Jason Lisle v. Stephen Hawking

As you will see, dear reader, the article we’re about to discuss is a veritable garden of Curmudgeonly delights. It’s by Jason Lisle, Ph.D., the creationist astrophysicist employed by Answers in Genesis (AIG) — rocket scientists all.

Jason is a retained servitor, credentialed and compliant, employed by the creationism conglomerate run by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). Hambo is famed for bringing the world the absurdity of the Creation Museum. As our regular readers know, Jason is the author of a “solution” to the creationists’ Distant Starlight problem, about which we’ve previously posted here.

Today we present some excerpts from Jason’s The Grand Design, which appears at the AIG website. The scriptural references are omitted, and the bold font was added by us:

I just read Steve Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow’s latest book, The Grand Design, in which the authors attempt to answer questions like: “Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why this particular set of laws and not some other?” Hawking is a brilliant physicist. Yet, since he has rejected the biblical worldview, he cannot cogently answer any of the questions he asks. His explanation of the universe is a self-refuting journey into the absurd. Let me give a few examples:

You know that you’re in for a treat, don’t you? Jason — who lets his degree in astrophysics be used to lend credibility to Ken Ham’s creation museum, says that Stephen Hawking has written “a self-refuting journey into the absurd.” We’ll let you read most of his examples for yourself, but we have to give you this:

Hawking concludes that the universe is the inevitable result of the law of gravity: “Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing in the manner described in chapter 6.” (p. 180). But my question is this: Apart from God, why would there be a law of gravity, and why would the universe be compelled to obey it? Why does the law of gravity apply at all times in all places, and why does it have a simple mathematical form that humans can understand?

Apart from God, why is there a law of gravity? Can Jason be serious? Where in scripture does gravity get mentioned? The word “gravity” appears only twice in the bible, each time clearly meaning “seriousness.” If gravity is indeed God’s work, why didn’t the bible tell us about it — and how it describes the movement of planets in the solar system? And why didn’t anyone know about such things until first Galileo (a convicted heretic, only recently pardoned) and later Isaac Newton came along? We continue:

The biblical creationist can answer these questions. But Hawking has obviously not reflected adequately upon these issues. The secular worldview cannot make sense of laws of nature.

Aaaargh!! Creationism is all about miracles. Secular science is the enterprise that discovers and teaches the laws of nature. But there’s more. Jason says:

Even the Acknowledgements section of the book shows the utter absurdity of the secular worldview.

How’s that? Here it comes:

The authors assume that a book must have a creator, and yet the universe — which is far more complex (and contains many books) — supposedly does not! How could such intelligent people fail to recognize the absurdity of these claims?

Jeepers! Maybe Jason has a point there. Books are created, therefore so is the universe. Oh yeah! Moving along:

Those who are not born again are incapable of understanding spiritual things. Their sin nature prevents them from being rational.

Yes, that’s probably where Hawking went wrong. Here’s the article’s end:

No matter how intelligent a person may be, he or she will never be able to understand the things of God without the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. This book is a great example of how otherwise brilliant people are reduced to foolishness when they reject biblical principles.

So there you are. Hawking may be intelligent, but he’s a foolish sinner. You have Jason’s word on that.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “Jason Lisle v. Stephen Hawking

  1. Jason Lisle is now my favorite creationist, because with his education, he just has to know better.

    In this case he fails the infinite regression test: if everything complex requires a creator, then what created the creator? By making God eternal and above needing a creator you cheat at the test. And that the same Creator has to be the God of the Bible is really farfetched.

    Dawkins did a good job of refuting this in The God Delusion: something complex enough to set up the laws of gravity is MORE improbable than the laws of gravity being the way they are.

    Since Lisle had no problems stating Einstein was wrong in his anisotropic principle paper (Einstein used c as being universal to agree with Maxwell’s equations, Lisle abandoned this without comment) he has no problems feeling he’s greater than Hawking as well.

  2. Those who are not born again are incapable of understanding spiritual things. Their sin nature prevents them from being rational.

    What’s with creationists and grammar? Are adjectives like “sinful” also an evil conspiracy sponsored by Satan?

    Anyhow, that’s always their “trump card,” they’re sanctified believers and thus not beholden to mere evidence. OK, they wouldn’t write it like that, where Jason writes “sin nature” the IDiots write “materialism” and other evil epithets about anyone who insists on meaningful evidence, without, of course, bothering to note that what is at issue is simply the sort of evidence that all creationists demand from us, usually accept as long as the science itself is acceptable, and that is roughly akin to what must be presented in courts.

    Why isn’t the Bible permissable evidence in the courts (and you know what I mean, Biblical “revelations” counting as evidence, not that the Bible can never be used to demonstrate something about a person, reaction, etc.)? Not because the courts are peopled by “materialists”–quite a good percentage of lawyers, judges, etc., are religious–rather because their task is to find out the truth.

    Yet what would never be permitted to convict a person in a court is supposed to trump anything that sober science concludes about the universe and light.

  3. something complex enough to set up the laws of gravity is MORE improbable than the laws of gravity being the way they are.

    Yes, however that would be no refutation if cosmological ID or biological ID actually came up with evidence of a creative mind behind the universe and/or life. We might not like the God puzzle being out there, yet if it really were the best explanation, the “improbability” of it would be no more meaningful than the “improbability” of the universe’s parameters actually are to the God question (they’re just observations until you have a meaningful cause to explain them).

    So the actual problem is not the “improbability” of God. It’s simply that we don’t have meaningful evidence of such an entity.

  4. retiredsciguy

    Poor Jason…he obviously believes that just his calling something “an absurdity” makes it so, with no further explanation needed.

    How absurd.

  5. retiredsciguy says: “How absurd.”

    Hawking’s in big trouble now. His reputation is shot.

  6. I enjoy Jason’s wacky science, he’s actually quite funny and the debates are interesting. Jason the evangelist is just depressing. He’s moved beyond the reach of reason, into his own personal make-believe world.

    But, hey, light always reaches him instantaneously!

  7. You know the saying about Hydrogen and Stupidity being the two most common things in the Universe? Well, if you gather enough hydrogen atoms together in one spot, they collapse to a black hole. Likewise, if you gather enough stupidity in one spot, it collapses into Jason Lisle.

    Hmmm … if you launched Jason Lisle into a black hole, do you think they might just cancel out? It would be an interesting experiment. 😉

  8. Gabriel Hanna

    It’s not quite on topic but I’ll be writing about Lisle’s starlight paper pretty soon, in a couple of fora. He and have been corresponding; SC has seen most of that correspondence already.

  9. I’ve only read about a quarter of Hawking’s book and I’ve skipped around reading some of the concluding chapters first. It’s a very readable, general overview of modern cosmology.

    However, Hawking’s ideas don’t start and end chatting around the kitchen table which is where the DI and nincompoops like Lisle hang out. No, the proof is in the physics by way of the mathematics, so to speak, and I would have to leave that analysis to people far more educated in those matters than I. Although I can read and understand Hawking’s general overview, I would be hopeless at the math.

    Yet, all the “reviews” of Hawking’s work has been strictly at the level of the overview. I have yet to read a single criticism of the math or the physics. Nothing. You can say that M-theory “doesn’t make sense” based on common experience but, then again, the Earth orbiting the Sun “doesn’t make sense” based on common experience. The math does make sense, and it holds together.

    But, clearly the stupidest thing I’ve read, and I’ve read some Real Stupid ™ is Lisle’s statement that Hawking is wrong because he rejected a biblical worldview. In the words of Dawkins: what rubbish!

  10. Though I understand these are things the creationists tell to themselves, not meant at all to convince anybody who does not belong to their cult(s), I cannot but puke at the sight of the immensely self-serving, self-congratulatory, self-righteous faecal matter coming out of the wrong side of this guy’s digestive system.