The Hegelian Dialectic actually works. I have been troubled by not being able to understand how Stephen Hawking could arrive at the universe making itself out of nothing, and so I had to refer to, “The Grand Design.” I have to confess, I found much of the book fascinating. I also have no interest in his religious belief. I have concluded that believing in God is kinda like catching poison oak, some people do and some people don’t and religious arguments are usually a waste of time.
He credits “The Great Design,” (not the book) to luck, chance, and serendipity, all of which lack a “personality” (for the lack of a better term),or spiritual dimension. He is actually proposing a “soul-less universe” which is downright frightening. But Hawking’s greatest logical error is stated in the acknowledgements. “The universe has a design, and so does a book. But unlike the universe, a book does not appear spontaneously. A book requires a creator…”
It is not a new dilemma. For over 200 years (?) students have been (and still are) taught that, “matter can neither be created nor destroyed.” Apparently, Hubble’s discovery changed all of that, but we are still stuck with a universal event without a known cause. Hawking had to either propose a cause, allow that the universe was formed by a being, power or process that defies human comprehension or claim that it made itself out of nothing. But here’s the funny part. Paul Tillich, and all (?) theologians, are proposing the same thing, but with one added step. They maintain that God created himself/herself out of nothing, and then proceeded to create the universe. Essentially, Tillich and Hawking agree with the mystery part, just not whether there is a captain on the ship or not.
This correlates to biology because we have an event (the creation of life) without a known cause. When lightning strikes it releases a huge burst of electro-thermal energy. Generally, it destroys all life it contacts. Leaving God out of this, how any rational person could believe that a lightning bolt could organize ammonia molecules into the first DNA molecule is as problematic as claiming that the universe formed itself out of nothing. Modern biologists tacitly agree with Hawking by inferring that life formed itself spontaneously. Moreover, we have “been there and done that” and have replaced the theory of spontaneous generation with the theory of biogenesis. Evidently we still believe in one act of spontaneous generation that led to this conversation.
Little wonder Socrates said, “The more I know, the more I don’t know.”