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Stephen Hawking Has a Message for Anyone Who's Been in a 'Black Hole'

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Renowned scientist and professor Stephen Hawking ended his latest lecture on black holes with a concept you don’t have to be a scientist to understand: hope.

The lecture was at the Royal Institution in London on Jan. 7, the day before Hawking’s 74th birthday.

In his talk, Hawking described the history of scientific thinking about black holes, explaining how they’ve challenged our conventional understanding of universal laws, The Telegraph reported. For example, he said it may be possible to fall into a black hole and come out in another universe.

The message of this lecture is that black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought,” he said. “So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up – there’s a way out.”

Hawking was diagnosed with a motor neurone disease in 1963 at the age of 21, just as he was starting his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He was told he had two years to live, according to his website. In a speech delivered on his 70th birthday, he spoke about experiencing a period of depression.

At first I became depressed. I seemed to be getting worse pretty rapidly. There didn’t seem any point in working on my PhD because I didn’t know I would live long enough to finish it,” he said in the speech, The Guardian reported.

Hawking did more than beat his two-year prognosis. He wrote the international best seller “A Brief History of Time,” founded the Center for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge and “regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.”

So if Stephen Hawking says there’s a way out of whatever  “black hole” you might be in, we’re not going to argue with the science.

Originally published: January 11, 2016
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