Stephen Hawking: Great Scientist, Lousy Theologian
by Bishop Robert Barron
Filed under Book Reviews, Christianity and Science
Stephen Hawking was a great theoretical physicist and cosmologist, perhaps the most important since Einstein. It is only right that his remains have been interred alongside those of Isaac Newton in Westminster Abbey. He was, furthermore, a person of tremendous courage and perseverance, accomplishing groundbreaking work despite a decades-long struggle with the debilitating effects of Lou Gehrig’s disease. And by all accounts, he was man of good humor with a rare gift for friendship. It... Read More
How Cosmic Existence Reveals God’s Reality
by Dr. Dennis Bonnette
Filed under Christianity and Science, The Existence of God
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) famously posed the ultimate question: “Why is there something rather than nothing?” To this, theoretical physicist Sean Carroll replies: “The universe can simply exist, end of story.” Still, as I have shown elsewhere, everything must have a reason for its being or coming-to-be, including the cosmos. This metaphysical first principle is ably defended by others as well.1 One distinction must be added: either a thing is its own reason or... Read More
What Do You Think of the Fine-Tuning Argument for God?
by Brandon Vogt
Filed under The Existence of God
NOTE: We recently kicked off a new series of posts on popular arguments for God. Each post lays out the argument and is followed by open-ended discussion. The goal is not to offer a thorough defense or refutation of the argument in the original post, but to unpack it together, as a community, in the comment boxes. So far we've covered Alvin Plantinga's modal ontological argument for God, the Kalam cosmological argument, and the moral argument for God. Today, we'll look at the argument... Read More
Does Science Make God Irrelevant?
by Karlo Broussard
Filed under Christianity and Science
Does God still matter? This is the question that seems to be at the heart of the modern debate about God’s existence. Many unbelievers who label themselves agnostic-atheists do not claim definitively that God does not exist. They take the softer position that God probably does not exist, and even if he does exist, he is irrelevant in explaining the universe. As Dr. Richard Dawkins stated in a 2013 Cambridge debate with the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, “Religion... Read More
Can Something Actually Cause Itself to Exist?
by Dr. Edward Feser
Filed under Cosmology
"There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible." - Summa Theologiae I.2.3 "If, then, something were its own cause of being, it would be understood to be before it had being – which is impossible…" - Summa Contra Gentiles I.22.6 Was Aquinas mistaken? Could something be its own cause? Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow seem to think so. In... Read More
The Theory of Everything: A God-Haunted Film
by Bishop Robert Barron
Filed under Atheism, Movies/TV
The great British physicist Stephen Hawking has emerged in recent years as a poster boy for atheism, and his heroic struggles against the ravages of Lou Gehrig’s disease have made him something of a secular saint. The new biopic “The Theory of Everything” does indeed engage in a fair amount of Hawking-hagiography, but it is also, curiously, a God-haunted movie. In one of the opening scenes, the young Hawking meets Jane, his future wife, in a bar and tells her that he is a cosmologist.... Read More
The Dying of the Brights
by Matthew Becklo
Filed under New Atheists
“We have to make this planet as good as we possibly can and try to leave it a better place than we found it.” The crowd, gathered to hear Richard Dawkins debate the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, responds to the trite apothegm with unsurprising applause. But off-stage, after the cameras are turned off, the proverbial devil of the details rears his ugly head. A weary Dawkins—one almost gets the sense that he’d rather not talk to anybody at all—kneels besides... Read More
Free-Thinking: Doctrine or Illusion?
by Dr. Stacy Trasancos
Filed under Anthropology
Recently there was an excellent question in the Strange Notions comment boxes from Rob Tish. He wanted to know what the Bible means when it says God created man in His own image: "If God is so fundamentally and essentially different from us, then in what sense are we made in His image?" In a word: We are free-thinkers. Since invoking that word requires some explanation, the response is three-fold. First is the answer to Rob's question, with explanation and reference to the Catechism of... Read More
Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow’s Inadvertent Proof for God
by Joe Heschmeyer
Filed under Cosmology, The Existence of God
There's an old saying about giving a man enough rope, and he'll hang himself. The idea is that if someone is wrong or lying, the longer they go on, the more obvious this becomes. Well, Bantam Books gave Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow all the rope they wanted, and the result is The Grand Design, a new book in which they argue against the necessity (and existence) of God. Here's the core of their argument: “[Just] as Darwin and Wallace explained how the apparently miraculous... Read More
Has Stephen Hawking Made God Unnecessary?
by Trent Horn
Filed under The Existence of God
A few weeks ago, Stephen Hawking delivered a lecture at the California Institute of Technology titled "The Origin of the Universe," and you’re likely to have heard about it because, according to mainstream media outlets, Hawking has put God out of a job. In an article headlined “Stephen Hawking lays out case for Big Bang without God,” NBC News describes the presentation: Stephen Hawking began the event by reciting an African creation myth, and rapidly moved on to big questions... Read More