Reversing his previous stance, Stephen Hawking clearly states in his new book, The Grand Design, that God did not create the Universe. Gravity did.
It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going," Hawking writes, according to an excerpt featured in London's The Times.
The Big Bang was a natural event which would have happened without the help or involvement of God, he argues.
"Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing," Hawking writes.
"Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist," he says.
Formerly, Hawking had been quoted as saying that "belief in a creator was not incompatible with science." The creator is Gravity?
I have to confess that I don't exactly have the highest personal opinion of Hawking. (So much less charming than the perhaps equally chauvinstic Feynman, to my mind...) But I am so totally buying this book. Clicked, preordered, done. Will be shelved with Dawkins, Coyne and Darwin.
The Guardian has an interesting poll up. Your choices are whether you believe in Gravity or Divinity.
Gravity is winning 87% to 13%.*