Stephen Hawking: Science 'Will Win' Against Religion

Religion is based on authority, science based on reason: physicist

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 10, 2010 5:24 PM CDT

(Newser) – Renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has spent his life probing the cosmos for answers—and doesn't think much of those provided by religion, he tells ABC News. "What could define God is thinking of God as the embodiment of the laws of nature," Hawking says, but that isn't the god of most major religions: "They made a human-like being with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe and how insignificant an accidental human life is in it, that seems most impossible."

Hawking instead sees religion as a human construct, and one that stands in opposition to science: "There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority," Hawking says, "and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works."

An aide helps guide British physicist Stephen Hawking off the stage at the 2010 World Science Festival opening night gala performance at Alice Tully Hall on Wednesday, June 2, 2010 in New York.
An aide helps guide British physicist Stephen Hawking off the stage at the 2010 World Science Festival opening night gala performance at Alice Tully Hall on Wednesday, June 2, 2010 in New York.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
British physicist Stephen Hawking attends the 2010 World Science Festival opening night gala performance at Alice Tully Hall on Wednesday, June 2, 2010 in New York.
British physicist Stephen Hawking attends the 2010 World Science Festival opening night gala performance at Alice Tully Hall on Wednesday, June 2, 2010 in New York.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
British physicist Stephen Hawking attends the 2010 World Science Festival opening night gala performance at Alice Tully Hall on Wednesday, June 2, 2010 in New York.
British physicist Stephen Hawking attends the 2010 World Science Festival opening night gala performance at Alice Tully Hall on Wednesday, June 2, 2010 in New York.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
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