Discoveroids: Hawking Was Wrong

The fun never ends. Klinghoffer just posted this at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: John Lennox: The Irony of Stephen Hawking’s Atheism. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Following the passing of Stephen Hawking, Oxford mathematician John Lennox spoke with Ben Halbrooks of the Fixed Point Foundation [whatever that is]. Lennox notes an interesting irony in Stephen Hawking’s atheism, which Hawking argued for at length in his book The Grand Design.

John Lennox isn’t officially a Discoveroid, but he participates in many of their revival meetings. Klinghoffer says:

Lennox and Hawking, we’re reminded, were born into a world where it was thought that the universe was eternal. That was the established science of the day. Hawking’s own work contributed to confirming that the consensus was wrong, that the universe has a beginning. For Lennox, that fit well with his own religious beliefs.

Actually, what’s known as the Big Bang theory was fairly well established by the time those two were born, but it wasn’t observationally confirmed until the discovery in 1964 of the Cosmic microwave background. We’re not surprised that what he imagines to be a moment of creation fits with Lennox’s religious beliefs. After that, Klinghoffer tells us:

For Hawking, it was a problem. It bothered him and he tried to solve it in The Grand Design. Lennox comments:

[Klinghoffer quotes Lennox:] As for the universe creating itself from nothing, it worries me that here is Hawking claiming that he solved the problem that his own science partly created. You see, he was involved in getting to the point where there was, informally speaking, a beginning to space-time. And so there was nothing, whatever it means, before that. And so we have a universe from nothing. And so that result in mathematical physics leads to the question, How do you get a universe from nothing? And he’s trying to solve it in this book and he fails because he doesn’t get a universe from nothing at all, because what he calls nothing isn’t nothing; it’s a quantum vacuum or something else.

Here’s the Amazon listing for Hawking’s book: The Grand Design. It requires no defense from us. Klinghoffer continues:

A universe from nothing, for materialists, may be the single largest problem, among a variety of others.

*Groan* Creationists often say that, but no actual scientist says the universe sprang from literally nothing. There was the Singularity which began to expand, but its origin is unknown. There are still those who think it could have been the result of the collapse of an earlier universe. Anyway, let’s read on:

Lennox observes that it takes not a jot away from the rest of Hawking’s great achievements in applied mathematics to say that when it came to this difficulty, he was unable to overcome it. After all, no one else seems to be able to do so, either.

Except for the Discoveroids, who somehow know that the universe is the creation of the intelligent designer — blessed be he! This is the end of Klinghoffer’s post:

Good interview. Lennox considers Hawking’s attempt at philosophy and theology in his own book, God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is It Anyway? [link omitted]

So who ya’ gonna believe, dear reader — Lennox or Hawking? Your decision will affect you for the rest of eternity.

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8 responses to “Discoveroids: Hawking Was Wrong

  1. One of these days, the IDiots will jibber jabber about something they actually slightly understand ……. Unfortunately, today isn’t that day….. and the outlook for tomorrow is that good either!

  2. Michael Fugate

    “For Lennox, that fit well with his own religious beliefs.”

    Isn’t everything able to “fit well” with one’s own religious beliefs?

    Does anything think it bothered religious people like Lennox when the universe was thought to be eternal?

    Just look at all the religious leaders who thought Bill Clinton’s philandering made him unfit for office, but Trump’s makes him the best president ever. Who am I to judge?

  3. Holding The Line In Florida

    Reminds me of the meme that says “Creationism: the belief that Kirk Cameron knows more than Stephen Hawking.”

  4. Michael Fugate

    This seems to be the DI’s modus – claim that someone else being wrong makes you right. Imagine you are doing a math problem and your neighbor gets 12 and you get 15. The teacher calls on your neighbor and responds 12 is incorrect. If you were the DI, you would claim it makes 15 correct, even if the answer were really 21.

  5. But the DI is *NOT* a religious organization and their arguments are really quite scientfical and not religious at all. At least that is what they keep telling the general public. Surely they would not lie?

  6. I’m with Hawking rather than Lennox, a decision that will affect me only for the rest of my life, not for all of eternity.

  7. Holding the Line in Florida issues a grave insult: “Creationism: the belief that Kirk Cameron knows more than Stephen Hawking.”
    An Emeritus Professor at the University of Oxford like Lennox (and he still teaches Science and Religion) is supposed to be too smart for howlers like “And so we have a universe from nothing.” He’s is supposed to understand the difference between physical nothingness and philosophical nothingness. He’s supposed to understand

    In fact he does:

    “what he calls nothing isn’t nothing; it’s a quantum vacuum or something else”
    Deliberately misrepresenting the position of the opposition is a form of intellectual dishonesty the Banana Assistent never would be capable of.

  8. Richard Bond

    I have seen several interviews or discussions involving Lennox. I find his smug condescension extremely distasteful. Worse still, he always tries to invoke the authority of science by claiming to be a scientist, but he is not. He is a pure mathematician, and I have never seen the consequent problem expressed better than by Einstein:

    As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.