Professor Stephen Hawking has entered the God debate by dismissing the existence of a heaven or an afterlife.

In an interview with The Guardian, Hawking spoke of his own struggle with his health issues and mortality "I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first".

Hawking has suffered with the most common form of motor neuron disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis which causes a progressive weakness in the body's muscles.

"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 fairy story for people afraid of the dark,"

The Cambridge professor's latest comments cement him firmly in the atheist camp with Richard Dawkins who's controversial evangelical atheism has caused bitter condemnation from religious leaders across the globe.

Hawkings has previously spoken of a mankind which would know the mind of God through scientific endeavours in order to reduce the universe into a quantifiable theory, which would explain everything.

This is not the first time that Hawkins has sparked controversy with his comments about God, he has previously stated that the universe does not need a creator in order for it to have come into being.

The Christian faith has always maintained that to know God can only be achieved by following the example of Jesus set out in the Bible and to know the mind of the creator of the universe by creatures which cannot even organise themselves into peaceful cohabitation does seem a little ambitious.

A former Cambridge Christian scientist said "If you don't acknowledge a creator then any observable evidence of God has a greater chance of being overlooked and filed for later research." he went on to say "We who study the workings of the universe tend to get  hung up on cause and effect whilst motivation is ignored, if there is no creator then there is no motivation."

"God is an unprovable distraction to science, that is why the (scientific) community at large is so ready to bury any indications of his hand in how the universe came into being."

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