“The question is, is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can’t understand, or was it determined by a law of science? I believe the second,” wrote Hawking. “If you like, you can call the laws of science ‘God’, but it wouldn’t be a personal God that you would meet and put questions to.” – Stephen Hawking
Mr. Hawking fascinates me because he represents a larger crowd of people I like to call “angry atheists.” This group spends a significant portion of its time harboring anger and resentment against God, going so far as to write long articles and giving speeches in opposition to God and Christianity. Often accompanied with a lot of anger, one can clearly see that these individuals want to ensure that everyone know just how much they hate the very notion of an omnipotent creator.
I like to watch and listen as the ‘angry atheist’ goes out of their way to oppose God with passion and vigor. It amazes me because I do not see them attack Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy with such zeal. I recall one relative of mine who angrily argued with me against the existence of God even in the last two weeks before his death. If God truly does not exist, why do they fight so hard against this ‘paper tiger’?
Many atheists, if they were honest, could not call themselves atheists. One cannot prove a negative such as “God does not exist.” Stephen agreed to this as a point of pure logic, as evidenced in many of his quotes. “God may exist, but science can explain the Universe without the need for a creator,” he said. If one does not know whether or not God exists, they are an agnostic. While this is a plain point of logic, many including Hawking will state that they are, in fact, atheists.
With his brilliant mind, Hawking understood more about science and theory than the vast majority of scientists alive today. Yet, even the brightest mind only knows so much. If we drew a picture of a circle, and then drew a pie piece from it to represent the percentage we really know and understand, how large would that slice be? A sliver? God could exist in those areas we do not understand.
I understand why some may assume that if we figure out how ‘the miracles of the universe’ work with science (childbirth, creation of a sun, creation of the universe, etc) that they somehow think this disproved God. I completely disagree. God created everything, including the laws of nature, physics, etc. He could choose to work through those laws, and He can choose to bend or break them whenever He sees fit. Just because we thought He broke laws to create the universe, and then later figured out He did it through a series of laws of physics makes it no less spectacular to me. Many of the brightest scientists are Christian. They believe that God does everything, including giving us the air that keeps us alive. They study science to understand the methods He uses to make that happen.
And yet, a large part of the angry atheist augment hinges on the idea that people only believe in God because God explains the inexpiable things in life (such as “how did life start?”) Since science can now explain a lot of that, and it uncovers more each day, we should stop believing in God! I hear this argument quite often. Yet, no where in the Bible does it state we should believe in God simply because we do not know exactly how the universe began. Christians believe God made the Universe, and He created us. Christian scientists study the world around us to have a better understanding of how He went about doing just that. Along those lines, Albert Einstein said “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
Ultimately, religion and science covers two different things. Science deals with the observable; religion with that which cannot be seen. Science explains how life is conceived; religion provides a reason to live (and die). Faith gives us hope, and deals with the serious problems of morality such as guilt. Science gives us methods and explanations for physics, nature and geology.
If you want to believe in Jesus and have full faith in science, that totally can work. However, if you want to hate God (or the idea of a creator), science can provide some unrelated fodder to use to argue with others. What it cannot do is provide you really great reasons to be angry at theists. You have to come up with that all on your own.