(Photo: AP Photo: / PA Wire, David Parry)
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has suggested that the Big Bang theory, which attempts to explain how the creation of the universe took place, does not need God to explain how it might have taken place, and that it was possible for the laws of physics to entirely explain and verify the concept.
At the California Institute of Technology Tuesday, Hawking gave an evening lecture titled "The Origin of the Universe." Some reports stated that lines for free tickets to the lecture stretched more than a quarter mile several hours before the start. There was even an overflow area equipped with a large screen with an estimated 1,000 viewers.
In his lecture, Hawking said that science is continuing to evolve, and as technology has moved forward a number of highly regarded scientific theories have failed as a result of scientific advances over the past centuries. Theories regarding how the universe was formed, including those from Fred Hoyle and Thomas Gold, have not been able to withstand the scrutiny put forth by space telescopes and other advances in space exploration.
Hoyle and Gold were both backed the Steady-State theory, which theorized that there is no beginning and no end to the universe and that galaxies and other matter continually form from spontaneously created matter. He then spoke on previously established Catholic doctrine, which supposed that man could only study what came after creation.
"At a conference on cosmology in the Vatican, the Pope told the delegates that it was OK to study the universe after it began, but they should not inquire into the beginning itself, because that was the moment of creation, and the work of God," Hawking said, referencing Pope John Paul II, who said in the 1980s that man could not possibly understand the moment before creation.
But in the past 50 years, many scientific developments in both cosmology and theology have led scientists to suggest the beginning of creation comes from a singularity. This left Hawking to contend that the universe began from a singularity, which was a solitary occurrence - one time, one shot. Some have pointed out that a single moment from which all matter and energy was created also acts as a basis for God being the almighty creator.
For Hawking, the idea of a singularity occurred after the theory of multiple big bangs was disproven. Hawking, in conjunction with physicist Roger Penrose, put forward the theory that the universe was unable to expand or "bounce" back after contracting, defeating that previous theory.
Hawking followed this remark by suggesting that this understanding leads to the explanation of string theory known as "M-theory," which adds to the work previously conducted by Caltech physicist Richard Feynman. Hawking holds this theory as the most plausible, given that it intertwines with his understanding of the universe.
Aspects of M-theory state that there are multiple universes or dimensions that were instantly created, and that depending on the dimension, life may or may not have or be present. The universes interact with one another, but since different dimensions have different frequencies or "vibrations," objects in one cannot interact with the other.
But this modern theory is based on the presumption that matter, energy or substance was created from nothing- that argument in and of itself also points to the intervention of a divine creator, as bestselling author and Christian apologist Lee Strobel has long maintained.
Strobel highlights three areas of science that have pointed "powerfully toward the existence of God." These areas include cosmology, physics and advancements in DNA.
"For centuries scientists believed that the universe always existed, it was eternal, it was always there. But thanks to persuasive, philosophical arguments and scientific discoveries just over the last several decades virtually all scientists are now convinced that the universe had a beginning at some point in the distant past," Strobel previously stated.
"And even though alternative models of the universe have been proposed, the Borde-Guth-Vikenkin Theorem tells us that any universe that is expanding, on average, thru its history, like ours, must have space-time boundary in the past. In other words, it must have had a beginning at some point," he added.