Stephen Hawking is known for many things, not least of which is stealing his idea for a donut-shaped universe from Homer Simpson. As you may have heard, he has a new book about the beginning of the universe which, sadly, makes you think he'd be better off getting more of his ideas from Springfield.
The quote which has been headlining the promotional material for this book - what they view as the strongest selling point, the message they most want to get out - is utterly absurd. Consider the intellectual dishonesty and intentional self-deception required for a physicist like Hawking to write something like this:
"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."
This is beyond ridiculous, and Hawking has to know it. What he knows - what everyone who has even the slightest knowledge of gravity knows - is that gravity describes the forces of attraction between things. In classical Newtonian form, the force is proportional to the product of the masses divided by the square of the distance between them. General relativity covers extreme cases such as singularities and massless particles, but even in these cases the objects involved must exist (they have mass, momentum, spin, energy, etc). Where there is no mass/momentum/energy, there is no gravity. For Hawking to pretend otherwise, to claim that a description of interaction between things matters when there is nothing, is delusional beyond imagination (well, almost).
Hawking's nonsensical idea of gravity mattering when there is nothing would be laughable - if not for the tragic ending of those so determined to be 'free' from our sovereign creator.
7 hours ago