There are a few things Stephen Hawking says in his Discovery mini-series "Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking" that are meant to be taken in jest, but since most people with an average I.Q. don't really get anything the brainiac says anyway, the jokes don't always land square on.
But now astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is spilling the beans on his esteemed colleague. "Dr. Hawking is just funnin' with the folks sometimes," claims Tyson. "When he says things like 'don't bother looking before you cross the street because everything has already been determined for you anyway,' he's just having a bit of fun with his time theories," said Tyson with a laugh.
In his show, Hawking also tells his audience "if you think about the universe and how it works, you'd realize that if you truly knew the secrets of the universe, the universe would actually cease to exist," leading one to believe that they are not really existing at all because we all know that the universe does exist doesn't it?
Asked why he does it, Hawking stated "Aw, I'm just messing with people's heads. Do you know how bored I get studying hypothesis after hypothesis about time travel and other wormhole-related theories yet have no one of similar intelligence to discuss it with? I have to do something to make my life a bit more interesting."
In a related story, the Dalai Lama is said to be doing the same thing when he appears before audiences around the world. Said one of His Holiness' assistants, "the Dalai Lama has a marvelous sense of humor and sometimes slips a fast one in on the audience with them firmly believing he is being totally serious. It usually has something to do with how we treat each other. His Holiness is not happy with the way mankind has turned out, but he claims if he doesn't laugh about it, he'd go mad."