Intelligent Design

Review: God & Stephen Hawking, by John Lennox

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God & Stephen Hawking John Lennox, a mathematics professor at Oxford who also is a fellow in the philosophy of science and pastoral advisor, has composed a masterful reply in the form of this short book, to the atheist claims made by last year’s best-seller, The Grand Design, written by Hawking and Mlodinow.  The book is intended to address a wider audience than Hawking, responding to typical atheist arguments with a compelling logic and deep understanding of Western philosophy. In addition to this classical apologetics, Lennox also responds to the esoteric physical theories of Hawking with the wry amusement of a Platonic mathematician who actually believes in Math addressing an Aristotelian physicist who merely uses it. It is clear early on that Lennox is neither awed by Hawking’s claims nor deferential to Hawking’s position. In Lennox’ opinion, Hawking has overstepped his culturally-bestowed authority to represent science, and must be publically reprimanded lest science (and faith) fall into disrepute.

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3 Replies to “Review: God & Stephen Hawking, by John Lennox

  1. 1
    Bantay says:

    Great review, but he says here…

    “….judging by the Post-Modern success of the “angry atheists” such as Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris, the public may still be unmoved by the cold rationalism of Lennox, preferring the passionate glory of Hawking. ”

    What public? The faithful stalwarts who worship the ground Dawkins & Co. walk on? And were they successful? I don’t think so. Atheism is no closer to being shown to be a true description of reality now than from its conception. While theism is enjoying a reinvigorated, stronger support in logic, philosophy,and the historical and physical sciences.

  2. 2
    melvinvines says:

    Good review, thanks. I’m looking forward to his TWO new books coming in September.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks:

    2300+ years ago, Aristotle nailed the difference between warrant on fact and logic, and persuasion based on emotional manipulation, in Bk I Ch 2 of his The Rhetoric:

    Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker [ethos]; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind [pathos]; the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself [logos]. Persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible . . . Secondly, persuasion may come through the hearers, when the speech stirs their emotions. Our judgements when we are pleased and friendly are not the same as when we are pained and hostile . . . Thirdly, persuasion is effected through the speech itself when we have proved a truth or an apparent truth by means of the persuasive arguments suitable to the case in question . . .

    The pomo tactic — and it is often ruthlessly dishonest (reflective of the inherent amorality of evo mat thought!) — is to drive in a wedge that is a hot button issue on the side they wish to win over, and a turn-off on the side they wish to alienate (who they also want to underestimate the impact of what is happening cumulatively).

    As they drive in successive wedges, drumbeat style, what happens is something like the salami slice tactic, eventually: the rump left off on the “wrong” side of the merging cultural/institutional “consensus — which at this point will be a willfully deceptive Plato’s Cave Shadow show — has been so marginalised and well-poisoned that it has no real influence. It can then be driven out by expulsion through de-legitimisation.

    That, for instance has already happened to the creationists [not just the young earth creationists], and it is what Scott, Dawkins, Myers et al have in mind for design thought.

    And for such amoral radical evo mat relativists, despite the twinges conscience may prod with, the dominant, active thought is that there is nothing more to truth and right than community or institutional consensus, so their increasingly be-numbed consciences are less and less responsive to the bullying of those on the politically incorrect side of the issues. After all, they DESERVE and ASKED FOR what is happening to them.

    We actually just saw that here at UD when a prof at a college publicly pounced on a young student for the crime of having gone to a Christian High School.

    It was amazing to see (scroll down . . . ) the defenders try to pick on a CORRECT usage of the term rape — a word that comes from a root pattern of meanings: to snatch, to seize, to violate [in my native parlance’s sharp peasant insight: “hold down, tek weh”] — i.e. to rape an innocent person’s dignity, to divert the thread by blaming the victim and the messenger.

    (Never mind that if, in a closely parallel example, FEMINISTS were to highlight how blame the victim humiliation tactics in the rape trial courtroom are a second raping of an already deeply wounded person [which I in fact pointed out repeatedly], the same would nod in agreement. Y’see the feminists are politically correct, the likes such as someone who stoops so low as to openly and publicly support or promote or defend ID is most definitely NOT. It is that selectively hyperskeptical inconsistency that gives the game away. And we need to highlight it, over and over again until it hits home. And yes, there will be shoot the messenger, “only YOU use such a term,” rebuttal attempts. To which the proper reply is, this is a willful diversion from a serious problem on the merits.)

    Do you see why I have highlighted the uncivil and destructive Alinskyite tactics that are ever more common?

    Sadly, the PZMs and Nick Matzkes of this world are what our civilisation in large measure has been reduced to.

    That is why I have a fairly pessimistic view of our prospects, unless there is a sharp turnaround.

    GEM of TKI

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