Celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking continues to deny that the universe began to exist.
Of course, he affirms that this current universe began to exist, at the mighty Big Bang. But he denies that something outside the universe caused it. Per a smidgen of a report in the Guardian (free, we think, of that paper's signature typos), Hawking in his latest book says that "the law of gravity" explains the origin of the universe.
Really, what Hawking hopes is that string theory or other attempts at a unified theory of physics will explain all this. Calling it gravity makes it more accessible to us proles.
In other words, Hawking continues to insist that somehow the laws of physics, unobservable and untestable outside this present universe, can explain how universes arise spontaneously.
Thoughtful readers will realize that cosmology presents two major alternatives, regardless of the time and place in which one does one's cosmology. Either the universe exists without a beginning (variant likely affirmed by Hawking: an infinite series of discrete universes without beginning, prompted by an eternally existing scientific law) or it exists with a beginning.
And if it begins once and once only, it needs a creator, as has been widely understood since people first started writing down their thoughts on the issue.
Hawking is not offering a scientific judgment in this regard. He is offering the opinion of a scientist who surmises that because science has told us a lot of stuff about the universe we live in, it can tell us about stuff that lies beyond the universe we live in as well. We offer him SWNIDish kudos for making a faith statement, urging simply that he reconsider the object of his faith.