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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

What I Learned from Stephen Hawking

crThe well-known English physicist and mathematician, Stephen Hawking, has passed at age 76. Director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge, England, he also suffered for over five decades from a rare and life-threatening condition of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) while still carrying on his work.

I’m no scientist. I may be fascinated by his predictions on black holes and other matters, but understand it? Nah, not so much. My husband maybe.

But I understand research in general and people in particular. This leads me to make two brief observations about what I learned from theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

The first is that the best researchers are driven by a passion. Hawking had that, pressing on no crmatter what. He was searching for a unified theory of physics that impressed many bystanders to equate it to a search for God. Hawking himself claimed that this would allow us to know the mind of God and to understand why the universe exists.

I’m not sure he ever found God through science. But to borrow a phrase: God is there and he is not silent. He speaks, he reveals himself, he is not silent. We are not on a cosmic, intergalactic hide-and-seek game with the creator of the universe. According to the Bible, he chose to reveal himself to humanity through Jesus Christ.

So that’s number one: primary research interests which lead to secondary interests (or even the underlying passion behind our primary research questions) need to be undertaken according to the laws that govern that field.

crIn other words, his search for black holes probably did not take him to Walmart. A search for God should probably include the Bible.

The second point that his life highlighted for the non-scientist in me was his tenacity, no matter what life threw at him. Even with a debilitating disease, Hawking never gave up. Was life worth living with such a disease?  Apparently so.  He had a reason and purpose to live. He continued his groundbreaking research with a breathing tube and electronic voice synthesizer. He married again.

And we might think we have a bad day, occasionally?


Thank you, Dr. Hawking, for those life lessons which encouraged me, the non-scientist. I hope you found what you were searching for, as well.


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