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Son of God Book

Brief Answers to the Brief Questions

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A critique of Stephen Hawking’s final book, by Les Sherlock

Posted November 2018

This book was published after Stephen Hawking’s death on 14th March 2018, and in no way do I wish to attack the memory of a highly intelligent man who was held in high regard by so many people, and who clearly had a wonderful sense of humour and an optimistic outlook, in spite of the severe physical difficulties that plagued him for almost his entire adult life. His daughter, Lucy Hawking, writes very movingly about her father at the end of this book, and I certainly would not want to cause any hurt to her or any other members of his family and friends.* At the same time, since his theories were founded primarily on his atheism, the resulting inconsistencies and illogical theories cannot go without comment. Because he is no longer with us, I refer to what he said in this book in the past tense: what he ‘said’, not what he ‘says’.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream,, Illinois 60188.  All rights reserved.

* Not that any of them are likely to see this, of course!

How dare a mere, retired, piano tuner take on the world’s greatest brain of the 21st century (at least, one presumes that is what he was, from the idolising Forward by Eddie Redmayne * and the Introduction by Professor Kip S Thorne that begin this book)? The answer is simple - I have had 74 years personal experience, and listened to literally hundreds of accounts of other peoples’ experiences, of the most important area covered by this book in which Hawking had zero experience. As a result of his lack of experience in this area, resulting through his personal belief that God does not exist, he has been forced into serious logical inconsistencies.


* who acted the part of Stephen Hawking in the 2014 film based on his life, The Theory of Everything.

A building is only as strong as its foundation, and if the foundation is faulty then it will not last very long. If you create a system of mathematics based on the premise that 1 + 1 = 3, then if you are clever enough you may be able to give the illusion that it works; but it will be wrong because 1 + 1 = 2, not 3! * The reason Hawking made his great mistake in trying to write God out of the equation can be seen in the first chapter, ‘Is There a God?’ I quote one paragraph in full because it contains so many points that need answering.



* See later, where he did the equivalent of this.

If you accept, as I do, that the laws of nature are fixed, then it doesn’t take long to ask: what role is there for God? This is a big part of the contradiction between science and religion, and although my views have made headlines, it is actually an ancient conflict. One could define God as the embodiment of the laws of nature. However, this is not what most people would think of as God. They mean a human-like being, with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe, and how insignificant and accidental human life is in it, that seems most implausible.

Page 28

There are serious fallacies here. It is not a logical assumption that fixed laws of nature mean God has no role and therefore does not exist; nor that the only relationship God could have to the laws of nature is to be their embodiment; nor is it the case that God is a human-like being; the size of the universe has no relevance to the significance of humans; and human life is not accidental. Let’s look at these points in a little more detail.

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Fixed laws of nature


On page 16, Hawking pointed out that the position of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics to which he was elected in 1979, was previously held by Sir Isaac Newton. He clearly held Newton in the highest regard, mentioning him two or three times in this book - quite rightly since he is widely considered the greatest scientist of all time. Yet Newton wrote more about Biblical history than he did about science, and said:


“We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatever.”


So the greatest scientist of all time would certainly not agree with Hawking’s notion that the laws of nature negate the existence of God. Indeed, there are a great many scientists, past and present, who would profoundly disagree with him.* The reality is that modern science is built on the work of scientists who believed that an unchanging God would create a universe built on unchangeable laws, which therefore would be capable of investigation and understanding. It is significant that the scientific method was largely pioneered by Christian scientists working in the years up to the 18th and 19th centuries, who, in contrast to those of other religions and cultures who believed in inconsistent and unpredictable gods, followed the God of the Bible who never changes.


* See here

Therefore, far from the fixed laws of nature proving God has no role, their consistency is clear evidence that they have been created by the never-changing God.

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The contradiction between science and religion


There is absolutely no contradiction between science and religion.* Atheists like Hawking try to make it that because they have no understanding of the nature of God and want to have a naturalistic answer to everything; but the fact that so many of the scientists who pioneered the scientific method were Bible-believing Christians is evidence that it is a fallacy. There have been many myths and superstitions down the centuries regarding the universe and the world in which we live, some of which Hawking mentioned in this book, but none of them can be found in the Bible. This is clear evidence of its Divine origin, because had it been man-made it would have included some of them at least. The only conflict is between the unproven and unprovable speculations regarding the past by scientists like Hawking on one hand, and what God has told us actually happened, on the other.

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* Or more precisely, between science and the Bible: there may certainly be contradiction in a religion that does not conform precisely to what it teaches.

God - the embodiment of the laws of nature?


Is it that God created the laws of nature, like winding up a clock, and then left it alone to continue ticking for the duration of the universe; or that the laws of nature are actually our description of His working consistently and without any deviation, in upholding and maintaining the universe? I wouldn’t want to be dogmatic on this, but my belief is that the second option may be the closest to the truth. Certainly, Bible descriptions of weather, times and seasons indicate they are His work; while at the same time the cause of pain, suffering and disasters of all kinds are equally clearly shown to be the result of humans rebelling against Him. The Bible seems to indicate that what we think of as the laws of nature are His work when it says that God is:


Hebrews 1:3 … upholding all things by the word of His power, (NKJV) *

On page 90, Hawking said:

…God doesn’t intervene to break the laws of science. That must be the position of every scientist. A scientific law is not a scientific law if it only holds when some supernatural being decides to let things run and not intervene.

* Scriptures marked (NKJV) are from The New King James Version. Copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Yet Hawking claimed that, contrary to the second law of thermodynamics,* disorderly particles assembled themselves into an orderly system in order for the first living organism to emerge spontaneously from inanimate matter. So it seems that scientific laws can be broken when it suits the atheist! This is typical of the arrogance of the atheistic scientist, who takes the view, “If I don’t know about it, it doesn’t exist,” and assumes there are no laws of which he is unaware.** An atheist with whom I had correspondence, mockingly said to me that my thinking was “I don’t know = God did it!”  I pointed out to her that her thinking was, “I don’t know = God didn’t do it!”

* Page 67: …the total amount  of disorder, or entropy, in the universe always increases with time.


** See next paragraph

It could be argued that the miracles described in the Bible and experienced by many people since, are deviation from the laws of nature. I would point out it is more likely that they are the utilisation of higher laws,* in the same way that the laws of aerodynamics are ‘higher’ than the law of gravity: a plane flying in the sky does not mean the law of gravity does not work consistently or is not a law of nature, but that while the ‘higher’ law is operating, gravity cannot pull it down to earth.


* One of which, I believe, is the law of faith. There is not space to go into details, but Jesus said: Matthew 17:20 …assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move…

Pages 90/91

While it is true he went on to say…

The order in one body can increase provided that the amount of disorder in its surroundings increases by the same amount,

…this does not explain how you can get the orderly information in the DNA or RNA of that first organism.* It would be like shaking a huge bag of thousands of tiny balls of different colours but identical in shape, size and weight, and expecting all the red ones to congregate together while the rest remained mixed. It does not matter how much more disorderly the rest of the coloured balls became, this would not force the red ones to separate away from them. A few may come together, but they would then separate away again. You could push all the black balls together, for example, (which therefore requires intelligent intervention) and then shake the bag; but while the black balls will then become disorderly and mix with the rest, this will not result in the red balls coming together. So increasing the disorder in the black balls does not result in increasing the order in the red ones. This mirrors what is supposed to have happened in the primordial soup (or whatever it was), when all the parts of the first organism are supposed to have assembled themselves together out of everything else. Hawking said on page 157:

 
* On page 75 he speculated that the first life form could have been based on RNA, but as can be seen from this section of the book, he had absolutely no idea how, contrary to all scientific observation, inanimate matter could have turned into a living organism. He simply believed it in spite of all the evidence it never happens, by faith that God does not exist. And even if the impossible happened and RNA miraculously appeared, there are no viable transitional steps that could turn this into DNA via mutation.

Life seems to have originated in the primordial oceans that covered the Earth four billion years ago. How this happened we don’t know. It may be that random collisions between atoms built up macromolecules that could reproduce themselves and assemble themselves into more complicated structures. What we do know is that by three and a half billions years ago the highly complicated molecule DNA had emerged.


What is the mechanism that enabled a gradual build-up of atoms to produce self-reproducing macromolecules? There isn’t one! This is why he said he didn’t know how it happened, which is code for, “there is no naturally-occurring process that could possibly do it, all the relevant observations prove it to be impossible, but it must have happened because ‘I don’t know’ = ‘God didn’t do it’!” On the following page he pointed out that the four nucleic acids, cytosine, guanine, adenine and thymine, are the information-carrying elements in the double helix of DNA, every one of which has to be in the correct position to code for the requirements of life (so my illustration of balls in a bag massively underestimates the problem). No wonder he said it is highly complicated - the smallest-known living organism capable of independent life has over one million in its DNA. Even a simpler system than DNA * would require a large number of these nucleic acids to be in precisely the correct sequence, and the chances of getting just 100 to land randomly into any particular combination would be 1 in 160,694 x 1055 ** (160,694 followed by 55 zeros). Even if there were ten billion different viable combinations, it would still be 1 chance in 160,694 x 1045. There is more chance of winning the jackpot in the UK lottery in six consecutive draws *** with the same single entry than finding a viable combination of 100 nucleic acids by chance processes; but no-one would seriously claim that 100 would be enough to code for a living organism - it would take orders of magnitude more.


 



*  if it could ever be shown that one would be capable of life and reproduction

** With four different alternatives for each position, you have to multiply 1 by 4, 100 times.

*** The odds against winning the jackpot once are 1 in 45,057,474; so six consecutive wins with the same number is 1 in 83,676 x 1041

So what process enabled all those atoms to move around freely and yet locked each one into the correct position when it joined the growing chain and kept the ‘incorrect’ ones away at a time when the growing macromolecule had no function and therefore could not be preserved by natural selection until it was complete? There is no example of information arising by non-intelligent means: it is like randomly generating computer code and expecting it to produce the next version of the Windows operating system. On page 68 Hawking likened life to a computer virus; but every computer virus known exists because it was created by intelligent design * and not one has come into being as a result of randomly generating computer code. Yet this is supposed to have happened to trigger the process of evolution. You have to admire his faith in atheism!




* Well, a creator of a computer virus could hardly be described as ‘intelligent’, but I think you know what I mean!

If the impossible happened and inanimate matter did turn into a living organism, where did it get its energy from to enable it to live? The entire planet would be sterile, so it would die through lack of food. We are frequently told that the energy from the sun would be all it needed, but without some form of photosynthesis, the rays of the sun can do nothing except make it a bit warmer. Photosynthesis requires some very sophisticated machinery, as seen in plants for example; so did this organism have the coding for this in its DNA, RNA, or whatever it was? That simply multiplies the number of nucleic acids required to assemble themselves into the correct order before the macromolecule could ‘live’.


We are also told that it was the sun’s energy that gave the input to produce abiogenesis;* but for the same reason the sun could not feed that first living form, it could not create it in the first place either: the sun shining on the bag of marbles would not make the red ones more likely to assemble together. The sun shining on the macromolecule would not prevent the ‘wrong’ nucleic acids from attaching themselves to the chain, or ensure that the correct ones did so.

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* Life appearing from non-life

God - a human-like being?


This is the key to Hawking’s error: he clearly had some kind of ‘superman’ type figure or old man with a long beard sitting on a throne in mind when he wrote this. He could not have been more wrong!


Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind.

John 4:24 God is Spirit…

Isaiah 55:8–9 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”


In other words God is so much greater than humans, our minds are incapable of comprehending fully who or what He is.


Psalm 139:7–8 I can never escape from Your Spirit! I can never get away from Your presence! If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I go down to the grave, You are there.


The Hebrew translated ‘heaven’ is shâ-mayim  shâ-meh, which is:

…dual of an unused singular; from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve): - air, X astrologer, heaven (-s).*



* Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries.

In other words, no matter where in the universe the Psalmist goes, God is there: in a universe that is at least 26 billion light-years across, God’s being is in every part of it. Isaiah tells us that His knowledge and intellect is so much greater than ours we could not possibly come anywhere near imagining what it is actually like. No wonder Numbers 23:19 says He is not a man, Isaiah 55:8–9 says we cannot even imagine what He is like and John 4:24 says He is Spirit, because the being called ‘God’ is an Entity * way beyond anything or anyone we will ever encounter in our physical realm.



* I use a word from science fiction to try to get beyond the limitation that the word ‘God’ seems to imply to people like Hawking.

In a recent Face Book discussion with an atheist, she wrote to me:

Was god created? If even one thing can exist without creation, then why not other things, why not the universe?

My reply to her was that since God's existence is in a totally different dimension to ours, and is outside of time, space and matter,* He was not created: He was always there (although the word 'always' is barely appropriate in a situation where time does not exist). The fact of a self-existent being outside of time, space and matter is not evidence that a self-created universe within time and space can occur. Indeed, it requires such a being to be able to create these three things, because otherwise you have something or someone creating it/him-self, and that would be ludicrous.

 
* So He does not have the limitation of a physical body like ours (although, of course, He did take on a physical form to become our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ - a form He will continue to hold for eternity).

The reason Hawking got it so badly wrong is that his imagination of who God is was so microscopically tiny He was debating a straw-man argument.* I quite agree with him: a god like the one he described could not possibly have created the universe. But God is not like that! No imagination of mine could ever come anywhere close to describing what He is like; but if you think of a being whose primary existence is in a completely different dimension from our own, who not only sees every atom in the universe at all times but knows the positions and speeds of all the particles in the universe (see the NOTE, on the right) for the whole of its history and whose control of it all is what we think of as the four fundamental forces of nature,* then you might be coming a little closer to the truth than Hawking’s imagination.

 
* A straw-man argument is a distortion of an argument in order to defeat it easily. Use of this tactic is clear evidence of the inability of the person using it to defeat the actual argument: if the real argument can be beaten, then there would be no point in producing a false one!

* Gravitational Force. Weak Nuclear Force. Electromagnetic Force. Strong Nuclear Force

NOTE: I use this description deliberately, because on page 95 Hawking said:

Thus it seems that even God is bound by the uncertainty principle and cannot know both the position and speed of a particle.

He said this, of course, because he had no idea about the nature of God. We may be unable to do it, because for one thing, whatever means of viewing a particle we use, it will effect its speed and/or position. God is not limited to the methods we require, however. In any case, if He is constantly viewing all particles, then there will be no variation in their situation in the way there would be if we were to observe one for a short period of time. There are hints in the Bible that this is the case. Jesus said:

Matthew 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

In other words God is constantly aware of the smallest parts. A single hair was the smallest and least significant part of the body known in that society at that time. I suspect, if Jesus was saying it today, He would say, “every atom in your body is numbered.” Scientific evidence for this is that since it is impossible for DNA to appear spontaneously, an Intelligent Designer must have constructed cytosine, guanine, adenine and thymine out of the sub-atomic particles from which they are made before assembling them into macromolecules in all living things; and would still be protecting them from mutation today had it not been for Adam’s fall.

Psalm 94:11 The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile.

Modern science has reached the point that doctors can now begin to see what people are thinking, by scanning their brains. Since God is continually ‘watching’ the movement of every particle in the universe, it is no difficulty to Him to know everything we think.

 

* There are more bacteria living in our bodies than we have cells - and there are trillions of those!

The fact that God made man in His image does not therefore mean that God is in man’s image! A photograph is an image of a person, but this does not mean that people are flat pictures on pieces of card! A waxwork in Madame Tussaud's is in the image of a person, but this does not mean that people are unfeeling, unthinking, unmoving lumps of wax! We have already seen that God is a Spirit, so clearly the image in which man was made had nothing to do with his physical being, but must refer to the spirit, which throughout the Bible is spoken of as being at the heart of men and women. (It is possible that the physical, human body mirrors the ‘shape’ of the human spirit, but since the Bible says nothing about this, it would be pure speculation to claim it as fact.) Just as God is a self-conscious, thinking, reasoning, feeling, creative, loving being, so these attributes are embedded into all of us, albeit distorted now due to the sin nature we have all inherited. God may at times have revealed Himself to people as a being seated on a throne, and supremely in the person of Jesus Christ; but this was purely in order to make Himself understandable to us, and it would be a huge mistake to imagine He is limited to that and is nothing more.

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God with whom we can have a personal relationship

Why does God have to be human-like in order for us to have a relationship with Him? Certainly a being so vast and far beyond our understanding would have to come down to our level for us to be able to respond to Him; but as previously mentioned, this is exactly what He has done. To claim it is impossible for such a being to do this is illogical. Why did He create reasoning, intelligent beings if He didn’t want to relate to them? Or if it was impossible for Him to do so? This is just another incarnation of Hawking’s lack of understanding of the power and greatness of our Creator.

The vast size of the universe has nothing to do with whether we can have a relationship with God or not. Certainly the Psalmist pointed out how insignificant he felt when looking at it:

Psalm 8:3–5 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. (NKJV)

However, as has been pointed out by others, when it comes to size, we are approximately half-way between the size of the universe that is billions of light years across, and the size of the sub-atomic particles of which everything is made (on page 156 Hawking said the smallest size is the Planck length, which is a millimetre divided by 100,000 billion billion billion). This tells me two things:

[1] it is reasonable to assume that God would proportion our physical size in this way, such that we are half-way between the elements that make up our bodies and the realm in which our bodies live;

[2] if God is so able to design and control even the tiniest parts of our bodies - atoms, cells, the population of bacteria living within us and keeping us healthy,* etc - then He would have no difficulty whatsoever in having a relationship with us!

The enormous complexity within every cell of our bodies is such I am astounded that an intelligent man could call humans ‘accidental’! The notion that the programming in our DNA, and the molecular machines within our cells directed by that programming and performing functions essential for life, and the nervous system, and so much more that has to be in place and fully operational for life to be viable, the notion that all of this could happen by a series of accidents flies in the face of every scientific observation ever made. No-one has ever seen intelligent information that arose by random accidents. No-one has ever seen a simple, disorderly system become complex and orderly by random accidents. The incredible complexity of our bodies, from the molecular structure of our cells, to the complicated design of every one of our organs, to the harmonious organisation of those organs into the self-maintaining, self-repairing beings that they are, could only exist due to high intelligence designing them.

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The Big Bang


The chapter then develops into how Hawking claimed the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing,* which he said was according to the laws of science. So after telling us that the universe has just two ingredients, energy and space, he went on to say:

At the moment of the Big Bang, an entire universe came into existence, and with it space… How does an entire universe full of energy, the awesome vastness of space and everything in it, simply appear out of nothing? …The secret lies in one of the strangest facts about our cosmos. The laws of physics demand the existence of something called ‘negative energy’.

 
* Page 29


Page 31/32

The explanation of negative energy he gave is in the form of an illustration of forming a hill. As the soil is dug out of the ground to build the hill, this creates a hole. So ‘positive energy’ is the hill, while ‘negative energy’ is the hole. Put the soil of the hill back into the hole, and both disappear.


When the Big Bang produced a massive amount of positive energy, it simultaneously produced the same amount of negative energy. In this way, the positive and the negative add up to zero, always. It’s another law of nature.

The universe is like an enormous battery storing negative energy. The positive side of things - the mass and energy we see today - is like the hill. The corresponding hole, or negative side of things, is spread throughout space… It means that if the universe adds up to nothing, then you don’t need a God to create it.

Page 32


Page 33

If the universe adds up to nothing, then you don’t need a God to create it? Utter nonsense! This is like saying if a hole is created to build a hill the size of Everest, then because the hole and the hill add up to nothing when put together, it needed no-one or no cause of any kind to do create them! It only needs no creator if nothing can spontaneously turn itself into vast amounts of negative and positive energy, and there is no observation or explanation known to man that can produce something from nothing in this way.

On page 35, he said:

The laws of nature itself tell us that not only could the universe have popped into existence without any assistance, like a proton, and have required nothing in terms of energy, but also that it is possible that nothing caused the Big Bang. Nothing.


His explanation may sound convincing to some, until you remember that the laws of nature - a phrase Hawking constantly used in the book - tell us that energy has to come from somewhere. All scientific observation is that energy cannot pop up out of nowhere: it is called the law of thermodynamics, which is one of the most fundamental laws of physics. A small child will expend a small amount of energy with a bucket and spade, by creating a ‘negative’ hole when filling its bucket and tipping it over to create a ‘positive’ sand pie. To build a mountain the size of Everest would require a vast amount of energy and equipment. The amount of energy necessary to form the entire matter in the universe, along with a corresponding amount of negative energy, would be unimaginably enormous. Where is that energy coming from in a situation where nothing exists? How can it require ‘nothing in terms of energy’ to divide nothing into vast amounts of positive and negative energy?


If it is the case that the laws of physics demand that the universe be made up of an equal amount of negative and positive energy, which together add up to zero, then this would simply confirm that from our own observation of the laws of nature, God created all things from nothing.

I am reminded of a radio debate I heard a few decades ago, between a Christian leader, Gerald Coates, and an atheist. At one point the atheist said sneeringly, “He’s a Christian: he believes God made the universe out of nothing.” Gerald Coates replied, “He’s an atheist: he believes nothing made the universe out of nothing.”

Since the laws of nature always, without fail, mean you can only have an effect as the result of a cause, only a Supreme power outside of the physical dimension could possibly create positive and negative energy from nothing and be the cause of matter, time and space. However, Hawking used a conjuring trick with logic in order to circumvent this problem for his theory.


Since we know that the positive and the negative add up to zero, all we need to do now is to work out what - or dare I say who - triggered the whole process in the first place…
…at this scale (sub-atomic level) particles such as protons behave according to the laws of nature we call quantum mechanics. And they really can appear at random, stick around for a while and then vanish again, to reappear somewhere else…
Since we know the universe itself was once very small - perhaps smaller than a proton - this means something quite remarkable. It means the universe itself, in all its mind-bogging vastness and complexity, could simply have popped into existence without violating the known laws of nature.

Page 33/34

There are several serious problems with this.

He was now telling us what ‘triggered the whole process in the first place’; but this is the opposite to what he said on pages 37-38:

You can’t get to a time before the Big Bang because there was no time before the Big Bang. We have finally found something that doesn’t have a cause, because there was no time for a cause to exist in.

So if there is no cause, there is nothing that ‘triggered the whole process’. If something ‘triggered the whole process’, then there was a cause. You can’t have a cause and not have a cause at the same time for the same event. However, since he said we need to work out what triggered it, then he was accepting it could not have happened without a cause while at the same time accepting that a cause could not have existed. This is precisely the point I am making: it could not have happened without a cause, and since a cause could not have existed in the physical dimension, it had to be in a different dimension. The only possible alternative is the God I have described; and He has told us how He did it, and it was not via a Big Bang!


If Hawking was telling us protons that previously did not exist can suddenly pop into being somewhere, remain there for a while and later pop off somewhere else in the universe, then he is saying that the total matter in the universe is constantly increasing. This is contrary to the law of thermodynamics, which says that the total amount of matter/energy in the universe always remains constant - it can neither increase nor decrease. Matter can change its form to energy, for example, as in the case of the sun where its matter is radiating away in the form of heat and other rays; but it will always remain the same amount. So in order to try to have a universe that can create itself, he was violating one of the fundamental laws of nature.


If he was saying the matter content of the universe will still remain the same because when one proton materialises, another disappears,* thus keeping equilibrium, then he automatically discounted this as a possible starting point for the Big Bang, because at that ‘time’ no proton existed to disappear and allow another one to appear. What he was doing was observing what happens in a physical realm where protons exist, and projecting what he sees into a realm where they did not exist and assuming the same thing would happen. In other words he wanted to have his cake and eat it!

 
*  As he discussed on page 115. I am aware he did not say everything came from a proton at the Big Bang, but that it was something perhaps smaller than a proton. However, since I don’t know what that something was, I am here calling it a ‘proton’ for convenience.

If he was saying it is pairs of protons that previously did not exist materialising, with one positive and one negative energy so the sum total of the two is zero, it is still no help, because he said that the universe is made up of positive energy in the form of matter and negative energy that is stored in space;* and since the law of thermodynamics says the total matter and energy content of the universe cannot increase, then this law is being broken because it has increased. If this was new protons that previously did not exist, then it would mean the negative energy in space has increased, and the positive matter/energy in the universe has increased, and that is what the law of thermodynamics says is impossible. Clearly, in order to obey the first law, the protons that appear at random must have popped up from somewhere else in the same way they then vanish to appear elsewhere. In other words, this can only take place in a physical universe where matter already exists: it cannot happen where space, energy and matter do not exist.


* Page 32: Space itself is a vast store of negative energy.

On page 136 he mentioned:

…pairs of particles and antiparticles that suddenly appear together, move apart and then come back together again and annihilate each other.

While in this example (if this genuinely does happen) particles could appear without conflicting with the law of thermodynamics * because they immediately disappear again, it is still the case it is taking place in space containing a huge amount of matter and energy. This cannot be applied to what can ‘happen’ when space, matter, energy and time do not exist.


 


* Although surely, in the instance that the particles appear, before they annihilate each other, the law is being broken? Could it not equally be the case that when they appear they have simply transferred from elsewhere, and when they ‘annihilate’, they are simply popping off somewhere else?


* The junk DNA lie was still being promoted by Hawking on page 77 in this book, in spite of the research of the ENCODE project six years earlier that proved it to be false. How could he justify ignoring the research of dozens of scientists over several years that proved their findings?



 

* Discussed on pages 92-95

The problem of quantum mechanics, where things apparently happen without a logical cause, is the same old story in a different guise. In the past evolutionists have told us that our bodies have over 100 vestigial organs that no longer have any use; that Piltdown man was a transitional link leading to homo sapiens; that 95% of our DNA is useless junk.* In each case, further research proved that none of these things were true, but it was simply a matter of having insufficient knowledge of the subject. Whether it will ever be possible for humans to create the equipment to measure things so small we have only comparatively recently been able to prove they exist is another matter, of course! It is very likely that the reasons for events that appear to follow no laws will be beyond the ability of humans to discover because they are of such a small scale we will be unable to detect them. In fact, on page 156 in reference to the Planck length, mentioned earlier, Hawkings said:

We are not about to build particle accelerators that can probe to distances that small. They would have to be larger than the solar system… It won’t be possible to probe down to the Planck length in the laboratory…

Another difficulty that may be impossible to overcome is Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle: * this says it is impossible to know both the position and speed of a particle because whatever means you use to detect it - light, X-rays, gamma rays - will alter the position and/or speed. So any means we may have of investigating things on the scale of quantum mechanics could well change them and prevent us from knowing exactly what is taking place.

It is highly illogical to take observations in the realm of time, space and matter and project them into a situation where none of these things exist. As we will now see, this produces absurdity.


The laws of nature itself tell us that not only could the universe have popped into existence without any assistance, like a proton, and have required nothing in terms of energy, but also that it is possible that nothing caused the Big Bang. Nothing.

 Page 35

The laws of nature tell us that every effect must have a cause and that energy and matter never pops up from nothing. However, even if we were to assume that a proton could suddenly appear in a situation where space, time and matter do not exist, it still solves nothing. There simply is not the latent energy in a proton to create enough negative and positive energy from nothing and produce the universe. We know that huge amounts of energy can be created by splitting an atom from what we saw at Hiroshima and Nagasaki; but that is, literally, billions of light years away from enough energy to build a universe. Did Hawking really believe that the protons he said pop up from somewhere and then disappear to somewhere else really have the same content and consistency as the infinitesimally small, infinitesimally dense black hole from which the Big Bang came? Of course he didn’t. So what relevance do protons have to the Big Bang then? Absolutely none!


As we travel back in time towards the moment of the Big Bang, the universe gets smaller and smaller and smaller, until it finally comes to a point where the whole universe is a space so small that it is in effect a single infinitesimally small, infinitesimally dense black hole… time itself must come to a stop. You can’t get to a time before the Big Bang because there was no time before the Big Bang.

 Page 37

That sounds quite reasonable - until you remember that we can’t travel backwards in time, as Hawking himself said on page 82 of this book! Basing a theory on what happens when you travel back in time is like basing a theory on what happens when gravity repulses instead of attracts! * However, if we assume he was correct in what he said would happen if our universe collapsed in on itself, then we arrive at this tiny black hole. So, as long as time can run backwards, we have a cause for the black hole to exist - we have explained how it got there. But Hawking didn’t believe it got there as a result of a universe collapsing in on itself, and so far the only explanation we have had is for something like a proton that is nothing like any proton known appearing out of nothing for no reason.

When did this proton, or whatever it was, pop up out of nothing, though? He said that because there is no time in the singularity, you can’t get to a time before the Big Bang. If you can’t get a time before the Big Bang, what relevance does this proton have to anything? Why did he talk about it if it couldn’t come before the Big Bang? How did the singularity come into existence? If the proton was the cause of the singularity, then it had to come before the black hole; but it can’t come first because there is no time existing for it to do so. And if it can’t appear before the singularity, then the singularity can’t appear. If this proton is not the cause of the singularity but is the singularity, then what caused it to exist?


* On page 102 he said:

…gravity is always attractive, unlike electric forces which can be either attractive or repulsive.

However, if we assume we could travel backwards in time until we reach this tiny black hole, we then have a situation where a Big Bang is impossible anyway because there is no time, and without time a bang cannot happen. Nothing can happen, because time is required for anything to happen in. No time = nothing happening. In fact this is the ultimate chicken-and-egg situation. Time can only function in a physical realm - so where there is no space or matter there is no time. Therefore the Big Bang requires time in order for it to take place; and time requires the Big Bang to create the space and matter for it to exist. Time can’t exist without the space and matter created by the Big Bang; and the Big Bang can’t take place without time to bang in! Which came first - time or the Big Bang?


…the whole universe began in a Big Bang, a point where the whole universe and everything in it were scrunched up into a single point of infinite density, a space-time singularity. At this point Einstein’s general theory of relativity would have broken down.

The density would have been infinite. It would have been what is called, a singularity. At a singularity, all the laws of physics would have broken down.

Page 50



http://www.hawking.org.uk/the-beginning-of-time.html

The laws of physics are simply our way of describing how things function. If all the laws have broken down, then all function has broken down - there can be no functions. Nothing happens. So once again, this infinitely small, infinitely dense speck cannot change, cannot bang, cannot do or be anything other than what it is because there is no function; and even if there were different kinds of functions in a singularity from those we know in our universe, there was no time for them to function in!

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Triangles


We see here a conjuring trick with geometry (bearing in mind that conjuring tricks are illusions) where Hawking said that a triangle, if placed on the earth's surface, can have a total of more than 180 degrees. Drawing a line a quarter of the way around the equator, and then raising a line travelling directly North at each end, will mean the two vertical lines will meet at the North pole and all three of the angles of this figure will be 90 degrees, which equals 270 degrees. However, he is playing fast and loose with definitions, because this figure is not a triangle as we would understand the word. A triangle is defined as:


A closed plane figure having three sides and three angles.

A 3-sided polygon (a flat shape with straight sides).

Triangles are assumed to be two-dimensional plane figures, unless the context provides otherwise.


A triangle is a flat shape with straight sides. He started us off by using Euclidean geometry, which states that a flat triangle has a total of 180 degrees in its angles, then changed the shape from flat with straight sides into a three-dimensional one with curved sides, but continued to call it by the same name. This is the identical tactic used by evolutionists, who show us evidence of change by natural selection, call it evolution, and then claim they have given us evidence of the theory of evolution. The change seen in natural selection is actually the damage to, shuffling, or loss of, pre-existing information in DNA; but Darwinian evolution requires new information to enter the DNA that codes for a feature not previously seen in the species. So Darwinian evolution and natural selection are opposite processes: one requires an increase in information while the other is a loss of information.* It is like saying the north pole of a magnet is the same as the south pole of a magnet or that rain water running down a hill proves that it can run uphill.

This tactic is called, 'bait-and-switch': using one thing to prove something different. While natural selection can be seen all around us, there is not a single undisputed specimen, either dead or alive, demonstrating evolution: i.e. showing a new feature never previously seen, at a part-way stage of appearing, due to new information arising in the DNA. The reason it is never seen is because it requires a spontaneous increase of specified complexity, and this is impossible, as shown by the laws of thermodynamics: information never arises spontaneously, and no-one has ever been able to give a single example of it doing so.





* It is loss of, or damage to, information in the case of mutation, while most of the change due to natural selection is a shuffling of the same information - nothing new appears.

I am aware he was using this example to talk about two-dimensional beings experiencing three-dimensional space in order to go on to discuss three-dimensional beings like ourselves realising there are more dimensions of which we are not normally aware. Nevertheless, the fact remains he was using facts about one thing and applying them to something else. Evidence for this can be seen in his description on pages 126-127 of two-dimensional beings travelling around the surface of the earth: but if they are doing this they are moving in three dimensions not two, because the earth is a sphere. It may appear they are travelling on a flat surface, but this is only because it is so large, and from the space station the curvature can be seen very clearly.


In the same way, for the Big Bang he used observations of protons popping up in a universe containing about 1080 atoms * to prove that they can pop up in a situation where no atoms exist. It is the equivalent of trying to prove that 1 + 1 = 3!

 
* They are estimated at between 1078 1082 which is 1 followed by 78 or 82 zeros.

I make no claims to having anything more than a rudimentary, layman’s understanding of quantum physics; but, as with all the other books I have read on the subject, I have found nothing in ‘Brief Answers to Big Questions’ that comes anywhere near to explaining how a Big Bang, with all the energy to create the entire matter of the universe emerging from a point too small to be seen by the human eye, could have come from nothing, at a ‘time’ when neither space, matter nor time existed.

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The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO)


On page 108, Hawking said:

On 14 September 2015, LIGO detected gravitational waves from the collision and merger of two black holes.


This shows the serious problems that surround scientists who base their thinking and conclusions on pre-conceived ideas. Having decided that such a collision and merger is the inevitable result of the Big Bang, they delightedly reported the event had been observed:


…LIGO switched on its upgraded detectors on 12 September 2015. Within 48 hours, it had made its first detection. It took a few months before the researchers were confident enough in the signal to announce a discovery.

New Scientist, No 3302, 3 November 2018,
page 29. Article by Michael Brooks.

However, as New Scientist goes on to report, all was not as it seemed; and Andrew Jackson, spokesperson for a group of physicists who have since studied the data, reported:


“We believe that LIGO has failed to make a convincing case for the detection of any gravitational wave event.”

New Scientist, No 3302, 3 November 2018,
page 29

According to them,* the breakthrough was nothing of the sort: it was all an illusion… Their claims are not vexatious, not do they come from ill-informed troublemakers… “These guys are credible scientists,” says Duncan Brown at Syracuse University in New York, a gravitational waves expert who recently left the LIGO collaboration.

“This LIGO episode continues to be the most shocking experience of my 55 years as a physicist,” he (Jackson) says.

* The Jackson group of physicists



New Scientist, No 3302, 3 November 2018,
page 32

The problem is that, far from scientists being the unprejudiced, neutral investigators following nothing but scientific evidence regardless of where it leads, as they would like us to think, they are as human as the rest of us. We all have a tendency to overlook, or sideline that which contradicts our sincerely held beliefs, and jump on the least hint of anything that supports them. Additionally, there are pressures on today’s scientists that do not help to avoid this problem. The October edition of American Scientist ran two articles highlighting this, with reports of scientists working in the fields of psychology, biomedicine and computational fluid dynamics running into difficulties when trying to replicate experimental research.

“To my horror, I discovered that 90 percent of the time, we were unable to reproduce what was published,” says Begley, who is now CEO of the Australian firm BioCurate. A study would later find that failures to replicate preclinical work on the field of biomedicine eat up $28.2 billion every year in the U.S.






Scientific American, volume 319, number 4, October 2018, page 50. Article by Shannon Palus

Two problems are reported as:

Long-ingrained scientific habits such as an aversion to sharing techniques for fear of being scooped often work counter to the goal of reproducibility.

…the pressure for researchers to produce breakthroughs to make a living.


In the previous article in this magazine, John P A Ioannide begins by saying:

The way we pay for science does not encourage the best results.

He highlights ten areas regarding money - e.g. ‘We do not reward transparency’; ‘We use biased funding sources’ - along with possible solutions to them.

Scientific American, volume 319, number 4, October 2018, page 46. John P A Ioannide is a professor of medicine, of health research and policy, of biomedical Data science and of statistics at Stanford University.

I find it intriguing that I should discover on a magazine rack these two magazines carrying these articles in the same week I am working on this critique of Hawking’s book. Regardless of the detail in Scientific American, it would appear to be the case, according to New Scientist, that the confirmation of Hawing’s black hole theory was ‘nothing of the sort’. I began this page by pointing out that if our foundational beliefs are wrong, then the destination to which they take us is also going to be wrong.


If the universe began by a Big Bang, then observation will validate this; but the theory is now in so much trouble, in order to rescue it they are having to try to get the laws of gravity to be different from the way we have always understood them, and, in spite of saying the speed of light can never vary and sneering at creationists who believe we can see light from distant stars in a young universe, they are now trying to make the speed of light different in the past.


gravity acting differently

light travelling at a different speed in the past

In order to preserve the theory they have had to invoke dark energy, something that cannot be observed but without which the Big Bang sinks without trace. See here for a good, brief description. It would seem that the complaint by a large number of evolutionary scientists about the infatuation with the Big Bang, published 14 years ago, is as valid now as when they wrote it:


The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed-- inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory.

Available in full here. To the problems listed in this quote, we can add ‘The Axis of Evil and the Cold Spot’

If the universe did not begin with a Big Bang, then no so called ‘scientific evidence’ supporting it will ever last for long. The fact that Hawking was unable to give any kind of satisfactory answer to the cause of the Big Bang, and equally unable to explain how inanimate matter could magically become a living organism, means there is only one logical conclusion: it required an Intelligent Designer whose sphere of existence was one that did not require space, matter or time.


In yet one more ‘coincidence’, on the same day I picked up the two scientific magazines mentioned earlier, notification of a new book arrived on my laptop, which I bought and downloaded. Evolution’s Blunders, Frauds, and Forgeries catalogues some of the many examples of ‘scientific evidence’, from Darwin to the present day, that was later shown to be false. Evolutionists, of course, defend these errors by saying that this is the way science works: theories are put forward and if in error, further research corrects them. However, the history of evolution is that it has constantly been upheld on the basis of one wrong observation substituted by another, and people have lived and died believing it on the strength of lies.


One clear modern example of this, given in the book, is in the notion that mutation is the means by which the first living organism evolved into the vast number of living things seen on our planet. Quote:


The problem is that the vast majority of mutations are near-neutral, i.e. mildly deleterious, and most of the rest are harmful, even lethal. Life is gradually accumulating these deleterious mutations and is facing genetic catastrophe (mutational meltdown), eventually causing extinction…

Over 5,000 genetic diseases are now known and the number is growing for several reasons, one of which is the accumulation of deleterious mutations. As Ashton wrote, * "What we observe in research laboratories today is DNA slowly deteriorating, not new DNA evolving. This means we actually observe the very opposite of evolution."

These quotes are from the end of the first chapter of Evolution’s Blunders, Frauds, and Forgeries.



* Ashton, Evolution Impossible, p. 132

Hawking claimed * mutation to enable living things to evolve into higher things occurred at a rate of one bit of information every hundred years for the first two billion years, speeding up to one bit per year over the past few million years, with “relatively little change in human DNA over the past 10,000 years;” but the speed of deleterious mutation, shown by scientific observation, is massively faster than this, and would totally swamp the beneficial changes, causing the extinction of all life long before now in Hawking’s timescale. Although evolutionists like Hawking would claim natural selection will eliminate the harmful mutations, only allowing the beneficial ones to survive, the fact is that every single offspring is born with mutations, so it is impossible to eradicate them all. Natural selection may slow down the process, but it can never prevent the inevitable result of the accumulation of deleterious mutations.

* Page 160

So not only was Hawking unable to account for the Big Bang or explain abiogenesis, but scientific observation, which shows the opposite to that required for Darwinian evolution, proves his belief that everything gradually evolved into higher forms to be impossible.

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Conclusion


I am not a scientist, and therefore may not understand the finer points of some of these topics; but I am a Christian with many decades of experience of our Creator God. So even if some detail of what I have written here may be incorrect, the basic premise that the universe can only exist because of intervention by the Intelligent Designer is proved beyond any reasonable doubt as far as I am concerned. And He has told us exactly how He did it: who am I to contradict Him? Therefore I do not hesitate to oppose those whose entire thinking is based on the premise that there is no God and everything began with a Big Bang.

If Hawking was correct in his theories, then he now no longer exists and will never know he got it right. However, if, as I have tried to show here, he got it wrong, then he has now been confronted by the God he spent a lifetime trying to disprove, and has an eternity ahead in which to regret it. This does not bear thinking about, and I can only hope that somehow he had a death-bed revelation and turned to the God he had ignored for so long. The Bible says:

Romans 10:13 …“Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”

The thief, dying on his cross, did this in his last minutes, and Jesus said:

Luke 23:43 …"I assure you, today you will be with Me in paradise."


I pray that everyone who manages to read down to this point, if they haven’t already done so, will make every effort to make contact with their Creator.


1 Chronicles 28:9 …For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek Him, you will find Him. But if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.


I have gone into some detail on this here, but there are many ways you can find out what to do: talk to a Christian friend, read the Bible (I suggest it’s best to start with one of the first four books of the New Testament in a modern translation), check out Christian web sites,* visit your nearest church * or buy some literature from your nearest Bible book shop. The God who knows your every thought will ensure you find the way, if you are genuine in your desire.


* I suggest it would be best to avoid those who have compromised the clear teaching of the Bible with theistic evolution (i.e. God created by means of evolution) in order to accommodate the views of people like Stephen Hawking, because if he got it wrong, as I hope I have shown here, then they also will be getting it wrong!

 
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INDEX

Fixed laws of nature

The contradiction between science and religion

God - the embodiment of the laws of nature?

God - a human-like being?

God with whom we can have a personal relationship

The Big Bang

Triangles

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO)

Conclusion