Author unravels Steven Hawking's God, science theories

Scientist Hugh Ross refutes Steven Hawking’s recent book on science, God and physics
— Georgene Rice of KPDQ-FM interviews Hugh Ross, scientist, PhD, and author of Why “The Universe The Way It Is”, responds to Steven Hawking’s pronouncement in his book, The Grand Design, that the universe was not created by a personal God but rather by forces of nature.

Georgene: “Let me invite you to respond to Steven Hawking’s, who states that gravity is a sufficient explanation for the origin for the universe.”

“What is new in this book is that he is now explicit that if God exists, then he must be an impersonal being, so God is not a personal being at all. And he argues that his change in his position was because of the discovery of extra solar planets…which he says proves the sun is  a lucky combination…and there is much less compelling evidence that shows the universe was created for more than just pleasing us human beings…Rather than proving that our sun and the solar systems are ordinary, it’s showing that they are unique, in that they have characteristics that would permit a plant in the same system that would have the possibility of sustaining advanced life…”

Georgene: “When a book like this is published, is it peer reviewed? And how has it fared among others in his field as an explanation for the universe.”

Hugh: “It’s very much like “A Brief History of Time” (also by Hawking), you have to be selective. There are chapters in both books that are a very lucidly written, explains to the laymen, some of the exotic aspects of physics…what he does is kind of pick up the highlights of the greatest discoveries in physics over the past 50 years and has beautiful diagrams, photographs that help the layman to understand.  The weakness of the book is the philosophical implications from the physics that is filled with fallacies…And of all of the Gods of the different religions of the world, only the God of the Bible claims to have created the universe, independent of matter, energy, space and time. The great irony is that Hawking is denying that the God of the Bible had any role in creating the universe but his own Space/Time Theory has proved exactly that…”

Georgene: “In your book you make the point that why, may be the most common and emotionally charged question in human experience.  You as an astronomer tackle many of most pressing cosmic whys.”

“I do…And I use what’s called the Standard Model in Cosmology to do that, as opposed to Hawkings, who basically is pursuing a theory of everything, it’s a theory that he says, would allow him to gain the mind of God, to gain as much as God knows…As I explained in my book, “Why the Universe is the Way It Is”, everything in physics tells us that we constrained to the dimension of this Space/Time universe and there’s many reasons besides the one that Hawkings brings up for why the universe is the way it is…God created the universe not only to provide us with a home to live, but also created it to be a vehicle that God can use to bring out the end of all evil and suffering. He also created it to be a teaching tool for the angels themselves.  He created it so that we human beings can observe 100% of the history of the universe. It’s not an accident that we human beings lived 13.73 billion years after the cosmic creation event, because that’s the only time in cosmic history when human observers can observe the history of the universe from the very moment it was created right up to present day.  What it tells us in the Bible that God created the universe to declare his glory and righteousness, we now can appreciate through measurements of the universe, we are living at the one location in the universe when we can see the totality of that glory that God expresses in that universe…”

Georgene: “Why is the universe so vast? You have suggested that there is purpose in the vastness of the universe and it’s linked to God’s eternal plan for mankind.”

Hugh: “It really is. Actually this is a big debate with atheist physicists. They’re looking at the universe and agreeing with us.  The entire universe is hostile except for planet earth, and they are using that to say the God of the Bible can’t exist, making the point that if the God is all powerful, and all-loving, why would be so mean-spirited to constrain human beings to one tiny planet…But as I point out, you need a universe where 500 trillion stars makes up just one percent of the total mass of the universe in order to get one planet in which advanced life is possible….If the universe were slightly smaller, then as the universe expands, the only elements that would ever form would be hydrogen and helium, but if you make the universe more massive, then very quickly the universe converts all of its hydrogen into elements heavier than iron. And in both cases, you are lacking the carbon, oxygen and hydrogen that are required for life existence….”

Georgene: “Why allow decay and death to be part of the universe? We see that theologically, there is an explanation. But we also see it in the universe, where we stars coming and going. Is God made the universe, why allow decay and death to be part of it?”

“Here are the two reasons: if the decay were any less than was it is, then the universe expands from the cosmic creation event, all you’re going to get are objects that will be denser than black holes and neutron stars. If the decay were any greater, then all you would get through cosmic history would be gas, no stars, no planets, no galaxies. It’s got to be exactly the right rate of decay in order to get the bodies that are necessary for life. There’s a theological reason for decay. Decay is a tool that God uses to restrain the expression of evil. Keep in mind that the reason why God created the universe was so that he could bring about the end of all evil and suffering….because of the level of decay, there is a restraint on the level of our expression, greater the level or decay, the greater the pain we experience as human being, the more work we have to do and more time we waste to reverse the effects of the damage from our expression of sin and evil. If that decay was any worse that it already was, then God would lose the capacity to use the physics of the universe to encourage us to leave our evil and pursue a path of virtue. On the other hand if the rate of decay was any greater, then we would lose all motivation to work because anything that we would do would immediately decay….The rate of decay is to help us know that we need divine help in order to deal successfully with sin all around us.”

“Another one of the why questions that you pose in your book, is whether or not the universe communicates something to us about the real meaning of and value of life itself.”

Hugh: “I’m writing a new book about Job and the context of science. When you look at the heavens, the earth, and the life on planet earth, all of it shouts at us about God’s intimate care for his creation, how he is involved in creating every life form on planet earth.  How he creates all of the stars and he has does all of that for the specific benefit of human beings.  As the scientific record tells us that God is that intimate, that directly involved in all of the stars in the universe and the life that has existed in planet earth. Surely, he must be in control and expressing his care in every one of our lives….He is control that we as human beings can fulfill the purpose that God has given us and to prepare for our future roles in the new creation.  It’s not the ultimate creation, the ultimate creation will only come after God has intervened in this creation to bring about the end of all evil and suffering, when that happens, the universe will be removed from existence as he spoke it into existence, he will speak it out of existence and replace with a brand new creation where evil and suffering will never exist again.”

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