It was with some trepidation that I started reading the piece in the WSJ over the weekend headlined “Why God Did Not Create the Universe,” and with the byline of Stephen Hawking and some other guy.
I mean, he’s a smart guy. He knows lots of stuff. Maybe he’ll make a good argument that I don’t want to hear. Right?
But I read it anyway.
And the whole time, I figured he was lulling me, leading me down a logical primrose path, so that when he finally hit me with the reason WHY God didn’t create the universe, I wouldn’t see it coming. I was all ready to be indignant over such a cheap trick.
That’s because most of the piece, to me, beautifully expresses the reasons why one would naturally believe in a Creator God.
I knew that he knew this, and he acknowledged it by saying “Many people would like us to use these coincidences as evidence of the work of God.” And when he did say that, I thought, here it comes. Here’s the Whammer coming up to the plate. He’s going to knock God’s pitch right out of the park.
But he didn’t. At best, he took a walk.
Near as I can tell, what he had to say was that, ummm, it doesn’t have to be God. Even though, you know, this is kinda the way it would look if God DID create it. But he didn’t have to. At least, I don’t think so…
It was weak. When I was finished, I understood why the WSJ had buried it on an inside page in a back section. If he’d made a better argument, it would have been real news. Far better to play Tony Blair’s essay on the front of that section. He made more sense. He always does. (You know, he converted to Catholicism. Just like me.)
Sure, Newton’s thinking was kind of fallacious, if Hawking is accurate in the way he describes that luminary’s attempt to stick up for God by saying our habitable solar system did not “arise out of chaos by the mere laws of nature.” The problem was with the “mere” part. As though said laws would be anybody’s but God’s. I mean, duh. Whether you’re a deist or a Prebyterian, the original Designer fits perfectly with observable facts.
But I always come away from these things thinking that. When I look at life evolving over billions of years, I think to myself, Yep, that’s exactly the majestic way He would do it. As Tom Sawyer would say, I wouldn’t give shucks for any other way. Or for a God who wanted to do it any other way.
But that’s just me, I guess.