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Stephen Hawking: 'There Is No Heaven'

Stephen Hawking

First Posted: 05/16/11 10:39 AM ET Updated: 07/26/11 07:41 PM ET

LONDON -- Famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking finds no room for heaven in his vision of the cosmos.

In an interview published Monday in The Guardian newspaper, the 69-year-old says the human brain is like a computer that will stop working when its components fail.

He says: "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."

In "Grand Design," a book published last year, Hawking had declared that it was "not necessary to invoke God ... to get the universe going."

Hawking is nearly totally paralyzed by motor neurone disease, diagnosed when he was 21.

Hawking says he is not afraid of death, but adds: "I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first."

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Filed by Buck Wolf  |