Dr. Stephen Hawking was widely considered to be the smartest man alive before he passed away in March after a decades-long battle against early-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis “ALS” or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
His book, A Brief History of Time, spent a record 237-weeks on the best-seller list. He was Cambridge University’s Lucasian Professor of Mathematics from 1979 to 2009. Dr. Hawking was the first man to lay out a unified theory of cosmology by combining the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. But you know all of this because he was also one of the most famous people on the planet.
Stephen Hawking’s new (and final) book is being published posthumously because he passed away while working on the book but there was enough material in it to move forward with publishing due to help from his daughter. Brief Answers to the Big Questions his shelves this week and it’s already a #1 bestseller on Amazon.
The content of the book is most certainly going to ruffle some feathers because the (late) smartest man on the planet comes out and claims that God doesn’t exist. He also touches on time travel and intergalactic travel. CNN has a few excerpts from the book which was released to the public yesterday.
Here’s just a brief bit of what Dr. Hawkign has to say about God in his final book.
“There is no God. No one directs the universe,” he writes in “Brief Answers to the Big Questions.”
“For centuries, it was believed that disabled people like me were living under a curse that was inflicted by God,” he adds. “I prefer to think that everything can be explained another way, by the laws of nature.” (via)
Yuuuuuuup. That’s going to rub some Americans the wrong way. But not enough to stop it from becoming a bestseller on Amazon, I guess? Truly, that’s an enormous claim for the (once) smartest person on the planet to come out and say ‘there is no God’ but it’s not unprecedented because he has spoken on this in the past. You can purchase Brief Answers to the Big Questions on Amazon today for $16.50 (hardcover) or $12.99 (Kindle). For some reason the paperback version is $24 so you might as well buy the hardcover, right?
He touched on time travel which gives me hope for the future because I’ve always believed that the only reason nobody’s come back from the future (yet) is that the future doesn’t exist. Dr. Hawking thinks differently…
“Travel back in time can’t be ruled out according to our present understanding,” he says. He also predicts that “within the next hundred years we will be able to travel to anywhere in the Solar System.” (via)
Dr. Hawking’s daughter worked closely with him to help get this book together in the final days of his life. When asked why he chose to come straight out and say that God doesn’t exist in this last book, his daughter said it’s because “he realized that people specifically wanted his answers to these questions.”
And when attempting to answer the question of how each of us can shape the future (for the better) he said: “remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.”
Will I read this book in the near future? Probably not. I’ve got a massive backlog of books I’ve been meaning to read over the past few years and I’m not sure this one ranks up there in terms of necessity. If I get around to reading this book it’ll probably be sometime in the next few years but for now. The better question is are YOU going to read this book?
You can purchase Brief Answers to the Big Questions on Amazon today for $16.50 (hardcover) or $12.99 (Kindle). For some reason the paperback version is $24 so you might as well buy the hardcover, right?
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