In a recent interview with El Mundo, Stephen Hawking confirmed that he is an atheist. This may come as a surprise to some, since Hawking has been known to speak and write about such things as knowing “the mind of God” by science expounding a “theory of everything”.
Later, though, Hawking also said that the universe can be created “out of nothing, out of nowhere,” and that the idea of God is “not necessary” to explain its origin.
The interviewer asked Hawking flat out what he himself believed about God.
“Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation. What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist. Religion believes in miracles, but they are not supported by science,” he said.
Does this mean that Hawking has no “faith”? Apparently not. The interviewer specifically talks about Hawking having “an abiding faith in the power of science to unravel the mysteries of the cosmos.”
“In fact, right now we’re close to achieving this goal. In my opinion, there is no aspect of reality beyond the reach of the human mind. “
In contrast to many theist beliefs, Hawking went on to talk about his hope for interstellar travel and for humans settling on other planets. He sees that as possibly essential for the survival of the human race.
“It could prevent the disappearance of humanity by colonizing other planets,” he explained.
In addition, Hawking emphasized that “space exploration has driven and continue to drive major scientific and technological advances.”