God didn’t create the universe, Stephen Hawking says in his latest book, “A Grand Design.”

Rather, the renowned physicist writes, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.”

Everything – created from nothing? The assertion begged a reply from the author of “Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution.”

“It is embarrassingly unscientific to speak of anything creating itself from nothing,” said Ray Comfort, a best-selling author and acclaimed minister who’s confronted and confounded some of the world’s most accomplished atheists. “Common sense says that if something possessed the ability to create itself from nothing, then that something wasn’t nothing; it was something – a very intelligent creative power of some sort.”

Hawking commits several “greater fallacies of logic,” says Comfort.

“Hawking has violated the unspoken rules of atheism,” he said. “He isn’t supposed to use words like ‘create’ or even ‘made.’ They necessitate a creator and a maker. Neither is he supposed to let out that the essence of atheism is to believe that nothing created everything, because it’s unthinking. It confirms the title of another book I wrote, called ‘You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, but You Can’t Make Him Think.’

Comfort continues his dissection: “Nor should an atheist speak of gravity as being a ‘law,’ because that also denotes the axiom of a Law-giver. Laws don’t happen by themselves. But look at how careless the professor was with his, ‘The Big Bang was the result of the inevitable laws of physics and did not need God to spark the creation of the Universe.'”

Philosopher Roger Scruton noted that same carelessness in a recent edition of the Wall Street Journal.

“If Mr. Hawking is right, the answer to the question ‘What created the universe?’ is ‘the laws of physics.’ But what created the laws of physics? How is it that these strange and powerful laws, and these laws alone, apply to the world?” Scruton asks.

The apparent contradictions even caught the attention of the Huffington Post’s Ervin Laszlo.

“To answer ‘why’ our universe ‘created itself’ the way it did is beyond science. To say that it did so spontaneously is not an answer: It’s an excuse for an answer,” said Laszlo, who’s described as a “systems philosopher and integral theorist.”

“When Hawking says that the spontaneous self-creation of the universe ‘out of nothing’ is evidence that a creator was not involved, he is not speaking as a scientist,” Laszlo continued. “He is not making a scientific statement. His statement is pure theology – of the negative kind typical of atheists. To deny the existence of a transcendental creator is just as much an act of faith as to affirm it.”

Still, many commenting on Hawking’s writings predict that few esteemed peers will critically examine his exclusion of a creator in the creation process.

Brian Melton, an author and assistant professor at Liberty University, wrote in Intellectual Conservative, “In the end, I have no doubt that Hawking’s statements will settle little, if any, of the debate. … True believers in Scientism will accept anything he says that removes God from the picture with little to no critical evaluation, because they believe such statements to be inherently axiomatic, and those who disagree (myself included) won’t be satisfied until the bigger questions that Hawking is apparently avoiding are at least put on the table for honest debate.”

Comfort’s career solidifies his penchant for debate. He famously challenged celebrity atheist Richard Dawkins to a debate and threw in $10,000 – no matter the outcome – as an enticement (Dawkins countered he’d participate for $100,000).

Comfort also created an international storm of angry protest from the atheist community in 2009 by giving out 170,000 copies of Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species” to 170,000 students at 100 of the top universities in the United States, England, Australia and New Zealand.

The outrage? The book contained a 50-page foreword, in which Comfort made the case for creationism.

Comfort teams with actor Kirk Cameron to host the popular television series, “The Way of the Master,” which appears on Trinity Broadcasting Network and Christian Television Network, among other media outlets, and is viewed in more than 100 countries.

Comfort is also writing a series of books on men who – for good or evil – changed the course of history. With research that deconstructs what each man believed about God, the series will include Hitler, Churchill, Gandhi, the Beatles and Einstein.

Einstein, Comfort recalled, famously remarked that he wanted to know the mind of God.

In 1988, Hawking wrote in his book “A Brief History of Time” that “if we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God.”

“Both men can easily find the mind of God and through it see how we were created: ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,’ something of which we were reminded when the first manned mission to the moon read from Genesis chapter one,” Comfort said. “We need to read it again.”

Young people especially need to read it, Comfort said.

“This generation is having an atheist revival, because they have been fed the lie that atheism is intelligent, when it’s obviously not,” he said. “We are hoping that this series of books will give them the perspective they are missing.”

He also said he knows what won’t be missing is the “obligatory resistance.”

“No doubt there will be opposition to the series, because atheists are afraid of their core beliefs being exposed,” he said. “That’s why they tried to stop us giving out Darwin’s book and flooded Amazon and gave my books low reviews. No one likes to be seen as a fool, but that’s what they are.”

Read the arguments for yourself in Ray Comfort’s “Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution”

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