Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking recently confirmed that he is an atheist who believes in science rather than God.
"Before we understood science, it was natural to believe that God created the universe, but now science offers a more convincing explanation," Hawking said in a video made public by El Mundo newspaper. "What I meant by 'we would know the mind of God' is we would know everything that God would know if there was a God, but there isn't. I'm an atheist."
Hawking is famous for his physiological findings and theories as well as for putting his complete faith in science rather than a higher power or God. His book, A Brief History of Time posited that there was, in fact, a God and that humans could know the mind of that God if one specific physiological theory commonly known as the "theory of everything" could be proven. However, in another book, The Grand Design, Hawking took back that theory and hypothesized that God was unnecessary for creation.
"I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science," he told the BBC in 2007. "The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws."
Hawking was asked about his religious beliefs ahead of the Starmus Festival in the Canary Islands. The festival seeks to celebrate the study of science, astronomy, and space exploration. Hawking was one of the featured speakers at the gathering and spoke on "The Origin of the Universe."
During his speech at Starmus, fellow atheist and scientist Richard Dawkins told the crowd that "the idea we are alone in the universe seems to me completely implausible and arrogant. Considering the number of planets and stars that we know exist, it's extremely unlikely that we are the only form of evolved life."
However, that evolvement does not likely include beings that are more rational or advanced than humans, at least according to Hawking.
"In my opinion, there is no aspect of reality beyond the reach of the human mind," he told El Mundo.