Archbishop of Canterbury attacks his claim God did NOT create Universe

Archbishop of Canterbury attacks his claim God did NOT create Universe

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has hit back at Stephen Hawking’s claims that God was not involved in the creation of the universe.

Physicist Professor Hawking had previously argued belief in a creator was not incompatible with science.

But in a provocative new book he concludes the “Big Bang” which ignited the universe was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics and nothing to do with any creator.

Yesterday Rowan William, recently granted the freedom of his home city of Swansea, rejected the controversial claim.

The de facto leader of the worldwide Anglican Church said: “Belief in God is not about plugging a gap in explaining how one thing relates to another within the universe.

“It is the belief that there is an intelligent, living agent on whose activity everything ultimately depends for its existence.”

The Archbishop, who was born in the Swansea Valley and grew up in Mumbles, said scientists could never answer the question of how the Big Bang apparently came from nothing.

He said: “Physics on its own will not settle the question of why there is something rather than nothing.”

In his new book The Grand Design, co-written by US physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Prof Hawking contests Sir Isaac Newton’s belief that the universe must have been designed by God as it could not have sprung out of chaos.

Hawking says: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.

“Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”

It is a departure from the earlier beliefs of Britain’s foremost physicist. In A Brief History of Time, in 1988 he wrote: “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God.”

Prof Hawking said a form of complex theoretical physics known as M-theory, a type of so-called “string theory”, could provide the answer that would explain everything in the known universe.

He also believes in the possibility of the “multiverse”; that there could be many other universes outside our own.

Scientists have long sought a universal theory that unites quantum theory (matter at the sub-atomic level) with gravity which explains how objects interact.

Prof Hawking said: ”M-theory is the unified theory Einstein was hoping to find.

“The fact that we human beings – who are ourselves mere collections of fundamental particles of nature – have been able to come this close to an understanding of the laws governing us and our universe is a triumph.”

Prof Hawking has been outspoken this year over a number of issues, arguing it is perfectly rational to assume intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe.

He even said Earth might be at risk from what he imagines to be “massive ships” which could try to colonise our planet and plunder our resources.

Professor John Lennox, who describes himself as a scientist and a Christian and teaches maths as Oxford University, said he believed Prof Hawking was wrong.

He said: “It always amuses me that atheists often argue for the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence beyond Earth.

“Yet they are only too eager to denounce the possibility that we already have a vast, intelligent being out there: God.

“Much of the rationale behind Hawking’s argument lies in the idea there is a deep-seated conflict between science and religion.

“But this is not a discord I recognise. For me, as a Christian believer, the beauty of the scientific laws only reinforces my faith in an intelligent, divine creative force at work.

“The more I understand science, the more I believe in God because of my wonder at the breadth, sophistication and integrity of his creation.”

Archbishop Williams’ attack on Hawking’s claim has been joined by several clerics.

Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks said: “Science is about explanation. Religion is about interpretation – the Bible simply isn’t interested in how the universe came into being.”

The Rt Rev Lee Stephen Rayfield, Bishop of Swindon, said: “Professor Hawking is not saying that it is impossible to believe in God because of what he now understands about the physics of the Big Bang.

“His conclusion does not change the remarkable coherence between the nature of our universe and the understanding Christians have about the nature and character of God.”