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Hawking's final book answers the big questions

By T.K. Randall
October 16, 2018 · Comment icon 12 comments

Hawking was one of the most iconic and influential scientists of his time. Image Credit: NASA
The late physicist's last book, which was published today, attempts to answer the biggest questions of them all.
Hawking, who died back in March at the age of 76, was certainly no stranger to contemplating some of the most important scientific and philosophical questions of our time.

In the newly published 'Brief Answers to the Big Questions: the final book from Stephen Hawking', the celebrated physicist offers his own personal thoughts on some of humanity's biggest questions.

On the topic of whether or not there is a God or an afterlife, he wrote:

"No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realisation: there is probably no heaven and afterlife either. I think belief in the afterlife is just wishful thinking."
"There is no reliable evidence for it, and it flies in the face of everything we know in science."


On the topic of time travel he noted that "travel back in time can't be ruled out according to our present understanding". Hawking famously once held a party and invited time travelers from the future to participate, however nobody showed up.

On the matter of humanity's future as a spacefaring civilization, Hawking was optimistic, stating that "within the next hundred years we will be able to travel to anywhere in the solar system."

"He realized that people specifically wanted his answers to these questions," said his daughter, Lucy.

"He's asking us not to go into the future blindly. How good is the track record of the human race in using advances in technology for the good of ordinary people ?"

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (12)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by spartan max2 6 years ago
What do you mean by this? I'm not too familiar 
Comment icon #4 Posted by sci-nerd 6 years ago
Hawking vs Susskind  on what happens beyond the event horizon. Susskind won the argument. Einstein's was with Bohr about QM.
Comment icon #5 Posted by danydandan 6 years ago
There is a very big difference in admitting you were incorrect, and sticking to your narrative when evidence supports it's wrong. Hawking conceded the bet, and he believed he was probably incorrect. Einstein stuck to his 'God don't play dice' stick until he died.
Comment icon #6 Posted by sci-nerd 6 years ago
I believe his remark: Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - is a gesture to admit defeat. Or maybe not?
Comment icon #7 Posted by OverSword 6 years ago
Is one of the questions answered, "When did the real Steven Hawking die?"
Comment icon #8 Posted by Calibeliever 6 years ago
And the jury may still be out on the last. After all, even though Einstein called it a 'blunder', the cosmological constant was added back in in the 90's ...   who knows what else we have left to discover ?
Comment icon #9 Posted by sci-nerd 6 years ago
He also said: Hence it is clear that the space of physics is not, in the last analysis, anything given in nature or independent of human thought. I believe your judgement on his final position is wrong.
Comment icon #10 Posted by sci-nerd 6 years ago
It was withdrawn later. The only constants we have nowadays, I believe, are the physical constants, like Sommerfeld's.
Comment icon #11 Posted by danydandan 6 years ago
Read his last paper, he was still trying to come up with a way to remove uncertainty.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Hankenhunter 6 years ago
I would have very much enjoyed meeting, and talking with the man. It was a loss to science when he passed. So many questions, so little time. Rest in peace, Mr. Scrunchy. (My daughters nickname for him when she was small) Hank


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