The news outlets are abuzz with reports of some provocative claims made in Stephen Hawking’s latest book, The Grand Design, which is due for release on Tuesday. For obvious reasons I haven’t yet read the book, so I don’t know the broader context of his claims or how he supports them. However, since the claims in question have been widely quoted, and several folk have already asked me about them, I’ll offer a few tentative comments (with all the necessary caveats assumed).
Here are Hawking’s statements as reported by the Telegraph (and by numerous other outlets):
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 touch paper and set the Universe going.