Now we hear from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. They just posted this article at their website: Hawking Says Universe Created Itself. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
Stephen Hawking, leading cosmologist and recently retired Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, has co-authored a new book, The Grand Design. In it, he claims that the universe did not need God to create it. This conclusion goes against the writings of another famed Lucasian Professor who is credited with discovering the very law Hawking uses as his “proof” — Sir Isaac Newton.
Aha! ICR has found a contradiction in Hawking’s thinking. Hawking uses gravity for his conclusion, but gravity was first described by Newton, and Newton thought the universe was designed. Therefore …
Hey, Hawking: ICR has exposed your flawed thinking! Let’s read on:
[Gravity] could hardly suffice as an adequate cause for the whole universe. Pointing out qualities of already-existing energies is no more an explanation for their origin than pointing out how the energy-of-motion in a rolling ball will be exactly matched by the energy-of-resistance from friction. Neither quantity answers where the ball came from and who or what pushed it.
Yet another flaw in Hawking’s thinking. Where did gravity come from? Can’t answer that, can you Hawking? Huh? Huh?
We continue with ICR’s devastating critique:
Extraordinary information also characterizes this vast universe. The three-dimensional placement of heavenly bodies in space and the particular — and peculiarly life-enabling — universal parameters, such as the speed of light and electromagnetic strength, are some examples of fine-tuned information. Also, there is the mountain of information in living systems to explain.
Since concerns over gravity and energy do not address the more obvious question of information — a massless yet ubiquitous fundamental entity — then statements about gravity or energy alone form insufficient grounds to reject a supernatural origin for the universe.
Information is a ” fundamental entity.” Information, information, information. Therefore … Oogity Boogity! Here’s more:
In addition, any assertion that a thing can make itself is self-contradictory. This is because in every case where something has actually been made, that which caused it existed prior to it. For example, an oak tree may have found its immediate cause in the planting action of a pre-existing squirrel and by the acorn production of a pre-existing oak tree. So, for the universe to have made itself, it would have had to exist prior to its existence — a contradiction of the undeniable first principle of causality.
The “undeniable first principle of causality”? They have a footnote for that, which says:
The first principle of causality can be stated several ways, including “every effect has a cause,” and “nonbeing cannot cause being.” Geisler, N. L. 1999. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 120.
Careful, ICR. If you adhere to that “undeniable first principle of causality” consistently, you’ve ruled out your First Cause. It’s gonna be turtles all the way down. Oh wait — they’ve got that one covered:
A classic argument for the existence of God holds that since something exists (say, the universe), and since something cannot make itself (without violating the first principle of causality), then a cause outside that thing must exist (God). In essence, Hawking has attempted to refute this reasoning by simply denying the second premise!
Aaaargh!! Wait — they have a footnote for that too. It says:
Importantly, this argument requires that the “something” that exists is the kind of something that is contingent and finite, like an oak tree, person, or the universe. This is unlike the Creator Himself, who is self-existent, uncaused, eternal, and infinite. Infinite beings require no cause.
Ah, “infinite beings require no cause.” Therefore the “undeniable first principle of causality” is no problem! One more excerpt:
Did the oak tree come from an acorn? No, Hawking would say — it was just the result of “spontaneous creation” and there it is. Such reasoning makes no sense.
If — repeat, if — Hawking says that oak trees spontaneously create themselves, then they’ve caught him in yet another mistake. Hawking must be a really dumb guy!
Where does this leave us? Hawking — that fool! — has tried to make gravity his First Cause. Unknown to him, ICR already has a First Cause. The First First Cause, so to speak. And that one needs no cause. Accept no substitutes!
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