The legendary British physicist Stephen Hawking’s recent lectures about the origin of universe in Beijing and Hong Kong have provoked a heated discussion over the existence of God, especially among the Mainland Chinese who mostly do not believe in the God’s creation.
While attending the International Conference on String Theory 2006 in Beijing, Hawking has spoken on two occasions with the theme "The Origin of Universe." Thousands of Mainlanders from senior citizens to young students and well-educated scholars were drawn to the Great Hall of the People Monday, even it is already the third time Hawking visiting China.
Hawking has tried to give answers to some centuries-old questions like "Was the universe eternal?" and "Or did it have a beginning?", as reported by the official Xinhua news agency.
Hawking, who has always being questioned about his belief in the existence of God, said that many scientists were still unhappy with the universe having a beginning, according to Xinhua. "One would have to invoke an outside agency, which for convenience one can call God, to determine how the universe began," he explained.
While Hawking has never denied the existence of God, he appears to believe that science may solve all questions about the origin of life in the future. Hawking concluded his speech by making the statement, "Cosmology is a very exciting and active subject. We are getting closer to answering the age-old questions: Why are we here? Where did we come from?"
Christians believe in the creation of the universe by God. However, as many people in China have never heard of the Bible, Hawking’s visit to China has made people rethink about the existence of God and the creation, sources say.
When asked if there is conflict between Christian faith and scientific study on Cosmology, the president of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, who is a Catholic, replied that these are two totally different matters using different languages, "There is no conflict; I think they are two domains."
Hawking’s only Chinese student at the Cambridge University in England, Professor Wu Zhong Chao from the Jiejiang University, said that Hawking’s cosmology closely matches with Taoism in China. One of the philosophies in Taoism is that "Nothing is the start of the universe and existence is the mother of all things."