Stop the presses! “God did not create the universe, Stephen Hawking revealed yesterday.” That was the opening line for yesterday’s UK Telegraph piece Has Stephen Hawking ended the God debate? Apparently, it provoked considerable consternation among Christians.
And a lot of lame responses.
It’s not like we haven’t heard some scientist or intellectual make that declaration before. Nevertheless, those claims seem to induce the dopiest responses from Christians. Yesterday, I followed several threads regarding Hawking’s statements and caught myself shaking my head more than once — not because of atheistic assertions, but because of Christians’ canned answers.
A typical response — with the pieces rearranged — went something like this:
“God said it. I believe it. That settles it.”
Whoa! That probably sent Hawking and his fanboys reeling, huh? C’mon, do believers understand how stoopid that sounds? No, I’m not disputing whether or not “God said it.” I happen to believe He did. However, my belief that God said it, doesn’t settle it.
But my favorite response yesterday was:
“Genesis. ‘Nuff said.”
Really? Just… Genesis. End of argument.
I’m sure I’ll be misinterpreted for saying this, but I can totally understand why some atheists dismiss religious folk. Christians do more to reinforce stereotypes than their opponents do. And flippantly spouting clichés, especially in context of a discussion with such intellectual overtones, makes us sound like the brainless zealots we’re already believed to be.
Listen, there are reasons WHY I believe God said it. There are reasons WHY I believe Genesis should be included in the cosmological debate. If I’m unprepared to articulate the WHY, or even worse, don’t understand it, resorting to bumper stickers, one-liners, sound bites, and religious jingles doesn’t further my cause.