(Post originally published Septmber 5, 2010)
Reading a little more about Hawking's latest theory that the Universe did not need a God to set the Big Bang in motion as presented in his new book “The Grand Design”, (see my previous post), he has also dared to make the bold statement in the introductory sections that “Philosophy is Dead”.
According to Hawking, the importance of presenting the theory why or how the universe came into being was reserved for the philosophers, but that field of enquiry is now “dead” as it has not kept up with modern developments in the world of science, especially in the field of physics. So now, philosophers are redundant as scientists have become now the sole leaders in the quest for knowledge.
I think Hawking has misunderstood a very important concept: “Philosophy” comes from the Greek “philosophia” = “love of wisdom”. “Science” comes from the Latin “scientia”= “to know”.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “science” is defined as: “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.”
“Philosophy” is defined as: “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.”
When you consider these definitions, scientists basically collect new data about our world and the universe, while philosophers study the nature of the new knowledge presented, obviously to find the wisdom in it.
It was always the job of scientists to present us with new knowledge, but philosophers too will always exist to find the truth in the information the scientists present and if it follows sound, logical principles. Hence the reason why philosophers cannot keep up with physicists like Hawking who claim that the “Law of Gravity” is useful evidence that there need not be a God for the Universe to exist or the Big Bang to occur, and that everything occurred via “Spontaneous Creation” with no need to have a Creator present. Where is the “wisdom” in Hawking's statements? As I mentioned in a previous post, there had to be a great Authority at work to create the Law of Gravity--Nothing begets Nothing. The very existence of mathematical equations used by scientists displays that a Great Mind is at work since everything discovered concerning the workings of the cosmos can be explained by numbers. They had to be created by Someone, and the fact that numbers have no end displays this Being is indeed infinite.
Hawking in earlier writings claims the triumph of human reasoning will come when man can find the 'perfect theory' of why or how the universe came into being. That will never happen for the simple reason man cannot discover how God or the Great Being created matter, or the Big Bang, from nothing. It was done by the power of His Will, and no physical evidence of this Great Act of creation can be discovered, especially as we still haven't found the physical boundaries to the universe, with all our knowledge.
Let's take a quick look at the Bible for a moment, since Hawking says philosophy, the “love of wisdom”, is dead and foolishness is alive and kicking:
“And he said to man: Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom: and to depart from evil, is understanding.” (Job 28:28) Hawking does not fear or believe in a traditional God, so he is definitely lacking in wisdom.
“The fool said in his heart: There is no God.” (Psalm 52:1) (Self explanatory.)
“As a house that is destroyed, so is wisdom to a fool: and the knowledge of the unwise is as words without sense.” (Ecclesiasticus 21:21) This explains why Hawking's comments do not make sense to me.
“Every man is become a fool for knowledge, every artist is confounded in his graven idol: for what he hath cast is false, and there is no spirit in them.” (Jeremias 10:14) Has Hawking become a 'fool' for knowledge? Certainly seems that way.
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