Celebrity scientist Stephen Hawking has weighed into the controversy over whether the universe had a designer, telling CNN there was no place for one in the grand scheme of things. The 64-year-old theoretical physicist, who recorded his interview for the Talk Asia programme when he was in Hong Kong on his way to a conference in Beijing last week, said science could 'account for everything'. 'There is no evidence for intelligent design. The laws of physics and chemistry, and Darwinian evolution, are sufficient,' he said. Professor Hawking, who was mobbed by fans and press when he arrived at Chek Lap Kok to deliver a lecture at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology on 'The Origin of the Universe', was answering questions put to him by Talk Asia host Hugh Riminton. The programme aired yesterday morning and was repeated late last night. The debate over 'intelligent design' has been particularly controversial in the US and Britain, where some educators have been trying to teach the theory that life is too complicated to have been the result of chance or natural selection. The dispute led to a group of US parents successfully taking a school board in Dover, Pennsylvania, to court to prevent the teaching of intelligent design in science classes. Last week, 67 international science academies issued a joint statement urging schools to reject the teaching of untestable theories in favour of evidence-based evolution. Professor Hawking - who speaks with a voice synthesiser and has been in a wheelchair since being diagnosed with a form of motor neuron disease when in his 20s at Cambridge University - was as disparaging about aliens and UFOs as he was about intelligent design. Asked what he thought about the fact that 48 per cent of Americans believed in UFOs, 27 per cent believed in extraterrestrials and 2 per cent said they had been abducted by aliens, Professor Hawking responded by wondering why aliens only ever appeared to 'weirdos and freaks'. If they had visited Earth and there was an X-Files-style cover-up to glean knowledge from them, he said 'governments must be doing a pretty poor job of extracting useful information'. He doubted there was intelligent life 'within range of Earth', adding: 'The history of colonisation on Earth does not encourage me to think that aliens would be friendly.'