Stephen Hawking - the world-renowned theoretical physicist - finds no room for heaven in his vision of the cosmos. In a recent interview, the 69 year old said that the human brain is like a computer that will stop working when its components fail.
There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," Hawking told the paper. It's not the first time the world-renowned thinker has made controversial statements about religion and the existence of God. In "Grand Design," a book Hawking published last year, the physicist declared that it was "not necessary to invoke God ... to get the universe going."
For Hawking, the concept of religion is in constant conflict with his life's work - science, and understanding the most basic ways in which the universe works - and it's almost impossible to reconcile the two. In an interview with Diane Sawyer last June, Hawking noted that "there is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win, because it works."
He has maintained this position since very early in his career, telling German newsmagazine Der Speigel in 1988 that "what I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began."
Kirk Cameron, in an interview, took exception to Hawking's comments which, in turn, invoked the wrath of cyberspace. Criticizing a man with a physical disability is akin to touching a sacred cow in the eyes of many, hence the barrage of criticism and mockery pointed in the direction of Kirk Cameron. All of this commotion prompted Kirk to post this comment on his Facebook page:
To say anything negative about Stephen Hawking is like bullying a blind man. He has an unfair disadvantage, and that gives him a free pass on some of his absurd ideas. Professor Hawking is heralded as “the genius of Britain,” yet he believes in the scientific impossibility that nothing created everything (Sir Isaac Newton called atheism “senseless and odious”) and that life sprang from non-life. To speak on issues of science and violate it’s essential laws is like playing checkers with a someone who changes the rules when he’s losing. Why should anyone believe Mr. Hawking’s writings if he cannot provide evidence for his unscientific belief that out of nothing, everything came? He says he knows there is no Heaven. John Lennon wasn’t sure. He said to pretend there’s no Heaven. That’s easy if you try. Then he said he hoped that someday we would join him. Such wishful thinking reveals John and Stephen’s religious beliefs, not good science. They may imagine all they want, but I lost my faith in atheism long ago and prefer to stay within the realm of reality.
That was an outstanding response - certainly landed a few punches there! But more importantly, kudos to Kirk for having the courage to weigh into a debate like this at risk of looking mean and, furthermore, exposing himself to the giant intellect of Stephen Hawking. At risk of sounding unloving by actually giving the most loving response. At the heart of all this I think Kirk, like many of us, realizes that atheism has no arguments for the non-existence of God. Rather they have a lot of rhetoric for why they hate God . . .
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools . . . (Romans 1:18-22)
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (John 3:19-20)
Here is a great interview from Way Of the Master's web based program On The Box where Tony Miano questions Kirk Cameron about the whole controversy surrounding his comments about Stephen Hawking: