From The Telegraph:
The scientist has claimed that no divine force was needed to explain why the Universe was formed. In his latest book, The Grand Design, an extract of which is published in Eureka magazine in The Times, Hawking said: “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 Brief History of Time, Prof Hawking's most famous work, he did not dismiss the possibility that God had a hand in the creation of the world.
He wrote in the 1988 book: “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God.” In his new book he rejects Sir Isaac Newton's theory that the Universe did not spontaneously begin to form but was set in motion by God.