Is it just me or does the way the media make use of Stephen Hawking descend further by the month to new levels of cornball shtick? Look at this preview of “Did God Create the Universe?”, starring Dr. Hawking, that will air on the Discovery Channel (no relation) this Sunday.
I doubt anyone at the Discovery Channel could explain to you Hawking’s actual (and of course formidable) scholarly contributions to theoretical physics or cosmology. Nor, I would assume, will viewers come away from the cable program with more than a superficial sense of the argument given in Hawking’s recent best-selling book, The Grand Design. For a deconstruction job on the latter you’ll need to turn to another and brand new book — actually, it’s due out next month — God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is It Anyway? by our friend Professor John Lennox. Dr. Lennox is the Oxford University mathematician who, it just so happens, will be speaking on the subject of Stephen Hawking here in Seattle on Friday, August 19, 7:30 pm at University Presbyterian Church, 4540 15th Avenue NE. His subject: “Do the Laws of Physics Make God Unnecessary?”
It’s fair to assume that Hawking’s installation as atheist oracle is attributable mostly to his evocative, camera-ready physical handicap and cinematically eerie computer-generated voice, which someone seems to have tweaked lately to make it sound even eerier. He’s not only a media darling but a media creation. Less readily dismissed is the recognition that Dr. Lennox has received as, some have said, a contemporary C.S. Lewis. Lennox is a most unusual combination of brilliance, accessibility, grandfatherly Irish warmth, and sheer charm.
The speech is free. For more details, see here or call Donna Scott at 206-292-0401, ext. 128.? University Presbyterian has information about parking on its website. Dr. Lennox’s appearance is co-sponsored by the Center for Science and Culture and University Presbyterian’s Ideas and Arts Task Force.