Einstein's and Hawking's Conclusions About God
In Chuck Misslers book The Creator Beyond Time and Space he reviews Einstein's paper on The General Theory of Relativity. I won't go it to the detail Chuck Missler goes into about the theory but I would like to talk about the implications of the theory. Albert Einstein published the theory in 1915. Astronomer Willem de Sitter found that Einstein had made a mathematical error. When the equation was corrected de Sitter found the mathematical prediction that the Universe was expanding away from its point of origin (later called "The Big Bang").
Einstein reacted angrily at first, but finally conceded to his mathematical error and the evidence for a finite, expanding universe. Nasa scientist Robert Jastrow records Einstein's reaction: "The circumstances of an expanding universe irritates me...To admit such possibilities seems senseless."
Einstein realized that if the universe was expanding away from a point, then it had a beginning at that point. If the universe had a beginning then it must have a "Beginner", he surmised. This discovery disturbed Einstein so much that for a time he included an imaginary mathematical "cosmological constant" to his formula. He did this to make the effect of the expanding universe go away. He later stated that this was the biggest error of his entire career.
From the book The Creator and the Cosmos, Hugh Ross states the following on Albert Einstein. "Astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered in 1929 from his measurements on forty different galaxies that the galaxies indeed are expanding away from one another. Moreover he demonstrated that expansion was in the same manner predicted by Einstein's original formulation (with the correction from Willem de Sitter) of general relativity. In the face of this proof, Einstein grudgingly abandoned his hypothesized force and acknowledged 'the necessity for a beginning' and 'the presence of a superior reasoning power'"
Einstein's "superior reasoning power," however, was not the God of the Bible. Though he confessed to the rabbis and priests who came to congratulate him on his discovery of God that he was convinced God brought the universe into existence and was intelligent and creative, he denied that God was personal.
Of course, those clergy had a stock response to Einstein's denial. How can a Being who is intelligent and creative not also be personal? Einstein brushed past their objections, a valid one, by raising the paradox of God's omnipotence and man's responsibility for his choices:
"If this being is omnipotent then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?"
None of the clergy Einstein encountered ever gave him a satisfactory answer to his objection. Typically, they responded by saying that God has not yet revealed the answer. They encouraged him to endure patiently and blindly trust the All-Knowing One.
Regrettably, Einstein lacked the persistence to purse an answer further. He took for granted the biblical knowledge of these religious professionals and assumed that the Bible failed to adequately address this crucially important issue. Of what value, then, could such a "revelation" be?
Lacking a solution to the paradox of God's predestination and human beings free choice, Einstein, like many other powerful intellects through the centuries, ruled out the existence of a personal God. Nevertheless, and to his credit, Einstein held unswervingly, against enormous peer pressure, to a belief in a Creator.
I am grieved that no one ever offered Einstein the clear, biblical resolution to the paradox he posed. I am also sad that Einstein did not live long enough to see the accumulation of scientific evidence for a personal caring Creator (see chapters 14 and 15 of The Cosmos and the Creator). These might have sparked in him a willingness to reconsider his conclusion.
Another area of Hugh Ross's book deals with the accuracy of the Theory of Relativity, With measurements now extending over 20 years (1974 -- 1994), general relativity is confirmed overall to an error of no more then one part in a hundred trillion. In the words of Roger Penrose, "This makes Einstein's general relativity, in this particular sense, the most accurately tested theory known to science!"
Stephen Hawking's God;
(My apologies for the following depth but I didn't feel that I could get the message across better then Hugh Ross could.)
The thrust of Hawking's philosophizing in A Brief History of Time is to demean God's role in the affairs of the universe and to elevate the role of the human race. Spearheading this thrust is Carl Sagan, who foreshadows the theme in his introduction to the book. According to Sagan, A Brief History of Time speaks "about God, or perhaps about the absence of God." It represents an effort to posit " a universe with no edge in space, no beginning or end in time, and nothing for a Creator to do" (emphasis added). Ironically, this message contradicts the conclusions from Hawking's remarkable work on singularity theorems, which in Hawking's own words establishes that "time has a beginning."
Through the principle of cause and effect, this theorem pointed obviously, perhaps too obviously for Hawking, to the existence of some entity beyond the dimensions of the universe who created the universe and its dimensions of space and time. Hawking's only hope, the, for escaping the beginning, hence the Beginner, lay in finding some possible point in the universe's history where the equations of general relativity (on which his space-time theorem was based) might break down.
Even before writing that book, Hawking began to reveal his membership in the ranks of the loophole seekers. In 1983 Stephen Hawking and James Hartle advanced the notion that since we cannot determine conditions in the universe before 10-43(or, 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001) after its origin, perhaps some unknown phenomenon in that speck of time might have disturbed the governance of general relativity. If so, space, time, matter, and energy might not have originated from a true singularity (beginning from an infinitely small volume). They went on to propose that just as the behavior of a hydrogen atom can be described by a quantum mechanical wave function, so might the behavior of the universe. If that is the case, they claimed, the universe could have just popped into existence out of absolutely nothing at what most would call the beginning of time.
This fanciful hypothesis provides the basis for Hawking's widely quoted statement, "The universe would not be created, not be destroyed; it would simply be. What place, then, for a Creator?" It is the basis, to, for New Agers' and atheists' claims that according to science a personal Creator-God need not be the agency for the origin of the universe. To Hawking's credit, he later admitted in A Brief History of Time that the whole idea is "just a proposal: it cannot be deduced from some other principle.
Even if Hawking's hypothesis were true, there would still be no escaping the need for a Creator-God. As Heinz Pagels, a theoretical physicist explains: This unthinkable void converts itself into the plenum of existence -- a necessary consequence of physical laws. Where are these laws written into that void? What "tells" the void that it is pregnant with a possible universe? It would seem that even the void is subject to law, a logic that exists prior to space and time.
-Hugh Ross, "The Creator and the Cosmos", Copyright 1993 by Reasons to Believe. Revised edition, copyright 1995. NavPress, p.88-89. 52-55, 75
- Mark Eastman, M.D. and Chuck Missler, "The Creator Beyond Space and Time", Copyright 1996 The Word For Today. p.10-11
-Steven W. Hawking, George F.R. Ellis, "The Cosmic Black-body radiation and the Existence of Singularities in our Universe," Astrophysical Journal, 152. (1968),pp. 25-36
-Steven W. Hawking, Roger Penrose "The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology", Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series A, 314 (1970) pp. 529-548.
Jasatrow, God and the Astronomers, pg. 27.
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