On June 7, ABC published an article about a Diane Sawyer/Steven Hawking interview in which he states precisely what is in the title of my post and their article. The ABC news site presents the article in three pages. The first page contains the headlined quote, the second some speculation about alien life and the third some comments from Dr. Hawking’s daughter concerning their relationship etc.
The piece is…puffy but a good read. However, I would like to comment on a couple of items – not the aliens though.
Celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking knows more about the universe than almost any other person ever to walk the planet, but some answers still escape even him.
When asked by ABC News’ Diane Sawyer about the biggest mystery he’d like solved, he said, “I want to know why the universe exists, why there is something greater than nothing.”
Two things. The first is that there this line obviously leaves room for future or past persons, known or unknown, who may know more about the universe than the good Doc. I can think of only one person who knows more than all humanity combined simply because He is the one who made it.
Next, Dr. Hawking expresses a desire to “know why the universe exists, why there is something greater than nothing.” God, desiring that all men be saved, never ceases to call out to us and we, made in His likeness and image, never cease searching for Him. This desire to know why is the reciprocal calling between the created and the Creator.
But exploring the origins of time inevitably leads to questions about the ultimate origins of everything and what, if anything, is behind it all.
“What could define God [is thinking of God] as the embodiment of the laws of nature. However, this is not what most people would think of that God,” Hawking told Sawyer. “They made a human-like being with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe and how insignificant an accidental human life is in it, that seems most impossible.” [This statement disproves his own argument. More on this below.]
When Sawyer asked if there was a way to reconcile religion and science, Hawking said, “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.“
All revealed truth comes from God, including science. And this is a perfect example. Keep in mind the comment in the quited text above and consider the fact that nothing we know is because we discovered it. It is because it has been revealed to us. Evolution, the Big Bang (originated by a Franciscan), gravity, etc. We seek to explain the world around us in order to find out why and that why is God. HE IS.
But is our sin that muddies the water. It is our sin that takes what is good and defiles it.
In cases of extremely gifted persons such as Dr. Hawking, it is usually their own intellect that is the cause of such sin (doubting and turning away from God). This very intellect is a gift from Our Blessed Lord. It is the recipient of the Talent who, utilizing it unwisely, throws it all away. I have a friend who is the same way – too smart to believe in God. Many choose not to receive the gift of Faith because their “reason” shows them that God is not “what they think” a God should be like.
People in this situation actually affirm the existence of God by denying it. Archbishop Fulton Sheen, when speaking on the troubles of atheists often made this point. If God did not exist then you would have nothing to reject. But by rejecting Him you affirm your belief in Him, albeit negatively. Think “darkness is the absence of light,” “evil is the absence of good,” etc.
The negative is not equal to the positive but is the absence of it. Without a theos there can be no atheos.
The modern atheist is, Archbishop Fulton Sheen observed in Peace of Soul, “always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion–he would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth.” The great Sheen likely borrowed this point from G.K. Chesterton, himself a former agnostic of sorts, who wrote, in Where All Roads Lead:
“Atheism is the supreme example of a simple faith. The truth is that the atmosphere of excitement by which the atheist lives, is an atmosphere of thrilled and shuttering theism, and not of atheism at all; it is an atmosphere of defiance and not of denial. . . . If there were not God, there would be no atheists.”
Science reveals truth and truth is God – God cannot best Himself.
One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it,” he said. “Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.“
I find it interesting that atheists, especially the scientific type, often refer to the abstract concept of love. Emotions are abstract expressions, which the atheist would attribute to a physical manifestation of chemical reactions within the body that elicit a response to a provocation. In other words, love is a reaction that is rooted in procreation (true, mostly), anger is rooted in defense, etc. These emotions serve no other purpose.
Yet, there is a spiritual component to emotion. As creatures of both a temporal (material) and infinite (spiritual) nature what we do has reciprocal effects on both ends. So the abstract nature of love is not only rooted in procreation (for humans, animals do not have this type of intellect and will) but also provides the linkage, or conduit, from whence “two become one flesh.”
Love is the Trinity or should I say, the Most Holy Trinity is Love. God is Love. Recognition of Love is recognition of God.