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THE OTHER SIDES OF STEPHEN HAWKING           Everybody knows who Stephen Hawking is. Oh maybe not everybody, just around 7/3π 2 +80 percent....



          Everybody knows who Stephen Hawking is. Oh maybe not everybody, just around 7/3π2 +80 percent. Well, in the film Avengers: Infinity War, you heard Dr. Strange’s assistance, Wong, talked about “singularities.” The term singularity, as well as alternate universe, black hole, and many more words and worlds in the quantum realm are very much akin to him.

          Stephen William Hawking (1942-2018) is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist that will be long-remembered for his works on black holes and the concept union of the Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. On the lighter side, for trivia aficionados, he is a man born on the 300th anniversary of Galileo Galilei’s death and died on the 139th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s birth.

          My favorite subject when I was a student were Math and Science. That is why I became an engineer, and I also delved into science journalism. Hawking was among the scientists that I frequently read about. Being also an avid fan of the TV and movie series Star Trek, which is about interstellar travel, I am very much interested in his works.

          During my college days and years after, one of my hobbies is making friends around the world through letter writing. How did they call it during those times? Penpals! What today’s cybergeneration called “snail mail” was the medium of communication between distant acquaintances during those times. Whenever I got hold of an address of a famous personality, whether locally or in other countries, I would try to write to them. Some replied, some didn’t.

          My technique was to first use the address of the institution where the renown personality was working or having an official position. It’s quite effective, as the persons in-charge of media relation of the said institution will either respond to give you the personal or office address of the person you are seeking or they will pass your letter to the intended party. I got lots of mail. Well, I also spent a lot of money for stamps, sometimes, sacrificing my food allowance.

          In return, I had tons of stamps, postcards and greeting cards from different countries. I also had free magazines, brochures, newsletters from different institutions, mostly in the varied science genre, worldwide.

          There’s this one person that I’d hope would correspond but didn’t, initially. His name is Stephen Hawking. I wrote to him sometime in the early 1980s using the address “Department of Mathematics, University of Cambridge, England.” I said, “initially,” because in a turn of events years later, I would encounter “Mr. Singularity” himself in a different medium – the Internet.

          My first online encounter with Stephen Hawking, the science giant, genius of a man, was during the mid-1990s. It was in an online science forum. The prevailing geek fad at the time was AOL, Hotmail and the Usenet’s “alt” groups,  no Google or Facebook yet. I also remembered that I wrote an article – “The Other Sides of Stephen Hawking” –  for one of the magazines I was contributing at the time. I don’t think it was published, though. So I'm trying to recall the contents of that article for this blog post.

          In the science forum, I remember I had a discussion-debate with a person who calls himself Oblivious “something” (I forgot the exact alias). It was about my proposition “Science Proved the Authenticity of the Bible and the Existence of GOD.” I won the debate when he conceded. A few years later, in another science forum, Stephen Hawking admitted that he was that guy. Whoa! In that forum, I was in heated arguments for days with another person who claimed to be a scientist (not Hawking). The argument was about “Creation.” He was for Darwinists, and I was for Biblical Creation. I was presenting scientific proofs – archaeology, geology, genetics, etc. – but all he did was keep giving insults. So, I finally told him that “Enough said. I believe that I was created and born in the image of GOD. Now, if you sincerely believe you were created in the image of apes, you are absolutely free to do so.” I think I got him furious. Then I received a private message, with the tag “Stephen Hawking,” congratulating me for a “nice finishing kick.” He particularly praised me in a way I was both humbled and elated: “You really know your Bible and your science.”

          Of course, at first I didn’t believe that he was Stephen Hawking. Until he proved it. Here is were everything looped (or shall we say, wormholed) back to the penpal days.

          The letter I wrote for Stephen Hawking during my college days was about my interests on black holes and time traveling. As I’ve said earlier, Hawking didn’t reply.

          Now, here’s why and how I believed that who I’m talking with in the science privy chatroom was Hawking. He said the letter I sent him a decade or so ago was passed to him. He read it but didn’t reply. He, however, kept the letter because of something I wrote. I think it was about my conjectures that “the universe was a sphere with a radius approaching infinity,” “it would take a particle of atom traveling a thousand times the speed of light before it can break through the time barrier,” and “inside the black hole, time have no bearing just like before Creation when the component time does not yet exist.”

          For the succeeding weeks, we would chat. He even called my landline number twice and sent me a small card bearing a kitten, which he said, “My grandson told me this looks like me.” Prior to this post, I’ve been scouring my magazine, comics and books collection trying to find where the heck did I insert that card. I also remembered scanning it, but it’s in my old desktop. Maybe one of these days, I’ll open that up and see if I can still retrieve the pic, so I can include it here.

           In the second encounter with him, I learned that we have a lot of interests in common. For one, Mathematics, science (especially Time Dynamics), space travel and similar topics. For the second, you probably wouldn’t believe it – the Bible. You may think that Hawking is an atheist and he said he is in many occasions, but he is very much interested in the written Scriptures, not in finding mistakes or inconsistencies, but more on the mysteries. That intrigued me. He particularly wanted my “analysis” of Genesis, the Book of Daniel, the Gospels (including those not in the Bible) and the Revelation. He asked me many intriguing questions, and he can only do so if he had read the Scriptures thoroughly.

          I’m still in the process of remembering the many things we talked about. There is, however, this question that still lingers in my mind: “What is this ‘new earth’ and ‘new heaven’ mentioned in the Bible? Is the Earth going to be destroyed and a new one created? Where? There’s narration of ascending into heaven, does that mean going ito outer space? Traveling to another habitable planet?” This is just a sample of how interesting and intriguing our conversations were.

          About Genesis, in our earlier discussions and debates about Creation, I particularly got his attention when I said the “Big Bang” was in the Bible. Over and over we went to the same Darwinist argument. But that same argument led to dead ends, and that is why Darwinists, I told him, are “easy to overwhelm in an argument.” Even Hawking admitted that as he was able to follow one of my debates against a Darwinist in a science forum. And there's not much diffrence between a Darwinist and an atheist. Though I seem to remember, one time, he called Charles Darwin a “con artist.” I, however, am not sure if he meant it or was just kidding aside.

          The argument that “life comes from nothing and therefore will return to nothing” (which Hawking initially used as argument) is not an argument at all. I told Hawking that it’s just like the Scriptural passage “From ash thou came, to ash thou shall return,” only on an empty perspective. Let’s assume that “life comes from nothing.” What then caused it? Just like the “Big Bang,” there is always a cause. Science is about cause and effect. There will be no effect without a cause. So what or who cause life to exist? Even in the Big Bang Theory, athiest scientists cannot make an argument. They would just insist, that it started with the fundamental interaction of forces followed by cosmic inflation and the appearance of subatomic particles, then came decoupling, recombination, etc. etc. Again, what or who caused it?

          I told Hawking that the Bible has the answer. In Genesis 1:3, GOD said “Let there be light!” That in my viewpoint is the “Big Bang.” He was stumped for a while that I thought he was searching for the passage or musing about it.

          For our third common interest, exposing the scruples of popes, which we often laugh about, this although he’s a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican’s scientific institution. He mentioned in one conversation: “They (Vatican) are saying Galileo was the founding leader of this academy. How can you believe that when they condemned the guy for his science? It took almost 400 years before they admitted their mistakes.” Hawking especially hates pedophile priests, and admitted knowing and meeting some of them, and in a nonchalant way, he said he “would’ve stranggled them if only he could.”

          Foremost that I remembered was our talks about the difference between Christians and Catholics. He initially thought they were “identical planets with the same sun and moon.” Then I told him, “Okay, if you want to put it that way..... Christianity would be the sun and Catholicism will be Pluto..... or in a bigger scale, Christianity is the Big Bang, and Catholicism is most probably be the Dark Rift or just a Bok Globule.” Hawking replied with lots of “lol” on the screen. Then he said (and I would never forget it): “I’m beginning to like you.”

          My third encounter with him was most intriguing. It was around August 2017. I received an email. It was an ordinary google mail. The sender wrote: “This is probably my last challenge to you. ‘If there’s really a God; and if yours is the true God, pray for me and ask for forgiveness in my behalf.’ – Stephen Hawking.” I tried answering him back three times, but he could no longer be reached. The emails I sent keep bouncing back. Less than a year later, he died.
 More to come....


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