Faith science interface

Two responses to Stephen Hawking's atheism

May 8 2018This bumper Science and Faith column comes after the recent death of Professor Stephen Hawking, perhaps the world’s best-known astrophysicist and the subject of the 2014 film ‘A Theory of Everything’. Hawking was also known for his atheism, asserting that the universe did not need God to bring it into existence.

In the first article Sydney cosmologist Dr Luke Barnes talks to Ben Swift about the limits of science as well as the ‘fine tuning’ of the universe: Do we live in a universe fine tuned for life? Stephen Hawking might say “fine tuned yes, but there was no fine tuner”.

In the second article, the Revd Dr Keith Ward, a former Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford, suggests that Stephen Hawking’s views about the necessity of God are based on a misconception about the nature of orthodox Christian belief and, in so doing, he fails to note the convergence between traditional theological beliefs about God and modern cosmological beliefs about the origin of the universe. “In fact,” says Ward, “the Hawking hypothesis and the God hypothesis are deeply convergent. Both suppose that this universe originates from a supra-temporal realm that is intelligible and conceptually beautiful.”

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