“If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”
More recently, Hawkings stated in his book The Grand Design, God/god/g-d/ had nothing to do with creation because there is no god. God. Whatever:
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.” He added: “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.”(In a round about way, I can see what Hawking is getting at: it isn’t necessary to create a cartoonish, childish figurehead that we appease in order to shift responsibility away from ourselves to explain things, and I don’t think ETs are necessarily magical wondrous Space Brothers and Sisters who will give us lots of candy. Or, Jesus for that matter.)
Some die hard skeptoid atheists types might play semantic games with the following, (to them any “belief in” anything concerning spiritual matters is, at best, New Age froth, and at worst, religious zealotry) but I don’t have a religious quibble with Mr. Hawking on this, because I’m not a Christian or religious person. I don’t believe in God as in Daddy Supreme being, don't believe the Bible is the word of a God, either directly or inspired, and so on. I do believe in what’s loosely called “Intelligent Design” which is an uneasy and dangerous label to use, since that term often invokes Christians who want to force public schools into teaching their particular brand of creationism, bring prayer into schools, or trying to get Glen Beck into the White House.
How about consciousness. When I think of “god” I think of living, intelligent, sentient, ... consciousness.
So Stephen Hawking talks about gravity and my question is, what created gravity? Who, what, how, why, ... is behind gravity, the universe, the constant flux, the stuff, this, that, ... ? Simplistic answers deliver us a single God, and one personified to fit into our puny little human needs for control and fear based authoritarian structures.
Other spiritual systems, many of which I happily align myself with because they bring me comfort, are fun, have beautiful colorful artistic images of deities, help me focus and even, yes, manifest powerful moments in my life on various levels, aren’t as punitive and vengeful as the straight ahead Judeo/Christian/Islam triad of petty monotheistic beings misinterpreted, abused and mangled by humanity to control and kill their fellow human sisters and brothers -- and, give them permission to abuse and kill their fellow non-human sisters and brothers (animals.)
However, that’s all beside the point. Hawking hasn’t answered anything, he’s merely made a pronouncement based on his personal belief. We can argue all day about the existence of God, but first, we need to get clear on a few things; like, an agreed upon definition of what God/god is. My “god” if I call it that, which I don’t, is not a single deity,--- unless, you want to consider that we're all “gods,” and in that sense a single deity, since we’re all sharing the single consciousness -- and is not vengeful, spiteful, arrogant, bestows grace only if you agree to believe in it (which is usually a him), is not just a “him,” doesn’t give a damn if we pray to it or not, especially in schools and at football games, doesn't care if you're gay, bi, pan or transsexual, doesn’t ... well, you can see where I’m at.
From a human interest perspective, I’m curious about the ironic juxtaposition of Hawking's profession -- mega-intelligent universe pondering guy -- and his dark view of that very universe. ETs are going to eat us for lunch, the universe is just a gravity machine, coldly and non-mysteriously doing its mechanized thing, without consciousness.
So Hawking doesn’t believe in any kind of a God/god whether it’s a consciousness metaphysical concept, or a more traditional Christian kind of God. He can’t prove there is, he can’t prove there isn’t. Shrug. I’d like Hawking to take the next step and ask: what created this gravity-machine? Gravity is “god,” man.