Apologetics: How to make a universe
by Rob Phillips
This is the second in a two-part series on Stephen Hawking’s contention that science has resolved the need for God.
In the previous column, we examined the logical fallacies theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking employs in the Discovery Channel series, “Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design.”
Now, let’s turn our attention to how a universe is made. While Scripture tells us that God spoke the world into existence (Gen. 1:3-26; Ps. 33:9; Heb. 11:13), Hawking contends that nothing more than matter, energy, and space is needed to craft a universe.
But where did these ingredients come from? The Bible describes the creative act of God as ex nihilo – out of nothing. The eternally existing God created everything, visible and invisible, as an act of divine will.
Science tells quite a different tale than the biblical account, according to Hawking: “We can use the laws of nature to grasp the very origins of the universe and discover if the existence of God is the only way to explain it.”
A universe may materialize out of nothing through purely natural processes, he says. The laws of physics demand the existence of something called “negative energy.”
When the Big Bang produced vast amounts of positive energy, it also produced an equal amount of negative energy, says Hawking.
So, where is all the negative energy today? In space, he says. Space is a vast storehouse of negative energy, ensuring that all positive and negative energy adds up to zero.
Digging a hole
Hawking offers a simple illustration. Suppose a man wants to create a hill on a flat patch of ground. He gets a shovel, digs a hole, and piles up the dirt until the hill is completed.
So, now you have a hill, but you also have a corresponding hole. The hole is the negative version of the hill. That, says Hawking, is what positive and negative energy are like.
“It means if the universe adds up to nothing, you don’t need a God to create it,” explains Hawking. “The universe is the ultimate free lunch.”
But before you belly up to the buffet, consider…
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