Over the weekend, the Guardian UK published an interview with acclaimed physicist Stephen J. Hawking in which he explained that he did not believe in an after-life, which he called “a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” adding, “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers;” That is a good quote! Stephen J. Hawking seems really smart. But will his brains be enough to go up against the super-genius that is KIRK CAMERON?! Mr. Cameron, the former child actor and current…uh, he does, hmmm..anyway, he broke his LEGENDARY silence to respond to Mr. Hawking’s claims. From The Superficial:

“Professor Hawking is heralded as ‘the genius of Britain,’ yet he believes in the scientific impossibility that nothing created everything and that life sprang from non-life.”

He adds, “Why should anyone believe Mr. Hawking’s writings if he cannot provide evidence for his unscientific belief that out of nothing, everything came?”… “[Hawking] says he knows there is no Heaven. John Lennon wasn’t sure. He said to pretend there’s no Heaven. That’s easy if you try. Then he said he hoped that someday we would join him. Such wishful thinking reveals John and Stephen’s religious beliefs, not good science.”

BOOM! Powerful stuff. I think my favorite thing about Kirk Cameron’s rebuttal to Stephen Hawking is HOW MUCH SENSE it makes. It almost makes too much sense. John Lennon? Got it. I feel like it’s almost a disservice to just reprint this quote. It should be written on a pane of glass in white grease pencil in the graduate library of Harvard University because clearly it came from a BEAUTIFUL MIND. (Get it? Russell Crowe.)

Comments (89)
  1. Just in time for upfronts:

  2. “Lack of belief is somehow a religious belief.” – Kirk Cameron

  3. Kelly really needs to start pulling her weight around here.

  4. He forgot to rest his case

    I quit

  5. The good news is that on Saturday, Steven Hawking will still be here, but Kirk Cameron won’t.

    • 6pm, May 21st…put the reminder in your outlook calendars, you guys. I’m going with an hour reminder notification, because i just don’t think the default 15 minutes is going to get the job done for all that repentin’. I’m sure the Kirkster would agree with me there.

    • Hawking will definitely still be here and he will be doing a lot more of this:

  6. I don’t Kirk Cameron even understood the John Lennon quote he was using.

  7. “Furthermore, wasn’t it Belinda Carslisle that said ‘Heaven was a place on Earth?’ Who are you to argue with a Grammy Award-nominated singer, Dr. Hawking?”

    • “And wasn’t it the Weather Girls who once pontificated ‘It’s Raining Men’? You can’t make men fall out of the sky from nothing, Dr. Hawking?”

    • “And did not Robert Smith ask to show him show him show him how to do THAT TRICK? HUH, Mr. Hawking?” *drops mic, walks off stage*

    • Look, you have to cut Dr. Hawking some slack on this one. The whole concept is hard to wrap one’s head around. Sure, heaven may be a place on earth, but even Bryan Adams found it hard to believe he was in heaven. Bryan Adams!

      • What’s interesting is that there is a Stairway to Heaven (Zeppelin, Led), but it also on Earth (Carlisle, Belinda). And yet, Los Lonely Boys aren’t sure how far it is (Lonely Boys, Los). I think Kirk Cameron may need to run a conference of some sort to work all of this out.

      • Sorry, didn’t mean to be plagiarist commentator, but Bryan Adams’s ears must be ringing! He hasn’t been so discussed since “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” ruled the airwaves in 1991.

    • “And didn’t Warrant tell us that Heaven isn’t too far away, and that we’re closer to it everyday? Didn’t Bryan Adams tell us that he was finding it hard to believe he’s in Heaven, which means he’s already there? You don’t have a leg to stand on*, Dr. Hawking!”

      *this is terrible, but KC is terrible, so he’d probably say this

      • Freddie Mercury said that “this could be heaven for everyone” (Mercury et al., 1995) perhaps implying that locations may be converted into heavens. As George Michael stated in his seminal work, Freedom! ’90 (Michael, 1990), heaven “knows we sure had some fun boy” perhaps indicating the role of faith in accessing stairways.

  8. Kirk Cameron, the greatest advocate for conclusive scientific evidence of our generation.

  9. Why do so many Christians seem to think that what they believe is indicative of a certain level of intelligence? Seriously, leave it to a Christian to condescend to Stephen Fucking Hawking.

    • “I don’t believe there is an afterlife because there is no evidence of one.” – Hawking

      “But I BELIEVE there is! I rest my case.” – Cameron

    • Well, leave it to Kirk “This banana proves there is a god” Cameron, anyway.

      What I respect is that he brings up John Lennon, great scientist of our age. That is helpful. Why Stephen Hawking doesn’t have other pop singers peer review his thoughts before he expresses them, I’ll never know.

      • I heard him give the crazy Jesus banana talk once in person. It was crazy. Bananas even! (then we sang the theme song to that show he was on to him, and he hated us.)

        • What’s so great about the banana argument is that BANANAS HAVE BEEN GENETICALLY ENGINEERED TO MAKE THEM EDIBLE.

          This is what a natural, God-given banana looks like

          “And on the third day, God made the banana, and he saw it was hard and full of pebbly seeds, and it was good.”

    • Now that’s not fair. Kirk wasn’t speaking from his position as a well-known Christian, he was speaking from his position as a well-known asshole and lunatic.

  10. Kirk Cameron’s career, like the universe, sprang forth from profound nothingness.

  11. Stop fighting you guys. Can’t atheists and religious folk share the laughter and love?

  12. Boner’s rolling in his grave

  13. Is it weird that I didn’t know that Stephen Hawking was British because he has that robot voice? Is that something I should’ve known?

  14. My favorite part is how he argues that there’s no evidence that there’s no heaven. Because all good belief systems are based on fact.

    • I’m pretty sure it’s a basic tenet of science that you have to provide proof against the non-existence of an entity for it to not exist, or some shit like that.

      • That is going to hurt my brain all day.

      • “Nope!” -Religion

      • Yeah… I don’t think this discussion is really about the presence of evidence, though. Hawkin’s Popperian (yeah that’s a word) conception of science really revolves around the notion of falsification, not verification – or, the possibility that hypotheses/theories may be rejected (not confirmed) on the basis of empirical evidence. This does not mean that theories need to be falsified all the time in order to be scientific; it does mean that they have to offer that possibility to scientists. Belief systems like religions do not offer people this option, i.e., there is no way that anyone can falsify the existence of God through empirical research. the existence of heaven can similarly never be falsified empirically, so the claim that it exists cannot be scientific. #lecturingverycleverpeopleonthingstheyprobablyalreadyknow

  15. Sorry guys but, who the hell is Kirk Cameron?

  16. What exactly is there to talk about here, really? It’s an actor vs. a scientist. Like, done. Over.

    If I wanted to throw my hands in the air and get exasperated by a Man of Faith vs. Man of Science battle I’d rewatch Season 2 of LOST.

  17. I’m on team Kirk Cameron. Stupid Stephen Hawking can’t even walk.

  18. Yes, but what of the religious discussion presented to us via the song “Yellow Submarine”? What happens when the yellow submarine we all live in runs out of gas?

  19. Biggest irony here: Kirk Cameron is walking proof that we evolved (more or less) from simpler life forms.

  20. I can’t really make an informed decision until I get Urkel’s opinion on all of this.

  21. Steven Hawkins studied black holes and quantum mechanics, whereas Kirk Cameron was on Growing Pains. Nuff said. – drops the mic

  22. merrymoon  |   Posted on May 18th, 2011 +17

    “Religion … should not attempt to dispute what science has actually proved; and science should not claim to know what it does not know, it should not confuse theory and knowledge, and it should not disavow any claim on what is empirically unknowable.” – Wendell Berry

  23. “anything believed without evidence can be disproved without evidence” – chip hitchens, or something

  24. Man, you guys. This is a really difficult decision to make. Cameron or Hawking, Cameron or Hawking? Good think Kat Williams can clear it up for us, “Kirk Cameron is brilliant….God still runs this earth, Satan’s breath still stinks.”

  25. And everyone refers to Kat Williams as “Good think Kat Williams”. Obviously.

  26. Obvs I want to be on Robot-Voice-Guy’s side of any argument, but the young man from the 80s raises (I think) a kinda valid point: where the fuck *did* everything come from? And to say “there was nothing and then there was a big explosion and out of that crawled something living ” (HUH?) seems more like an article of faith than anything. (Albeit one without the friendly-but-stern bearded white guy behind it.)

    • The theories behind abiogensis is a lot more complex than Camera and his buddy Ray Comfort would suggest and some really interesting experiments trying to replicate the conditions which would have been present on the primitive earth. Have any of them proven that life from nonlife is possible? Not yet, and even once it’s proven possible, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what happened here (but it could happen elsewhere!). It’s a lot more gradual (millions to billions of years) than most media depictions present (that “primordial soup” thing is very outdated) and there was probably a good deal of luck to it (see the Drake Equation for an idea of just how small the window for life is). Meanwhile, the Large Hadron Collider looks for the Higgs Boson (there’s a great NOVA documentary called The Atom Smashers, which I recommend)

      Science is all about finding evidence. Hawkings doesn’t see any there. Faith doesn’t require evidence.

      • Ok, Atom Smashers is is my queue.

        Here’s what I get stuck on. Hawking believes that life sprang from non-life, despite the fact that (presently) no empirical evidence indicates that this is possible. So, is it fair to say that Hawking’s belief in the origin of life is (just like Kirk Cameron’s) based on faith?

        Now I have to go back to my dorm room and write bad poetry.

        • Depends how much empirical evidence you need. Do you need proof that organic molecules can form independent of a lifeform (a common refutation of abiogensis is that complex organic molecules seem to violate the laws of thermodynamics, ie entropy)? Do you need proof that the phospholipid bilayer that makes up our cell membranes can form on its own? Do you need to see self-replicating DNA strands? All of the above processes have been found to occur naturally, or can be replicated in the lab. I won’t disagree that an element of faith is necessary for most things. And if you ask a scientist and they don’t know, they’ll admit it. There’s a lot we don’t know and perhaps Hawking is a bit more confident than the rest of us, being a theoretical physicist and everything.

          Also, to me, it seems that Hawkings quote is about there not being an afterlife. The burden of proof should be on religion for that one. Mary Roach has a fantastic book called “Spook” about the scientific investigation of the afterlife, that is, trying to find evidence of one at all.

        • Well, ultimately there are two options:

          A) Life from non-life

          or

          B) Life didn’t come from non-life. Since there IS life, that would mean that life came from life … and thus there was ALWAYS life. We know that the universe had a starting point (pre-universe there was neither time nor space). So, unless life began at the moment that time-space began, it would have to start afterwards, and thus would require that it come from non-life.

          Even the explanation of a creator takes what is essentially non-life and transform it into life. So the assumption that life spontaneously appearing in the universe from nothing at all, or life existing from the very beginning of the universe, appear less plausible.

  27. this was a pretty great reminder of how i’ve never met a minority named ‘kirk’

  28. Yes, Kirk Cameron can clearly rest his case–Stephen Hawking, the “genius of Britain” (his official title, I’m sure), should pretty much throw in the towel rather than even enter the ring with the behemoth mind that is Kirk Cameron’s, since, after all, he is just one man who has dicked around on a couple of research projects and written “A Brief History of Time” , whilst Mike Seaver, of course, has authored this:

  29. Uh, earth to Stephen Hawking, “Heaven Is For Real” and Colton Burpo has BEEN there, duh.

  30. you know how I know heaven doesn’t exist? Because everyone that has “experienced” a visit tries to make money off it.

    • Have you ever heard of anyone who has experienced it but didn’t make money off of it? No, because they weren’t trying to make money off of it. You never would have heard of them because they didn’t want to be heard from.

  31. You know how I know how heaven is real? Because Buffy sang it to me.

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