Famous Physicist Stephen Hawking Dies at 76.
Well-known physicist and atheist Stephen Hawking died at age 76 on March 14, 2018. He uniquely bridged the gap between ivory-tower academia and popular culture.
ICR nuclear physicist Dr. Vernon Cupps says, “He captured the public’s imagination and endeared himself to millions around the world. He is best known in the world of physics as a leader in exploring gravity and the properties of black holes.”
The combination of his being academically admired and living with a crippling disease made him a striking public figure. Hawking’s battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) over several decades made his life unimaginably difficult, but he continued his cosmological studies. “When you are faced with the possibility of an early death,” he said, “it makes you realise that life is worth living and that there are a lot of things you want to do.”1
He clearly stated what he wanted to accomplish before dying. “My goal is simple,” he said. “It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is, and why it exists at all.”
His most well-known journey into these topics was his international best-selling book A Brief History of Time (1988), which made noteworthy contributions to theories of black holes, space, and time, and sold over 10 million copies. ICR’s Vernon Cupps says that the book “was a significant contribution to the scientific community's understanding of the cosmos yet written on a layman’s level.”
A 2014 film was made about Hawking’s life. Called The Theory of Everything, it starred Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking and Felicity Jones as his wife, Jane Hawking. Nominated for several Academy Awards, the film garnered a Best Actor Oscar for Eddie Redmayne.
Throughout his life, Hawking denied the existence of God or anything spiritual. In an interview with The Guardian, he said, “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.”
Regarding Hawking’s stance on religion, ICR physicist Dr. Jake Hebert says, “In later years, his statements against religious faith became increasingly antagonistic, with statements that even fellow secularists found bizarre. One can’t help but wonder if he was, as he approached the prospect of his own death, trying desperately to convince himself, as he had so many others, that there is no God.”
Hawking was born in Oxford in 1942 to a family that highly valued education and intelligence. Family meals were often spent with each member silently reading a book. At age 17, Hawking went to University College, Oxford, where he studied physics and chemistry. In 1962, he went to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, for doctoral work and received a Ph.D. in applied mathematics and theoretical physics. After graduation, he dove into professional studies of cosmology that lasted his entire life.
When he was just 21, ALS attacked his body and slowly crippled him. It eventually forced him into a wheelchair. Doctors predicted an early death, but amazingly he lived with this debilitating illness for over 50 years. A severe case of pneumonia in 1985 restricted his breathing to a tube and required him to communicate solely through an electronic voice synthesizer. But he continued his cosmological research and professional life.
For both biblical and scientific reasons, ICR disagrees with Hawking’s endorsement of the Big Bang model and his stance on religion. However, we recognize his advancements in physics and his courage in a lifelong battle with ALS. We hope his legacy inspires more people to investigate God’s wonderful creation.
Jesse Eugene Russell
(1948-04-26)April 26, 1948
Amanda O. Russell
Tina R. Carr
Jesse E. Russell Jr.
William E. W. Russell
Catalina M. Russell
Charles Albert Russell
Mary Louise Russell
Jesse Eugene Russell (born April 26, 1948) is an African American inventor. Trained as an electrical engineer at Tennessee State University and Stanford University, and working in the field of wireless communication for over 20 years, Russell has helped to shape the wireless communications industry direction through his leadership and perspectives for standards, technologies as well as new wireless service concepts.
He holds patents and continues to invent and innovate in the emerging area of next generation broadband wireless networks, technologies and services, which is frequently referred to as 4G. Russell was inducted into the United States’ National Academy of Engineering during the Clinton Administration for his innovative contribution to the field of Wireless Communication. He pioneered the field of digital cellular communication in the 1980s through the use of high power linear amplification and low bit rate voice encoding technologies and received a patent in 1992 (US patent #5,084,869) for his work in the area of digital cellular base station design. Although no one person invented the cell phone, Jesse Russell was one of the key people to the invention of the modern cell phone.
Russell is currently Chairman and CEO of incNETWORKS, Inc. a New Jersey-based Broadband Wireless Communications Company focused on 4th Generation (4G) Broadband Wireless Communications Technologies, Networks and Services.
Early life and education.
Jesse Eugene Russell was born April 26, 1948, in Nashville, Tennessee in the United States of America into a large African-American family with eight brothers and two sisters. He is the son of Charles Albert Russell and Mary Louise Russell. His early childhood was spent in economically and socially deprived neighborhoods within the inner-city of Nashville. During his early years, he focused on athletics and not academics. A key turning point in Russell’s life was the opportunity to attend a summer educational program at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Russell participated in this educational opportunity and began his academic and intellectual pursuits. Russell continued his education at Tennessee State University Tennessee State University where he focused on electrical engineering. A Bachelor of Science Degree (BSEE) in Electrical Engineering was conferred in 1972 from Tennessee State University. As a top honor student in the School of Engineering, Russell became the first African American to be hired directly from a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by AT&T Bell Laboratories and subsequently became the first African-American in the United States to be selected as the Eta Kappa Nu Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer of the Year in 1980. Russell continued his academic pursuits and obtained his Master of Electrical Engineering (MSEE) degree from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, in 1973.
Innovations and patents.
Russell’s innovations in wireless communication systems, architectures and technology related to radio access networks, end user devices and in-building wireless communication systems have fundamentally changed the wireless communication industry. Known for his patented invention of the digital cellular base station, that enabled new digital services for cellular mobile users, Russell continues to innovate in the emerging next generation broadband wireless communication technologies, products, networks, and services as well as “Mobile Cloud Computing” which are shaping the forefront of the 4G Communication Industry.
Over 100 patents granted or in process, thirty years of experience in Research and Development at prominent institutions, and pioneering technologies such as the invention of the first digital cellular base station and fiber optic microcell utilizing high power linear amplifier technology and digital modulation techniques, which allowed the beginning of the digital cellular evolution, digital cellular standards, personal communications networks as well as the emergence of “Mobile Cloud Computing” within 4G broadband wireless networks. These are only some of the inventions that have forged new directions for the wireless communication industry.
Jesse is currently building the first Broadband Wireless Communications Network focused on 4th Generation Hybrid Fiber-Wireless Communications Networks and Technologies that is fully compliant with International Telecommunications Union (ITU) standards. Russell continues to innovate and invent new wireless communications technology solutions as the Chief Executive Officer of incNETWORKS which designs, sells, and manages privately owned broadband wireless communications’ equipment and networks for emerging broadband cellular applications based on Software Defined Radio and Cognitive Radio techniques. Offering broadband wireless communications solutions to small and mid-size business customers, incNETWORKS is one of the emerging technology leaders in the development of MicroLTE product platforms for 4G.
Russell joined Bell Labs as a Member of the Technical Staff. He was one of the first designers to embrace the use of microprocessor in the design of equipment for use in the telecommunication network for monitoring and tracking calling patterns within the Bell System Network. The system was referred to as the traffic data collection systems, which using a microprocessor-based portable data terminals for interfacing to electro-mechanical switching systems.
Russell's career, and knowledge in wireless technology and standards advanced, while he served in the following positions; Director of the AT&T Cellular Telecommunication Laboratory (Bell Labs), Vice President of Advanced Wireless Technology Laboratory (Bell Labs), Chief Technical Officer for the Network Wireless Systems Business Unit (Bell Labs), Chief Wireless Architect of AT&T, and Vice President of Advanced Communications Technologies for AT&T Laboratories (formerly a part of Bell Labs).
As the Director of the AT&T Cellular Telecommunication Laboratory (Bell Labs), this Bell Labs Group formally managed by Russell is credited with the invention of cellular radio technology and received the United States' Medal of Technology for the invention.
Russell continued to develop his expertise as he established and led an Innovation Center focused on Applied Research in Advanced Communication Technologies that enabling AT&T to extend its existing portfolio of services and expand into new businesses and markets. As a key decision maker in the selection and development of emerging communications technologies, Russell’s efforts lead to the rapid realization of new access network platforms that enable AT&T to expand its broadband communication network options (i.e., Specialization: Cable Access Networks, DSL Access Networks, Power-line Carrier Access Networks, Fixed Wireless Access Networks, Satellite Access Networks and Broadband Wireless Communications Networks). The applications of these access technologies were one of the keys in expanding AT&T's interest in re-building it local access services business.
- Elected as IEC Fellow for contributions in the development of Broadband Communications Access Technologies into the International Engineering Consortium (IEC), 1999.
- Inductee into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for the development of and contributions to digital cellular communications, 1995.
- Elected to IEEE Fellow grade for technical leadership in the development of digital wireless communication concepts, technology, systems and standards, 1994.
- US Black Engineer of the Year for best Technical Contributions in Digital Cellular and Microcellular Technology, 1992, US Black Engineer Magazine.
- America's New Leadership Class Award 1985, Esquire Magazine.
- Outstanding Service Award 1983, Eta Kappa Nu.
- Outstanding Scientist Award 1982, National Society of Black Engineers.
- Eta Kappa Nu Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer of the Year, 1980.
- Scientist of the Year Award 1980, National Technical Associations Inc.
Professional memberships and affiliations.
- Board of Directors Advisor, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)
- Board of Governors, IEEE Vehicular Technology Society
- Chairman of the Board, Electromagnetic Energy Association (EEA, Third term)
- Chairman, Mobile & Personal Communications Division of TIA
- Chairman, Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA) -Wireless Communication Standards Organization
- Fellow member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc (IEEE)
- Fellow member of the International Engineering Consortium (IEC)
- Inducted Member of the National Academy of Engineering
- Member of the Technological Advisory Council (TAC), U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- Member of Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society
- Member of International Regulatory and Standards Committee on Third Generation Wireless Communications Systems
- Member of the Congressional Subcommittee on Technology Member, National Academy of Engineering (NAE), Electronic Engineering Section and Computer Science & Engineering Section
- Member of the Information & Technology Council of the American Management Association
- Member of the National Academy of Engineering
- Member Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
- Member Tau Beta Pi Honor Society
- Past Chairman, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Cellular Radio and Common Carrier Section (1987–1992)
- Technical Program Chairman, 38th IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, Philadelphia
- Technical Program Chairman, 43rd IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, Secaucus
- Testified before Judge Green on Bell System Divesture.
- "Universal Personal Communications: Emergence of a Paradigm Shift in the Communications Industry", International Journal of Wireless information Networks, Vol. 1, No. 3, 1994.
This paper examines a major paradigm shift in the communications industry across four dimensions, analyzes the factors influencing the shift, articulates a vision of universal personal communications under the new paradigm and presents several service environment and transmission hierarchy models supporting the vision.
- "The US Evolution towards Personal Communications in the '90s" (with A. T. Kripalani), Proc. Pan European Digital Cellular Radio Conference, Rome, Italy, 1990.
This paper proposes and describes a set of strategic technology platforms to assist the migration of the existing US cellular network to an all digital personal communications network.
- "AT&T Next Generation Digital Cellular Base Station Technology" (with R. W. Henn and R. S. Kerby), Proc. International Switching Symposium, Stockholm, Sweden, 1990.
This paper describes the first all digital cellular base station system utilizing linear radio technology to support multiple radio air interface methods such as FDMA, TDMA and CDMA in a single system.
- "Design of Mobile Satellite System Architecture as an Integral Part of the Cellular Access Digital Network" (with E. S. K. Chien and J. A. Marinho), Proc. the Mobile Satellite Conference, Pasadena, 1988.
This paper provides an overview of the interoperability aspects between digital cellular access networks and mobile satellite systems.
- "Emerging Cellular Access Digital Network" (with E. S. K. Chien and D. J. Goodman), Proc. World Telecommunication Forum, Americas Telecom, '88, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1988.
This paper describes the characteristics of an all digital cellular access network that supports integrated voice and data services (cellular ISDN). It is an expansion of the concepts put forth in publication 11 below.
- "Evolution Toward Digital Cellular Network in the U.S." (with E. S. K. Chien), Proc. 1988 Pan European Cellular Radio Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1988.
This paper provides a vision for the migration of the existing US cellular network towards an all digital wireless access network.
- "A Systems Approach to Indoor Wireless Communication" (with E. S. K. Chien and D. J. Goodman), Proc. GLOBECOM '87, Tokyo, Japan, 1987.
This paper describes an approach to in-building wireless communication and examines the interoperability with cellular mobile communication.
- "Cellular Access Digital Network (CADN) Wireless Access to Networks of the Future" (with E. S. K. Chien and D. J. Goodman), IEEE Communications Magazine, June 1987.
This paper describes a scenario for the evolution of a digital cellular access network towards providing personalized wireless voice and data communication services.
- "Network Foundation for Providing Personal Communications", Proc. Digital Mobile Workshop on Personal Communications, Melbourne, Australia, 1987.
This paper puts forth some original concepts, such as personal telephone numbers, logical network addressing and universal wireless access service protocols related to personal communications.
- "Cellular ISDN: New Interface for Wireless Access" (with E. S. K. Chien), Proc. International Conference on Communication Technology, Nanjing, China, 1987.
This paper describes the benefits of mobile communications as an effective means to modernize the telecommunications infrastructure for China.
- "Cellular Access Digital Network" (with E. S. K. Chien), Proc. International Telecommunications Symposium, Taipei, Taiwan, 1987.
This paper describes cellular integrated voice and data services access network (cellular ISDN) as a complement to the wire line ISDN.
- "Extension of ISDN Capability to Cellular Wireless Access" (with E. S. K. Chien and D. J. Goodman), Proc. Second Nordic Seminar on Digital Land Mobile Radio Communications, Stockholm, Sweden, 1986.
This paper describes the original concept of an integrated voice and data services cellular access network (cellular ISDN) and establishes the important role of intelligent network in the cellular context.
When Heresy was Orthodox: Quartodecimanism as a Brief Case Study.
Many people are celebrating Easter all over the world this time of year, some within a Christian context and others a more secular one. Many people receive Communion on Easter Sunday in remembrance of Jesus’ Last Supper as they do on numerous other occasions throughout the year. Yet, Jesus’ Last Supper took place prior to his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, not on a Sunday morning. There is a debate reflected recently in blogs, articles, and books about whether Jesus’ last meal with his disciples was in fact a Passover meal, a modified Passover celebration, or something else.
There has been a renewed interest within many modern Christian communities of celebrating Communion not only as a meal (i.e., the Lord’s ‘Supper’), but more specifically as a Passover meal (Pesach) beginning the Feast of Unleavened Bread (cf. Ex 12; Lev 23.5–8). This can be seen most notably within contemporary Jewish or Hebrew style Christian communities, such as at Messianic congregations or ‘Torah-observant’ churches. Celebrants hold to differing opinions about how to observe this meal or feast. Some are more open to including Jewish customs which developed later than the time of Jesus (e.g., a seder)5 and others attempt to reconstruct what they perceive would have been a similar first century CE Passover meal, though omitting a sacrificial ceremony of the Pesach (hopefully!).
In any case, this current ambition to celebrate the Passover meal is actually nothing new within Christianity. Some of the earliest Christians, the Quartodecimans, were already celebrating the Lord’s Supper at Passover before it was ‘cool’. A Quartodeciman, from Quartodecimani (‘fourteenther’), is someone in early Christianity who celebrated the Lord’s Supper or Pascha on the evening of the 14th of Nisan/Aviv (the first Jewish month) at Passover. This does not mean that they only celebrated the Eucharist annually at this time, but that they observed Pascha on Passover rather than on Sunday as was the practice of many other Christians. Quartodecimans defended their Passover tradition against internecine efforts to eradicate it for at least a few hundred years beginning with the inception of Christianity.
It is uncertain whether Jewish Christian sects such as the Ebionites or Elcesaites could also be deemed Quartodecimans, but they probably observed the Passover in addition to other Jewish festivals, in connection with Jesus. Quartodecimanism was popular amongst Christians of the proto-Orthodox or catholic (lowercase ‘c’) churches in Asia Minor. The rationale for celebrating Passover on the 14th of Nisan/Aviv was simple: 1) Jesus observed a Passover celebration with his disciples before his crucifixion; 2) Jewish Christians have already continued to incorporate Jesus into their daily Jewish lives, which included legal observances and customs; 3) when Passover is celebrated, it is to be celebrated in remembrance of Jesus and his Last Passover. Eventually, however, the Quartodecimans’ tradition would lead to a controversy and be deemed heterodoxical.
The Quartodecimans were Passed Over.
In Eusebius’ Historia ecclesiastica (HE) 5.23–25, he details some of the events and correspondence during the Quartodeciman controversy (cf. Socrates Scholasticus, HE 5.22; Sozomenus, HE 7.18–19). According to Eusebius, synods were held in Palestine (presided by Theophilus, bishop of Caesarea, and Narcissus, bishop of Jerusalem), Rome, Pontus (presided by Palmas), Gaul (where Irenaeus was bishop), Osrhoene, and around Corinth (where Bacchyllus is bishop). There was agreement against the Quartodecimans that Easter (a later term for Pascha) was to be celebrated on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, concluding the Paschal fast (HE 5.23).
Despite pressures from Rome, Polycrates of Ephesus (130–196 CE) defended the celebration of Pascha on Passover. He claimed to Victor in Rome that it was the older apostolic tradition, dated back to the apostle Philip along with his daughters, the apostle John, Polycarp of Smyrna, Thraseas of Eumenaea, Sagaris who was buried in Laodicaea, Papirius, and Melito of Sardis. Polycrates also claimed he had support from many other bishops in Asia Minor, including the seven bishops of his own family (Eusebius, HE 5.24; cf. Sozomenus, HE 7.19).
The Quartodecimans were apparently still fighting for their practice into the fourth century CE in Constantinople (cf. passing references in Socrates Scholasticus, HE 6.11, 7.29). The influence of Jewish customs is seen again in the dispute over whether or not to set Easter according to the Jewish calendar, which led to another topic on the agenda at the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325 CE. This issue was not over the Quartodeciman controversy, but evidences how Christian practices like the celebration of the Paschal feast were being wrestled away from Jewish customs or origins still in the fourth century CE. English Christians were also setting Easter according to a different manner than Rome still in the 8th century CE and were accused of observing the feast according to the Hebrew custom (Bede, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum 2.2, 2.19, 3.4, 3.25).
Ultimately, Victor in Rome passed over the Quartodeciman view and deemed it heterodoxical. He swiftly sought to excommunicate the Christians in Asia Minor, but Irenaeus of Gaul urged him ‘not to excommunicate whole churches of God for following a tradition of ancient custom’ (Eusebius, HE 5.24). Irenaeus explained that even before their time the churches and bishops observed different ancient traditions in peace despite differences of opinion, including the bishops of Rome even when Polycarp visited and the matter was discussed (Eusebius, HE 5.24). Despite this, Eusebius adds that the Palestinian bishops and others with them were in agreement that the tradition of the Sunday observance is the correct view as passed on by apostolic tradition (HE 5.25).
But is there possible evidence to the contrary in the New Testament? Could Paul and at least some of his churches have been ‘Quartodecimans’?
Was Paul a ‘Quartodeciman’?
The apostle Paul probably kept the Passover once a year in remembrance of Jesus. Paul and the churches he established may have observed this feast according to the popular Jewish lunar calendar, with some modification as symbolism relating to Jesus was incorporated.10 Paul likely wrote 1 Corinthians around the time of Passover, in the late Winter or early Spring as the festival was approaching.11 Evidence of this dating is seen in many allusions to Passover/the Feast of Unleavened Bread in Paul’s epistle (1 Cor 5.6–8; 10.14–22, 11.17–34). I take Paul’s hortative injunction in 5.8a, ‘let us keep the feast,’ to be more than mere symbolism or speaking of the Christian life, though I understand his following uses of leavened and unleavened bread to be illustrative of moral conduct (5.8b).12 Paul recounts the tradition of Jesus’ Last Supper in his Corinthian correspondence (1 Cor 11.23–26). He exhorts the Corinthians asserting, ‘For as often as you eat this bread and you drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes’ (ὁσάκις γὰρ ἐὰν ἐσθίητε τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον καὶ τὸ ποτήριον πίνητε, τὸν θάνατον τοῦ κυρίου καταγγέλλετε ἄχρι οὗ ἔλθῃ, v. 26). When Paul says ‘as often as’ (ὁσάκις… ἐὰν) he probably does not mean whenever the Corinthians decide to celebrate the Lord’s Supper (e.g., once a week), but as often as the Corinthians celebrate the Passover. There may be significance to Paul’s use of the demonstrative ‘this’ (τοῦτον) here. It is not just any bread prepared on a weekly basis for a celebratory or communal meal (which may have been taking place amongst Christians), but it is the unleavened bread of Passover. It is ‘this’ bread to which Paul was just referring in his quotation of Jesus (v. 24). The same goes for the cup (cf. vv. 24, 27–29). Passover was approaching and Paul wanted to ensure that the Corinthians would be prepared to observe the feast without sin or discord. If Paul and the Corinthians were observing the Passover in some form, they were in good company with many others of the earliest Christians who kept the feast annually in remembrance of Jesus and his Last Passover Supper.
It should be noted that the agreed decisions in the synods mentioned by Eusebius included the bishops of Jerusalem and Corinth (HE 5.23). Despite my inklings about Paul and the earliest Corinthian Christians keeping Passover in remembrance of Jesus, the inclusion of Corinth in the agreement against the Quartodecimans may imply that the acceptable practice in or around this region at a later time was not to celebrate the Passover according to the Quartodeciman manner. This, however, is not too surprising considering the rapid unification of Christian churches, the growing number of Gentiles in Christianity, and the elder-ruling structure and hierarchy-developments that took place already during the last half of the first century CE. The practices or opinions of the bishops and Christians of which Eusebius speaks may have differed from original customs in the churches of Jerusalem and Corinth. The church in Rome was also already gaining a sway over ecclesiastical matters or disputes. Various practices and customs observed in the earliest established churches (apostolic and Pauline) quickly came under the scrutiny of those in decision-making power and ecumenism. Most or perhaps even all of the Christians in Corinth were Gentiles, and so even if they had learned to observe a form of Passover or other Jewish holidays from Paul (cf. Pentecost in 1 Cor 16.8), their customs would have rapidly changed after Paul’s death, the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE (a devastating blow to many Jewish practices), and the increasing unification of and regulation by other churches. The same was likely the case even for the churches in Jerusalem and Palestine. Although the Quartodeciman Passover practice may have been snubbed out in places like Corinth and Jerusalem where it was probably originally observed without much question, it apparently continued amongst other Christians in Asia Minor for some time (e.g., Polycrates of Ephesus and his following).
The Short-lived Orthodoxy of Quartodecimanism.
Before Quartodecimanism drew enough attention to be officially deemed heterodoxical, it seems to have enjoyed a time of relative peace and substantiation amongst its adherents. After all, it was only a logical understanding of their Scriptures and was a clear apostolic tradition for its celebrants. Despite disagreement in Rome, it was apparently tolerated as differences of opinion on this practice were not seen to be anything too serious. At least for some period of time Quartodecimanism was not a ‘heresy’, but was a practice of many ‘Orthodox’.
At least for some time during the origins of Christianity, Quartodecimanism or the celebration of the Lord’s Supper annually as a Passover-type meal on the 14th of Nisan/Aviv may have been considered a ‘correct’ or ‘orthodox’ practice amongst many Christians throughout Palestine and Asia Minor. Could it be that some of the apostles such as John and Paul themselves observed and passed on this tradition?