His beliefs on God and Heaven

USA TODAY

Published 10:25 AM EDT Oct 17, 2018

His beliefs on God and Heaven

On Tuesday, Stephen Hawking's final, posthumous book "Brief Answers to the Big Questions" was released, detailing final thoughts the physicist had on the biggest questions humankind faces.

In the book, Hawking wrote "there is no God." But it's not the first time the scientist, who died in March, has shared his belief on the subject.

"There is no God," wrote Hawking, as reported by CNN. "No one directs the universe."

Hawking expands on that premise more deeply, based on an excerpt of the book published by the U.K.'s Sunday Times:

"The question is, is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can’t understand, or was it determined by a law of science? I believe the second," wrote Hawking. "If you like, you can call the laws of science 'God', but it wouldn’t be a personal God that you would meet and put questions to."

However, Hawking's atheist beliefs are nothing new. He first revealed them in 2010 after publishing the book "The Grand Design" with co-author Leonard Mlodinow.

More: A brief history of Stephen Hawking’s atheism

More: Heaven 'is a fairy story': This is what Stephen Hawking says happens when people die

"Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist," he wrote in 2010. 

In an interview published in May 2011 by The Guardian, Hawking compared the brain to a computer, noting it stops working once all the components fail. "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," he said.

As for his latest and final book, Hawking also detailed several potential threats to humanity, including the rise of artificial intelligence and gene-editing technology that could lead to the emergence of "superhumans." 

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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