Months after his death, the final book of well-known physicist Stephen Hawking has been released, reiterating his assertion that there is no God, but also expounding on his belief that outer intelligent life forms might exist and that time travel could be possible.
“There is no God. No one directs the universe,” he wrote in “Brief Answers to the Big Questions.” “For centuries, it was believed that disabled people like me were living under a curse that was inflicted by God. I prefer to think that everything can be explained another way, by the laws of nature.”
“No one created the universe and no one directors out fate. This leads me to a profound realisation: there is probably no Heaven and afterlife either. I think belief in the afterlife is just wishful thinking,” Hawking asserted.
Those familiar with Hawking know that the scientist has expressed skepticism in the Creator throughout his tenure at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Hawking suffered with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but far outlived the normal life expectancy.
“I’m not religious in the normal sense,” he told the BBC in 2007. “I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws.”
In 2014, Hawking told the publication El Mundo, “[T]here is no God. I am an atheist. Religion believes in miracles, but they are not supported by science.”
In his new book, released on Tuesday, Hawking said that he believes that everything came from nothing, and that God is not necessary to explain how life began.
“I think the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing, according to the laws of science,” he wrote. “If you accept, as I do, that the laws of nature are fixed, then it doesn’t take long to ask: What role is there for God?”
“Did God create the quantum laws that allowed the Big Bang to occur?” Hawking asked. “I have no desire to offend anyone of faith, but I think science has a more compelling explanation than a divine creator.”
However, he also stated that researchers shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the possibility of intelligent life on other planets, or that humans might be able to travel in time.
“There are forms of intelligent life out there,” Hawking stated. “We need to be wary of answering back until we have developed a bit further.”
IFL Science reports that prior to Hawking’s death in March, he and others had announced a $100 million dollar project to find intelligent extraterrestrial life.
“In an infinite universe, there must be other occurrences of life,” he stated. “It’s time to commit to finding the answer, for the search for life beyond Earth. We are life; we are intelligent; we must know.”
“Travel back in time can’t be ruled out according to our present understanding,” Hawking further wrote in his final book, theorizing that the reason there haven’t been any visitors from the future is because time travel only works forward and not backward—at least for now.
“A possible way to reconcile time travel with the fact that we don’t seem to have had any visitors from the future would be to say that such travel can occur only in the future,” Hawking wrote. “In this view one would say space-time in our past was fixed because we have observed it and seen that it is not warped enough to allow travel into the past.”
“On the other hand, the future is open. So we might be able to warp it enough to allow time travel,” he said. “But because we can warp space-time only in the future, we wouldn’t be able to travel back to the present time or earlier.”
Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis commented briefly on Hawking’s rejection of God on Wednesday, stating on social media, “Hawking was wrong. God created, as recorded in Genesis, and Hawking was without excuse (Romans 1).”
1 Corinthians 1:25-29 reads, “[T]he foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence.”