The book by the British author is due to be released next week — just a week before Pope Benedict XVI’s scheduled visit to Great Britain Sept. 16-19.
In his new book, Hawking, who is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, poses the question whether the universe needs a creator; he concludes that God is not a necessary part of creation because the laws of physics and gravity show that something can come from nothing.
In the past he has asserted that religious beliefs and science were not incompatible — a postion the Vatican does agree with.
While the Vatican hasn’t come out with a reaction to the book yet, one of our favorite Vatican astronomers, Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, just sent us his reaction to Hawking’s claims:
“The ‘god’ that Stephen Hawking doesn’t believe in, is one I don’t believe in either. God is not just another force in the universe, alongside gravity or electricity. God is not a force to be invoked to ‘swell a progress, start a scene or two’ and fill the momentary gaps in our knowledge.
“God is the reason why existence itself exists. God is the reason why space and time and the laws of nature can be present for the forces to operate that Stephen Hawking is talking about.”