In an ‘exclusive’ interview in Britain’s Guardian newspaper on May 16, Hawking said there was ‘no heaven or afterlife… that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.’
The author of international best-seller A Brief History of Time admitted his views were influenced in part by his long fight with motor neurone disease.
‘I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail.’
Hawking’s has moved from a position where belief in God was not necessarily at odds with a scientific understanding of the universe – as expressed in A Brief History of Time – to one where God no longer has a place in theories on the creation of the universe – expressed in his 2010 book The Grand Design.
Baroness Susan Greenfield, one of England’s most distinguished scientists, said in response to Hawking’s (and other scientists’) comments on God: ‘Yes I am [worried]. Of course they can make whatever comments they like but when they assume, rather in a Taliban-like way, that they have all the answers then I do feel uncomfortable. I think that doesn’t necessarily do science a service.’
So before you throw away your Bible and consider yourself nothing more than a computer on legs, check out these responses to Stephen Hawking.