In Memory of Stephen Hawking

76 years ago, a genius was born. Stephen Hawking, beloved theoretical physicist and cosmologist passed away today.  Hawking died on Pi day, I think this was the silver lining in this otherwise horrible situation. The former professor of mathematics dying on Pi day.

It was just a month or so ago that I read “The Grand Design.” In this excellent book, Hawking dumbs down science for us laymen. Hawking was an inspiration to me, he didn’t let anything hold him back, not even his Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Even though Dr. Hawking is no longer with us, his contributions to science will long outlive his memory. I like to think he would be content with that. In honor of his life, I would like to celebrate my favorite contribution to science made by him.

Hawking Radiation

Hawking predicted that black holes would admit radiation due to quantum effects. Hawking’s argument provided in 1974 (Using Quantum Theory and General Relativity) is still the best possible explanation regarding this issue. Black holes have always interested me, it’s kind of like the horror story of the universe. I remember as a young teenager looking up YouTube Videos for the “Sound of a Black Hole” as if it would provide some type of creepy surreal sound.

Hawking sits at a table with Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, placing his building block on top of theirs.

Some Musings

I dislike when fellow religious people use the death of a popular unbeliever to posture their “boldness” which is just an unsympathetic excuse to be rude to the families of those who just passed. Some think the harsh truth is always the best option, indeed we all need the red pill in our lives. However, there is a time and place and yelling at the recent widow at the funeral is not the time or place. Didn’t Jesus say, “Let the dead bury their dead”? (Matthew 8:22)

But no, you must throw in your two cents, you must stand upon the casket and yell in your self-righteous indignation, you kick over the headstone with a smile on your face. May I say, regardless if your statement is true, that gloating at the death of someone is not an attitude filled with grace? You’re happy that someone died just because they don’t have the same beliefs as you? I even saw one comment on my Facebook today, where someone said that he was a glorified science fiction writer.

This is worse than the ones condemning him to hell the day of his death, because it’s a denial of everything Hawking stood for. The man that opened the field for the study of Black Holes to go even further, just that alone is an amazing accomplishment that is deemed science fiction by the ignorant. I don’t know why science denying people tend to also be the most need-a-ladder-for-that-high-horse arrogant people, but it’s astonishing.

These so-called theologians, they’d like to think themselves good ones, but they’re clearly not. They won’t heed Augustine’s warning and they prefer rhetoric over fact. They’d rather be comfortable in their little theological bubble instead of interacting with the science of today. I don’t understand why this is the case. John Calvin, Martin Luther, etc. were geocentrists, very few would defend their points on that. They thought the Bible taught geocentrism, whether you’re a concordist or not, you must recognize that we know geocentrism is lacking now.

These same people will call me a heretic and  compromiser of the faith for honoring Stephen Hawking, but so be it. What Hawking’s last moments, last thoughts, and last recollections I don’t know. I know what the Bible says, that those without Jesus will die in their sins. (John 8:24) But I don’t pretend to be the judge of the universe, who has mercy on who he has mercy and who will do right. What that decision is, belongs to the Lord, not the mere servants of the Lord who can’t tell the difference between science fiction and actual science. I hope the Lord had mercy on Stephen Hawking and I hope the Lord has mercy on the ignorant people disparaging him. I hope he has mercy on all of us.

“Evolution is Just a Theory”

“Evolution is just a theory!” the ignorant creationist yells at the college student passing by. Oh, how I dread that someone who claims Christ as his savior who really wants to reach people who are lost, won’t do the smallest bit of study on this issue.

The problem is that a scientific theory and the layperson’s understanding of theory in common English usage is different. When the layperson uses “theory” they usually mean guess or hypothesis. A Scientific theory is an explanation for certain phenomena that has been tested or experimented with more than once. This is usually a substantiated claim backed by evidence and is regarded as the best explanation for what it’s trying to explain.

The Big Bang is in the classification of theory as well, but it is rare for Christians to object to the Big Bang, though they do exist. The reason that the Big Bang is more widely accepted is because it serves a purpose in apologetics.  Feel free to google the evidence for the Big Bang and come back and tell me how it is convincing/not convincing in comparison to Evolution. The Big Bang is a help for the Kalam Cosmological argument, for it proves premise 2, that the universe began to exist.

I’m not here to tell you that Evolution is true or false, I’m not qualified to explain Evolution or critique it. I’m a freshman year community college student. I admittedly have a layman’s understanding of it. From that aforementioned understanding, I don’t think Evolution is necessarily in conflict with Christianity.

Now, if you’re convinced that your interpretation of certain passages is dogma for the entire christian church, something the ancient  christian creeds never mention, feel free to use that as an excuse to ignore the importance of this issue. However, for the thinking person, we have to reconcile facts with facts. We want to retain intellectual integrity, which is not based on what someone thinks of us. Rather, it is whether or not we can say with a clear conscience, I looked at all the evidence, considered all the arguments and I think X is true.

If you’re truly convinced that Jesus rose from the dead, but acknowledge this is against the prevailing materalism(though there are several models that propose these two to be consistent), you have to explain that. Having faith is necessary and good, but we need explanations. I’m not pretending to be the Holy Spirit or have any influence apart from Him, but I think it is clear in scripture that God uses means and good arguments are a means.