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April 3, 2013 2:17 pm
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Stephen Hawking, Famed Theoretical Physicist, to Visit Israel

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British theoretical physcist Stephen Hawking. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Stephen Hawking, internationally renowned English theoretical physicist and popular science author, is scheduled to visit Israel this summer, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Hawking will travel to Israel to take part in the 5th annual Israeli Presidential Conference titled “Facing Tomorrow.” The conference, which was inaugurated in 2008 by Nobel Prize Laureate and Israeli President Shimon Peres, gathers the world’s top leaders and intellectuals in Israel for discussions on everything from science and technology to religion and politics. Past attendees have included former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Google founder Sergei Brin, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

Despite suffering from a debilitating form of the neurodegenerative disease ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) that has left him completely paralyzed, Hawking has become an international cultural icon for his groundbreaking work in theoretical physics and cosmology. He is also renowned as an author for books such as “A Brief History of Time,” which introduced millions of non-science readers to complicated issues in cosmology such as the Theory of General Relativity, the Big Bang and black holes.

This will be Hawking’s second trip to Israel. In 2006, at the invitation of the British embassy, Hawking toured the region, speaking with local scientists and academics.

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  • BethesdaDog

    Jill, he did visit, once before, as the article stated. I do recall the media reports of his first visit.

  • Rabelad

    Hawking should rightly be admired for his contribution to science and especially cosmology. He is surely a genius in those areas. Unfortunately, many people – and geniuses themselves – often believe that if they have extreme talent in one area, then they can pontificate in others in which they have no real background or expertise. Hawking feels qualified to give his opinions about religion and many people lap them up uncritically. Sadly, Hawking is a dummy when it comes to is views about God. His opinions about God and religion are based on his emotional agenda of anti-religion which are, in turn, based on his doctrine that God is a fallible and even a silly human being. Then he combines that assumption with a logic that leads to a foregone conclusion that God can not exist because Hawking’s preferred Zeus-like caricature of God is just silly. Of course it’s silly. But having those assumptions he can only come to the conclusion that God cannot exist, but he is unable to see beyond his childish conception of God. That’s not a sign of intelligence in that area.

    • Jack

      I don’t think that Hawking was saying that god does not exist. He seems to be saying that one does not need god to explain our existence. God is irrelevant. To go one step further, as god is invisible, personal experience cannot be objectively defined, and the so-called works of god are non-replicable, science has little to say about such a god, i.e., there is no way to study such an entity, although one can study human belief in god(s) as one aspect of behavior.

  • Wonderful news that Stephen Hawking is coming to the Holy Land. I have always wondered why this amazing man has not visited the land of hi-tech yet. I wish I could be at the conference to hear his input.

    Shalom Mr. Hawking.

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