Oh, Friday, you simply could not come fast enough for NG, here.
Hurricane be damned, I'm beach-bound this weekend! The break is more than appreciated. Since the Fourth, I've been in gogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogo mode between New Job and Old Jobs and Book Club and Trivia and friends and boys and all of those things that make you stop and go...."What happened to August? Was there an August in there? Have I slept at all since the beginning of July?"
Answer: Not really.
So I'm skipping town to unwind my head and body from these knots they've been in. It can rain all weekend for all I care: I have a Jane Green and a supply of sauv blanc from my new most favorite place on earth, and that should keep me occupied for awhile. I am hoping to get a kayaking trip in at some point this weekend. Do hurricanes cause riptides in backwater Eastern shore creeks? We shall find out.
In other news, Stephen Hawking is stirring up the science-religion debate with his suggestion that "the universe can and will create itself from nothing [...] It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper [fuse] and set the universe going." Oof, Hawking. Surely you anticipated the world's reaction to that.
Those who never believed in God in the first place jump all over the argument as testament to their beliefs (because atheism is a belief structure that requires just as much faith as any other religion), and those who were on the fence might find the statement an easy "out." Those who did- and still do- are picking apart Hawking's wording.
"Hawking's god is a god-of-the-gaps used to plug present gaps in our scientific knowledge. Science provides us with a wonderful narrative as to how [existence] may happen, but theology addresses the meaning of the narrative,"commented Denis Alexander, director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.
That's the real missing gap, isn't it? Meaning, I mean. We can postulate away the hand of some God in creation, we can find a thousand theorems to prove that there is nothing out in the universe but endless dark matter and cosmic dust, but the fact remains that we will derive no joy or feel for existence from solving complex math riddles. I agree with Alexander's assessment that Hawking is discussing another god, a sort of random factor that scientists once attributed to some divine intervention. But Hawking can't explain away the existence of faith, and I don't think he's trying to. In the search for the spark of existence, while science can measure and attest, there's no logical formula for meaning, thought, beauty, art, and all of the things that conjoin to form our human assessment of life via spirituality. This God is a separate God-- and if you are monotheistic the only God--and Hawking's statement that God's hand in creation is unnecessary does nothing to devalue the ultimate poetry. If you believe, that is.
People will undoubtedly line up on all sides of this debate to debunk, refute, support, cry out, uplift, embrace, or even completely ignore Hawking's new work. At the end of the day, however, it comes down to a question of faith.
On that note....tying up loose ends here and then packing up the car to head to the shore! Peace out, Glitteratis, and enjoy the holiday weekend.