Over a Thousand Convene to Hear John Lennox Challenge Hawking's Atheism
Friday night, well over a thousand people gathered at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle to hear Dr. John Lennox, professor of mathematics at Oxford, challenge Stephen Hawking's atheistic claim that science has successfully ruled out God as unnecessary. Hawking, a world-renowned physicist who attended Cambridge ahead of Lennox, is one of the best-known champions of atheism, asserting that "the universe can and will create itself from nothing."
As CSC Associate Director John West noted in his introduction, Dr. Lennox is comparable to C.S. Lewis in both mannerism and wisdom. It is no coincidence that Lennox credits Lewis with having a profound influence on his philosophy; in fact, Lennox attended Lewis' last lectures at Cambridge many years ago.
Young and old were held in rapt attention, some scribbling down notes and others nodding emphatically, as Lennox decried the materialist view that science carves the only path to truth. Even as Dr. Lennox dealt damaging blows to Hawking's inadequate arguments, his humility was as evident as his wisdom. Lennox's endearing, yet firm, presence on stage was a far cry from the shrill and raucous behavior that commonly arises when the topics of science and religion intersect.
Hawking, Lennox argued, is committed to the false idea that God gets smaller as science gets larger. For someone who is so thoroughly convinced that there is nothing in our universe (or, in Hawking's view, the multiverse) outside of the realm of science, Hawking really makes, in the words of Dr. Lennox, "a little too much ado about nothing."
Many in attendance took advantage of the Q&A time to gain more insight from Lennox, prompting him to delve into discussions on several topics, including our innate drive to explain the universe; evidence for intelligent design in nature; randomness and order in physical law; and the struggle between theism and materialist science. The audience enthusiastically responded with a standing ovation as Dr. Lennox wrapped up his final thoughts.
Afterwards, many in the audience lingered to digest and discuss Lennox's ideas, some breaking up into their own discussion groups, and others wandering the room to connect with other attendees. Many waited in line to have Dr. Lennox sign their copy of God and Stephen Hawking, which completely sold out before the lecture even ended.