Celebrating 20 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday


Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Environmental extremists ... wouldn’t let you build a house unless it looked like a bird’s nest.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index H > Stephen W. Hawking Quotes > God

Thumbnail of Stephen W. Hawking (source)
Stephen W. Hawking
(8 Jan 1942 - 14 Mar 2018)

English theoretical physicist and cosmologist.


Stephen W. Hawking Quotes on God (10 quotes)

>> Click for 54 Science Quotes by Stephen W. Hawking

>> Click for Stephen W. Hawking Quotes on | Science | Universe |

According to the Boshongo people of central Africa, in the beginning, there was only darkness, water, and the great god Bumba. One day Bumba, in pain from a stomach ache, vomited up the sun. The sun dried up some of the water, leaving land. Still in pain, Bumba vomited up the moon, the stars, and then some animals. The leopard, the crocodile, the turtle, and finally, man. This creation myth, like many others, tries to answer the questions we all ask. Why are we here? Where did we come from?
— Stephen W. Hawking
Lecture (1987), 'The Origin of the Universe', collected in Black Holes And Baby Universes And Other Essays (1993), 99.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  Africa (35)  |  All (4107)  |  Animal (617)  |  Answer (366)  |  Ask (411)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Central (80)  |  Creation (329)  |  Crocodile (14)  |  Darkness (68)  |  God (758)  |  Great (1575)  |  Land (115)  |  Leopard (3)  |  Man (2249)  |  Moon (238)  |  Myth (56)  |  Origin Of Earth (9)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pain (136)  |  People (1005)  |  Question (622)  |  Star (430)  |  Stars (304)  |  Still (613)  |  Stomach (39)  |  Stomachache (3)  |  Sun (387)  |  Turtle (8)  |  Vomit (3)  |  Water (482)  |  Why (491)

Consideration of particle emission from black holes would seem to suggest that God not only plays dice, but also sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.
— Stephen W. Hawking
'The Quantum Mechanics of Black Holes', Scientific American, 1977, 236, 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Black Hole (17)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Dice (21)  |  God (758)  |  Nuclear Particle (2)  |  Particle (196)

Einstein was wrong when he said, 'God does not play dice'. Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen.
— Stephen W. Hawking
In The Nature Of Space And Time (1996, 2010), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Black Hole (17)  |  Confusion (57)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Dice (21)  |  Einstein (101)  |  Albert Einstein (607)  |  God (758)  |  Play (111)  |  Seeing (142)  |  Suggestion (46)  |  Throw (43)  |  Throwing (17)  |  Wrong (234)

God not only plays dice. He also sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen.
— Stephen W. Hawking
In 'News and Views: The Breakdown of Physics?', Nature (2 Oct 1975), 257, 362. [A reference to Albert Einstein’s earlier quote on dice].
Science quotes on:  |  Dice (21)  |  God (758)  |  Play (111)  |  See (1082)  |  Sometimes (46)  |  Throw (43)

Hubble's observations suggested that there was a time, called the big bang, when the universe was infinitesimally small and infinitely dense. Under such conditions all the laws of science, and therefore all ability to predict the future, would break down. If there were events earlier than this time, then they could not affect what happens at the present time. Their existence can be ignored because it would have no observational consequences. One may say that time had a beginning at the big bang, in the sense that earlier times simply would not be defined. It should be emphasized that this beginning in time is very different from those that had been considered previously. In an unchanging universe a beginning in time is something that has to be imposed by some being outside the universe; there is no physical necessity for a beginning. One can imagine that God created the universe at literally any time in the past. On the other hand, if the universe is expanding, there may be physical reasons why there had to be a beginning. One could still imagine that God created the universe at the instant of the big bang, or even afterwards in just such a way as to make it look as though there had been a big bang, but it would be meaningless to suppose that it was created before the big bang. An expanding universe does not preclude a creator, but it does place limits on when he might have carried out his job!
— Stephen W. Hawking
A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (1988), 8-9.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (153)  |  All (4107)  |  Bang (29)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Being (1278)  |  Big Bang (40)  |  Break (99)  |  Call (769)  |  Condition (357)  |  Consequence (207)  |  Consider (416)  |  Creator (91)  |  Different (577)  |  Down (455)  |  Event (216)  |  Existence (460)  |  Future (432)  |  God (758)  |  Happen (275)  |  Edwin Powell Hubble (20)  |  Imagine (165)  |  Instant (45)  |  Job (82)  |  Law (895)  |  Limit (281)  |  Literally (30)  |  Look (582)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Observation (560)  |  Observational (15)  |  Other (2236)  |  Outside (141)  |  Past (337)  |  Physical (508)  |  Predict (80)  |  Present (620)  |  Reason (744)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3880)  |  Sense (770)  |  Small (479)  |  Something (719)  |  Still (613)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (861)  |  Way (1216)  |  Why (491)

If we do discover a complete unified theory, it should be in time understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason—for then we would know the mind of God.
— Stephen W. Hawking
A Brief History of Time (1988), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Answer (366)  |  Complete (204)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (785)  |  Discussion (73)  |  Do (1908)  |  Exist (444)  |  Find (999)  |  God (758)  |  Human (1470)  |  Know (1519)  |  Layman (21)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  People (1005)  |  Philosopher (259)  |  Principle (510)  |  Reason (744)  |  Scientist (825)  |  Theory (972)  |  Time (1877)  |  Triumph (73)  |  Ultimate (146)  |  Understandable (12)  |  Understanding (514)  |  Unified Theory (7)  |  Universe (861)  |  Why (491)

Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing. It is a matter of chance which we are in.
[Answer to question: You've said there is no reason to invoke God to light the blue touchpaper. Is our existence all down to luck?]
— Stephen W. Hawking
'Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven; it's a fairy story"', interview in newspaper The Guardian (15 May 2011).
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Answer (366)  |  Chance (239)  |  Creation (329)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Down (455)  |  Existence (460)  |  God (758)  |  Kind (557)  |  Light (609)  |  Luck (42)  |  Matter (801)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Predict (80)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Question (622)  |  Reason (744)  |  Science (3880)  |  Science And Religion (310)  |  Spontaneity (5)  |  Universe (861)  |  Which (2)  |  Will (2354)

The quantum theory of gravity has opened up a new possibility, in which there would be no boundary to space-time and so there would be no need to specify the behaviour at the boundary. There would be no singularities at which the laws of science broke down and no edge of space-time at which one would have to appeal to God or some new law to set the boundary conditions for space-time. One could say: 'The boundary condition of the universe is that it has no boundary.' The universe would be completely self-contained and not affected by anything outside itself. It would neither be created nor destroyed. It would just BE.
— Stephen W. Hawking
A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (1988), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  Behaviour (41)  |  Boundary (51)  |  Completely (135)  |  Condition (357)  |  Destroy (180)  |  Down (455)  |  Edge (47)  |  God (758)  |  Gravity (133)  |  Law (895)  |  New (1217)  |  Open (274)  |  Outside (141)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3880)  |  Self (267)  |  Set (394)  |  Singularity (4)  |  Space (501)  |  Space-Time (18)  |  Theory (972)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (861)

The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.
— Stephen W. Hawking
A Brief History of Time (1998), 127.
Science quotes on:  |  Arbitrary (26)  |  Certain (550)  |  Do (1908)  |  Event (216)  |  God (758)  |  Happen (275)  |  History (675)  |  History Of Science (64)  |  Order (632)  |  Realization (43)  |  Science (3880)  |  Underlying (30)  |  Whole (738)

What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn't prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary. (17 Oct 1988)
— Stephen W. Hawking
Der Spiegel (17 Oct 1988). Quoted in Clifford A. Pickover, Archimedes to Hawking (2008), 483.
Science quotes on:  |  God (758)  |  Law (895)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Possible (554)  |  Prove (252)  |  Science (3880)  |  Show (346)  |  Universe (861)  |  Way (1216)


See also:
  • 8 Jan - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Hawking's birth.
  • Booklist for Stephen Hawking.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.