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Stephen Hawking
FILE - In this April 5, 2010 file photo, Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, of England, presents a lecture titled, "Out of a Black Hole" at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Hawking says it is too risky to try to talk to space aliens. Oops. Too late. NASA and others have already beamed several messages into deep space, trying to phone ET. NASA _ which two years ago, broadcast the Beatles song "Across the Universe" across the galaxy _on Wednesday discussed its latest search strategy for life outside of Earth. It is more aimed at looking for simple life like bacteria in our solar system than fretting about potential alien overlords coming here. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel, File)

LONDON -- Famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking finds no room for heaven in his vision of the cosmos.

In an interview published Monday in The Guardian newspaper, the 69-year-old says the human brain is a like a computer that will stop working when its components fail.

He says: "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."

In "Grand Design," a book published last year, Hawking had declared that it was "not necessary to invoke God ... to get the universe going."

Hawking is nearly totally paralyzed by motor neurone disease, diagnosed when he was 21.

Hawking says he is not afraid of death, but adds: "I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first."

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