the world loses one of its greatest minds and its most famous scientist.”
cnn wrote that he was “considered by many to be the world’s greatest living scientist.”
The Guardian wrote that Hawking was “the brightest star in the firmament of science, whose insights shaped modern cosmology and inspired global audiences in the millions” (emphasis added throughout).
Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson tweeted, “His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake.”
Even politicians weighed in.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Professor Stephen Hawking was an outstanding scientist and academic. His grit and tenacity inspired people all over the world. His demise is anguishing. Professor Hawking’s pioneering work made our world a better place.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May said Professor Hawking “was a brilliant and extraordinary mind—one of the great scientists of his generation. His courage, humor and determination to get the most from life was an inspiration. His legacy will not be forgotten.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn even weighed in, saying, “Stephen Hawking inspired the world with his determination to explain the mysteries of the cosmos.”
British astronaut Tim Peake said, “He inspired generations to look beyond our own blue planet and expand our understanding of the universe. His personality and genius will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with his family.”
With the disadvantages that Hawking had physically, the way that he pushed himself in the scientific community certainly is a remarkable side to this story. But there is a lot Mr. Hawking did not know about the universe.
In a ted Talk from several years ago, Hawking explained some of his conclusions regarding the universe: “The universe can spontaneously create itself out of nothing.”
Further on he said, “Are we alone or is there other life in the universe? We believe that life rose spontaneously on the Earth, so it must be possible for life to appear on other suitable planets of which there seem to be a large number in the galaxy. But we don’t know how life first appeared.”
After all those years studying the cosmos, these were Hawking’s conclusions: The universe created itself and life spontaneously arose on the Earth.
What does God say about that kind of reasoning? What does the Bible say about individuals who conclude that the universe sprung into existence without a great Creator God?
God says, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).
The psalm continues, “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (verses 2-3).
This is God’s assessment of mankind’s “progress.” Look at the world! Of course, there have been stunning advancements in the world of science and technology in the past century. But we have drifted further from God. And because of that, this world is not getting better! It’s getting much worse.
In a Trumpet article from 2006 titled “Religion—and the True Faith,” the late Ron Fraser referred to a piece by British historian Paul Johnson. In his piece, Johnson wrote about a tv interview where Hawking was asked, “What existed before the universe began?” Hawking’s reply was, “That’s a meaningless question.”
Don’t even ask that question, he said. There is no sense in even asking it!
Johnson responded: “No question is meaningless if it is prompted by a genuine thirst for knowledge.” He said, “Physicists expect us to believe their claim … that not merely something but everything was created out of nothing, thus breaking the fundamental law of physics.”
To say that something was created out of nothing breaks their own fundamental law!
“[T]hey fear that trying to answer [questions about what happened before the ‘Big Bang,’] or admitting that they are meaningful, will involve them in debate about the three-letter word which, to them, is the final obscenity—G-O-D,” wrote Johnson.
Scientists today consider this subject to be so far out, so outlandish and crazy that it’s not even up for debate!
But contrast this modern, scientific mind with some of the “fathers of science,” such as Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton, who all used science to learn more about the Great Designer behind the universe—the great Creator God!
For example, Nicolaus Copernicus said, “The search for the mechanism of the universe, wrought for us by a supremely good and orderly Creator—the system the best and most orderly artist of all framed for our sake.’”
These scientific minds from centuries past were driven by the quest to get a glimpse of the mind of God! They didn’t have all the answers of course, but at least they believed in a Creator God!
The Bible has thorough and detailed explanations for the universe, its origin, and even what happened before God brought it all into existence.
If you would like to hear more on this subject, I talked about it at length on my Trumpet Daily Radio Show, which you can listen to below. In my program, I also expound on some of the requirements necessary for life on Earth.