Stephen Hawking knows a thing or two about the Big Bang. He spent his life researching it and other mysteries of the cosmos. After all this time, he's more convinced than ever that a divine being had no part in it.
Space reports that Hawking was giving a free lecture titled, "The Origin of the Universe" at the California Institute of Technology. The lecture was mostly about prevailing theories on how the universe was formed, but he first examined how religion frames the creation of the universe. At one point, he even questioned what a divine being would be doing before the creation of the universe:
What was God doing before the divine creation? Was he preparing hell for people who asked such questions?”
Hawking avoided a debate on religion versus science for most of the night, but he did recall a moment earlier in his life when Pope John Paul II called him out in the 80s for trying to explain the origins of the universe. The Pope said that science shouldn't study the moment of creation. Hawking said that he was just glad that he wasn't "thrown into an inquisition."
At the end of the lecture, Hawking reiterated a previous point he made in saying that humanity needs to leave earth sooner rather than later. He predicts that the human race won't be able to survie another 1,000 years on "our fragile planet."