Stephen Hawking Passes at 76

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I first became aware of Stephen Hawking in a bookstore back in 1988. While searching for the latest Star Trek: The Next Generation novel, I came across an interesting looking book titled A Brief History of Time. I was reading everything I could get my hands on about popular physics at the time and Hawking's book was among the best I'd read. He was among the first to try to describe what being inside a black hole would be like and, of course, he believed he'd found a mathematical equation for the beginning of the universe that required no care-taker God.

A couple years later he appeared on my favorite TV show - Star Trek: The Next Generation - in a holodeck scene with Data, an actor playing Albert Einstein and an actor playing Isaac Newton. The scene was a humorous one with Data playing poker with his idols. Hawking made the scene by dissing on Einstein, something he did in the real world quite a bit as well.

His intellect was known the world over, as was his famous electronic voice made necessary by his Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). It certainly is a triumph of the human spirit to achieve all he achieved while battling such a devastating disease. 

In recent years, he used his platform to warn about the perils of our modern society, including climate change, artificial intelligence, and the dangers posed to humanity by contact with advanced extraterrestrial civilizations. While I may not have always agreed with his conclusions, the fact that he was saying it always required one to stop and think.

The world has lost a one-of-a-kind. I hope he finds peace back in the place that precedes his quantum singularity.

Ray Davis
for 6 Sense Media