Stephen Hawking, the renown physicist, and avowed atheist died Wednesday.
Hawking, who was 76, wasn’t expected to live past age 25. When he was 21 he was diagnosed with ALS, the incurable neurodegenerative disease. Although he beat the odds for more than 50 years he once said that he “lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years,”
Although Hawking invoked the name of God in his book “A Brief History of the World” he later clarified it to say that he wasn’t referring to the Creator in the traditional sense. “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” he affirmed in The Grand Design.
Regarding the prospects of an afterlife, Hawkins took a pragmatic view of what happens to the body. “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail,” he told the Guardian. “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”
On another occasion, in an interview, Hawking said, “Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation,” he said. “What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God,’ is we would know everything that God would know if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.”
Ironically, Hawking was once quoted as saying “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” While Stephen Hawking was indeed a brilliant man, he labored under the illusion that “science is a sacred cow” as chemist Anthony Standen expressed it in his book. What eluded Hawking and many like him is the Biblical Truth that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1).
Although Hawking rejected God and the creation account, according to the NY Times, he believed that the universe and life have meaning. “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist,” Hawking said of the meaning of life. “Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”
When I look up at the stars I recall the affirmation of the Psalmist,”The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (PS 19:1). “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? (Ps 8:3-4)
Creation has been called “a wordless book” that everyone can read because it needs no translation. The heavens declare the truth of an awesome Creator.
His presence is witnessed in the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean and the sunset over the Pacific. It is seen in the beauty of Springtime. In the breathtaking colors of the Fall foliage. In the majestic Rocky Mountains. And the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon.
The design of the universe declares there must be a Designer. The order of nature’s laws says Someone ordained them. Every creature points to a Creator.
Sadly, the Truth contained in this powerful evidence eluded the great scientist his entire life. It is important for those who put their faith in science to know that not all scientists agreed with Stephen Hawking. According to Henry Morris there are thousands of scientists, both past and present who are Creationists.
But regardless of what the scientific community believes, my faith rests in the divine revelation that “there is a God.”
Although Hawking constantly lived with the specter of death he once remarked. “I’m not afraid of death.” I’m thinking within sixty seconds of his passing, he changed his views.
It is regrettable the Hawkins’ brilliance was unable to see God in the universe that he loved. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Believe in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ, accept His salvation and obey His Word.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman