“This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.”
Early morning. Swaying through my social media feeds, I saw trails of notifications starting to suddenly pop from the corner of my laptop screen. The first amongst which, was from a news portal highlighting the statement from Cambridge confirming Stephen Hawking’s demise. The famous British theoretical scientist, died in England, on 14 March (Wednesday) at 76.
With a caveat of having only two years to live after having been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (A.L.S.), Stephen Hawkins, during his lifetime had always schmoozed with popes. Hawking married Jane Wilde, his college sweetheart, in 1965 two years after his diagnosis. Years later in 1995, he married Elaine Mason, a nurse employed for his care.
It was his wickedness and sense of humor that marked the fierce intellect and the unfettered possibilities of the human mind. His intellectual accolades seem to be no more than a myth in the face of his disease because of which he was glued to a wheelchair, and could speak with the assistance of a voice framework.
But this did not stop him from fascinating anyone insightful to learn and go deeper about the checks and boxes of modernity. He was an epitome of someone who knows how to defy the odds and help shape our perception of the universe. He was often asked about his views on God and faith, to which he solemnly explained that there was no need for a creator.
“We would know the mind of God’ is, we would know everything that God would know if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.”
Hawking’s best selling book, A Brief History of Time that came up in 1988, elucidated about the black hole and the big bang theory. The book made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for staying on the Times bestsellers list for a whopping 237 weeks. The book also offered his theory of everything. He likewise propounded the theory of cosmic inflation. There is no scale to measure someone’s scientific worth, but he won the Albert Einstein award, the Copley medal, the Wolf Prize and the Fundamental Physics Prize.
300 years after Galileo’s death, and now departing on the same day that Einstein was born. The paths of history’s most notorious researchers crossed in unusual ways. The yarn seemed complete; Hawking had entered the pantheon of the great.
So the day is to this iconic genius, who had lived only in his head. But wait, was all of it really in his head. What are we truly mourning?? The mind? The man? or The Machine?