“What could define God [is thinking of God] as the embodiment of the laws of nature. However, this is not what most people would think of that God They made a human-like being with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe and how insignificant an accidental human life is in it, that seems most impossible…
“There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.”
The words of Stephen Hawking being interviewed by ABC’s Diana Sawyer in June, 2010.
Stephen Hawking is a deist, or at least that how I would describe this interaction with Sawyer. This is the same terminology as Jefferson and Franklyn, and brings to the forefront the general arguments made by those of the mono-theist faiths. It is something I also believe in which Hawking’s was wrong.
Religion is not just based on authority, but based on unsubstantiated faith in a supreme power to answer the unanswerable. A power that puts order to the general chaos of life. Sometimes we do not know, we cannot rationalize, why things happen. Why, for example, was one house in Joplin, Mo destroyed and another, next store, left without damage? Why did one person, an obviously good and pious person, die while another lived?
Many years ago, I saw the same devastation in a town east of Denver. On June 6, 1990, an F-3 tornado hit the town of Limon. I was there three days later as a representative of the State of Colorado. There was no town. Nothing but a few standing structures like the walk-in refrigerator of the local bar and the back half of the bank.
We met a woman standing in a daze in the middle of what was main street just looking into the plains. When asked where her home was, she just pointed into the nothingness. Then she asked, “Why?”
There was not answer. A personal God, a god that is worshiped in accordance with His rules would not do this to his people. He would not do this to those who are not obedient because he is a forgiving God. Isn’t He?
The problem with “faith” is that there is not reasoning involved. That does not mean that everything needs to have a reason, just that faith is designed only to explain the otherwise unexplainable.
Why was the National Cathedral damaged in the earthquake in the summer of 2011? It is a house of God, after all. And who sinned in Texas to have the wild fires burning hundreds of thousands of acres and hundreds of homes?
Sometimes life happens. No other explanation needed.
But that is not good enough for some. One friend swears that prayer aided in an otherwise disabled car to start. Could it have been something mechanical, like an overheated engine or fuel so low that it was pushed away from the fuel-line? No, according to our friend, it was God’s doing.
Science is better than faith. It does examine and explain, and if the explanation is wrong, it will eventually self-correct. Reason allows us to look at alternative explanations to see if they better explain an event. Even the great Albert Einstein’s theories of space-time could be proven wring one day.
We can see almost to the beginning of time and can show that the simple house fly shares over 90 percent of the DNA as humans. And through DNA, we can show that Darwin was right.
It is confusing when a true believer for whom God is the answer, finds that science is important when convenient or needed to save a life. Or keep a person breathing even though death had already come to the brain.
Sometimes the answer is “There is no answer.” Not yet, anyway. Given enough time, given enough great minds, maybe we will finally discover that the Earth is not 6100 years old and the center of our galaxy, and ours is not the only life form in the Universe.
David’s new book, A Christian Nation? An Examination of Christian nation theories and proofs, is now available through CreateSpace eStore and Amazon.com.
InkandVoice readers can receive a 20% discount at CreateSpace with code 5H3W9SN8.