The implications of the steady state theory, its advocates freely conceded, were largely atheistic. If the universe has always existed, then no one created it. It has simply been there all along. Newton himself sought to avoid this implication. While the universe may operate according to mechanical laws, perhaps even laws that have always existed, Newton argued that there was an external creator of those laws and he “certainly is not mechanical” but rather “incorporeal, living, intelligent, omnipresent.” But by the early twentieth century most scientists viewed Newton’s argument as the special pleading of areligious man who simply could not abide the full significance of his own laws. The scientific consensus seemed to incline toward the view of Pierre-Simon Laplace, who was asked by Napoleon what place his nebular theories had for God and reportedly replied, “I have no need of that hypothesis.” The steady state theory had the virtue for many scientists of dispensing with the God hypothesis.