Scientist insists Big Bang explained by laws of physics
Britain's most famous scientist has declared God redundant.
In a provocative book, Professor Stephen Hawking said modern physics left no room for a Creator - and that science could explain the origins of the universe.
In The Grand Design, the best-selling author concludes: 'Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.
'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 touchpaper and set the universe going.'
The book, co-written by American physicist Leonard Mlodinow and published on September 9, sets out to contest Sir Isaac Newton's belief that the universe must have been designed by God as it could not have created out of chaos.
He cites the 1992 discovery 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.'
Prof Hawking had previously appeared to accept the role of God in the creation of the universe, writing in A Brief History Of Time in 1988: 'If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we should know the mind of God.'
He also leaves open the possibility of life on other planets and entire new universes - the so-called 'multiverse'.
Professor Hawking also says that form of complex theoretical physics known as M-theory, a type of string theory, could be the 'holy grail' that will explain everything in the known universe.
Physicists have long sought after a universal theory that unites quantum theory, matter at the sub-atomic level, with gravity which explains how objects interact.
He says: 'M-theory is the unified theory Einstein was hoping to find. The fact that we human beings - who are ourselves mere collections of fundamental particles of nature - have been able to come this close to an understanding of the laws governing us and our universe is a triumph'.
Professor Hawking has been quite outspoken in recent months over a number of issues.
In April documentary series, he argued that it is 'perfectly rational' to assume intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe.
And in an extraordinary series of assertions, he said Earth might be at risk from what he imagines to be 'massive ships' which could try to colonise our planet and plunder our resources.
Professor Hawking said: 'We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.
'I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet.
'Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.'
It would be 'too risky' to attempt to make contact with alien races, he concluded.
'If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.'
And last month Professor Hawking has warned that unless the human race colonises space within two centuries it will disappear forever.
He said that our only chance for long-term survival is to move away from Earth and begin to inhabit far-flung planets.
In an interview with the website Big Think, Professor Hawking said he was an optimist but the next few hundred years had to be negotiated carefully if humans were to survive. 作者: Einstein 時間: 2010-9-4 10:16
An image from Hubble that shows the heart of the Milky Way taken in near infra-red light. Prof Hawking says that our existence is the result of physics, not a Supreme Being
匯集霍金多篇文章及論文的書籍《大問小答》（Brief Answers to the Big Questions）明天出版，記錄他對人類前途、人工智能和外星人等大問題的最後思考，其中一篇講述霍金對地球很可能在未來1,000年內，被核戰或環境災難摧毀的憂慮，霍金指殖民外星或是人類唯一自救方法，「現在我們無處可逃，但長遠而言人類不應將所有蛋放在同一個籃，或同一星球」。