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If science has not actually killed God, it has rendered him unrecognizable - Comments

mmurray's Avatar Comment 1 by mmurray

So it is not true that science challenges only the most primitive, literal forms of religion. It is probably going too far to say that sciencemakes the God of Christianity, Judaism and Islam impossible, but it certainly makes him very unlikely indeed.

Indeed. How long till the Bishops `fess up and admit the god they feed to the punters in the pews is dead.

Michael

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 08:27:32 UTC | #511077

Christina Jones's Avatar Comment 2 by Christina Jones

I remember hearing that Einstein also used the god metaphor which made people consider him religious. Religiosity has a clear impact on other areas of science, whether the doctor believes it is wrong to perform abortion etc; however does a belief in god generally change a physicists work I wonder? As science disproves most of Christianity's claims the beliefs are spoken in more and more in metaphoric terms as opposed to literal ones. Unfortunately I doubt that this is having as much of an impact on islam.

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 08:56:59 UTC | #511086

johnwesleyharding1968's Avatar Comment 3 by johnwesleyharding1968

In all honesty its hard not to regard Prof Hawking's recent pronouncements as in some sense a bluff. He'd previously stated in A Brief History of Time that his Big Bang theories were in line with all the evidence and Sagan in his foreword took that to mean that the book left no room for a creator. However, Hawking then went on to admit that the origin of the stars and galaxies remain an enigma. But once one removes the stars and galaxies there is essentially nothing left to explain. The very stuff of the present, observable universe was left unexplained by Hawking.

It also seems an incredibly arrogant statement of Hawking to claim that philosophy as a science is dead. In all honesty one can't help but tink this is a response to people like William Lane Craig who are making use of astrophysics and logic to 'prove' the existence of God. Maybe, Prof Hawking feels it's a lot easier to just dismiss philosophy rather than engage with it honestly?

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 09:12:01 UTC | #511092

Tony123's Avatar Comment 4 by Tony123

Comment 2 by Christina Jones :

As science disproves most of Christianity's claims the beliefs are spoken in more and more in metaphoric terms as opposed to literal ones.

One of the tragedies of history was the Reformation, the splintering of Christianity from the Mother Church into what is now tens of thousands of different denominations.

Most of these denominations have their own notion of the creation and many believe fully in the literal word of the Bible, as in creationism, or partially, as in intelligent design.

The gradual scientific disproving of these position in recent years has led to a claim in scientific circles that Christianity is defeated. This is nonsense. The more science discovers, the more we realise that these discoveries are consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Take Hawking's claim that God did not create the universe. He claims that it was created out of nothing through the effects of gravity, and that God "did not light the blue touch paper" to set it going.

Lighting the the blue touch paper implies that God made the universe out of pre-existing matter but, because Hawking can prove that the universe came from no pre-existing matter, such a God cannot exist.

Hawking is right, and the Church agrees with him. A God who fashioned the universe out of matter does not exist. Instead the Church teaches that God created the universe out of nothing, just as Hawking is claiming that the universe was created out of nothing.

The only difference is that Hawkings claims that the cause was gravity and the Church teaches that the cause was God. Whic brings me to my final point. Who or what created gravity?

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 09:52:15 UTC | #511112

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Comment 5 by Bernard Hurley

Comment 3 by johnwesleyharding1968

It also seems an incredibly arrogant statement of Hawking to claim that philosophy as a science is dead. In all honesty one can't help but tink this is a response to people like William Lane Craig who are making use of astrophysics and logic to 'prove' the existence of God. Maybe, Prof Hawking feels it's a lot easier to just dismiss philosophy rather than engage with it honestly?

Well according to the article Hawkins says philosophy is dead. I'm not sure if he means "dead as a way of informing us", or "dead as a practice", or indeed something else. I wouldn't agree with him, but I doubt if he had in mind a complete philosophical non-entity like William Lane Craig.

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 10:10:43 UTC | #511120

man with stick's Avatar Comment 6 by man with stick

One of the tragedies of history was the Reformation, the splintering of Christianity from the Mother Church into what is now tens of thousands of different denominations.

Please explain? Which version of the eucharist is correct?

the Church teaches that God created the universe out of nothing, just as Hawking is claiming that the universe was created out of nothing.

The church teaches a lot of things. The majority of them in the past and now are sexist, homophobic or stupid (such with contraception). It also says in the beginning was the word....are you going to take credit for language, the microsoft progam and the 1990's british tv youth culture series? Do you not see you are interpreting text to fit the events. What if Hawkings had shown that the universe was created out of matter, would that be consistant with Church teachings?

The only difference is that Hawkings claims that the cause was gravity and the Church teaches that the cause was God. Which brings me to my final point. Who or what created gravity?

Quite a bit of a difference. One claims observable, measurable effect the other claims 'Magic'. You've almost hit upon it, i'll name that argument for you, The Gravitological Argument.

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 10:19:43 UTC | #511124

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 7 by Steve Zara

Comment 4 by Tony123

The gradual scientific disproving of these position in recent years has led to a claim in scientific circles that Christianity is defeated. This is nonsense. The more science discovers, the more we realise that these discoveries are consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

I'm sorry if I seem to pick on you, but you are acting as a focus for such discussions.

I'm going to make a suggestion as to when Christianity was finally defeated. I have mentioned this date several times on this site. Christianity was, I believe, finally defeated in 1828. That date marked the death of Vitalism, the belief that life contained some magic extra ingredient. It was the date that the German chemist Friedrich Wöhler became the first person to synthesise a biomolecule, urea, out of its components in the laboratory. The idea that there was some extra magic to biological systems died that day. At least it died in the scientific community. It's still possible to come across some believers who say that life can't be made from pure chemicals. It's nice to be able to say to the year how out of date they are.

The sign of a failed belief system is when it has to keep shifting its foundations to survive.

If you were a Christian many centuries ago, you would have believed that the heavens were an ideal realm occupied by holy beings. Then Galileo lifted up his telescope and Heaven suddenly packed its bags and moved outside of the Universe. You would also have believed that life has some magic properties, but then Wöhler came along, and suddenly life's magic became non-physical and transcendent. Now neuroscience is showing why people have religious experiences, and explaining that physically. If even your beliefs can be explained like that, then it really is the end of theism being a belief that has any possible connection to the reality we know. Theism might be true, but it would not be backed by evidence, it would be an outrageous coincidence.

Science can't kill God. But it already has, by any standards, destroyed all rational justifications for belief in God. And any God that survives scientific discovery is nothing at all like the God of our holy books. It is a strange, shy being, barely there, virtually impotent, skulking beneath the quantum.

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 10:28:16 UTC | #511126

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Comment 8 by Bernard Hurley

Comment 4 by Tony123

Who or what created gravity?

Not having read Hawkin's book I am not sure what he means by "gravity". As a mathematician my immediate assumption was that he was referring to a mathematical model that he takes as sufficient to explain the universe without the need of a creative agent. Taken in this way the answer to your question is simple: "We did!"

However the very fact that you ask the question suggests that you took him to mean that gravity was some sort of agent or as some sort of "thing" that could be created. What sort of answer were you expecting? "God"? If you could establish such an entity must exist and could prove it to be sui generis, you would indeed have proved the existence of Deity consistent with science. However would not be the same entity as the the God of Catholic Theology simply because he is supposed to intervene in the world, causing miracles etc. in a way that is clearly inconsistent with our best scientific theories.

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 10:44:13 UTC | #511131

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Comment 9 by Bernard Hurley

Sorry I've got into the habit of spelling "Hawking", "Hawkin". What's the usual penance for such things? Three "Hail Marys"?

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 11:40:26 UTC | #511158

Tony123's Avatar Comment 10 by Tony123

Comment 6 Man with Stick "Quite a bit of a difference. One claims observable, measurable effect the other claims 'Magic'. You've almost hit upon it, i'll name that argument for you, The Gravitological Argument."

A poster on another thread claims that gravity is explained by M-Theory. Since when did we have experimanetal proof of M-Theory?

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 12:10:21 UTC | #511171

Tony123's Avatar Comment 11 by Tony123

Correction: "experimanetal" should read "experimental"

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 12:12:00 UTC | #511172

Tony123's Avatar Comment 12 by Tony123

Comment 7 by Steve Zara :

I'm going to make a suggestion as to when Christianity was finally defeated. I have mentioned this date several times on this site. Christianity was, I believe, finally defeated in 1828. That date marked the death of Vitalism, the belief that life contained some magic extra ingredient. It was the date that the German chemist Friedrich Wöhler became the first person to synthesise a biomolecule, urea, out of its components in the laboratory. The idea that there was some extra magic to biological systems died that day. At least it died in the scientific community. It's still possible to come across some believers who say that life can't be made from pure chemicals. It's nice to be able to say to the year how out of date they are.

The sign of a failed belief system is when it has to keep shifting its foundations to survive.

If you were a Christian many centuries ago, you would have believed that the heavens were an ideal realm occupied by holy beings. Then Galileo lifted up his telescope and Heaven suddenly packed its bags and moved outside of the Universe. You would also have believed that life has some magic properties, but then Wöhler came along, and suddenly life's magic became non-physical and transcendent.

Where do you get your ideas from?

The church has never taught that life in general contains some "extra magic ingredient". Intelligent design is not Church teaching. Also, the Church has never taught that the figures in the sky are heavenly beings. In fact the church has warned against such tendencies. St Augustine 1600 years ago in his "Literal Meaning of Genesis" wrote:

"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of holy scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn."

And here, over one and a half millenia later, we have Richard Dawkins and his colleagues doing just that!

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 12:37:12 UTC | #511183

Tony123's Avatar Comment 13 by Tony123

Comment 8 by Bernard Hurley :

However the very fact that you ask the question suggests that you took him to mean that gravity was some sort of agent or as some sort of "thing" that could be created. What sort of answer were you expecting? "God"? If you could establish such an entity must exist and could prove it to be sui generis, you would indeed have proved the existence of Deity consistent with science. However would not be the same entity as the the God of Catholic Theology simply because he is supposed to intervene in the world, causing miracles etc. in a way that is clearly inconsistent with our best scientific theories.

Of course miracles are inconsistent with our best scientific theories, otherwise they wouldn't be miracles!

But just because an event cannot be explained by current limited science, does not mean that such an event is scientifically impossible.

How do you know what the scientific discoveries of the future hold?

If you claim to do so then that indeed would be a miracle!

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 12:44:54 UTC | #511187

weybourne's Avatar Comment 14 by weybourne

Comment 9 by Bernard Hurley :

Sorry I've got into the habit of spelling "Hawking", "Hawkin". What's the usual penance for such things? Three "Hail Marys"?

Well, given that your error is spelling related, I think the penance should be to say three "Hayl Meries"

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 12:47:52 UTC | #511188

man with stick's Avatar Comment 15 by man with stick

@Tony123

A poster on another thread claims that gravity is explained by M-Theory. Since when did we have experimanetal proof of M-Theory?

Slightly different to what i was proposing. Gravity is a measurable and obersevable phenomena. M-Theory is one among many hypothese yet to be fully confirmed or denied.

The properties of gravity fit Hawkings' model for spontaneous generation.

Why was the reformation such a tragedy? Which interpretation of the eucharist/communion do you hedge for? Was the bloodshed worth it?

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 12:49:12 UTC | #511190

Tony123's Avatar Comment 16 by Tony123

Comment 15 by man with stick :

@Tony123

A poster on another thread claims that gravity is explained by M-Theory. Since when did we have experimanetal proof of M-Theory?

Slightly different to what i was proposing. Gravity is a measurable and obersevable phenomena. M-Theory is one among many hypothese yet to be fully confirmed or denied.

The properties of gravity fit Hawkings' model for spontaneous generation.

Why was the reformation such a tragedy? Which interpretation of the eucharist/communion do you hedge for? Was the bloodshed worth it?

If the properties of gravity fit Hawking's model for spontanous generation, how do you explain the existence of those properties prior to the creation of the universe?

The Reformation was a tragedy because it has resulted in many Christian denominations outside the magisterial teaching of the Church now being ridiculed by scientists for their untenable Bible-based positions.

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 13:45:11 UTC | #511212

Logicel's Avatar Comment 17 by Logicel

The Reformation was a disaster for Catholics and their addiction to absolute truth because it shown that the so-called perfectly true Catholic teachings were powerless to prevent the resulting bloodshed and splintering, revealing how very irrelevant Catholic teachings are to on-going, pesky reality.

Instead of masking the essence of Catholicism, it showed how dangerous and blood thirsty all religious dogma is.

Updated: Sat, 04 Sep 2010 14:01:03 UTC | #511217

man with stick's Avatar Comment 18 by man with stick

Well even if i could explain them, it will be of no consequence to you as you seemed to have made your mind up on that one. Why do they have to exist prior to the universe? Why can they not come into creation with the universe?

Well, do rational people have a point when they say you cannot have (to take one example) a literal and symbolic interpretation of holy cummunion in which both are true. (stupid logic)

Does the bread and wine LITERALLY change or is it a lovely metaphor? Which one do you go for?

Would you rather Mr Luther did not come up his 95 theses (questioning authority, i know it shouldn't be allowed) and people should continue to have the bible interpreted for them by priests and continue to practice ritual and liturgy that are not sanctioned in the bible. If the reformation had not happened, this debate probably wouldn't be happening due complete control of the church over biblical reading and interpretation, through which is the ONLY way of accessing divine truth or salvation. Would you like that kind of totalitarian regime?

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 14:05:10 UTC | #511219

Tony123's Avatar Comment 19 by Tony123

Comment 18 by man with stick :

Well even if i could explain them, it will be of no consequence to you as you seemed to have made your mind up on that one. Why do they have to exist prior to the universe? Why can they not come into creation with the universe?

This is fact what I have claimed on another thread: that God created the laws of gravity and the universe from nothing the latter being contingent upon the former.

However, didn't Hawking say: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing". This means that a law of gravity must already exist for the universe to be created from it.

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 14:18:32 UTC | #511226

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 20 by Stevehill

@Tony123

The church has never taught that life in general contains some "extra magic ingredient"

Aren't we talking about "the soul"? The bit that survives brain death and 2,000 degrees in the Council Crem, and goes on to live forever at god's right hand?

If the church has stopped that stuff, that would be very refreshing.

As to your claim that Catholicism is in touch, even at one, with modern science and moved with the times... remind me who condemned Galileo, and how long it took for an apology to be forthcoming. (As late as 1990 Ratzi described Galileo's trial as "fair").

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 14:20:08 UTC | #511227

man with stick's Avatar Comment 21 by man with stick

@Tony123

However, didn't Hawking say: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing". This means that a law of gravity must already exist for the universe to be created from it.

No, in Einstein's general relativity gravity is the result of space-time curving. Without space-time, no gravity. It is the properties of gravity as space-time unfolds that gives it that organising effect.

Very good use of 'However' in that last post. You insist god created these laws and that no amount of natural explanation is going to convince you otherwise. The converse is (almost) true of atheists, no matter how much you insist and reference the bible that god put the jam in doughnuts, it's not enough. If you can give evidence for a 'therefore god' statement is the only logical explanation athiests will be convinced, up until such time, i'm sticking with explanations and facts of this world (for very good reasons).

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 14:37:07 UTC | #511235

Tony123's Avatar Comment 22 by Tony123

Comment 21 by man with stick :

No, in Einstein's general relativity gravity is the result of space-time curving. Without space-time, no gravity. It is the properties of gravity as space-time unfolds that gives it that organising effect.

In Stephen Hawking's model, how do you explain the pre-existence of the laws of gravity which allow gravity to result from the curvature of spacetime?

If these laws precede the spontaneous creation of the universe, where the devil do they come from?

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 15:13:51 UTC | #511262

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Comment 23 by Bernard Hurley

Comment 13 by Tony123

Of course miracles are inconsistent with our best scientific theories, otherwise they wouldn't be miracles!

But just because an event cannot be explained by current limited science, does not mean that such an event is scientifically impossible.

Well there are two issues here. Science progresses by results being found that are inconsistent with current theories. But certain types of inconsistency are more credible than others. For instance if an astronomer were to announce that the gravitational effect of some galaxy on light were greater than predicted by current theories, i would be quite happy to see how the fall out from this settled, whether there was a mistake in his measurements or whether a new theory was needed etc. However if he were to announce that when he made such measurements the water in his glass turned to Château Talbot 1976, I would disbelieve him tout court. It would take much more than a holy book to change my mind.

Yes, it is true that an event's being inconsistent with our present day scientific knowledge does not in itself make the event impossible. However there are some events (e.g.: humans flying or walking on water without mechanical aids, turning water into wine, resurrections etc..) which, given current scientific knowledge, I find it perverse to believe could happen.

How do you know what the scientific discoveries of the future hold?

I wish I did! I would be very rich!

If you claim to do so then that indeed would be a miracle!

There is nothing miraculous about making outrageous claims people do it all the time!

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 15:25:59 UTC | #511268

man with stick's Avatar Comment 24 by man with stick

@Tony123

In Stephen Hawking's model, how do you explain the pre-existence of the laws of gravity which allow gravity to result from the curvature of spacetime?

Why do they need to pre-exist? At the moment of the big bang there is no causal order (that we know of). You cannot have a law of something without the phenomena that the law is supposed to eminate from.

The law of motion does not pre-exist motion. It is motion (just the description of it). The laws of thermodynamics do not pre-exist thermodynamics, again it is just a formal description of what energy, matter and temperature do over time. You can of course then extrapolate a theoretical 'what would happen if' senario and essentially that is what Hawkings has done (but the theory is backed up with supporting evidence)and is also what theists do but with no evidence i.e. what if the bible were the word of god?

There aren't laws and then theres phenomena. Laws are the descriptions of phenomena as accurately as we can humanly get them. That's why we revise the 'law' or 'theory' and not the phenomena.

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 15:46:54 UTC | #511278

Roland_F's Avatar Comment 25 by Roland_F

@Tony123

You have obviously not read the article here from J. Baggini : You are still defending the Christian god Yahweh/Jehovah from the Bible, the guy who created Adam and Eve, destroyed his creation beside Noah and some animals in a flood, walking and negotiated with Abraham, fertilized a virgin girl in good old Zeus tradition, and finally because homo sapiens are inheriting the sin of Adam and Eve (eating an apple seduced from a talking snake) therefore god has to sacrifice himself (as son) to impress himself (as father) to forgive humans sins. And the Catholic teaching well so very much consistent with modern science (LOL) - includes all this plus the transubstantiation of a cracker/wafer into raw flesh and of wine into human blood.

And this Bronze age myth you defend by pulling your deity all the way back to some divine knob twiddler to set the initial physical constants in this universe. And the universe (our universe as part of a multiverse) is just ‘borrowed’ negative energy and the total mass-energy is summing up to zero – so also no creator needed here.
And that is what the book of Hawking is about, and the religious defense first from Templeton sponsored Paul Davies (own tread here in RD.NET) is now giving up on the special fine tuned components in our universe, pulling back the goal post now to the divine multiversial knob twiddler, the first non-caused cause, the prime mover but now of the multiverse (maybe outside multiversal space and time ?). This deity getting more and more remote from the Judean fertility god Yahweh a big fan of the temporary species homo sapiens on planet earth, causing him to enter this universe visit planet earth, walking around with Abraham and his chosen people 13,72 billion years after the big bang. A very wide stretch from a remote philosophical deity to the Catholic god Yahweh, and this is what this tread here based on J. Baggini is all about.

You also seem to confuse the meaning of physical law : it’s just a human description of measured physical effects as basis for mathematical calculations, nothing to be ’created’ .

And you make conclusions of the ‘creation from nothing’ based on the wrong Bible translation of genesis, which theist are using then to show that the Bible allegedly predated the big bang theory.

Here a proper translation (Hector Avalos-‘The end of biblical studies’) : When Elohim began to shape the heavens and the dry land – the dry land being formless and empty and darkness on the face of the waters and the breath of Elohim blowing over the waters – Elohim said: “ Let there be light”.

Updated: Sat, 04 Sep 2010 19:24:45 UTC | #511403

Cents's Avatar Comment 26 by Cents

Wonderful article. The god of Deism is the only hope for the religious minded. But as Richard said where did a being that created the Universe come from? I know that the Deist believers will say "it's turtles all the way down." I believe as most scientifically minded people to use Occam's Razor and remove the "turtles" as a possible method from the creation of the Universe and apply our understanding of Quantum Mechanics instead (particles and Universes can appear out of nothing if they are small enough to start with.)

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 20:14:48 UTC | #511428

Tony123's Avatar Comment 27 by Tony123

Comment 23 by Bernard Hurley :

Yes, it is true that an event's being inconsistent with our present day scientific knowledge does not in itself make the event impossible. However there are some events (e.g.: humans flying or walking on water without mechanical aids, turning water into wine, resurrections etc..) which, given current scientific knowledge, I find it perverse to believe could happen.

Humans flying - repuslive gravity?

Waliking on water - manipulation of surface tension?

Water into wine - alteration of a molecule or two?

Resurrection (the big one) - are you sure reanimation will be impossible in the future?

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 20:42:48 UTC | #511442

man with stick's Avatar Comment 28 by man with stick

@Tony123

Go on tony, i believe you even if all these nay-sayers don't.

Why didn't he fly all the time if he was able too? I would.

Maybe Jesus is really light and doesn't need to manipulate surface tension like a pond-skater. How about helium in his blood and bones?

H20 to C2H5OH (not really wine but as good as my high school chemistry would allow) - Easy, water added to sugar and some yeast and grape juice...wine!

If he can do the all the others death shouldn't be a problem. Plenty of humans have died and come back to life but no human has hated a fig tree so much that it withered and would never bear fruit. Jesus really showed that fruit tree whose boss. That's right god wants his figs.

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 23:40:07 UTC | #511532

Roland_F's Avatar Comment 29 by Roland_F

Tony123 : Humans flying - repuslive gravity? Waliking on water - manipulation of surface tension? Water into wine - alteration of a molecule or two? Resurrection (the big one) - are you sure reanimation will be impossible in the future?

Well and why not beheading you own son by mistake and replanting an elephant’s head on his neck instead – human medical science progresses – so child’s play for a deity like Shiva ! Or flying carpets which are defying gravity by some future energy source. Or miniaturization and nanotechnology might bring the genie into the lamp which comes out when rubbing it. Or Asclepius who healed miraculously and resurrected a dead which name would translate to Lazarus and his father Zeus punished him with death but resurrected him after some days.... many stories of more than a dozen other son of god /redeemers in the region during this times. (Attis, Osiris, Horus, Mithras, Dionysus, Heracles.... ) http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-christ-like-figures-who-pre-date-jesus/

Or the many Jewish preachers who roamed around with some followers as miracle healers in ancient Middle East earning their living with preaching and selling of snake oil.

What Tony123 : if your Jesus story in your holy book is just one of the many ancient myths floating around spread from superstitious uneducated illiterate people and is just invented like all the others ? No more need to rationalize alleged miracles and try to find explanations : just invented myth is the simplest and most logical explanation !
And that’s what archeology, history and Biblical scholarship are all pointing to. This story about Jesus life goes back just to a single unknown Gospel author many decades after the alleged events, an author who was sitting far away from the place where this alleged events have happened and his works was copied and pepped up from later writers. And there is not a single proof of the existence of Jesus outside the Gospels. Here some reading about the Biblical history. http://www.bidstrup.com/bible.htm

And still your attempted rationalization of Jesus miracles is still not explaining why the creator of the universe or even the ‘divine fine tuning knob twiddler of the multiverse’ is just choosing our universe, our galaxy under billions of others, our solar system under billions of other stars alone in our galaxy, and on planet earth, just 13,72 billion years after big bang, chooses homo sapiens a temporary species, and there just an insignificant local population of primitive gout herders from 2000 BCE to 28 AD to make a covenant with his chosen illiterate goat herders and have an affair with a Jewish virgin girl to father a son as holy ghost who is actually himself, only to die on the cross as son to impress himself as the father to forgive human sins. Very remote from the creator/fine-tuner of the multiverse - isn't it ?

Sun, 05 Sep 2010 05:52:30 UTC | #511612

Tony123's Avatar Comment 30 by Tony123

Comment 25 by Roland_F :

@Tony123

You have obviously not read the article here from J. Baggini : You are still defending the Christian god Yahweh/Jehovah from the Bible, the guy who created Adam and Eve, destroyed his creation beside Noah and some animals in a flood, walking and negotiated with Abraham, fertilized a virgin girl in good old Zeus tradition, and finally because homo sapiens are inheriting the sin of Adam and Eve (eating an apple seduced from a talking snake) therefore god has to sacrifice himself (as son) to impress himself (as father) to forgive humans sins. And the Catholic teaching well so very much consistent with modern science (LOL) - includes all this plus the transubstantiation of a cracker/wafer into raw flesh and of wine into human blood.

And this Bronze age myth you defend by pulling your deity all the way back to some divine knob twiddler to set the initial physical constants in this universe. And the universe (our universe as part of a multiverse) is just ‘borrowed’ negative energy and the total mass-energy is summing up to zero – so also no creator needed here. And that is what the book of Hawking is about, and the religious defense first from Templeton sponsored Paul Davies (own tread here in RD.NET) is now giving up on the special fine tuned components in our universe, pulling back the goal post now to the divine multiversial knob twiddler, the first non-caused cause, the prime mover but now of the multiverse (maybe outside multiversal space and time ?). This deity getting more and more remote from the Judean fertility god Yahweh a big fan of the temporary species homo sapiens on planet earth, causing him to enter this universe visit planet earth, walking around with Abraham and his chosen people 13,72 billion years after the big bang. A very wide stretch from a remote philosophical deity to the Catholic god Yahweh, and this is what this tread here based on J. Baggini is all about. You also seem to confuse the meaning of physical law : it’s just a human description of measured physical effects as basis for mathematical calculations, nothing to be ’created’ .

And you make conclusions of the ‘creation from nothing’ based on the wrong Bible translation of genesis, which theist are using then to show that the Bible allegedly predated the big bang theory.

Here a proper translation (Hector Avalos-‘The end of biblical studies’) : When Elohim began to shape the heavens and the dry land – the dry land being formless and empty and darkness on the face of the waters and the breath of Elohim blowing over the waters – Elohim said: “ Let there be light”.

All I am saying is that the theoretical discovery by Hawking that the universe is created from nothing, as opposed to being fashioned out of pre-existing spacetime and matter, is consistent with centuries-old Church teaching. Draw your own conclusions.

Sun, 05 Sep 2010 05:54:29 UTC | #511613