back to article Prof Stephen Hawking's ashes will be interred alongside Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin

The ashes of British physics ace Professor Stephen Hawking will be placed in Westminster Abbey after a special service of thanksgiving for his life. Hawking died at the age of 76 last week after a long struggle with motor neuron disease and was cremated. His ashes will be placed in the abbey, in London, England, between the …

  1. sjsmoto

    How booorrrring! He at least should be placed in a rocket aimed at the big black hole in the center of our galaxy.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      It is not a question of boring or not.

      It is a question of the highest honor a nation can endow to a person posthumously. In Great Britain it is the Westminster Abbey.

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge
        Happy

        "It is a question of the highest honor a nation can endow to a person posthumously. In Great Britain it is the Westminster Abbey."

        Highest honor? Annual national public holiday for "Stephen Hawking day" would eclipse that any time. Years to come those apart from Darwin, Newton and perhaps Hawking - all those other scientists buried at Westminster are only footnotes whereas a Hawking Holiday would make him rather immortal.

        Or perhaps erecting a statue at Trafalgar Square. Founding (ok, unlikely) or renaming cities. Or naming the killer Asteroid coming straight at us.

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          @sandtitz

          A public holiday? Nice idea but I can't see our beloved government agreeing - what? letting workers have a day off - with pay??? Think what that will do to the dividends! And anyway, they won't let the Scots have St Andrews Day, the Welsh St David's Day or the English St George's day. Pity though.

          At least name a Cambridge College after him. Or a spin-out company? Hawking Analytica?

          1. d3vy Silver badge

            "A public holiday? Nice idea but I can't see our beloved government agreeing - what? letting workers have a day off - with pay???"

            There is no requirement to be paid on a public holiday - unless the law has changed recently.

            1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

              Indeed. Contractors don't get paid....

              1. smartermind

                Contractors don't get paid at any time they are not "employed", including when they are asleep. It's their own choice to contract. Not the norm. Most people are employed or on zero hours contracts.

                1. d3vy Silver badge

                  @SmarterMind

                  "Most people are employed or on zero hours contracts."

                  Well, thats bollocks.

              2. HumorousName

                Yes they do

                Stop confusing a contractor being paid and earning money for their company from a client.

                Perhaps you should be inside IR35?

              3. This post has been deleted by its author

              4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                "Indeed. Contractors don't get paid...."

                Of course they do. Well, the savvy ones do. It's already factored into to the contract price.

        2. Scott 26

          @sandtitz

          >Years to come those apart from Darwin, Newton and perhaps Hawking -

          >all those other scientists buried at Westminster are only footnotes whereas

          >a Hawking Holiday would make him rather immortal.

          Rutherford a fucking footnote?!???!?!?!?

      2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Well deserved. One of the great minds, and great communicators, of our time.

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Hardly a great mind. he believed in Climate Change.

          Then again, Newton believed in Alchemy....

          1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            Alchemy

            ... and Newton wasn't wrong, because we can now turn elements like Bismuth and Lead into gold, using a particle accelerator.

          2. HieronymusBloggs

            "Hardly a great mind."

            Got any links to your own contributions to science and mathematics?

      3. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Britain's highest honour?

        Hawking wasn't even knighted, even Ringo Starr is a Sir. Seb Coe was made a Lord.

        Richard Dawkins complained recently that people mistake him for Hawking - aye, he wishes. Let's bury Dawkins at Westminster Abbey, alive, at least up to his neck. If information isn't lost then can we really die, at least if we post here enough?

        I hope one of Hawking's fans create a mini black hole that swallows up the abbey.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4NAdSuieGE

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Britain's highest honour?

          > Hawking wasn't even knighted

          I seem to remember hearing he declined.

        2. Andrew Newstead

          Re: Britain's highest honour?

          It has been said that Hawking was offered a knighthood but turned it down as a protest over the state of funding in UK science at the time.

        3. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: Britain's highest honour?

          @ Danny 2

          .. Err, you do know he turned down a knighthood?

          Lots of people do - it does not often get reported

          .

          e.g. Another classic refuser of honours was (different sphere of activity) LS Lowry

      4. smartermind

        Sellout.

        As an athiest, it is also a sell out. Not that it would matter to an athiest what happens to their body after "the computer stops working".

      5. Just Enough

        It's not so much that his ashes are being put in Westminster Abbey, it's that there will be a "Service of Thanksgiving". Thanking who?

        Here's a man who spent his life as an atheist, but now he's dead the god-squad muscle in. Giving thanks to a entity he didn't believe in, and co-opting their mythology onto his science work, "together to seek to answer the great questions of the mystery of life and of the universe".

        I've no problem with people choosing to have religious services on their death, if that's what they believed and wished. I'm fine if it is all for the benefit of friends of family. But having these performances upon the death of those who specifically refuted them seems extremely disrespectful.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          But having these performances upon the death of those who specifically refuted them seems extremely disrespectful.

          Absolutely! Perhaps it's more understandable how David Bowie wanted his quick end of life ceremony and respectful undertakings for his remains.

      6. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Highest Honour?

        No, the highest honour would be to stop allowing the church to appropriate people like Hawkins.

        1. HieronymusBloggs

          Re: Highest Honour?

          "No, the highest honour would be to stop allowing the church to appropriate people like Hawkins."

          A higher honour would be for people to remember his name correctly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "There is no heaven or afterlife..."

      If you'd like to know what to expect in the afterlife, then simply think back and recall how it felt exactly one year before you were born. The two experiences are almost certainly going to be very similar.

      1. AJ MacLeod

        Re: "There is no heaven or afterlife..."

        Er... your reasoning is rather obviously flawed. Try to think back to when you were one year old; virtually nobody can remember anything at all from that period in their life and yet they were demonstrably extant and experiencing things in a more vivid way than they ever would again...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "There is no heaven or afterlife..."

          @AJ MecLeod

          I admire your debating technique. It's an amazing skill to be able to consciously ignore the massive central point being made about the very definition of one's existance, and then attempt a rebuttal based on some extraneous tidbit. Your point seems to sort-of (not really) work in words, but clearly not in logic. You'll go far in politics. :-)

          With the goal of dragging your "thinking" back onto the rails, you may restructure the major point around the following alternate presentation:

          Imagine others' observation of you exactly one year before your birth. Etc

          Inevitable conclusion: the very existence of your soul in the Universe is very likely finite and symmetric around your physical life. Your pre-conception and post-death existances are almost certainly to be precisely-equivalent voids.

          So, enjoy it while it lasts. One day it'll all go black

          1. AJ MacLeod

            Re: "There is no heaven or afterlife..."

            "With the goal of dragging your "thinking" back onto the rails, you may restructure the major point around the following alternate presentation:

            Imagine others' observation of you exactly one year before your birth."

            OK, if you insist we move from our original frame of reference (our own experience) to another; you are making the altogether unprovable and in many ways irrational assumption that every aspect of our being (including the non-physical "soul" / "sentient self") can be detected and measured and is subject to the same limitations as matter, which it almost certainly isn't.

            I am quite enjoying "it" while it lasts and making the most of it while I can, but I have reason to believe that much still better awaits - as old Blaise pointed out, my worst case scenario is apparently a great deal less bad than yours so I hope for your sake you have an epiphany in time :)

        2. PatrickEB

          Re: "There is no heaven or afterlife..."

          To AJ McLeod

          "Er... your reasoning is rather obviously flawed"

          Not at all. You're not alive after you die. You're not alive before you're born. Your certainly not even close to being alive a year before your parents met.

          Hence the accuracy of the claim.

          You're referring to a period when by any standard a person would agree another was alive.

    3. smartermind

      Waste of resources

      If you were serious, that would be a waste of earth's resources. There's only a finite amount of carbon on Earth and we should preserve it all and not waste it on folly grand gestures.

    4. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Lets ...

      Put his wheel chair on permanent display on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. The voice computer could be programmed to come up with some of his pithier quotes. GNU Prof Stephen Hawking

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Science and Religion both require belief or a leap of faith.

    Prove me wrong. (not advocating either)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >Prove me wrong.

      Science admits when it's wrong, I think that's proof.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Does it though? (I upvoted you btw)

        Maybe they are both wrong with pseudoscience or religious literalism?

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Science admits when it's wrong, I think that's proof.

        Not always, I think you are forgetting the lesson in the parable of Dr Zaius.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Science admits when it's wrong."

        Not without a fight.

        Science as a concept is (of course) optimum. As implemented and conducted by humans, it is not really optimum.

        Scientific facts have a Half-Life. They degrade over time. Witness the idiotic antics of the Dietary Health field.

        For what it's worth, religions evolve too. Even the slightest familiarity with the history of any religion leads directly to an inability of any logical thinker to take it seriously.

        Common element with these, humans. They're not as clever as they think.

        1. Tim99 Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: "Science admits when it's wrong."

          "Witness the idiotic antics of the Dietary Health field."

          I'm fairly sure that much of "Dietary Health" information is "Marketing" and not "Science" - Particularly that which is in populist media...

    2. Lt.Kije

      Nope

      Religion claims to be the truth.

      Sciences proffers the best explanation, so far.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      "Prove me wrong"

      science is based on the scientific method; that is:

      a) theory

      b) observation

      c) hypothesis

      d) experimentation

      e) analysis (proof or disproof of hypothesis)

      The experimental part needs to be repeatable by others in order to be considered 'science'.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

      Prof Hawking worked on the 'theory' and 'hypothesis' parts, for sure, and the math may be part of 'experimentation' and 'analysis'. Others will experiment, no doubt, to prove or disprove his theories.

      So science doesn't require "a leap of faith". Science requires experimental proof. Or disproof.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >Science requires experimental proof. Or disproof

        Which is why science can never prove (or disprove) the existence of God..

        1. David Nash Silver badge

          "science can never prove (or disprove) the existence of God.."

          The burden of proof is on those making the claim, not on others to disprove it.

          Anyway, if a scientist set up something that he claimed would invoke God, and a big hand came out of the sky and shot a lightning bolt, and that was repeatable and got published and peer reviewed....perhaps that would be Science proving the existence of God.

          But then the religious would probably redefine God to get out of it. As Douglas said, "Without faith I am nothing said God, and disappeared in a puff of logic."

          1. mattje

            Science can prove that there are people who exist that wish that a horrible psychopathic being is real, so that they can suck up to him and avoid the murderous lightning bolts.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >Which is why science can never prove (or disprove) the existence of God..

          That's easy, now to prove black is white

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            All fun, thanks fellow commentards, I did an experiment in seeing if I could do a couple (three) of comments about religion and science and see if left alone it would lead to the most brilliant Douglas Adams. I am not disappointed. QED.

        3. mattje

          It's not up to science to prove or disprove the existence of a 'God'.

          It's up to the people who are making these fantastical claims to prove that this entity exists.

          And after all of these years, there are still zero proven claims that have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

        4. Asterix the Gaul

          "Science requires experimental proof. Or disproof

          Which is why science can never prove (or disprove) the existence of God.".

          'SCIENCE' has NEVER postulated the existence of 'god'.

          The 'BURDEN -OF-PROOF ' in this case lies with 'RELIGION'.

          'RELIGION' can NEVER prove that existence.

          That is because 'Religion' = 'FAITH', which equates with FALSE CONCLUSIONS.

          SCIENCE seeks TRUTH.

          RELIGION abides with the LIE.

          'SCIENCE' = SIGMA - 5.

          'RELIGION' = SIGMA - 0

    4. Tim Seventh

      Science and Religion both require belief or a leap of faith.

      Prove me wrong. (not advocating either)

      Your definition itself is wrong. Science is proven, not believed. Religion is believed and unable to be proven.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sure but before you can prove it you have to believe that you can or you wouldn't try, hence the leap of faith.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >Your definition itself is wrong. Science is proven, not believed. Religion is believed and unable to be proven.

        Not to mention the logic of the sentence, it's a sillygism (c.f. syllogism).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Religion is believed and unable to be proven.

          And, in my experience, those who seek to prove it are looked down upon for their lack of faith.

      3. ButlerInstitute

        No, science is not proven.

        Mathematics can prove things, but not science.

        Science is only ever theories, the process being as someone else outlined above - hypothesis, experiment etc.

        But nor is it believed - same reason.

        1. Graham Marsden
          Boffin

          @ButlerInstitute

          > science is not proven.

          "Prove" means "To test"...

      4. tfb Silver badge

        The characteristic of science that it is really disproven not proven: that's what makes it science rather than maths. A scientific theory can't usually (ever?) be proved, it can only have passed all the tests that have been thrown at it so far.

    5. tiggity Silver badge

      A lot of science requires lots of tedious drudgery - be it observation (e.g. ecology / animal behaviour etc.), lab work (e.g. testing novel compounds behaviour against cancer cells) etc.

      Theoretical physics is quite different to a lot of science as many theories are hard to test due to us not having the skills / knowledge to build suitable measuring / particle production yet - so you get lots of ideas thrown around that are hard to disprove.

      Your everyday journeyman science is not really leap of faith based - yes people have a novel idea, but then its normally quite straightforward (if sometimes slow, expensive, difficult) to conduct experiments to see if the idea has legs

      As for leap of faith, Hawking has admitted many of his early theories were wrong - that's science in a nutshell - if your idea is disproved / improved upon (e.g. Newtons laws of motion are great at "normal" conditions but break down in more extreme scenarios which were not really thought about at the time & currently relativity helps to "expand" Newtons ideas by helping explain), then great, it means we now know more than we did.

      Plus science is typically collaborative, if you are researching cancer cures you fervently hope (for peoples benefit) your work is improved upon in future (that may be at odds with teh accountants and their ideas of patents etc. !)

    6. handleoclast

      Leap of faith

      Science and Religion both require belief or a leap of faith.

      Science constantly checks its assumptions, religion does not. In science, proving established theory wrong gets you a Nobel Prize. In religion, proving established doctrine wrong gets you burned at the stake.

      In science, when new facts contradict your theory, the theory is wrong. In religion (or any other ideology), when new facts contradict your sacred book, the facts are wrong.

      Science relies upon facts and evidence to make deductions. Religion uses faith, which is belief with no evidence to support it (at best) or belief in contradiction of the evidence (at worst).

      There is no similarity between the two.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Leap of faith

        You're overgeneralising. Not all religion involves faith. Even if a religion encourages faith it is possible to practice the religion without faith, even without belief. In practice what matters to most members of a religion is the community, not the theology.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Leap of faith

          >Not all religion involves faith

          Yes. Yes it really does.

          >it is possible to practice the religion without faith

          No. It really isn't.

          Sure, you can give the outward appearance of being religious without having any faith but to actually be religious you have to have faith.

        2. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: Leap of faith

          "what matters to most members of a religion is the community, not the theology"

          I have seen no evidence to suggest that at all.

          Why build the big towers pointing to the man in the sky then? or all the images and statues of the supposed miracles and messiah? Why pray/sing to God when people get married in church? Why have "thanksgiving" as someone else pointed out, thanking whom?

          What you've said it not true at all. If someone said "I am religious but don't believe in God (or A God)" they'd be laughed out of church or the equivalent (if they were lucky).

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Leap of faith

          "In practice what matters to most members of a religion is the community, not the theology."

          And yet they sing the hymns, chant the chants and say the prayers. Sounds like you are describing hypocrites or unthinking sheep.

  3. macjules Silver badge

    C’mon Elon

    Bet you can spare at least one older model Falcon rocket to send the genius to his final resting place.

    1. Doctor Evil

      Re: C’mon Elon

      "Bet you can spare at least one older model Falcon rocket to send the genius to his final resting place."

      And give it a trajectory that will make Prof. Hawking the first man to leave the solar system, forever to wander among the stars that so engaged his imagination and excited his curiosity.

  4. Mayday Silver badge
    Coat

    Throw Data and Riker in there

    and you have a Star Trek TNG poker game.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Throw Data and Riker in there

      Star Trek TNG poker game. Hmm...

      thinking about it, everyone from that game who was a HOLODECK character (in the STNG universe) is now in one place.

      OK I'll grab my coat, too.

      As I recall, Prof. Hawking won the hand.

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: Throw Data and Riker in there

        Wasn't Einstein also in that scene?

        1. andy gibson

          Re: Throw Data and Riker in there

          "Wasn't Einstein also in that scene?"

          yep, played by the fella who played Bishop Brennan in Father Ted!

  5. SVV Silver badge

    No problem with the abbey, big problem with the "justification"

    ""We believe it to be vital that science and religion work together to seek to answer the great questions of the mystery of life and of the universe."

    You may believe that it is vital. I just don't see what religion is going to bring to such an effort that will be of any use whatsoever for the scientists. The scientists on the other hand can explain to you that the story explaining these things in your holy book is utter twaddle.

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: No problem with the abbey, big problem with the "justification"

      ...You may believe that it is vital. I just don't see what religion is going to bring to such an effort that will be of any use whatsoever for the scientists....

      Religion brings you Christmas. Don't knock it...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No problem with the abbey, big problem with the "justification"

        >Religion brings you Christmas. Don't knock it...

        +1 for the pagans who started it :)

      2. handleoclast

        Re: No problem with the abbey, big problem with the "justification"

        Religion brings you Christmas. Don't knock it...

        "Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings." –Victor J. Stenger.

        I do not think that Christmas is adequate compensation.

  6. IglooDude
    Pint

    I can't bury anyone in a place of honor (legally, anyway), but I can raise a pint to their memory.

    RIP, Doctor Hawking.

  7. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    'Physics ace'

    Is 'physics ace' the best title El Reg can come up with? When even the dodgiest 'scientist' earns boffin status. How about 'ggogleplex-boffin Mekon brain' or something?

    And it's odd - I read the quotation from him and heard it as being spoken in his voice.

    A good life.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: 'Physics ace'

      Black-hole brainiac? Cosmic connoisseur? Battery-backed boffin?

      C.

      1. ravenviz
        Happy

        Re: 'Physics ace'

        Or according to Lewis, renowned wheelchair robo-voice uberboffin!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'Physics ace'

        Phantom physicist.

        Hypothesiser in the hereafter.

        Translated theorist.

    2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: 'Physics ace'

      Wheely clever person?

  8. Blofeld's Cat
    Angel

    Er ...

    Meanwhile, somewhere on a different ethereal plane...

    "Well yes Prof it is a good theory as these things go, but I was actually just sweeping up some old firmament I had lying around and suddenly BANG I had an unexpected universe on My hands."

  9. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    sidereal life is rubbish

    ... though with the late professor's cremation, I welcome his more speedy becoming of part of us all.

  10. Oengus
    Joke

    There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers;

    Stephen Hawking hasn't seen my back office...

    1. Solarflare

      "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers"

      No silicon heaven? Then where do all the calculators go?

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        er,

        I'm sure Oengus is a just god and has space for them too.

  11. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Subatomic Particles

    Not intended to be disrespectful, but how about using a particle accelerator to irradiate the ashes with sub-atomic particles?

  12. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Way to go Mr Hawking!

    “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” - Carl Sagan

    And I wouldn't want it any other way.

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: Way to go Mr Hawking!

      ...And I wouldn't want it any other way....

      Actually, I would have preferred to have been made by a bevy of Swedish beauties in bikinis dancing to a Santana solo and cavorting in a Balinese lagoon. But like the rest of us I suppose I will have to make do with being built in a large hot pile of cosmic rubbish....

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Way to go Mr Hawking!

        "Actually, I would have preferred to have been made by a bevy of Swedish beauties in bikinis dancing to a Santana solo and cavorting in a Balinese lagoon."

        Dunno about being created that way, but I'd not mind dying that way.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. Way to go Mr Hawking

    More like colliding neutron stars, for heavy elements like Hg, Ag and Au.

    Incidentally Hawkings equations can be used to predict how neutron stars behave when they collide, its not quite the same as a black hole event horizon but the math is very similar.

    Also relevant is the use of the very same equations to improve the accuracy and detectability of GPS satellites and Wifi signal as extracting tiny signals from the noise is normally quite hard.

  14. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Trollface

    Lookalike...

    El Reg, I think you might need to rename your icon, or find another one. Compare the header photo and this: ---->

  15. arthoss

    why the honour?

    none of his theories are proven, unlike Newton's.

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: why the honour?

      He was good. Very good, even. But I'm not sure if he was *that* good.

    2. ButlerInstitute

      Re: why the honour?

      You can't prove a theory, this is not maths.

      Only improve the evidence, or the details of the theory.

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: why the honour?

        I suspect proven in this case means "experimentally verified"

  16. wolfetone Silver badge

    It's Friday. It's the end of the week. I take solace in the bossom of El Reg on such a day to while away the hours until I can legally leave my job without being docked pay, and enjoy the fruits of my labours tonight in the bossom of a lovely bottle of red wine or 12 pack of beer.

    However, my peace is destroyed whenever religion is mentioned along side science on the site. Not because I believe in one more than the other or don't believe in anything or everything, but it's how such articles really do bring out the worst of the commentards here in both camps. And comments turn in to long streams of poison and futility, and it really does ruin the day.

  17. x 7

    So......Hawking should be remembered by naming an El Reg fundamental unit of measurement after him. But measurement of what? Escape velocity from the solar system? The speed of light? Density of black holes?

  18. Demetrov
    Pint

    Do we have any more of the "Greats", the "Giants" of Science/Physics left?

    He was a Newton, an Einstein, a Galileo level Great.

    Do we have any more of that calibre left or in the making/maturing to that level of greatness?

    Rest in Carbonised Stardust, Sir Hawking's - may we one day use a particle of Your remains in a super collider to smash into another.

    1. Dr. G. Freeman

      "Do we have any more of that calibre left or in the making/maturing to that level of greatness?"

      Sort of,

      Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski, Harvard- High Energy Physics- being touted as the "Next Einstein"

      Alice Zhang, UCLA - Genetics and Medicine

      Barry Mant, UCL- Chemistry

      Terry Tao, UCLA - Maths

    2. AJ MacLeod

      "He was a Newton, an Einstein, a Galileo level Great."

      No. He wasn't remotely close. Undeniably he was a very clever chap and (for a scientist) brilliant at getting his opinions broadcast, but in the end of the day his actual useful scientific output was virtually nil, and not worthy of even being mentioned in the same breath as Newton and Einstein.

  19. Chronos Silver badge

    Good

    Firstly, nobody will argue that Prof. Hawking deserves to be remembered. We have now found a use for the religionists: Keeping the remains of our notable people undisturbed for posterity.

    We may as well get some value for all that tax they're evading.

  20. x 7

    Professor Stephen Hawkwind

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlVIrV1X9xQ

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lack of belief in an immortal soul

    ..does not imply that you are not Christian. Especially as none of the 1st Century Christians believed in immortal souls - it was an idea that got implanted into the early church from pagan beliefs.

    Much like the concept of a trinity. And a literal devil. None are in Biblical Christianity. And, as a Christian myself, I don't believe in an immortal soul - the biblical hope is resurrection.

    (Yes, I know that theology isn't likely to be a core skill round here but I thought it worth mentioning)

    1. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: Lack of belief in an immortal soul

      If you believe in resurrection what else is being resurrected but an immortal soul?

      You're grasping at technicalities to try to justify the fact that you claim (by way of being Christian) to believe in magic, which is clearly unjustifiable except via the fact that lots of other people claim the same.

      Personally I suspect that many of them believe no such thing and are therefore not actually Christian at all.

  22. David Nash Silver badge

    Nobody mentioned...

    That the catholic tweet in the article spelled both Stephen and Hawking wrong.

    Bunch of useless idiots who can't even bother to get his name right even while claiming he came over to their side. Oh and liars too, as the article pointed out.

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Nobody mentioned...

      I just came here to mention the very same thing, 'Who the f*ck is Stiph Hawkins?'

  23. Electric Panda

    There's likely another reason for this...

    There is another reason why his family might want his ashes interred in Westminster Abbey and it's very simple: Hawking had a large following of very strange people and a public grave in a Cambridge cemetery (there's one off Huntingdon Road that contains the remains of other high-IQ individuals), containing his intact body, would attract these people and it would turn into a ghoulish shrine. Think selfies, inappropriate behaviour, perhaps some crackpot with a spade. At the end of the day, Stephen Hawking was a brother, husband and (grand)father who deserves peace and dignity in death.

    Westminster Abbey is much easier to secure and in some ways a bit more discreet. There can be plenty of public tributes and memorials to Hawking, but his final resting place is nobody's business. The fact that he's interred alongside other scientists is a fitting tribute in itself.

    And contrary to popular belief, Hawking wasn't an arch-atheist at all. I doubt he would have complained too much at the prospect of being interred in a religious building.

    1. Chronos Silver badge

      Re: There's likely another reason for this...

      And contrary to popular belief, Hawking wasn't an arch-atheist at all.

      It's the similarity between "Hawking" and "Dawkins" that caused this myth.

      Personally, I'm no arch-atheist either. I just take exception to organised religion which, when you drill down deep enough, starts looking like control freakery, justification for exploitation and increasingly less adherence to any of its own rules the further you get up the hierarchy. I'm sure the almighty has more honesty, dignity and compassion than some people would make it appear.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please Please Please...

    Stop having so much "faith" in Science.

    Science is based on skeptical thinking. Abandoning skeptical thought and having unbridled faith in Science, and allowing no criticism of Science-as-implemented, is precisely ridiculous. It's not a church. It does not need or demand your worship.

    Do I need to list specific examples of Science being sub-optimal? Are you that ill-informed?

    -The entire field of Dietary Health, ever-changing facts can't be right.

    -Forensics - too much amateurish nonsense ruining lives

    -The Publish or Perish situation

    -The for-profit Journals and their cartel-like policies

    -The general failure to publish negative findings

    -Office politics

    -Examples of poor understanding of Statistics 101

    -Drug company funded research without appropriate ethics guidance

    -University Press Offices being misleading

    -Human Nature

    -And Fan-boy faith in all-things Science, no matter what

    You do a disservice to society by being uncritical of Science-as-implemented. There is so much wrong that needs to be fixed. Unthinking fan-boys are a tiny part of the problem.

    To be clear, religion is generally pure nonsense. Don't assume that I'm religious.

    1. Chronos Silver badge

      Re: Please Please Please...

      The scientific method prescribes exactly the sort of thinking the OP proposes. There are issues with current science, not least of which is grant chasing which leads to making the empirical data fit the sponsor's requirements. It's not always money, either. Who hasn't had a little twinge of doubt about the doom and gloom over climate change being political?

      Read Tom Sharpe's Grantchester Grind and tell me Lady Bloody Mary Godber-Evans or Edgar Hartang aren't metaphors, that Dr Osbert or The Bursar aren't typical caricatures of academia or indeed that organised science and organised religion are intimately entwined from birth with the likes of the Chaplain.

      People really should read more satire. It encourages critical thinking in ways ordinary study never can.

  25. Asterix the Gaul

    Francis(Pope) explained that both scientific theories('BIG BANG' - 'EVOLUTION') were not incompatible with the existence of a creator – arguing instead that they “require it”.

    ERR!..NO, It does NOT 'require it' DUMMY!

    “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said.

    Oh NO! BUT, this(Below)is exactly ("he 'created' human beings)what you are saying((GOD was a magician with a 'magic' wand) .He added: “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfilment.

    “The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it..

    ^..,B$,B$ B$ ad infinitum.

    “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings evolve.”

    ANYTHING that ANY 'religion' or it's 'leaders' say is just plugging 'LIES','LIES' & NO 'Statistics', a complete vacuum of reasoning.

    1. x 7

      If Genesis is so accurate why does it have two different creation myths?

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