Hawkins is a physicist. in his world equations and laws refer to eg. the standard model and more exotic stuff. Take just basic quantum mechanics (the schrödinger equation) it is an extremely well-known phenomona that writing up an appropriate hamiltonian of a system is very easy, but one allways end up with equations which are impossible to solve.
An obvious example is the helium atom which is a very frustrating thing: Any random pot-head can halfway through QM101 guess the appropriate form of the Hamiltonian of a helium atom (you think hydrogen, hit the bong and see double and include an electron-electron interaction term), but the equations are notoriously hard and can only be approximated, and even here you need to do exotic stuff and the result is not even very good after you do that.
For exotic physics like Hawkins is doing the problem is even more pronounced: You got the standard model and could in principle very easily describe anything which go about in the brain as a crazy operator equation, but it get you nowhere because you cant solve the equations at all. Remarkers similar to this is made quite often by professors because its a remarkable property of nature (and physics!) you mainly try to figure out details of a problem which is allready "solved" in principle.
Hawkins remark should be seen in that context... and in particular because Hawkins have made the analogy of the mind with a computer quite often I think what he is trying to say is that we have allreadysolved the problems religion try to tell us about, we just havent figured out the details. Resorting to a crappy model like god, souls, free will etc. is not the answer.
I also think its very unlikely he refer to "laws" in softer sciences because it would be unusual he regard them as such or think they are relevant in the context.
At any rate, i think Hawkins is very clear (and much more eloquant) at other places in what he belive (and do not believe!), and it is unlikely he took the oppertunity to change his mind for this interview.