Physics, Earth & Space Icon Physics, Earth & Space

“Anti-Hagiography”: A Critical Look at Stephen Hawking

Photo: Stephen Hawking, by NASA HQ Photo, via Flickr (cropped).

I wanted to highly recommend U.C. San Diego physicist Brian Keating’s interview with science journalist Charles Seife for Dr. Keating’s always entertaining Into the Impossible podcast. Seife is the author of Hawking Hawking: The Selling of a Scientific Celebrity. Keating calls it “anti-hagiography.” I haven’t read the book but it sounds fascinating, as certainly the conversation about it is:

A critical look at Stephen Hawking? How refreshing. Would he have achieved anything like the scientific renown and general celebrity he did if he had been healthy, without the disability for which he was known? As Keating and Seife discuss, much of his fame, too, stemmed from efforts to disprove that God was needed either to account for the Big Bang that brought the universe into existence or to account for the physical laws that govern the cosmos. Hawking is treated in depth in Stephen Meyer’s new book, Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe.