In the wake of Stephen Hawking’s incredible impact on the world of science, there’s a new kid in town. A child prodigy from America is taking the science world by storm. William Maillis  aged 12, has boldly declared that Hawking’s theory about the ‘spontaneous formation of the universe’ is wrong, and that God really exists. Young William, already a college student, is passionate about astrophysics. His argument is being taken seriously by academics around the world because it is consistent with respected 20th century mathematician Kurt Gödel’s work, who also argued for the existence of God.

Early Childhood

William Maillis was born in 2007 in Penn Township, Pennsylvania, USA. He grew up with his father Fr. Panteleimon Ilias Maillis, an orthodox pastor, his mother Mrs. Presvytera Nancy, and two older siblings; a sister and brother.

William graduated from high school in May of 2016 when he was only nine years old. He was fast-tracked to Community College in Allegheny County, then entered Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in the fall  of 2017.

By the extraordinary age of twelve, William had already set for himself an ambitious, life-long goal: to prove the existence of God through science.

William has astounded his contemporaries with his passion for studying the origin of the universe, with his ability to read and understand high-grade physics books, and his determination to undertake a doctorate in astrophysics. He even confidently debunks the theories of Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking in interviews by claiming that ‘black holes’ are not synonymous with ‘super masses’, and other long-held beliefs by the scientific community.

Incredibly, William’s core personal belief is backed up by Gödel’s Theorem, adding weight to his argument within the field of ontology (the study of the nature of being). William says: “I want to prove to everyone that God really exists, by showing that only one power outside the universe is capable of creating the universe.”

William’s father, Fr. Panteleimon (or ‘Peter’) Maillis, offered a timeline of his son’s unique development:

  • 6 months old: began to identify exact numbers
  • 7 months old: spoke in complete sentences
  • 21 months old: knew how to do mathematical addition
  • 2 years old:  knew how to multiply numbers, read children’s books, and wrote a nine-page book of his own, titled ‘Happy Cat’
  • 4 years old: learned algebra and sign language, read Greek, developed a special interest in numbers
  • 5 years old: finished reading an entire 209-page geometric textbook in just one night; woke up the next morning to solve ‘perimeter problems’, revealing a clear mathematical inclination
  • 7 years old: became an expert in trigonometry

Child Genius

Psychologist Joanne Ruthsatz from Ohio State University has declared William to be a genius, in the literal sense. Aaron Hoffman, William’s History professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said that academic staff treat the boy just like all other college students. He continued: “We do not exempt him from any topics, from Hitler and Mussolini to concentration camps and the conditions of war; if he studies here, he will have to learn every subject at university level.”

The only difference that Professor Hoffman noticed between William and his fellow students was that he didn’t take notes like the others, but listened, read and seemed to absorb the knowledge instead.

What surprised William’s father, Peter, the most after a childhood devoted to mathematics, was that his son was soon destined to devote his life to astrophysics with the intention of proving God’s existence. And not only did William dream, but he was soon actively making progress on his journey: he developed research studies on high-level academic theories with astounding speed and aptitude. It wasn’t long before William’s studies began to argue that Stephen Hawking was wrong about the origin of the universe.

Grand Theories

Before the completion of high school, William had already begun to study existing theories on the topics he was most interested in. He had read a number of Stephen Hawking’s books, including ‘Grand Design’, a book renowned for being difficult to understand, even for scientifically experienced adults. Within this book, Hawking claimed that the universe can create itself from nothing, can form spontaneously, and therefore God is ‘not necessary’. But William felt otherwise and began to focus his attention on refuting Hawking’s position. As William’s research became more visible amongst the scientific community, one American newspaper wrote: “No great scientist can be safe with this boy.”

To date, William has spent one complete year studying astrophysics at university level. Some people say he may start writing books about what he has studied in as soon as two years’ time. William himself says:

“I am proving that only God is able to create this universe; my data is correct. My research is 70% complete, and as soon as I finish I would like to share it with the world.”

Another newspaper documented his journey in greater detail:

“William’s desire to become an astrophysicist stems from his strong faith. William disapproves of Einstein and Hawking’s theories about black holes, and is expounding his own point of view to prove the formation of the universe.”

As the devoted son of a Greek Orthodox priest, William wants to prove that a force outside the universe is the only thing capable of creating the universe, thus, that “God really exists”. Stephen Hawking argued forcibly to the contrary. The famous physicist explained:

“Before we understood science, it was natural to believe that God created the universe, but now science offers a more convincing explanation. What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is that we would know everything that God would know if there was a God, but there isn’t. I’m an atheist.” [1]

William’s parents have asserted that they never forced their son to study or try to prove God’s existence, and only ever expected their child to be a ‘normal’ 12-year-old. “We are ordinary people,” explained Peter, “and William is a normal boy. You cannot distinguish him from his peers. He likes sports, TV, computers and video games like all other kids.”

However, William is certainly different from his peers in another way: he already has conviction about the direction of his life. When asked during a recent interview at Hellenic College, Holy Cross, what his ‘biggest dream’ was, the young prodigy didn’t hesitate to answer:

I want to be an astrophysicist so that I can prove to the scientific world that God really exists!”

When asked why he felt the need to prove his theory to scientists, William replied more profoundly:

“Well, because there are atheists that try to say that there is no God, when in reality it takes more faith to believe that there’s no God than it does to believe that there is a God. It makes more sense that something created the universe than that the universe ‘created itself’. It takes more faith to say the universe created itself than to say something ‘other’ created the universe because that is more logical.” [2]

It is most incredible that William’s desire to prove the existence of God emerged as early as the age of five or six. Luckily for the young boy, his desire was nurtured until a complex theory gradually developed, that he now hopes to build on and one day prove to his contemporaries. William has claimed:

“Science and theology are not separate from each other. Scientific knowledge is a gift from God, like every other gift. We must learn more about our faith and where we are in the universe. We need to cultivate our talents, the gifts we have received from God, rather than bury them.”

The Evidence

Perhaps it is too early to assert anything definitive about William Maillis’ scientific future. Intuition tells us that William will certainly have a profound impact, in no small part due to the fact that his view is consistent with Kurt Gödel’s ‘Imperfection Theorem’.

First of all, William is quite justified in questioning Hawking’s controversial hypothesis that “the universe can create itself from nothing“. It is unclear exactly how William’s argument is pieced together. But according to Gödel’s Theorem, Hawking’s opinion is wrong because Hawking’s hypothesis that the universe can create itself from nothing is the hypothesis of a ‘self-referential system’, which, according to Gödel, will always lead to contradiction.

Hawking himself, in his article ‘Gödel and The End of Physics’, [3] said that physical theories about the universe are indeed self-referential systems. And therefore will be inconsistent and incomplete by nature. In other words, there are no theories that can describe the universe fully and accurately.

The idea that the universe creates itself is another hypothesis using a ‘self-referential system’, so we can conclude that it will lead to conflict. William has used this idea to his advantage. He asserts that ‘only a force outside the universe could create the universe’. This idea also fits perfectly with Gödel’s Theorem.

Gödel’s Theorem states that a system (‘A’) cannot judge itself adequately and consistently. To judge System A more fully and accurately, we must go beyond A.

So to ‘judge’ the universe, we must go beyond it. In other words, there must be an impact from the outside of the universe to create the universe.

‘Multiverse Theory’ also seemingly looks to seek something outside the universe. But because multiverse theorists do not admit God, they are forced to compose material worlds outside the known universe, called ‘other universes’ or ‘parallel universes’. These are imaginary hypotheses which are used as thought experiments and are nigh-on impossible to prove. William Maillis himself says that to believe these ‘fables of parallel universes’, there must be more faith than the faith needed to believe in God.

Whether or not William Maillis is aware of Gödel’s Theorem is unknown. However Gödel’s Theorem would be an immense support for him in his endeavor to bring down Hawking’s metaphysical hypotheses and support his own theory. Child prodigy William is certainly already making waves in the scientific community and is a figure to be watched out for in the future.




[3] Posted on ‘Science & Country’, April 2012