Stephen Hawking died...defying the cowardly and deadly 'disease' of irrationality


Stephen Hawking dismisses belief in God: 'There is no heaven; it's a fairy story for people afraid of the dark".'
By Ian Sample, science correspondent
In a dismissal that underlines his firm rejection of religious comforts, Britain's most eminent scientist [and Director of Research in Physics at Cambridge University] said there was nothing beyond the moment when the brain flickers for the final time.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the cosmologist shares his thoughts on death, M-theory, human purpose and our chance existence
Ian Sample, science correspondent Photograph: Solar & Heliospheric Observatory/Discovery Channel

Hawking, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, shares his thoughts on death, human purpose and our chance existence in an exclusive interview with the Guardian today. The incurable illness was expected to kill Hawking within a few years of its symptoms arising, an outlook that turned the young scientist to Wagner, but ultimately led him to enjoy life more, he has said, despite the cloud hanging over his future. "I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first... There is no heaven or afterlife... that is a fairy stor for people afraid of the dark".

Hawking's comments go beyond those laid out in his 2010 book, The Grand Design, in which he asserted that there is no need for a creator to explain the existence of the universe. The book provoked a backlash from some religious leaders, including the chief rabbi, Lord Sacks... [His remarks] draw a stark line between the use of God as a metaphor and belief in an omniscient creator whose hands guide the workings of the cosmos. In his bestselling 1988 book, A Brief History of Time (over 9 million sold) Hawking drew on the device beloved of Einstein, when he described what it would mean for scientists to develop a "theory of everything" – a set of equations that described every particle and force in the entire universe. "It would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – then we should know the mind of God," he wrote...
In the interview, Hawking rejected the notion of life beyond death and emphasised the need to fulfill our potential on Earth by making good use of our lives. In answer to a question on how we should live, he said, simply: "We should seek the greatest value of our action."
In answering another, he wrote of the beauty of science, such as the exquisite double helix of DNA in biology, or the fundamental equations of physics. Hawking responded to questions in advance of a lecture tomorrow at the Zeitgeist meeting in London, where he will address the question: "Why are we here?".

The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.
Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking will turn 70...defying the cowardly and deadly 'disease' of irrationality
...Hawking first gained attention with his 1988 book, A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, a simplified overview of the universe, it sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. His subsequent theories have revolutionized modern understanding of concepts such as black holes and the Big Bang theory of how the universe began.
To mark his birthday Sunday, Cambridge University is holding a public symposium on "The State of the Universe," featuring talks from 27 leading scientists, including Hawking. For 30 years, he held the mathematics post at the university previously held by Sir Isaac Newton. Hawking retired from that position in 2009 and is now director of research at the university's Centre for Theoretical Cosmology.
Hawking achieved all that nearly entirely paralyzed and in a wheelchair since 1970. He now communicates by twitching his right cheek. A tiny infrared sensor sits on his glasses, hooked up to a computer. The sensor detects Hawking's cheek pulses, which select words displayed on a computer screen. The chosen words are then spoken by the voice synthesizer. It can take up to 10 minutes for Hawking to formulate a single sentence. "The only trouble is (the voice synthesizer) gives me an American accent," the Briton wrote on his website....It took Hawking four years to write his last book, "The Grand Design" ...
Kitty Ferguson, who has written two biographies of the physicist, said he has a wry sense of humor and has programmed his computer to respond to random encounters with people who ask if he's Stephen Hawking. "No, but I'm often mistaken for that man," his voice synthesizer deadpans...."I have had (Lou Gehrig's disease) practically all my adult has not prevented me from having a very attractive family and being successful in my work," he writes on his website...
In 2007, he took a zero-gravity flight in Florida, the first time in 40 years he abandoned his wheelchair. "That was the happiest I've ever seen Stephen," said Sam Blackburn, Hawking's graduate assistant, who accompanied him on the ride along with about a half-dozen others, including two doctors. Hawking married twice, has three children and three grandchildren. With daughter Lucy, he wrotr several children's books on physics.

No one created the universe and no one directs our fate...there is no god. If we want to change the world we have to change our problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew.
Albert Einstein