Challenge: There’s No Possibility of a Creator

Posted: September 13, 2011 by Amy Hall in God is Real, Weekly Challenge

The challenge this week is from a question sent in by Mike. Scientist Stephen Hawking says we can know for sure that nothing created the universe. Here’s why:

We have finally found something that doesn’t have a cause because there was no time for a cause to exist in. For me, this means there is no possibility of a creator, because there is no time for a creator to have existed.

Since time itself began at the moment of the Big Bang, it was an event that could not have been caused or created by anyone or anything….

So when people ask me if a God created the universe, I tell them that the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the Big Bang, so there is no time for God to make the universe in.

It’s like asking for directions to the edge of the earth. The earth is a sphere; it doesn’t have an edge. So looking for it is a futile exercise.

Here’s a four-minute clip from Hawking’s recent Discovery Channel documentary that contains the above quote. Take a look and give us your thoughts, and then we’ll hear Brett’s response on Thursday.

Comments
  1. Marcus says:

    I would respond to Mr. Hawking in this manner. Mr. Hawking’s statement “For me this means there is no possibility of a creator, because there is no time for a creator to have existed”, simply assumes that the Creator, who created the universe (God of the Bible) is limited by time. God is not limited by time, and the first sentence of the Bible demonstrates this. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

    “In the beginning” is a reference to time, “The heaven” is a reference to space, and “the earth” is a reference to matter. Here the Bible teaches that God created the Time/Space/Matter continuum, and they all came into existence at the same instant, and the God who created them is outside of them. In other words, the God that Christians worship is not limited by time, space, or matter; otherwise he would not be God.

    As a side note, as I have already implied, I would not accept the premise that the big bang brought the universe into existence, and there are many creationist who have written a lot on the issue of evolution. My personal favorite being Dr Jonathan Sarfati. He has a Phd in physical chemistry, and has written books on this.

    – Marcus

  2. bobby says:

    but if god is a timeless being then it would make sense for him to create time at the big bang regardless if there wasnt time before the big bang – stephen hawkings assumes god is a being subject to time when god isnt subject to time he’s timeless.

    “It’s like asking for directions to the edge of the earth. The earth is a sphere; it doesn’t have an edge” – yes we know the earth is sphere and it does not have an egde, but if we were to rewind the universe and come to a point there would be a time where TIME came Into EXISTENCE.

    “Since time itself began at the moment of the Big Bang, it was an event that could not have been caused or created by anyone or anything….” – would then ask stephen hawkings fine but tell me something that could exist timeless and spaceless and something that could exist outside the universe (metaphysically) thats powerful enough to bring the universe into existence.

  3. Sam says:

    William Lane Craig says that God is causally prior to the universe, but not temporally prior. At least in Craig’s case, you don’t have the universe spontaneously coming into existence without a cause, which doesn’t even seem possible. Hawking has traded one “impossibility” for another impossibility.

  4. Justin says:

    Is there any actual evidence for protons “popping into existence” from nothing? He seems to be resting his entire argument on this “fact”.

  5. Bert Dill says:

    sounds to me as if Hawking’s argument amounts to a claim that the universe never came into existence.

  6. Shaun says:

    “Since time itself began at the moment of the Big Bang, it was an event that could not have been caused or created by anyone or anything….”. He just said, “this statement is false.”. The first half of the sentence clearly implies the moment of the Big Bang caused the beginning of time, but the second half of the sentence clearly states that time could not have been caused by anything. It (time) could not have been caused by something and by nothing at the same time. By contradiction, this statement can be rejected, which is the very foundation of the argument. Not to mention, by claiming that he has found an “effect” that has no “cause”, he is forced to pull the very foundation of science (every effect has a cause) out from under himself, which is the very thing he is trying to place all of his hope and trust (dare I say “faith”?) in. Finally, this is a categorical error regarding God (like asking, “how much does yellow weigh?”). By stating, “[t]ime didn’t exist before the Big Bang, so there is no time for God to make the universe in,” assumes there is no God of the Bible (begging the question). As the creator of time, space, and matter, the God of the Bible is outside of all three. Hawking assumes God is a different category of Being than the Being Christians claim He is and then faults Him for it. Sorry yellow, you obviously don’t weigh enough!

  7. Jack says:

    If there’s no time (i.e. one event proceeding another) for God to create in there’s there’s also no time for any other causation effect to exist in either. Things don’t just spontaneously explode without a catalyst of some kind. Their claim that “Since time began with the big bang, therefore it could not have been caused or created by anyone or anything..” simply ignores the problem. And STILL they have NO examples of anything nature coming into existence without a cause.

    Oh well, at least they didn’t dribble on about clashing branes and fluctuating quanta…..

  8. Jeff says:

    Does a two dimensional stickman on a piece of paper understand that he was made from a three dimensional object – a pencil? Mr. Hawking’s theory does not seem to have room for dimensions that are not constrained by time, the place where God resides.

  9. Chuck says:

    Hawking’s starting point is materialism, supposing nothing outside the physical universe exists. Yet, he relies on the immaterial laws of logic to draw his conclusion.

    Columbo questions: As for the beginning of the video, what is meant by electrons “appearing”? Does it mean they become visible, or just become? Do we actually observe these electrons appearing? How do we know that they just aren’t changing form to become visible?

  10. Brandon says:

    First of all, Hawking’s statement stems from a fatal misconception about God. If God exists outside of what we perceive as time, then he does not require time as we perceive it to start it. Second, to say that there was no time to make the universe asserts the belief that the universe began itself, which is saying that not only time, but matter and energy, came from basically nothing. This, as anyone knowledgeable in physical science, understands, goes against the laws of conservation of matter and energy. As matter cannot be destroyed, it certainly, in our universe, cannot be created. Therefore, the universe could not have created itself. It, by scientific law, had to come from something.

  11. Justin says:

    Another thought. Even if protons can spontaneously “pop” into existence (which is a ridiculous statement), it is a stretch to assume a particle containing enough mass to hold the whole universe would suddenly “pop” into existence. Why don’t they continue to “pop” into existence and wreck havoc on our universe? Insanity.