Since the religious bits closed down the other thread, I wanted to mention something about the science bits. Since I didn't see the documentary myself, I can't say whether Hawking got it wrong or was misquoted. But both of these things are dodgy..... "It is a zero sum game, positive energy in matter is balanced by negative energy in space itself". This is known to be wrong. One of the ideas that was popular in the 1990's was the idea that the total energy of the universe was zero. If that were the case, you could have the universe appear as a quantum fluctuation. This won't work, because the latest observations indicate the that total energy of the universe isn't zero. Which poses a big problem. If it's zero, it will stay zero. If not-zero, it will move away from zero over time. Getting to the point were it's close to zero but non-zero requires fine-tuning. It's also known that the energy of space is *positive*. This is why science is cool. We had a very simple, very elegant model of how the universe could have started, and observations shows that it won't work, and someone gets a free trip to Stockholm for showing this..... "And time slows down to zero and actually begins at the big bang singularity". This is also terrible from a science standpoint. The trouble is that by selecting coordinates, you can make *any* problem go away. I create a set of coordinates x^\pime = x/(distance to river thames). Because distances shrink as I go to the Thames, I can't cross it. In order to make this work, you have to do something more clever. Again, I haven't seen the documentary myself, and it may be that Hawking is being misquoted, but even being misquoted in a popular documentary can cause issues.