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Profiles in Catholicism

Stephen Hawkins, Disciple of Light



Carmen Julia Rodríguez Torres


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The Book of Genesis states: “There be light!” (Genesis 1:1-3). Professor Stephen William Hawkins said YES! The arc of time-space goes from white hole to black hole… from singularity to singularity. “But quantum theory shows that the distinctions between space and time are unclear. So… [his mathematical] proposal [The Wavefunction of the Universe] showed there was little point in asking what happened before the Big Bang.” Recently Professor Hawkins said in an interview that before the Big Bang there was nothing. We read in Genesis that before the Creator said “There be light!”- “the Earth was formless and empty…” NOTHING!

 Many have questioned what Genesis means by light since the sun and the moon are created much later. That question was Professor Hawkins’ quest throughout his life journey. Light is the code – the information – that guides the universe’s unfolding. Not even a black hole can destroy the code for “In the beginning was the Word… and the Word was with God…” John1:1. The Lord our God says: “My Word will not return to Me unfulfilled…” Isaiah 55:11. 

Professor Hawkins’ life was a miracle. Diagnosed with a devastating condition in his youth - at age twenty one - he was told his life would go on for probably a few more years. Instead he went on to give us the most wondrous visions of the universe through his work and tenacity until the day he passed away - at age seventy five. My worst nightmare is to make sense of a world where the promise of his productive mind would have never had the chance to unfold as his Creator intended.

 We mourn today the loss of a visionary, a warrior whose scientific work explained so many enigmas and mysteries. We must commit ourselves to perpetuate his legacy by nurturing each and every young mind who dares to look at the universe with new eyes and asks WHY? “How joyful are the wise, the ones who understand… a WORD to the wise is sufficient…” (Proverbs 3:13). Professor Hawkins once said: 

“One of the basic rules of the universe is that NOTIHNG is perfect. Perfection simply does not exist… Without imperfection neither you, nor I would exist…”

 AMEN! So I leave with you one of his most provocative questions:


“What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a UNIVERSE for them to describe?”


Good Journey!