VATICAN CITY, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI says he believes scientists who deny the existence of God are wrong, that God exists and that he did create the universe.
The pope did not mention names but was clearly referring to physicist and mathematician Stephen Hawking, who proposed in a book published last month that the laws of physics can account for the creation of the world and that a supreme being is not required, CNN reported.
Despite differing with that view, the pope praised science and scientists in an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, saying the role of science is to reveal God in the universe.
"Scientists do not create the world; they learn about it and attempt to imitate it," he said.
Observing the universe, as scientists do, "leads us to admit the existence of an all-powerful Reason, which is other than that of man, and which sustains the world," the pope said.
In his book, "The Grand Design," Hawking said that, given the existence of gravity, "the universe can and will create itself from nothing."
"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper [fuse] and set the universe going," he wrote.