kli-yug's LAUKIK vED: As per Stephen Hawking:...GOD DID NOT CREATE UNIVERSE...nor Gods required in the universe!!!!.
Posted by Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry on September 10, 2010

 

....TODAY'S KNOLWEDGE BEARING NEWS IS
FUNDAMENTAL TO HUMAN EXISTANCE
IN THE UNIVERSE EXISTING
WITHIN AND BEYOND CURRENT
H
UMAN CAPABILITY
TO UNDERSTAND
....


And regarding "understand" and "understanding"
what the world famous intellectual of the 20th century, 
Aldous Huxley said as quoted below is
appropriate for "understanding how to understand":
 
“There is a Law of Reversed Effort: The harder we try with the conscious will to do something, the less we shall succeed. Proficiency and the results of proficiency come only to those who have learned the paradoxical art of doing and not doing or combining relaxation with activity, of letting go as a person in order that the immanent and transcendent Unknown Quantity may take hold. We cannot make ourselves understand, the most we can do is to foster a state of mind in which understanding may come to us.”

[W3Feature1]
Stephen Youll

.....AND THE ABOVE
METAPHYSCIAL KNOWLEDGE
IN LIGHT OF
TODAY'S SHARING OF
FUNDAMENTAL  KNOWLEDGE OF
US AND OUR UNIVERSE

BY
SCIENTIST STEPHEN HAWKING
contains the following hilites.....
Hawking
Emma Hardy for The Wall Street Journal
Stephen Hawking at his office at Cambridge University on September 2, 2010 and occupies the Chair created for Isaac Newton.

.....In reference to Aldous Huxley's
"UNDERSTANDING" HOW TO
 "UNDERSTAND GOD" WITH THE CREATED HUMAN-SELVES
AND
THE CREATED WORLD FOR HUMAN HABITAT
 
Stephen Hawking
 in Today's Knowledge based News Sharing of
His "Understanding" How to "Understand God"
invokes Albert Einstein who said:

(Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955), German-Swiss, was a theoretical physicist, philosopher and author who published more than 300 scientific and over 150 non-scientific works, proclaimed as one of the most influential and best known scientists and intellectuals of all time to the point that "Einstein" has become synonymous with genius for turning post-Newtonian science on its head through his relativity theories. Became Nobel laureate (1921) for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect" and famous as father of modern physics for his relativity theory and the equation e=mc2 - all of which lead to quantum physics and foundation for the creation of atomic energy and modern electronics)

 

"The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible." He meant that, unlike our homes on a bad day, the universe is not just a conglomeration of objects each going its own way. Everything in the universe follows laws, without exception.

 

And then.... Stephen Hawking invokes Isaac Newton who believed that:

(Sir Isaac Newton (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727 was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian; proclaimed as the most influential person in human history (below Muhammad and above Jesus).Newton's 1687 publication of the Philosophić Naturalis Principia Mathematica is considered to be among the most influential books in the history of science, founding most of classical mechanics with theories on universal gravitation, three laws of motion, built the first reflecting telescope, developed a theory of colour that white light has many colours that form the visible spectrum, formulated an empirical law of cooling and studied the speed of sound, developed with Gottfried Leibniz the differential and integral calculus, the binomial theorem, roots of a function, and study of power series; wrote more on Biblical hermeneutics and occult studies than the natural science for which he is remembered today)

 

 "our strangely habitable solar system did not "arise out of chaos by the mere laws of nature." Instead, he maintained that the order in the universe was "created by God at first and conserved by him to this Day in the same state and condition."

 

.....And to make his latest try to disconnect God and Creation

Stephen Hawking then invokes

ancient Greek Polymath Aristotle of some 2300 years ago

when God was very connected to Creation as Aristotle believed that....

(Marble bust of Aristotle. Roman copy after a Greek bronze original by Lysippus c. 330 BC

Aristotle lived circa 384 BC – 322 BC way before current human enlightenment started happening some 500 years ago) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great (who conquered the known western world to Afghanistan in  13 years between 336-304 BC). Aristotle was a polymath...with knowledge base in physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology. Together with Plato and Socrates (Plato's teacher), Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy and his writings were the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics).

 

"in an intelligent natural world

that functions according to some deliberate design."

......AND THE GIST OF STEPHEN HAWKING TODAY

IN DISCONNECTING GOD FROM CREATION

IS AS FOLLOWS.....

 

....The discovery recently of the extreme fine-tuning of so many laws of nature

could lead some back to the idea

that this grand design is the work of some grand Designer.
Yet the latest advances in cosmology explain

why the laws of the universe seem tailor-made for humans,

without the need for a benevolent creator.

 

.....But today we know of hundreds of other solar systems,

and few doubt that there exist countless more among the billions of stars in our galaxy.

Planets of all sorts exist, and obviously, when the beings on a planet that supports life

examine the world around them, they are bound to find that

their environment satisfies the conditions they require to exist.....

 

 

Along with invoking Newton, Albert Einstein and ancient Greek Aristotle, all of whom are the fathers of foundation of current western science and philosophy knowledge... that we use to live our daily life today...Stephen Hawking although continually talking in his lifetime and even today about "LAWS OF NATURE AND UNIVERSE"(by the way WHO made these laws?).... even today struggles to connect and disconnect God to Creation....in the same way as he struggled to connect and disconnect God with Creation in his all-time famous books "Brief History of Time" and "Briefer History of Time"....See this perception for yourself by reading his latest article in Wall Street Journal titled "Why God Did Not Create the Universe- There is a sound scientific explanation for the making of our world—no gods required"....

 

.....AND ASK YOURSELF...."WHY STEPHEN HAWKING AND HUMANITY IN GENERAL IS OBSESSED WITH GOD FOR "WHAT GOD IS OR NOT" OR "WHAT GOD DOES OR DOES NOT DO".....

 

You are invited to share your answer to the above on this knowledge-sharing PVAF website by clicking on the POST A COMMENT button in header of this news item and/or email your sharing to PVAF for publication by clicking here....PVAF is publishing this submission by Champak Mistry of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to complement/supplement many of his sharings of Sciences of Life and Creation from his library of sNskRUt language corpus of texts called vED.....    

   

Now please click on the next line to go to the next webpage....and start using your thinking cap for Stephen Hawking article of today's knowledge/news sharing..... and in order that you understand Stephen Hawking's thinking please have an overview of amazing  "can-do" life-journey from January 8, 1942 to date of Stephen Hawking .... starting from the end of his article to the end of the next webpage....including listening to the video of the latest look at the depth of our universe through the Hubble Telescope recently refurbished to keep orbiting our planet Earth for few more years to enlighten humanity the awesome Creation that we cannot see with our naked eyes in the cosmos over our heads....


.......AND NOW KEEP ON SCROLLING FOR
TODAY'S KNOWLEDGE SHARING NEWS.....
and
....Also to know the author of Today's News
....The amazing STEPHEN HAWKING....


FROM; VISION VIDEO
Where did the universe come from?
How did it start?
Why are we here?
Is there a God behind it all?
Recent discoveries in physics and other fields suggest a radically new picture of the universe and humanity's place in it. Rather than being a sea of chaos, it appears instead to be intricately tuned, a mechanism whose every physical law seems to have been designed from the very first nanosecond toward a single end - the creation of life. Welcome to the evidence in this video....

 
....Why God Did Not Create the Universe...
....There is a sound scientific explanation
for the making of our world —
no gods required
....

  (From: Wall Street Journal, New York, USA: September 9, 2010: Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
Stephen Hawking is a professor at the University of Cambridge.
Leonard Mlodinow is a physicist who teaches at Caltech.
The article is adapted from "The Grand Design" by Stephen Hawking and Leonard
Mlodinow,
published by Bantam Books on September 7, 2010.


 
According to Viking mythology, eclipses occur when two wolves, Skoll and Hati, catch the sun or moon. At the onset of an eclipse people would make lots of noise, hoping to scare the wolves away. After some time, people must have noticed that the eclipses ended regardless of whether they ran around banging on pots.

Ignorance of nature's ways led people in ancient times to postulate many myths in an effort to make sense of their world.

But eventually, people turned to philosophy, that is, to the use of reason—with a good dose of intuition—to decipher their universe.

Today we use reason, mathematics and experimental test—in other words, modern science.

Albert Einstein said, "The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible." He meant that, unlike our homes on a bad day, the universe is not just a conglomeration of objects each going its own way. Everything in the universe follows laws, without exception.

Newton believed that our strangely habitable solar system did not "arise out of chaos by the mere laws of nature." Instead, he maintained that the order in the universe was "created by God at first and conserved by him to this Day in the same state and condition."

The discovery recently of the extreme fine-tuning of so many laws of nature could lead some back to the idea that this grand design is the work of some grand Designer.

Yet the latest advances in cosmology explain why the laws of the universe seem tailor-made for humans, without the need for a benevolent creator.

Many improbable occurrences conspired to create Earth's human-friendly design, and they would indeed be puzzling if ours were the only solar system in the universe.

But today we know of hundreds of other solar systems, and few doubt that there exist countless more among the billions of stars in our galaxy. Planets of all sorts exist, and obviously, when the beings on a planet that supports life examine the world around them, they are bound to find that their environment satisfies the conditions they require to exist.

It is possible to turn that last statement into a scientific principle:

       -The fact of our being restricts the characteristics of the kind of environment in which we find ourselves.

      - For example, if we did not know the distance from the Earth to the sun, the fact that beings like us exist would allow us to put bounds on how small or great the Earth-sun separation could be.

     -  We need liquid water to exist, and if the Earth were too close, it would all boil off; if it were too far, it would freeze.

     -  That principle is called the "weak" anthropic principle.

The weak anthropic principle is not very controversial. But there is a stronger form that is regarded with disdain among some physicists.

The strong anthropic principle suggests that the fact that we exist imposes constraints, not just on our environment, but on the possible form and content of the laws of nature themselves.

The idea arose because it is not only the peculiar characteristics of our solar system that seem oddly conducive to the development of human life, but also the characteristics of our entire universe—and its laws.

They appear to have a design that is both tailor-made to support us and, if we are to exist, leaves little room for alteration. That is much more difficult to explain.

The tale of how the primordial universe of hydrogen, helium and a bit of lithium evolved to a universe harboring at least one world with intelligent life like us is a tale of many chapters.

The forces of nature had to be such that heavier elements—especially carbon—could be produced from the primordial elements, and remain stable for at least billions of years. Those heavy elements were formed in the furnaces we call stars, so the forces first had to allow stars and galaxies to form. Those in turn grew from the seeds of tiny inhomogeneities in the early universe.

By examining the model universes we generate when the theories of physics are altered in certain ways, one can study the effect of changes to physical law in a methodical manner.

Such calculations show that a change of as little as 0.5% in the strength of the strong nuclear force, or 4% in the electric force, would destroy either nearly all carbon or all oxygen in every star, and hence the possibility of life as we know it.

Also, most of the fundamental constants appearing in our theories appear fine-tuned in the sense that if they were altered by only modest amounts, the universe would be qualitatively different, and in many cases unsuitable for the development of life. For example, if protons were 0.2% heavier, they would decay into neutrons, destabilizing atoms.

If one assumes that a few hundred million years in stable orbit is necessary for planetary life to evolve, the number of space dimensions is also fixed by our existence. That is because, according to the laws of gravity, it is only in three dimensions that stable elliptical orbits are possible.

In any but three dimensions even a small disturbance, such as that produced by the pull of the other planets, would send a planet off its circular orbit, and cause it to spiral either into or away from the sun.

The emergence of the complex structures capable of supporting intelligent observers seems to be very fragile. The laws of nature form a system that is extremely fine-tuned.

What can we make of these coincidences?

Luck in the precise form and nature of fundamental physical law is a different kind of luck from the luck we find in environmental factors.

It raises the natural question of why it is that way.

Many people would like us to use these coincidences as evidence of the work of God.

The idea that the universe was designed to accommodate mankind appears in theologies and mythologies dating from thousands of years ago.

In Western culture the Old Testament contains the idea of providential design, but the traditional Christian viewpoint was also greatly influenced by Aristotle, who believed "in an intelligent natural world that functions according to some deliberate design."

That is not the answer of modern science.

As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing.

Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.

Our universe seems to be one of many, each with different laws.

That multiverse idea is not a notion invented to account for the miracle of fine tuning. It is a consequence predicted by many theories in modern cosmology.

If it is true it reduces the strong anthropic principle to the weak one, putting the fine tunings of physical law on the same footing as the environmental factors, for it means that our cosmic habitat—now the entire observable universe—is just one of many.

Each universe has many possible histories and many possible states. Only a very few would allow creatures like us to exist.

Although we are puny and insignificant on the scale of the cosmos, this makes us in a sense the lords of creation.


Copyright © by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. Printed by arrangement with the Random House Publishing Group.

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Now listen to the latest knowledge on

what, why, when and how of the universe and its creation...

......just click on the hyperlink below and enjoy video presentation...

 

News Hub: Hubble Takes Baby Pictures of Universe (6:51min)

The Hubble Space Telescope snaps new images of the oldest galaxies ever seen. A senior scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, explains to WSJ's Robert Lee Hotz and Simon Constable how he did it-and what it means.

.....and now to honour the age-old cliché

"to understand the understanding of a man

you have to know and understand the man himself".....

.....SPARE SOME TIME....

.....TO KNOW WHO  IS STEPHEN HAWKING....

...Who is struggling with God to find out if

the God is the Creator of himself and the universe he lives in on this planet Earth....

Stephen Hawking

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From: Wikipedia....This Wikipedia webpage was last modified on 10 September 2010 at 01:51.
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Stephen William Hawking

Stephen Hawking at NASA in 1999.
Born Stephen William Hawking
8 January 1942 (1942-01-08) (age 68)
Oxford, England, UK
Residence England, UK
Nationality British
Fields Applied mathematics
Theoretical physics
Cosmology
Institutions University of Cambridge
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Alma mater University of Oxford
University of Cambridge
Doctoral advisor Dennis Sciama
Other academic advisors Robert Berman
Doctoral students Bruce Allen
Raphael Bousso
Fay Dowker
Malcolm Perry
Bernard Carr
Gary Gibbons
Harvey Reall
Don Page
Tim Prestidge
Raymond Laflamme
Julian Luttrell
Known for Black holes
Theoretical cosmology
Quantum gravity
Hawking radiation
Influences Dikran Tahta
Notable awards Prince of Asturias Award (1989)
Copley Medal (2006)
Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009)
Signature

Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA (born 8 January 1942)[1] is a British theoretical physicist and cosmologist, whose scientific career spans over forty years.

 

His books and public appearances have made him an academic celebrity and he is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts,[2] a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences,[3] and in 2009 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.[4]

 

Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge for thirty years, taking up the post in 1979 and retiring on 1 October 2009.[5][6] He is also a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and a Distinguished Research Chair at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario.[7]

 

He is known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes. He has also achieved success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; these include the runaway best seller A Brief History of Time, which stayed on the British Sunday Times bestsellers list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.[8][9]

 

Hawking's key scientific works to date have included providing, with Roger Penrose, theorems regarding gravitational singularities in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes should emit radiation, which is today known as Hawking radiation (or sometimes as Bekenstein–Hawking radiation).[10]

 

Hawking has a neuro-muscular dystrophy that is related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a condition that has progressed over the years and has left him almost completely paralysed.

Contents

[hide]

Early life and education

Stephen Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 to Dr. Frank Hawking, a research biologist, and Isobel Hawking. He had two younger sisters, Philippa and Mary, and an adopted brother, Edward.[11] Though Hawking's parents were living in North London, they moved to Oxford while his mother was pregnant with Stephen, desiring a safer location for the birth of their first child. (London was under attack at the time by the Luftwaffe.)[12] According to Hawking, a German V-2 missile struck only a few streets away.[13]

 

After Hawking was born, the family moved back to London, where his father headed the division of parasitology at the National Institute for Medical Research.[11] In 1950, Hawking and his family moved to St Albans, Hertfordshire, where he attended St Albans High School for Girls from 1950 to 1953. (At that time, boys could attend the Girls' school until the age of ten.)[14] From the age of eleven, he attended St Albans School, where he was a good, but not exceptional, student.[11]

 

When asked later to name a teacher who had inspired him, Hawking named his mathematics teacher Dikran Tahta.[15] He maintains his connection with the school, giving his name to one of the four houses and to an extracurricular science lecture series. He has visited it to deliver one of the lectures and has also granted a lengthy interview to pupils working on the school magazine, The Albanian.

 

Hawking was always interested in science.[11] Inspired by his mathematics teacher, he originally wanted to study the subject at university. However, Hawking's father wanted him to apply to University College, Oxford, where his father had attended. As University College did not have a mathematics fellow at that time, it would not accept applications from students who wished to read that discipline. Hawking therefore applied to read natural sciences, in which he gained a scholarship. Once at University College, Hawking specialised in physics.[12]

 

His interests during this time were in thermodynamics, relativity, and quantum mechanics. His physics tutor, Robert Berman, later said in The New York Times Magazine:

 

It was only necessary for him to know that something could be done, and he could do it without looking to see how other people did it. [...] He didn't have very many books, and he didn't take notes. Of course, his mind was completely different from all of his contemporaries.[11]

Hawking was passing, but his unimpressive study habits resulted in a final examination score on the borderline between first and second class honours, making an "oral examination" necessary. Berman said of the oral examination:

 

And of course the examiners then were intelligent enough to realize they were talking to someone far more clever than most of themselves.[11]

 

After receiving his B.A. degree at Oxford in 1962, he stayed to study astronomy. He decided to leave when he found that studying sunspots, which was all the observatory was equipped for, did not appeal to him and that he was more interested in theory than in observation.[11]

 

 He left Oxford for Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he engaged in the study of theoretical astronomy and cosmology.

Career in theoretical physics

Almost as soon as he arrived at Cambridge, he started developing symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, known colloquially in the United States as Lou Gehrig's disease), a type of motor neurone disease which would cost him almost all neuromuscular control. During his first two years at Cambridge, he did not distinguish himself, but, after the disease had stabilised and with the help of his doctoral tutor, Dennis William Sciama, he returned to working on his Ph.D.[11]

 

Hawking was elected as one of the youngest Fellows of the Royal Society in 1974, was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1982, and became a Companion of Honour in 1989. Hawking is a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

 

Hawking's achievements were made despite the increasing paralysis caused by the ALS. By 1974, he was unable to feed himself or get out of bed.

 

His speech became slurred so that he could be understood only by people who knew him well. In 1985, he caught pneumonia and had to have a tracheotomy, which made him unable to speak at all. A Cambridge scientist built a device that enables Hawking to write onto a computer with small movements of his body, and then have a voice synthesizer speak what he has typed.[16]

Research fields

Hawking in Cambridge

Hawking's principal fields of research are theoretical cosmology and quantum gravity.

 

In the late 1960s, he and his Cambridge friend and colleague, Roger Penrose, applied a new, complex mathematical model they had created from Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity.[17] This led, in 1970, to Hawking proving the first of many singularity theorems; such theorems provide a set of sufficient conditions for the existence of a gravitational singularity in space-time. This work showed that, far from being mathematical curiosities which appear only in special cases, singularities are a fairly generic feature of general relativity.[18]

 

He supplied a mathematical proof, along with Brandon Carter, Werner Israel and D. Robinson, of John Wheeler's no-hair theorem – namely, that any black hole is fully described by the three properties of mass, angular momentum, and electric charge.

 

Hawking also suggested upon analysis of gamma ray emissions that after the Big Bang, primordial mini black holes were formed. With Bardeen and Carter, he proposed the four laws of black hole mechanics, drawing an analogy with thermodynamics. In 1974, he calculated that black holes should thermally create and emit subatomic particles, known today as Bekenstein-Hawking radiation, until they exhaust their energy and evaporate.[19]

 

In collaboration with Jim Hartle, Hawking developed a model in which the universe had no boundary in space-time, replacing the initial singularity of the classical Big Bang models with a region akin to the North Pole: one cannot travel north of the North Pole, as there is no boundary. While originally the no-boundary proposal predicted a closed universe, discussions with Neil Turok led to the realisation that the no-boundary proposal is also consistent with a universe which is not closed.

 

Along with Thomas Hertog at CERN, in 2006 Hawking proposed a theory of "top-down cosmology," which says that the universe had no unique initial state, and therefore it is inappropriate for physicists to attempt to formulate a theory that predicts the universe's current configuration from one particular initial state.[20]

 

Top-down cosmology posits that in some sense, the present "selects" the past from a superposition of many possible histories. In doing so, the theory suggests a possible resolution of the fine-tuning question: It is inevitable that we find our universe's present physical constants, as the current universe "selects" only those past histories that led to the present conditions. In this way, top-down cosmology provides an anthropic explanation for why we find ourselves in a universe that allows matter and life, without invoking an ensemble of multiple universes.

 

Hawking's many other scientific investigations have included the study of quantum cosmology, cosmic inflation, helium production in anisotropic Big Bang universes, large N cosmology, the density matrix of the universe, topology and structure of the universe, baby universes, Yang-Mills instantons and the S matrix, anti de Sitter space, quantum entanglement and entropy, the nature of space and time, including the arrow of time, spacetime foam, string theory, supergravity, Euclidean quantum gravity, the gravitational Hamiltonian, Brans-Dicke and Hoyle-Narlikar theories of gravitation, gravitational radiation, and wormholes.

 

At a George Washington University lecture in honour of NASA's fiftieth anniversary, Hawking theorised on the existence of extraterrestrial life, believing that "primitive life is very common and intelligent life is fairly rare."[21]

Losing an old bet

U.S. President Barack Obama talks with Stephen Hawking in the Blue Room of the White House before a ceremony presenting him and fifteen others the Presidential Medal of Freedom on 12 August 2009. The Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian honour.

Hawking was in the news in July 2004 for presenting a new theory about black holes which goes against his own long-held belief about their behaviour, thus losing a bet he made with Kip Thorne and John Preskill of Caltech.

 

Classically, it can be shown that information crossing the event horizon of a black hole is lost to our universe, and that thus all black holes are identical beyond their mass, electrical charge and angular velocity (the "no hair theorem"). The problem with this theorem is that it implies the black hole will emit the same radiation regardless of what goes into it, and as a consequence that if a pure quantum state is thrown into a black hole, an "ordinary" mixed state will be returned. This runs counter to the rules of quantum mechanics and is known as the black hole information paradox.

Human spaceflight

At the fiftieth anniversary of NASA in 2008, Hawking gave a keynote speech on the final frontier exhorting and inspiring the space technology community on why we (the human race) explore space.[22]

 

At the celebration of his sixty-fifth birthday on 8 January 2007, Hawking announced his plan to take a zero-gravity flight in 2007 to prepare for a sub-orbital spaceflight in 2009 on Virgin Galactic's space service. Billionaire Richard Branson pledged to pay all expenses for the latter, costing an estimated Ł100,000.[23]

 

Stephen Hawking's zero-gravity flight in a "Vomit Comet" of Zero Gravity Corporation, during which he experienced weightlessness eight times, took place on 26 April 2007.[24] He became the first quadriplegic to float in zero-gravity. This was the first time in forty years that he moved freely, without his wheelchair. The fee is normally US$3,750 for 10–15 plunges, but Hawking was not required to pay the fee. A bit of a futurist,[25] Hawking was quoted before the flight saying:

 

Many people have asked me why I am taking this flight. I am doing it for many reasons. First of all, I believe that life on Earth is at an ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster such as sudden nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers. I think the human race has no future if it doesn't go into space. I therefore want to encourage public interest in space.[26]

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he suggested that space was the Earth's long term hope.[27] He continued this theme at a 2008 Charlie Rose interview.[28]

Existence and nature of extraterrestrial life

Hawking has indicated that he is almost certain that alien life exists in other parts of the universe and uses a mathematical basis for his assumptions. "To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational.

 

The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like." He believes alien life not only certainly exists on planets but perhaps even in other places, like within stars or even floating in outer space. He also warns that a few of these species might be intelligent and threaten Earth. Contact with such species might be devastating for humanity.[29]

 

"If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans," he said. He advocated that, rather than try to establish contact, man should try to avoid contact with alien life forms.[30]

Illness

Hawking on 5 May 2006, during the press conference at the Bibliothčque nationale de France to inaugurate the Laboratory of Astronomy and Particles in Paris and the French release of his work God Created the Integers

Stephen Hawking is severely disabled by a motor neuron disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Hawking's illness is markedly different from typical ALS in that his form of ALS would make for the most protracted case ever documented. A survival for more than ten years after diagnosis is uncommon for ALS; the longest documented durations are thirty-two and thirty-nine years and these cases were termed benign because of the lack of the typical progressive course.[31]

 

When he was young, he enjoyed riding horses and playing with other children. At Oxford, he coxed a rowing team, which, he stated, helped relieve his immense boredom at the university. Symptoms of the disorder first appeared while he was enrolled at University of Cambridge; he lost his balance and fell down a flight of stairs, hitting his head. Worried that he would lose his genius, he took the Mensa test to verify that his intellectual abilities were intact.[32] The diagnosis of motor neurone disease came when Hawking was 21, shortly before his first marriage, and doctors said he would not survive more than two or three years. Hawking gradually lost the use of his arms, legs, and voice, and as of 2009 has been almost completely paralysed.

 

During a visit to the research centre CERN in Geneva in 1985, Hawking contracted pneumonia, which in his condition was life-threatening as it further restricted his already limited respiratory capacity. He had an emergency tracheotomy, and as a result lost what remained of his ability to speak. He has since used an electronic voice synthesizer to communicate.

 

The DECtalk DTC01 voice synthesizer he uses, which has an American English accent, is no longer being produced. Asked why he has still kept it after so many years, Hawking mentioned that he has not heard a voice he likes better and that he identifies with it. Hawking is said to be looking for a replacement since, aside from being obsolete, the synthesizer is both large and fragile by current standards. As of mid 2009, he was said to be using NeoSpeech's VoiceText speech synthesizer.[33]

 

In Hawking's many media appearances, he appears to speak fluently through his synthesizer, but in reality, it is a tedious drawn-out process. Hawking's setup uses a predictive text entry system, which requires only the first few characters in order to auto-complete the word, but as he is only able to use his cheek for data entry, constructing complete sentences takes time. His speeches are prepared in advance, but having a live conversation with him provides insight as to the complexity and work involved. During a Technology, Entertainment, & Design Conference talk, it took him seven minutes to answer a question.[34]

 

He describes himself as lucky despite his disease. Its slow progression has allowed him time to make influential discoveries and has not hindered him from having, in his own words, "a very attractive family."[35] When his wife, Jane, was asked why she decided to marry a man with a three-year life expectancy, she responded, "Those were the days of atomic gloom and doom, so we all had a rather short life expectancy."

 

Wikinews has related news: Scientist Stephen Hawking rushed to hospital in ambulance

On 20 April 2009, Cambridge University released a statement saying that Hawking was "very ill" with a chest infection, and was admitted to Addenbrooke's Hospital.[36][37] The following day, it was reported that his new condition is "comfortable" and he should make a full recovery from the infection.[38]

As popular science advocate

Hawking has played himself on numerous television shows and has been portrayed in many more.

 

He has played himself on a Red Dwarf anniversary special, played a hologram of himself on the episode "Descent" of Star Trek: The Next Generation, appeared in a skit on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and appeared on the Discovery Channel special Alien Planet.[39]

 

 He has also played himself in several episodes of The Simpsons and Futurama. When he was portrayed on episodes of Family Guy, the voice was actually done by a speech synthesizer on a Macintosh computer, according to DVD commentary.

 

 In The Fairly OddParents, it is mentioned that he was Denzel Croker's college roommate. He has also appeared in an episode of the Dilbert cartoon. His actual synthesizer voice was used on parts of the Pink Floyd song "Keep Talking" from the 1994 album The Division Bell, as well as on Turbonegro's "Intro:

 

The Party Zone" on their 2005 album Party Animals, Wolfsheim's "Kein Zurück (Oliver Pinelli Mix)". As well as being fictionalised as nerdcore hip hop artist MC Hawking, he was impersonated in duet with Richard Cheese on a cover of "The Girl Is Mine".

 

 In 2008, Hawking was the subject of and featured in the documentary series Stephen Hawking, Master of the Universe for Channel 4.

 

He was also portrayed in the movie Superhero Movie by Robert Joy. In the TV series Dark Angel Logan's technology savvy colleague Sebastian is characterised with many similarities to the actual physicist. In September 2008,

 

Hawking presided over the unveiling of the 'Chronophage' (time-eating) Corpus Clock at Corpus Christi College Cambridge.[40]

Recognition

Acclaim

On 19 December 2007, a statue of Hawking by renowned late artist Ian Walters was unveiled at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, University of Cambridge.[41]

 

In May 2008 the statue of Hawking was unveiled at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cape Town.

 

The Stephen W. Hawking Science Museum in San Salvador, El Salvador is named in honour of Stephen Hawking, citing his scientific distinction and perseverance in dealing with adversity.[42]

 

Stephen Hawking Building in Cambridge, opened on 17 April 2007. The building belongs to Gonville and Caius College and is used as an undergraduate accommodation and conference facility.[43]

Distinctions

Hawking's belief that the lay person should have access to his work led him to write a series of popular science books in addition to his academic work.

 

The first of these, A Brief History of Time, was published on 1 April 1988 by Hawking, his family and friends, and some leading physicists. It surprisingly became a best-seller and was followed by The Universe in a Nutshell (2001).

 

Both books have remained highly popular all over the world. A collection of essays titled Black Holes and Baby Universes (1993) was also popular. His most recent book, A Briefer History of Time (2005), co-written by Leonard Mlodinow, aims to update his earlier works and make them accessible to an even wider audience.

 

He and his daughter, Lucy Hawking, have recently published a children's book focusing on science that has been described to be "like Harry Potter, but without the magic." This book is called George's Secret Key to the Universe and includes information on Hawking radiation.

 

Hawking is also known for his wit; he is famous for his oft-made statement, "When I hear of Schrödinger's cat, I reach for my pistol." This was a deliberately ironic paraphrase of "Whenever I hear the word culture... I release the safety-catch of my Browning", from the play Schlageter (Act 1, Scene 1) by German playwright and Nazi Poet Laureate Hanns Johst. His wit has both entertained the non-specialist public and helped them to understand complex questions.

 

Asked in October 2005 on the British daytime chat show Richard & Judy, to explain his assertion that the question "What came before the Big Bang?" was meaningless, he compared it to asking "What lies north of the North Pole?"

 

Hawking has generally avoided talking about politics at length, but he has appeared on a political broadcast for the United Kingdom's Labour Party. He supports the children's charity SOS Children's Villages UK.[44]

 

Awards and honours

Personal life

Hawking revealed that he did not see much point in obtaining a doctorate if he were to die soon. Hawking later said that the real turning point was his 1965 marriage to Jane Wilde, a language student.[11]

 

After gaining his Ph.D. at Trinity Hall, Stephen became first a Research Fellow, and later on a Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College.

 

Jane Hawking (née Wilde), Hawking's first wife, cared for him until 1991 when the couple separated, reportedly because of the pressures of fame and his increasing disability. They had three children: Robert (b. 1967), Lucy (b. 1969), and Timothy (b. 1979).

 

 Hawking then married his nurse, Elaine Mason (who was previously married to David Mason, the designer of the first version of Hawking's talking computer), in 1995. In October 2006, Hawking filed for divorce from his second wife.[48]

 

In 1999, Jane Hawking published a memoir, Music to Move the Stars, detailing her own long-term relationship with a family friend whom she later married. Hawking's daughter, Lucy, is a novelist. Their oldest son, Robert, emigrated to the United States, married, and has one child, George Edward Hawking. Reportedly, Hawking and his first family were reconciled in 2007.[49]

Hawking was asked about his IQ in a 2004 newspaper interview, and replied, "I have no idea. People who boast about their I.Q. are losers."[50]

Religious views

Hawking has repeatedly used the word "God" (in metaphorical meanings)[51] to illustrate points made in his books and public speeches.

 

His ex-wife, Jane said during their divorce proceedings that he was an atheist.[52][53] Hawking has stated that he is "not religious in the normal sense" and he believes that "the universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws."[54]

 

Hawking compared religion and science in 2010, saying: "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."[55]

 

On September 2010, The Telegraph reported, "Stephen Hawking has declared that his latest work shows there was no creator of the universe" and that the new m-theory "accounts for the birth of the universe...and replaces the need for religious accounts in Hawking's mind."[56]

 

 Hawking wrote in his new book The Grand Design that "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."[57][58]

Selected publications

Technical

Popular

Footnote: On Hawking's website, he denounces the unauthorised publication of The Theory of Everything and asks consumers to be aware that he was not involved in its creation.

Children's fiction

These are co-written with his daughter Lucy.

Films and series

A list of Hawking's publications through the year 2002 is available on his website.

See also

FOR REFERENCES please go to Wikipedia by clicking here



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