Putting God in a Box

Being a geek, I tend to watch a lot of The Discovery Channel. I enjoy shows about science (Mythbusters rocks!), the origins of the universe, and history.

Recently, Discovery aired a show called Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?  Presented by Prof. Stephen Hawking, the show dealt with the origins of the universe from a scientific and mathematical modelling perspective.  Hawking outlined, in simple to understand terms, how the universe could, theoretically, have spontaneously appeared out of nothing.

Outlining the concepts of “negative energy” and “negative matter”, Hawking postulated that, if you were able to add up all the matter and negative matter, energy and negative energy, the result would be equal to exactly zero, which, effectively, allows for everything you see and touch around you to have an exact opposite, somewhere else, which cancels it out.

It’s an interesting concept, and, quite frankly, theoretically plausible.

I like Prof. Hawking.  He has an uncanny ability to transform pure science, and present it in a way that laypeople like you and I can understand.  He avoids math, claiming, in A Brief History of Time that each time an author includes a mathematical equation, his audience is cut in half.

Conversely, I think it’s quite likely that for every biblical quote someone includes, their audience is cut in half as well.

I will neither offer math nor direct biblical quotes and references in this entry.

Hawking establishes that objects of very high mass, such as, for example, a black hole, cause time itself to become warped.  At the event horizon, time seems to stop.

For example, if you were to observe a friend walking towards a black hole, your friend would appear to slow down, and eventually stop moving completely at the black hole’s event horizon.  Your friend would never actually appear to reach the event horizon.

Conversely, for your friend, they too would never cross the event horizon.  It would always be just out of reach, because, the closer they get, the slower time is moving for them.  Looking back, they would see events accelerating, eventually, to the point that the universe itself would likely end and they still would never have reached the event horizon.

It’s a really wacky concept, but it illustrates just how time gets bent out of shape.

Now put the entire mass of the universe inside an area of zero size.  That is, theoretically, the starting point of everything.  The precise moment of the Big Bang, out of which, everything began.  As Hawking established with black holes, if time slows down near objects of high mass, then time itself would have been non-existent prior to the Big Bang.

Hawking therefore concludes that, given there was no time within which God could operate, God cannot possibly exist, because God wouldn’t have had any time within which to create the Universe.

Fair enough, except Hawking is missing a very important thing:

God, being God, makes the rules.  God is eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.

Essentially, god is everywhere, knows everything and can do anything.

Or, still better put:

God, quite simply, is.

Now, Consider this:


This is a massive simplification of string theory, however it does allow for existence outside of time, as we have seen. The creator of this video missed one key dimension within which the 10th dimension resides.  Let’s call it, for sake of discussion, “Heaven.”

Therefore, as we can see from this whole thing, assuming God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and eternal, time is therefore meaningless to God, as God exists completely outside of time itself!

One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make regarding God is to put God into a box. It’s easy to do, because we have only ourselves – humanity – with which to operate, so we have a tendency to try to define God in human terms. We can’t do that, for the reasons I’ve outlined here.

Nothing Hawking has postulated precludes the existence of God, because God is still beyond all of which Hawking has suggested.

Many people believe that science and religion are mutually exclusive.

They’re wrong.

About Steven Britton

Steve is a freelance programmer, partial billionaire, dad, Recovering Atheist, Conservative, and occasionally prolific blogger.