Afraid of the Dark

The world recently mourned the passing of Dr. Stephen Hawking, the eminent scientist and cosmologist.  I actually read one of his books (well, part of it) and was gratified to find that this superb thinker was able to dress down complex subjects.  The former Lucasian professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, Hawking was renowned for his wit, as well as, his intellect and could be self-deprecating.  He said he had no idea of his IQ and that those who boast of theirs are losers.  On life, he remarked that it would be sad were it not so funny.  I like pithy.

Dr. Hawking dismissed the idea of an afterlife and believed people should lead lives of value and import while on earth.  He wanted to understand the universe and why we are here at all but did not consider Divinity as part of the equation.  Widely considered the brightest star in the firmament of science, Hawking once said that God not only plays dice but, sometimes, throws them where they cannot be seen.  Perhaps, this was a slight nod to the One he did not confess but could not disprove.

In the opening remarks of a speech, Dr. Hawking mused, “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”  If, indeed, this statement equates humanity with machines and is a postulation regarding eternity, Hawking would seem to not only dismiss the idea of the everlasting soul but to disparage those who believe.  He once remarked, “There is no god.  I am an atheist.”

To some minds, it would seem that, if there were a God, He would be discernable to intellectuals of our time.  However, this logic appeals in distinct ways.  By no means are scientific discoveries of our day the ends of truth.  Science has a time-stamp.  Many things believed in my youth have today been proved untrue.  In addition, because something is unknown does not mean it does not exist.  New discoveries are constantly made and often challenge the status quo.  If any truth were able to hide, it would be God.

The scientific method has necessary bounds.  It could be compared to our justice system which attempts to reach truth but is compelled to settle for what can be settled.  No individual living or dead believes that Lady Justice always gets it right.  Some would question her batting average in general.  The vastness of God exceeds the vast universe on which no human mind has laid hold.  In the end, people place belief in something. 

The Bible tells us God can only be comprehended through faith.  This trust is not unreasonable though not tangibly measurable.  It fails of the scientific method and mind.  As a matter of fact, Scripture flatly states that God has hidden things from the wise and revealed them to babes with implicit reliance on Him.  There is evidence for things unseen.  Going further, Paul said the invisible things of God are clearly seen being understood by His creation so that people who do not believe are without excuse.  No one has a legitimate reason not to accept God’s revelation of Himself and His offer of eternal salvation.

Many people hide from God in education and philosophy.  While these are not the only shields from the Almighty, they are commonly used and appeal to the self-centric, sinful nature.  People will not view themselves as rebels for refusing God on these bases.  They will see themselves as rational and reasonable and may, indeed, have appealing human qualities.  Certainly, Stephen Hawking had admirers.  And now he knows the truth.


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