Stephen Hawking has died, aged 76, on March 14, 2018. This is a gigantic loss to the rational world. Rest in power, my friend – your scientific discoveries and theories will last forever.
He was born on January 8, 1942.
His tirade against the “creationist” view of the world, that is, against the existence of God, will be continued by others, but his contribution is immortal. He challenged that science can prove that there is no God.
He made science popular and scientific fervour reach the common people. He helped common people understand black holes and relativity. Black holes do radiate, and they are not the end of matter: this shows a great understanding of the materialist concept of the world. The understanding and development of the concepts of “Gravitational Singularity” and ” General Relativity” promote the dialectical laws of nature. Though, it seems, he was not very familiar with dialectical materialism philosophically!
His popular books include “A Brief History Of Time”, “The Grand Design”, “The Universe In A Nutshell”. He was awarded regularly for his contributions.
Very few know that Stephen Hawking was also politically active in his youth, and later days. He participated in a procession against American intervention and imperialist war in Vietnam in 1969. He also opposed the Iraq War, calling it a crime. He had been warning people against the evils of capitalism. It’s he who said that humanity is not endangered by robots, but by capitalism!
In 2006, Hawking posed an open question on the Internet: “In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?”, later clarifying: “I don’t know the answer. That is why I asked the question, to get people to think about it, and to be aware of the dangers we now face.”
Hawking had a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease, that gradually paralysed him over the decades. He got married in July 1965, and had three children as well, but divorced in 2006 due to the illness. His speech became blurred by 1970 and had to be converted into intelligent writings through external help by a computer programme known as Equaliser.
He became confined to his house, being looked after by a group of experts, where he got married a second time, this time with one of his nurses.
Nonetheless, he never abandoned his zeal to understand the laws of nature and co-relate them to the real world, in simple enough language for common men and women to understand (and get away from the dark age of imperialism). An example of courage, perseverance, rationality, and a logical mind – which humanity now needs more of, especially when the world is going back to the dark age. Be it in the US or in India or any other country, the world is full of hatred, unemployment, terrorism, crime and corruption, and all of this for the benefit of less than 1% of Earthlings.
You were my hero. I loved you and your scientific, rational, socialist ideology, and will continue doing so.
Salute the great man! (Today is also the death anniversary of Karl Marx and the birthday of Einstein. Coincidence, of course).
Some of his most famous quotes are:
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”
Once again, rest in power!