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Astrophysicist wins $1.6M religion award

U.K. | Science & Religion

USA TODAY  (LONDON) — A British astrophysicist known for his theories on the origin and the destiny of the universe has been honored with one of the world's leading religion prizes.

Martin Rees (pictured), a 68-year-old expert on the extreme physics of black holes and the Big Bang, is the recipient of the 2011 Templeton Prize, the John Templeton Foundation announced Wednesday. The 1 million pound ($1.6 million) award is among the world's most lucrative.

Rees — who professes no religious belief — was chosen because of the nature of his research, which he said invites everyone "to wrestle with the most fundamental questions of our nature and existence," said Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr.

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