Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 15 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 10/9/20

Trust Science

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   6 comments
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 514931
Message James A. Haught
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

This piece was reprinted by OpEdNews with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking
(Image by Renegade98)
  Details   DMCA

Long ago, I concluded that no reliable evidence supports gods, devils, heavens, hells, miracles, prophecies and other supernatural stuff of religion. Those magic claims simply arise from the human imagination, I assume. Instead, I chose to trust the honest search of science to explain ultimate mysteries of existence.

Aye, there's the rub. Answers by science sometimes are almost as baffling and logic-defying as the mumbo-jumbo of churches.

Multiple universes, for example - or Einstein's assertion that time slows and dimensions shorten as speed increases - or the mysteries of "quantum weirdness," with particles popping in and out of existence in pure vacuum.

Or the seeming impossibility of pulsars, which gravity compresses into a solid mass of neutrons weighing 100 million tons per cubic centimeter. How can a bouillon cube weigh 100 million tons?

Or the astounding claim at the heart of the Big Bang theory: that all matter in a trillion galaxies once was squeezed to the size of a proton. Holy moly.

In his posthumous book, Stephen Hawking - sometimes called the greatest scientist since Einstein - says the entire vast universe essentially burst from nothing, following laws of nature.

The book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, was compiled by colleagues and relatives from the physicist's notes, materials and interviews just after his 2018 death. It reiterates his well-known atheism:

"It's my view that the simplest explanation is that there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization: there is probably no heaven and afterlife either. I think belief in an afterlife is just wishful thinking. There is no reliable evidence for it, and it flies in the face of everything we know in science. I think that when we die we return to dust."

In a 2011 interview with The Guardian newspaper, Hawking said each human brain is like a computer, and it's inevitable that some computers malfunction and die. "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers," he said. "That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."

If no divine creator made the universe, what did? Blind laws of nature, he says:

"Since we know that the universe was once very small - perhaps smaller than a proton - this means something quite remarkable. It means the universe itself, in all its mind-boggling vastness and complexity, could simply have popped into existence without violating the known laws of nature. From that moment on, vast amounts of energy were released as space itself expanded".

"But of course the critical question is raised again: did God create the quantum laws that allowed the Big Bang to occur? In a nutshell, do we need a god to set it up so the Big Bang could bang? I have no desire to offend anyone of faith, but I think science has a more compelling explanation than a divine creator."

Another of my science heroes is atheist-genius J.B.S. Haldane, who hatched the theory that life began in a "primordial soup" of chemicals. He saw that some science discoveries are almost impossible to believe. In 1928, he told a London newspaper:

"The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose."

When theologians hounded him about God's creation, Haldane quipped that the creator "must have had an inordinate fondness for beetles," to make 400,000 different species. And Haldane spoofingly saluted Noah for finding pairs of all creatures to take on the ark, when there are 310 different species of birds just in India alone.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Rate It | View Ratings

James A. Haught Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

James A. Haught is editor emeritus of West Virginia's largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette-Mail.  Mr. Haught has won two dozen national news writing awards. He has written 12 books and hundreds of magazine essays and blog posts. Around 450 of his essays are online. He is a senior editor of Free Inquiry magazine, a weekly blogger at Daylight Atheism, (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Megachurch Mess

Feeding 7.7 Billion

Religion-Tinged Politics

deadly labor struggles

The Dreams that Stuff is Made Of

Coal Mine Wars

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: