The Grand Design The Grand Design question

Science and the existence of God
John John May 31, 2012 01:51PM
After reading Stephen Hawkings new book, my daughter informed me that she no longer believes in God. This motivated me to begin reading books in the category, and it seems to me that there are more reasons than ever to believe in God. The "Big Bang" seem like a creation event. And the "Cambrian Explosion" seems like a second creation event. I've read Case for Creator, God's Undertaker, and New Proofs for the Existence of God. Does anyone know of other good books, videos, websites, etc. on this topic?

I would recommend a couple books that are geared toward the other end of the spectrum, as well, so as to get a full picture and be able to better assess your understanding and belief. In that vein, I would suggest God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, because it gives a disinterested take on many facets of religion, and his bias isn't against any one particular religion, but against the idea of religion all together.

You may also be interested in reading about the progression of human spirituality throughout the ages, as we can best assess where we currently stand as a spiritual species by looking at the path we took to get here. Though some of his research has since been shown to contain a couple flaws (he wrote in the late 1800s, and we have learned much since then), one work of Sir James George Frazer, The Golden Bough, can still be seen as a fairly cohesive outline of spiritual history.

Kudos to you, John, for being willing to read a book that could challenge your own religious perceptions. I wish more people could be that open-minded.

Oleleho Hitchens is an "practising" atheist. It's not the same as having Hawking's conclusion in the Grand Design book. ...more
Oct 16, 2017 02:24PM · flag

I read I Never Thought I'd See the Day! and God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, two totally opposite ends of the spectrum on religion.

There are books about every perspective written by people who completely believe their position is the only one that is correct.

In the end everyone has to form their own beliefs. I have always found that the more I read about a diversity of topics, including religion, the broader my perspective becomes in relation to my own beliefs.

It's interesting that your daughter came to this conclusion after reading the Grand Design. I read it and never really thought about the God angle...


John wrote: "After reading Stephen Hawkings new book, my daughter informed me that she no longer believes in God. This motivated me to begin reading books in the category, and it seems to me that there are more..."

try The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles by Bruce H. Lipton even though i disagree with him is some matters

Abiogenesis is the best theory science has ever put forward that would be any sort of evidence for the existence of a creator/intelligent designer.

CHON compounds seem to be naturally predisposed to creating primitive cells, under the right conditions, which are far more common that we had previously imagined, according to data from the Kepler Space Telescope.

Unfortunately, big bang physics rule out the very possibility of a creator. So, who designed abiogenesis?

It is a design without a designer. Every bit as absurd as an event without a cause - which is exactly what the Big Bang was. Very hard for our feeble Human minds to comprehend, but when the most obvious answers have been plausibly eliminated, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

Oleleho Hawking wrote that maybe God played dices, referring to Einstein when he reached to the section about emergence of universes, which he illustrated as ...more
Oct 16, 2017 02:30PM · flag

well this is a loaded topic i would recommend you read Richard feymans qed and all manner of books related to quantum physics science has proven god in away but has also discredited conventional perceptions of god so your daughter is right and wrong at the same time tell her to read more about energy perception and there part in reality and to not draw such radical conclusion that in the long run will only limit her understanding of everything and to accept the fact she does not know if there is or isn't a god and that nobody else does either

Graham (last edited May 31, 2012 04:15PM ) May 31, 2012 02:58PM   0 votes
Hi John, your daughter sounds like a very intelligent and independently minded person. God and religion isn't really as big in the UK as in the States and so it fascinates me why people feel the need to believe in a devine being. Nevertheless, I can still understand the value and attraction of the social role that religious institutions can play. As for the The Grand Design, personally I didn't rate it particularly highly. Hawking, like Dawkins, is a first class scientist in his field, but both are relative amateurs when it comes to metaphysics. My impression of Hawking's book was that he was trying to reinvent the wheel in terms of some aspects of the philosophy of science he examines, which have already been considered in much greater detail by numerous analytical philosophers.

Nevertheless, having just googled the books you list my first impression is that they are essentially reactionary and sometimes philosophically naive too. I also wonder if the authors are always entirely intellectually honest with themselves. One issue that appears common to books by Christian apologetics of this kind is that they make various anthropic or recursive arguments for the existence of a minimalist prime mover, but then you realise that actually the authors believe in a whole lot more dogma and doctrine than they actually address in the book. They rarely seem to explicitly define the kind of 'god' which they claim to have evidence for. The fact that they often have many doctrinal beliefs that are unsupported by the kind of arguments they attempt to make in their book tends to undermine their credibility and their motivations for writing the book in the first place.

If you are looking for something a little more challenging and intellectually honest, yet still broadly sympathetic with religion (but not dogma and doctrine), then I would suggest "The Case for God: What Religion Really Means" by Karen Armstrong The 'new atheists' often regard Armstrong as too apologetic of religion and conservatives and fundamentalists barely consider her religious at all. Whilst I don't think her book really makes a good case for 'God' either symbolic or literal (of any kind), I do think it does a good job of explaining what religion really means, or at least should mean. Cheers Graham

H. C. Rajpoot (last edited Apr 29, 2020 10:32PM ) Apr 29, 2020 10:21PM   0 votes
In my opinion, there is nothing without a creator or beyond a creator in the Universe. As far as Big Bang Theory is concerned, it is a way of explaining the creation of Universe but it's not the concrete evidence of creation of Universe. I mean who saw this Big Bang event who can claim this event did happen or is there any written document contemporary to Big Bang event as an evidence. The answer is 'NO' not at all. Big Bang Theory is just a scientific way for explaining the creation of Universe but not a solid evidence. The God & Science are two different perspectives of the Universe because the way we think about God is different from that we think about Science. It's very common that who know more about Science they often have no or little care about God. And those who know less or don't know about Science, think more about God.

I would suggest for further reading, the magician's twin where the ideas of CS Lewis are further investigated on scientism. That is where the limits of science are. Modern science more or less acquired the status of the only source of truth and that is a questionable point.

I don't think science or religion can prove or disprove the existence of God. And Hawking's argument, like that of Lawrence Krauss in "A Universe from Nothing", is based on speculative physics. Here's my question: The universe and its laws of physics operate within a logical framework. Who or what created this inherent logic?

I would respectfully disagree with Hawking when he says that there is no use for a creator. My question is why does God and nature have to be separate( and this is according to my beliefs and i am pretty open minded but this is just what i have seen after looking at both sides). It just seems like Hawkins is saying that either God doesn't exist or if he does he has no power or use. Why can't God be a scientist? Cant it be that God has created a universe(or several) that is governed by a set of laws He also created? I think that science just shows how He actually did create the universe and how He maintained it so that we can inhabit it.

John, to me you daughter sounds very smart. I would be proud of her for thinking critically, especially since Hawking never says not be believe in God (though from memory, i do believe he says he sees no use for one).

Science has no true interest in God, God is supernatural and science is the study of natural things only, but when you think scientifically and begin to understand how things happen on earth or in the universe, you can easily start to see there is no need for a creator.

The big bang needs no creator to start it, as laid out very well in Lawrence Krauss' book A Universe From Nothing, science is doing a very good job of explaining just how the universe began (even if its not fully understood yet).

Hawking again, just lays out the natural order of things, once you can explain things naturally, what use is a creator?

I would not tell your daughter to start or stop believing, but I would say dont push her away from critical and logical thought, if she has come to her own mind that there is no God, then good for her, he used her brain and gave it some thought, and for her, she sees no reason to believe in such a thing.

I would suggest reading books from both sides of the argument, its what I like to do, understand both sides, but remember, dont let a book make up your mind, use logic and critical thinking.

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