Listen: Chris Mulherin in conversation with Stephen O’Doherty
Over his lifetime, physicist Stephen Hawking became a household name and something of a touchstone for genius.
Few of us understood his scientific breakthroughs but it was exciting to live at the same time as such a outstanding intellect.
His appeal was perhaps made even greater due to the motor neuron disease with which he was diagnosed with in 1963. At that time doctors predicted he had just 14 months to live.
The progressive disease gradually robbed him of his voice and physical abilities, twisted his body and made him totally dependant on the care of others. However it never dimmed his intellect and determination.
Stephen Hawking died recently at the age of 76, leaving behind a massive body of work that expanded the frontiers of human thought in mathematics and theoretical physics.
His research into models for the origins of the universe (or indeed multiple universe theory) go to the very intersection of science and religious belief. Hawking often spoke about God, or the concept of a creator, while making clear his own position as an atheist.
While it is inevitable this eminent scientist was asked about religion, is the nature of God a question of science?
On Open House we sought the views of Rev Dr Chris Mulherin, a lecturer at the Australian Catholic University and Executive Director of ISCAST, a network of Christians in Science and technology, about the outer edges of time and space, science and belief.