In his first major work in over a decade, physicist Stephen Hawking argues that the creation of the universe did not require the existence of God. Contrary to what Isaac Newton believed, our universe’s unique properties mean that it is quite possible that it emerged spontaneously from chaos. "Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing," he writes with fellow physicist Leonard Mlodinow. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to... set the Universe going." The book, titled The Grand Design, is due out on Sept. 9 and attempts to answer "the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything." And, unlike the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Hawking’s answer is not the number 42.