I am reading 'Brief Answers to the Big Questions' by Stephen Hawking and it seems to me that some of his statements are just hypotheses, but they are written in such a way that they 'sound' like they are supposed to be scientific facts.
- There was no time before the Big Bang.
I do not know much about cosmology so I tried to look it up and to me it looked like there isn't any consensus.
- Physical laws are unchangeable and universal.
While this assumption certainly makes life easier and no one has ever seen anything that would disprove it, I am pretty sure that we just don't know that. We don't know whether laws of nature were and will be the same, just as we don't whether they aren't any different in distant galaxies. It's all just convenient assumptions, right? (Btw. yes I know the Occam's razor, but it just triggers me a little that he never uses phrases such as 'I assume' or 'hypothetically', when making this statement.)