I learned a long time ago that if math is the language of the cosmos, I’m in big trouble! But A Brief History of Time, by theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, gave me a whole new way of seeing the universe and imagining it beyond any ability to view or comprehend.
Don’t get me wrong: I had to re-read every paragraph at least twice. But it was thrilling! What an incredible vantage point it opened up, filling me with questions! Was there a beginning to time? Is the universe mortal, having started with a Big Bang and destined to end in a Big Crunch? Is there a theory that brings together the tiny realm of quantum theory with the vast world of the theory of gravity? What about the Uncertainty Principle, relativity, and Black Holes?
Stephen Hawking went on to discover and write more to boggle our minds. The Universe in a Nutshell was another book that spoke to everyone, regardless of their science or math comprehension, if we were willing to spend time to unravel it. Just the scope of what he dealt with pressed us to picture God’s creation as far more intricate and vast than we could imagine.
Just think of our little galaxy. “We now know that our galaxy is only one of some hundred thousand million that can be seen using modern telescopes,” Hawking wrote, “each galaxy itself containing some hundred thousand million stars.”
When Hawking died on March 14th he left a legacy that continues to tease us forward into the reaches of God’s creation. I thank God for his generous gifts to benefit generations to come.
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