Stephen Hawking joins Facebook, jokes about being an alien

Deciding, perhaps, that Facebook will bring him closer to the masses, the famed physicist signs up and shares a post that says being curious is vital in today's world.

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On his new Facebook page, Stephen Hawking presented his three kids taking the ALS Challenge. Stephen Hawking/Facebook screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Stephen Hawking has made it clear he believes there is no God.

He must, therefore, mix it with the Mammonites and hope for the best.

There is one church in particular where the masses huddle and share their excitements and angsts. It's called Facebook. So Hawking has decided he will wander into its midst in the hope of both joy and education.

He has now begun to post to his page and revealed that he's on Facebook to share his thoughts on why we're all here. No, not here on Facebook -- that has no possible explanation -- here on Earth.

His welcome post read: "I have always wondered what makes the universe exist. Time and space may forever be a mystery, but that has not stopped my pursuit. Our connections to one another have grown infinitely and now that I have the chance, I'm eager to share this journey with you. Be curious, I know I will forever be."

You might expect that someone who seeks the answers so vigorously would quickly gain followers. He's already amassed more than 1.3 million likes.

Yesterday, he pleased his likers by posting video of his Ice Bucket Challenge. It's very endearing, as his three children stood in for him. Pouring cold water on him isn't the healthiest of ideas (he had pneumonia last year).

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Stephen Hawking's Facebook page. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Hawking's latest post involves his enjoyment of the recent Starmus Festival. This brought together two of his great loves: science and rock.

He mentioned how much he'd like to eat bats with Ozzy Osbourne and drink blood with Alice Cooper. Ah, no, that's not quite right. He actually mentioned how much he'd enjoyed Richard Dawkins talking about aliens.

Which led him to his now customary turn of humor: "Some people say I'm an alien myself, with my robot voice."

Many of his disciples, who see him less as an alien and more as a leading light in a dastardly darkness, were delighted to witness his Facebook presence.

Larry Lar, for example, wrote, "Usual FB post...'ate sandwich, now doing laundry'...Stephen Hawking FB post...'came up with Hawking Radiation today, think I'll have a sandwich.' Thanks for joining SH!"

But, as with all those who lift their thoughts above the parapet of commonality, he's attracting some critics.

Take this, from Patrick O'Brien: "I'd enjoy seeing some concrete evidence to disprove Creation...like one, just one transitional fossil...Your billions of years 'theory' doesn't fly."

Perhaps in the coming weeks, Hawking will choose to take on one or two of his spiritual opponents.

In the meantime, however, it's worth enjoying the intellectual banter. My favorite comment on the page came from Pamela Hughes.

She took the time to explain to Hawking how Facebook can alter time: "Beware, facebook can teach you all about time dilation...You can spend an hour checking pages and reading articles and suddenly discover that 8 hours have passed in the real world."

I wonder how fully Hawking will be sucked into the black hole of a site from which few seem to emerge the same, if they emerge at all.

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