``When it was discovered that the Earth was not the center of the universe, astrology became impossible,'' said Hawking, delivering a lecture through voice synthesizer to a standing-room-only crowd of thousands.
``The reason most scientists don't believe in astrology is because it is not consistent with our theories that have been tested by experiment,'' Hawking said to a rapt and quiet crowd that had waited for an hour in lines winding around the block to see and hear him.
Delivering the Albert Einstein Memorial Lecture for the Center for Philosophy and Foundation of Science, Hawking said some scientific theories about the ability to predict the position and velocity of particles in space or time may be no better than astrology.
Explaining that scientists have been unable to make an exact measurement of an object's velocity and position at the same time, he said, ``One can suppose'' that information is ``known to God, but hidden from us.''
Giving an overview of how physics historically has been part of man's quest to predict the future, Hawking said Einstein had been ``confused'' about quantum theory and wrong about the existence of black holes, massive stars with gravity so strong that light does not escape.
At the end of the lecture, Hawking was given a standing ovation and presented with a Hindi language translation of his popular physics book, ``A Brief History of Time.''