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Stephen Hawking’s been in the news the past few weeks, for speaking on rather dark matters. Last month he said “I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space,” and urged that we prepare to abandon the Earth. Now, according to Reuters ,

Hawking says a new series of theories made a creator of the universe redundant . . . .“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,” Hawking writes.

Of course he’s entitled to his personal beliefs, but there’s something about this public statement that rings funny to me: It’s the “there is” part: “Because there is a law such as gravity . . . .” Wait, where did that law come from? Oh, who knows; it just is .

Despite his new thoughts on the subject, it’s that thing about what just is that remains unchanged and leaves room for science and faith to coexist. Indeed, he expressed that very thought—that faith and reason don’t have to work against each other—years ago in A Brief History of Time : “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason—for then we should know the mind of God.”

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