CNN) -- "Scientists in Switzerland say an experiment appears to show that tiny particles traveled faster than the speed of light -- a result that would seem to defy the laws of nature ... The finding would seem to challenge Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity, and the long-established law of physics that nothing can exceed the speed of light."
This blog was actually written a month, or two, or three past (funny how time can be so irrelative). Other, more interesting things to write about came up, so it's just now time to get back to it.
On a don't remember when Sunday evening, in simulcast with at least four other cable networks, the Discovery Channel broadcast an installment in their "Curiosity" series a show entitled "Did God create the Universe?" On the surface it was mostly a defense of and promotion for a book by professor and theoretical physicist Stephen W. Hawking.
According to curiosity.com: "Stephen Hawking unfolds his personal, compelling vision of the biggest question of all: Who or what created the universe in which we live? The groundbreaking series Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking combined cutting-edge (Computer Graphics) with Hawking's witty, distinctive and incisive worldview. Now, we take the journey a step further, as physics and cosmology become tools to answer questions that philosophers have struggled with for thousands of years."
(It may be timely to question why so much effort and expense went into "evangelizing" the "cause" of non-godism on a Sunday evening? Equal time and exposure by "pro-God" forces would most certainly have been condemned by the media.)
The reader should know this writer barely passed high school Algebra and not particularly qualified to comprehend what Stephen Hawking was talking about. Having said that, something is unclear to me: Does scientific method assume as proven fact a theory based on hypothesis deduced from conclusion and lacking verifiable evidence?
At the risk of misquoting what I misunderstood, what I heard Hawking say is what we now call the universe all began at one instant from nothing floating around in nowhere. The nothing, it seems, was divided into negative and positive thingees (where the thingees came from is unstated). At some point in before-time + and - collied in a really big BANG! Hawking says that before these thingees colided and started creating everything's everything, there was no such thing as time. The lack of time being the curx of Steve's mathematical argument: No time = No God. My lack in mathimatical expertise must be the reason I do not understand the equation or its consequences.
This starting-in-one-instant theory I can live with -- "And God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light". The same number of observers were around for this as for any very loud bang.
The lack of time idea I can accept, too. In Christian teaching God is timeless, without beginning or end. Time is mostly an artificial concept which man uses to measure how close we are getting to the end (if I deny time exist can I stay young?). It eludes this blogger, though, why exactly the absence of time means absence of God?
If Hawking has made some algebraic error and God really did create everything's everything, did He do it 10 million billion years ago or 10,000 years or just these 10 years past? Some guess immeasurable timelines. Conservative theologians may want a time limit. Almost no one would argue for a severe limitation. But, if there is no time with either God or Big Bangs, why not 10 years as well as 10 billion? The answer depends on the universe taking up enough of God's time for Him to notice what we call years, and did He create Stephen Hawking? At least there is empirical evidence for the latter.