The Catholic Herald (Archdiocese of Milwaukee) reports on a recent lecture by Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J.:
The need to confront atheism is high, according to the former Gonzaga University president who founded and heads the California-based Magis Center of Reason and Faith.
In a presentation titled, “What Is Contemporary Physics Saying about Creation and God?” he delivered Marquette University’s Ciszek Lecture, at Marquette’s Weasler Auditorium on Monday, Feb. 28, Jesuit Fr. Robert Spitzer, 58, offered new proofs for the existence of God. ...
As he did last September on “Larry King Live,” Fr. Spitzer took issue with physicist Stephen Hawking, whose previous writings had been open to the possibility of a creator, and who contends in his latest book, “The Grand Design,” that the universe is capable of creating itself from nothing.
“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” wrote Hawking in his 2010 book.
“There’s no such thing as nothing,” Fr. Spitzer countered in his lecture. “Nothing can’t do anything because nothing is nothing. If the universe is nothing, then where does the law of gravity … fit in?”
Which immediately brought to mind an interesting song by Chris Cornell titled, "No Such Thing", which is sung from the perspective of a man struggling to make sense of reality and existence:
I saw the world, it was beautiful
But the rain got in and ruined it all
Then I tried to be invisible
It was impossible
Even for me
I laughed at love
It was a big mistake
In the absence of
I filled it with hate
Cause there's no such thing as nothing
Yeah there's no such thing as nothing at all
So what gives me the right
To think that I could throw away a life?
And what makes you believe
That you could get away with getting old?
Maybe to lose or to save your soul
Is a choice of how you fill the hole
Many of Cornell's other songs explore similar themes, often opaquely, but with some apparent input from his Catholic upbringing (it's not clear if Cornell is now a practicing Catholic or even considers himself a Christian). Which brings me back to Fr. Spitzer's remarks:
There is considerable scientific evidence, Fr. Spitzer indicated, of an intelligent design to the universe – a universe that has undergone “infinite fine-tuning without any apparent reason.”
The balance in forces and the many variables that came together “so that life forms could exist,” said Fr. Spitzer, are evidence of a super intellect.
“There is something out there besides the universe that brought it into existence,” he said. “There is something really powerful out there that is also really smart.”
Fr. Spitzer's book, New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy, published by Eerdmans, is available for purchase from Ignatius Press. For more about Fr. Spitzer's work, visit the Magis Center of Reason and Faith website.