As such, in my humble opinion, Stephen Hawkings is a brilliant physicist... but he is not a spiritualist, monk, psychic, metaphysician, mystic... all the disciplines have their own basis and background. Thus, Stephen may speak personally that he believes heaven to be a fairytale. But it has NO BACKING on his credentials as a physicist. So for an atheist to use the word or credence of a physic scientist is amusing - but lends no yay or nay.
That's like an accomplished auto mechanic speculating on the fact that there are no black holes in the universe OR a Master Chef explaining the geological principles behind volcanic reactions and continental drift.
I would further add that it is quite unscientific for him to make such a statement without using the common wordings of science when proposing or stating a hypothesis -- Which namely shows the constant capacity of science to improve or acquire knowledge. What I believe he should have said was "from all my understanding and background I cannot say more than heaven is a fairytale." The statement of a "matter-of-fact", "written in stone" there is no heaven and its just a fairytale -- is truly unscientific. It leaves no room for speculation which often is provisioned in scientific claims or statements.
Additionally, in my humble opinion, heaven or other dimensions are left to the individuals for whom they serve the purpose and provide the meaning necessary for those individuals. I do not believe there is a heaven nor a hell that is universal - I believe its totally based on a persons upbringing and cultural references. I believe that there are principles that would allow anyone to transcend heaven and hell as its a duality perspective. But to each their own as to what inspires and helps a person.
Satori Agape is a Certified Massage Therapist / Holistic Health Practitioner / Aromatherapist