Kirk Cameron, a former teen idol who once starred in the sitcom "Growing Pains" and is now a born-again Christian, has challenged Stephen Hawking over his comments regarding the notion of heaven.
Hawking, a 69-year-old British physicist, is almost completely paralyzed by motor neurone disease and is only able to speak through a computer-generated voice synthesizer.
He told the UK newspaper The Guardian last week, when asked to share his thoughts about death: "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."
"To say anything negative about Stephen Hawking is like bullying a blind man," Cameron, 40, said in a message posted on his Facebook page. "He has an unfair disadvantage, and that gives him a free pass on some of his absurd ideas."
"To speak on issues of science and violate it's essential laws is like playing checkers with a someone who changes the rules when he's losing," Cameron added. "Why should anyone believe Mr. Hawking's writings if he cannot provide evidence for his unscientific belief that out of nothing, everything came?"
Cameron, who played Mike Seaver on the hit 1980s comedy series "Growing Pains," has often preached the gospel on the streets, on television and online. He said Hawking's comments revealed the physicist's "religious beliefs, not good science."
"I lost my faith in atheism long ago and prefer to stay within the realm of reality," Cameron added.
In his interview, Hawking also told The Guardian that he was not afraid of dying, adding: "I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first."