Atheism Cosmology

TV: Do you have more faith in God or Stephen Hawking?

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A friend notes that this review of Stephen Hawking’s about-to-be aired Discovery special “Did God Create the Universe?” “shows more insight into the science faith problem than many professional critics in the science and faith disciplines.”

LA Times ’ TV critic Mary McNamara writes (August 6, 2011),

… a better title perhaps would be “Stephen Hawking Explains Why He is Quite Certain God Did Not Create the Universe.” Hawking, like many scientists, believes in “a simpler alternative” to a participatory God — that the fixed laws of nature not only rule the universe but explain its creation.

How, I cannot tell you. Although Discovery is liberal in its CG usage and Hawking comes up with all manner of easily understood metaphors, his attempts to explain how, exactly, the big bang emerged from a state of nothingness required an understanding of physics that was beyond me. “If you are not a math head,” he concedes far too late in the proceedings,” this may be hard to understand.” Indeed.

Which, she goes on the point out, means that we the rest of us are expected to take it on faith. Hence the title question.

Wonder how many TV critics will pick that up? Here’s the trailer:

See also: Still trying to understand what Stephen Hawking meant (about Darwinism)

4 Replies to “TV: Do you have more faith in God or Stephen Hawking?

  1. 1
    Ilion says:

    … “If you are not a math head,” he concedes far too late in the proceedings,” this may be hard to understand.” Indeed.

    But wait! Math — or so we are assured by many so-called atheists (and a strongly suspect that Hawking would assert the same) — is not discovered, but is rather invented.

    If the persons who assert that really believed it, then they would never try also to assert that anyone’s mathematical calculations can be trusted to have delivered truth, which is what Hawking is asserting about his.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    One wonders why we don’t speak of the amount of math contained in something.

  3. 3
    Ilion says:

    You had to suggest that, didn’t you? 😉 I wonder, will it be a Darwinist or an IDist who first starts making those stupid noises?

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    Well, I was reading this book, you see.

    Physics deals primarily with the world of things ‘out there’, a world represented most memorably by the rock whose palpable reality the lexicographer Dr Samuel Johnson demonstrated with a swift kick. At the same time it is obvious that the mathematical description of the world originates not in matter, but in the human mind.

    Now if we can take the mathematical descriptions out of our heads and put them in a book…

    I think I am going to call the units of measurement eeks (for equations).

    There are 14 eeks of math in this book.

    I think if a book contains more than 3 eeks of math I should probably avoid it.

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