I’m not a scientist, and I am not even “a science person”, though I have become much more interested in science as an adult than I was as a child. I am more of a philosophical and theological person. My background is English literature, world religions, and American jurisprudence (law).
We give scientists quite a bit of deference in our modern society, and so we should. They are peeling back the layers of this universal onion in which we live. Scientific discoveries are fascinating, life-changing and significantly valuable.
I would be quickly lost in the weeds in a discussion of science among scientists, but scientists are human. They have flaws, and they usually are not schooled in philosophy or theology.
For instance, Stephen Hawking, is one of the most brilliant scientists of our age. In his book, The Grand Design, he says, “In a world in which a law like gravity exists, the universe can and will create itself out of nothing.” This isn’t a statement of science; it’s a philosophical statement with theological impact. But does it make sense?
One of the showing stopping questions posed by atheists is this one: If God created the universe, who created God?
It is a clever question, and has stumped many a person who believes in God, but the question, itself, is flawed. Let me explain.
In my response, I am indebted to John Lennox who’s answer to this very question is embedded at the end of this blog article. John Lennox, is a Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University and a frequent speaker on topics of science, philosophy and religion. He has twice debated the vocal atheist, and Oxford professor, Richard Dawkins, who wrote a book, The God Delusion, using this question as a centerpiece.
The flaw of the question is that it is loaded with the assumption that God was created. The response of the Christian (or theist generally) is that such a notion (that God was created) is not a notion about God at all, but a notion about a god – a created thing. Another word for such a thing is an idol.