Stephen Hawking says the universe doesn't need God

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking says the universe is perfectly capable of creating itself, thank you very much, and it doesn't require the existence of God or a God-like outside source to get things started.

"Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing," Hawking and his co-author, Caltech physicist Leonard Mlodinow, write in "The Grand Design," which is due to be issued next week. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

That quote above is from an MSNBC story quoting an excerpt from The Times (which puts content behind a pay wall, so we can't link to it), and it's been rocketing around the Internet today causing all kinds of arguments discussions. In and of itself that doesn't mean Hawking is ruling out the existence of God, who he's previously referred to in other works.

Although according to The Guardian he certainly seems headed in that direction:

Hawking says the first blow to Newton's belief that the universe could not have arisen from chaos was the observation in 1992 of a planet orbiting a star other than our Sun. "That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions - the single sun, the lucky combination of Earth-sun distance and solar mass - far less remarkable, and far less compelling as evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings," he writes.

Discuss. (Politely please...we have no wish to delete comments.)

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