A brief ‘sandpit’ page, for thoughts on assertions made in Stephen Hawkings’ ineptly named new title, The Grand Design, where he argues that we do not need to invoke a God to explain the creation of our universe.
Firstly, as Rowan Williams points out in The Times (3rd September, 2010), the God worshipped by Christians, and indeed those of other faiths, is not a ‘god-of-the-gaps’. Rather, those of faith believe that God is entangled with, and sustaining everything, all the time. God doesn’t begin or end with the moment of creation.
Second, Jonathan Sacks, The Times (3rd September, 2010), notes that religion and science ask fundamentally different questions. Specifically, science is an investigation into the matter of the universe, while religion is there to give it meaning. There are gaps in human knowledge that can be filled by science, but scientific enquiry is not the means to finding God – because God is about faith, which becomes unneccessary in light of scientific evidence. It is not possible to prove or disprove God. In short, the battleground needn’t be about science versus religion at all, because their subject matter is distinct.
Dawkins (see notes on The God Delusion) rebuts the above arguments with the assertion that asking why (as does religion) is “a silly question” The Times (3rd September, 2010)…because there is no reason to assume a purpose at all. Dawkins states that God raises more questions than answers (NB: as does every science experiment ever done) and notes his faith in the scientific method to discover the answers to meaningful questions, because science has a “good track record”. I beg to differ a) that science is objective, as implied, or b) that it has a good track record.
It is ultimately worth noting that Hawkings has begun to explain how the universe came into being, but broken no ground as to why (Jonathan Sacks, The Times, 3rd September, 2010) .