I do not know if the authors are making this assumption, but I have seen some scientistis and even some theologians assume that the word "God" is a way for people to explain physical mysteries. So when there are no more physical mysteries, there is no more need for God.Well, over here is a lecture called The New Physics and the Old Metaphysics by Br. Guy Consolmagno, S.J., Ph.D. He says it much more elegantly and Chestertonianly (: )) by saying that Hawkings was absolutely right, he did eliminate the need for God to explain the universe, and rightly so, because that kind of deist God, designed as an explanation for what can't be explained otherwise, needs to be done away with.
I have never quite understood that line of thinking, but apparently it came about in the Enlightenment, when philosophy took a post-Cartesian credibility hit and physical science came to the fore as a presumably more realistic substitute given the terms of the Cartesian approach. Most of the scientists of the time were still Deists, though many of them weren't orthodox. And the same was true of many theologians. So God did begin to become for them a way to explain what couldn't be explained by empirical methods of the time. In that approach, God became a component of our thinking, a kind of placeholder, so as our thinking became more scientific, the place for God in our heads got smaller and smaller.
The real God, Consolmagno says (I can't past his words directly because of the format of the lecture text), the God of Abraham, is not bound within the cosmos. Quoting Wittgenstein, he says, "the sense of the world must lie outside the world."
This may sound a bit Kantian, but it does not have to be that way. While Kant would say that God can't be known, Consolmagno says that God indeed can be known experientially. We cannot "derive" God from analysis, but we CAN know Him; in fact, we know all things BY Him, whether we happen to know that or not.
I'm not updating this blog regularly anymore but this doesn't quite seem to belong to Take Up and Read so I'm putting it here!
HT for the link to the talk: Michael Baruzzini in the CatholicScience.com newsletter.