Stephen Hawking—Both Right and Wrong

It was interesting to read an article about a warning from famed physicist Stephen Hawking that was summed up this way:

One way or another, the life on Earth will likely become uninhabitable for mankind in the future. We need to start seriously thinking about how we will free ourselves from the constraints of this dying planet.

The article is entitled,  “Stephen Hawking’s Warning: Abandon Earth—Or Face Extinction,” and includes these statements:

Let’s face it: The planet is heating up, Earth’s population is expanding at an exponential rate, and the the natural resources vital to our survival are running out faster than we can replace them with sustainable alternatives. Even if the human race manages not to push itself to the brink of nuclear extinction, it is still a foregone conclusion that our aging sun will expand and swallow the Earth in roughly 7.6 billion years.

So, according to famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, it’s time to free ourselves from Mother Earth. “I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space,” Hawking tells Big Think. “It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn’t have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let’s hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load.” . . .

Even if humans manage to avoid a nuclear stand-off over the next thousand years, our fate on this planet is still pretty much certain. University of Sussex astrophysicist Dr. Robert Smith says eventually the aging Sun will accelerate global warming to a point where all of Earth’s water will simply evaporate.

“Life on Earth will have disappeared long before 7.6 billion years,” says Smith, “Scientists have shown that the Sun’s slow expansion will cause the temperature at the surface of the Earth to rise. Oceans will evaporate, and the atmosphere will become laden with water vapor, which (like carbon dioxide) is a very effective greenhouse gas. Eventually, the oceans will boil dry and the water vapor will escape into space. In a billion years from now the Earth will be a very hot, dry and uninhabitable ball.”

Finally,  between the next thousand years or so that Hawking says it will take man to make the planet uninhabitable and the billion years it will take for the sun to turn our planet into an arid wasteland, there is always the chance that a nearby supernova, an asteroid, or a quick and painless black hole could do us in. . . .

Well, Stephen Hawking is right in calling the earth a “dying planet.”  This is what the Bible tells us:

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:22)

The earth (in fact, the whole universe) is dying because of sin—it is now groaning because of the effects of the Curse.

However, Stephen Hawking is wrong in declaring that man could cause his own extinction or that man has to escape to space to survive.  The Bible tells us what will happen in the future (and astrophysicist Dr. Robert Smith is partly correct when he says the earth will become “very hot”):

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,  looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:10-13)

It is God who will decide when the earth as it is now will no longer exist—it is God who will judge it with fire—and it is God who will make the new heavens and new earth.  This earth will end with great heat—but from judgment, not some natural event.  We need to make sure we have put our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, so we will spend eternity where there will be a “new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

Man’s word concerning our future is full of despair and uncertainty—God’s Word is true and certain about what will happen.

And remember, “God is not a man, that he should lie” (Numbers 23:19).

You can read the entire article about Stephen Hawking at the following:  http://bigthink.com/ideas/21570

Devotion

I hate and abhor lying

(Psalm 119:162-163)  I rejoice at your word, as one that finds great spoil. I hate and abhor lying: but your law do I love.

It breaks our hearts when we are lied to, and the reason that the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ are so great is that unlike man, God never lies.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken