Larry Mullins

September 5, 2010

Stephen Hawking’s Valiant Flub

The Wall Street Journal recently printed an excerpt from Stephen Hawking’s book “The Grand Design” (Why God Did Not Create the Universe). Hawking is a great scientist, but his excerpt proves only that he is no philosopher. Just as science has its rules, so does philosophy.

Hawking states: “As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing.” The mystery of matter apparently emerging from “nothing” on the quantum level cannot be answered by science, and yet it should not be ignored. It is a question for the philosopher (who has yet to answer it).

There are three disciplines that broadly lay claim to truth: science, religion and philosophy. It is generally conceded that philosophy occupies a place between science and religion, and should seek to mediate between the two. Philosophy then could establish a synthesis by means of an integration of scientific fact and spiritual insight.

Unfortunately, such a tri-part solution as this is denied the expert-specialist because Aristotle confined all disciplines into logic-tight compartments. They do not communicate.

However, uncommon sense permits lay persons to avoid being defenseless against the a priori assumptions of compartmentalized science, philosophy and religion. In this light, the theologian might suggest that matter seems to “disappear” and “reappear” from nothing on the quantum level for a reason. Perhaps the laws of time, space and matter seem invalid on the sub-atomic level because we are looking into the impenetrable mind of God, from whence all matter emerges.

Students of the Urantia Papers recognize this as yet undetectable source as the Unqualified Absolute, the unimaginably immense reservoir of the material cosmos.

Larry Mullins

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