For centuries it was believed that disabled people like Stephen Hawking were living under a curse inflicted by a God. Well I suppose it’s possible that he might have upset someone. But I prefer to think that everything can be explained another way by the laws of nature, so what exactly is a law of nature and why is it so powerful. I will show you with a game of tennis.
Tennis is governed by two sets of laws. One set is man made – the rules of the game. They govern things such as the size of the court, the height of the net and what determines if short is in or if the short is out. These rules could conceivably be changed if the governing body of tennis so desire. But the other set of laws that apply to the game are fixed. They govern what happens to the ball when it is hit. The force and angle of the racket strike determines exactly what happens next.
The laws of nature are a description of how things actually work in the past, present and future. In tennis the ball always goes exactly where there say it will and there are many other laws that work here too. They govern everything that is going on. From how the energy in the shot is produced in the players muscles to the speed at which the grass grows beneath their feet. But what’s really important is that these physical laws as well as being unchangeable are universal.
They apply not just to the flight of the ball but to the motion of a planet and everything else in the universe. Unlike laws made by humans the laws of nature cannot ever be broken that’s why they are so powerful and when seen from a religious stand point controversial too. If you accept as I do that the laws of nature are fixed then it doesn’t take long to ask what role is their for God. This is a big part of the contradiction between science and religion.