- Associated Press - Monday, May 16, 2011

LONDON (AP) - 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.”