Columnist Mona Charen notes here:
Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned physicist and celebrity, has cancelled a planned trip to Israel to participate in a conference sponsored by Israeli President Shimon Peres. His explanation: “I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics. They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott. In view of this, I must withdraw from the conference.”
It’s an odd world isn’t it? By what inverted moral calculus does someone of Hawking’s stature find it morally problematic to set foot on the soil of the region’s only democracy? One wonders how many other nations has Hawking declined to visit in order to express his disapproval of their policies?
A glance at his CV reveals that Hawking visited the Soviet Union in 1973. Russia is no human rights picnic today (it is one of two chief sponsors of the Assad regime in Syria, for example), but those were the bad old days of Brezhnev, when uprisings for freedom in Hungary and Czechoslovakia were ruthlessly suppressed, the KGB inspired terror and scientists who displeased the regime were packed off to the Gulag.
The incredibly well traveled Hawking also visited Iran in 2007 for the International Physics Olympiad. His conscience was apparently untroubled by the stoning of adulteresses, imprisonment without trial, torture and the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities — to say nothing of arming terrorists and threatening to wipe countries off the map.
No, because anything that encourages the idea that humans are just meat puppets is good right? Oh, by the way, while we are here anyway:
Here’s John Lennox critiquing Stephen Hawking’s cosmology.
And this. Materialist atheists don’t care about violations of human rights because humans are just animals anyway, right?