Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven; it's a fairy story'
By IAN SAMPLE - GUARDIAN.CO.UK
Added: Mon, 16 May 2011 03:02:50 UTC
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the cosmologist shares his thoughts on death, M-theory, human purpose and our chance existence
Stephen Hawking dismisses belief in God in an exclusive interview with the Guardian. Photograph: Solar & Heliospheric Observatory/Discovery Channel
A belief that heaven or an afterlife awaits us is a "fairy story" for people afraid of death, Stephen Hawking has said.
In a dismissal that underlines his firm rejection of religious comforts, Britain's most eminent scientist said there was nothing beyond the moment when the brain flickers for the final time.
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," he said.Read more
- - BBC News Comments
A new poll suggests that atheism is on the rise in the US, while those who consider themselves religious has dropped. What's the cause? Two writers debate.
- - human rights first Comments
Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The Consequences of Criminalizing “Defamation of Religions”
Ed Kilgore - Political Animal Comments
update - too crazy even for the evangelical right
Barton’s Fall From Grace
David Barton says his documents prove that the Founding Fathers were deeply religious men who built America on Christian ideas - but do his sources check out?
Cory Doctorow - BoingBoing Comments
Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich has given a tremendous closing statement, which is a masterful summary of Russian oligarchy
Graham Veale - Saints & Sceptics? Comments
Refuting Richard: Dawkins Doesn’t “Get” God
- - BBC News Comments
The government has launched an action plan to tackle child abuse linked to witchcraft or religion in England.
MORE BY IAN SAMPLE
Ian Sample - The Guardian Comments
Professor Dame Janet Finch's recommendations on open access publishing prompted the government's decision.
Ian Sample - The Guardian 25 Comments
Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are widely expected to announce evidence of the Higgs boson on Tuesday
Ian Sample - The Guardian 11 Comments
The male of the species has adopted a sexual strategy to suit the conditions: it mates with any deep sea squid it comes across.
Ian Sample - guardian.co.uk 33 Comments
A review of the BBC's science coverage has concluded that its drive for impartiality lends too much credence to maverick views on MMR, climate change and GM