Um, I see my sarcasm has fallen on deaf ears. What I tried to say was this.
Scientists are one of two things.
A naturally evolved animal. A jumped up monkey whose qualifications to pontificate about Life, the Universe and Everything are, relatively speaking, only few notches up from the ant. If we were ants and we were discussing likely existence of the owner of the garden in which your colony was sited, what would you say?
Or some kind of demi-god who, unlike the ant and the monkey, is fitted with an app called the soul which gives him special qualifications to pontificate about the truths of the universe. Since the scientists deny the soul, they are the first: left scratching themselves and pontificating on the nature of bananas. No Apple jokes please.
Doesn't anyone interested in philosophy have a satirical sense of humor: particular about the Douglas Adams comic scale of it all? I personally find it hilarious. I guess Hawking must have lost his sense of humor to make the Philosophy is Dead remark. He did have a sense of humor once. He was lecturing to a class in the days he could just about speak naturally. They were discussing the boundary of the universe. Because he was hard to hear, a student at the board was relaying his stuff and demonstrating with a plastic cylinder. Suddenly, Hawking said "You have got it (the cylinder) upside down". The student blushed and hastily reversed it and Hawking cackled.
I wonder how Einstein would have reacted to such an arrogant and blinkered remark. He said that if you want to make your kids more intelligent, tell them fairy tales. Nature is a master illusionist. Hawking is like an adult with pre-conceived ideas at a conjuring show being deceived by its sleight of hand and keeping his eyes fixed on the Hat. Without open-minded childish wonder and curiosity, he is never going to spot the Rabbit.