I noticed in two recent letter postings the religiosity of Stephen Hawking being an issue. One letter stated that he is a theist which I don't think you addressed in your answer, and in an answer to a 'Stephen Gould letter' you brought up his silence on religion.
Everyone knows he uses the word "god" in his writings -- recklessly, if you ask me. When he was a guest on Larry King Live, over a year ago, he was asked by Larry if he believed in God. He answered by saying that he equates god with the laws of nature. He also said that he believes everything in the universe can be explained scientifically (sorry, I can't remember his exact wording). This clearly shows that he does not believe in a supernatural god, as Christians do. In my opinion he uses the word "god" for populist reasons, as you suggest. Christian writers like Ravi Zacharias abuse Hawking's ambiguous statements and claim he's a theist, trying to strengthen their side, by making him one of their own.
Maybe this helps shed some light on the subject.
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