More interstellar wisdom from Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking just keeps bringing it on.

Hawking is known to advocate space exploration,  colonization and warning about meeting alien cultures.

Now he again advocates for spreading out into the Galaxy.

Hopefully within a century:

The renowned astrophysicist said he fears mankind is in great danger and its future “must be in space” if it is to survive.

Although a long advocate of colonising space in order to continue man’s reign, this is his direst warning to date.

“It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand or million,” he told the website Big Think.

“Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain inward looking on planet Earth but to spread out into space.

“We have made remarkable progress in the last hundred years. But if we want to continue beyond the next hundred years, our future is in space.

“That is why I’m in favour of manned, or should I say ‘personed’, space flight.”

Earlier this year Professor Hawking warned that exploring space may not be entirely without risk.

In a series for the Discovery Channel, he said humans should be wary about making contact with alien life forms as they may not be friendly.

But he said as long as we remained the only intelligent life in our galaxy and avoided destroying ourselves we should be safe.

“I see great dangers for the human race,” Hawking said. “There have been a number of times in the past when its survival has been a question of touch and go. The Cuban missile crisis in 1963 was one of these. The frequency of such occasions is likely to increase in the future.”

“But I’m an optimist. If we can avoid disaster for the next two centuries, our species should be safe, as we spread into space,” he said.

Getting to another planet will prove a challenge, not to mention colonising it for humanity.

Katherine Freese, a University of Michigan astrophysicist, told Big Think that “the nearest star [to Earth] is Proxima Centauri which is 4.2 light years away.

That means that, if you were travelling at the speed of light the whole time, it would take 4.2 years to get there” – or about 50,000 years using current rocket science.

I love it when astrophysicists and the mainstream media go on about the “50,000 years using current rocket science” thing.

“Current” is only relative to your present “now.”

“Now” has a curious habit of moving forward every so often.

Stephen Hawking: mankind must move to outer space within a century

hat tip

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7 responses

  1. The apollo astronauts saw a giant UFO that Nasa verified with land radar. Likely they populate outer space, and may prevent us from colonizing it. Evidence of few landings indicates they cannot survive on earths surface conditions where our biologic dependencies protect our survival compared to zero gravity alien life. i.e. our perceived vunerabilites like food, water, temp. oxygen, pressure, shelter, etc are our strenghts and why earth like habitable planets should be colonized assuming we can avoid contact with aliens during the trip. Defense against aliens should be emphasized a way to discover what their vunerabilities are is essential to ensure our survival in space.

  2. I’m not really sold on the aggressive alien meme yet. I’m sure there might be dangerous aliens, but why would they waste time on us?

    Unless they are truly afraid we are a potential threat. If that’s the case, why haven’t they wiped us out yet?

    Curiouser and curiouser.

  3. From the man who pushed the panic button on contact with other species has a slight paranoiac streak, as I prefer to call him, Dr Strangelove. Now he telling us in his sage wisdom to bail out at a time when it is absolutely critical to stop this nonsense and get serious. I had a carpenter who was gifted but in other areas he lacked a modicum of common sense. I did a post on this and of course, not everyone could migrate..so do we set up a sort of eugenics movement by the ship’s human manifest? I for one volunteer to remain despite the inferred spin for more money spent on living in a tin can out in a vacuum for an appreciable amount of time. This fellow needs to stick to subjects he knows something about. What next? Does he apply his opinion on America’s Got Talent?

    1. I don’t think he’s calling for an all out Exodus Bruce, just start colonizing interplanetary and interstellar planets.

      The item that caught my eye was his statement that, “…as long as we remained the only intelligent life in our galaxy and avoided destroying ourselves we should be safe.”

      From the sheer numbers of stars and actual interstellar worlds discovered so far just in our Galaxy, I think the odds are long on that bet.

  4. I think to parse the statement regarding his views on extinction and seeking life elsewhere ” as long as we remain the only intelligent life in our galaxy” as a qualifier, is one very critical assumption in caps, which to me suggest intelligence in our species own terms which lead to his astounding premature warning about contact. His latest thinking out load underscores my exact point if there is to be some sort of dualism in here versus there, then yes, not everyone could migrate, which was my point.. not mass migration.. but..this opens a can of worms, does it not?
    It reminds me of Malthus and manifest destiny rolled into a gum wrapper. Colonization carry’s with it the presumptions and very human issues of ownership, which leads us back to the record breaking rate of extinctions and colony collapses here. If he had said, now is the time to straighten accounts here, count me in..but as to migration and the issue of extinctions, he isn’t living on the same planet with the rest of us. While I am not a Luddite, technocrats look for technical solutions that discount the psychological weaknesses of their own context. His pronouncement seemed child like, and reductionist.

  5. While I am not a Luddite, technocrats look for technical solutions that discount the psychological weaknesses of their own context.

    I find that a very wise statement and one I think I should remember.

    Maybe Hawking is a technocrat in a sense since he’s had to live his entire adult life inside his head and his only “touching” with Nature is through mechanical means.

    To him, the Universe is mechanical, without benefit of the psychic gestalt.

  6. Respected Prof. Stephen Hawking:,

    “It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand or million,” mankind is in great danger and its future “must be in space” if it is to survive.

    If it is a threat from the aliens or UFO, but why would they waste time on us? It is a sort of illusion only.

    Our thoughts and words are immortal, they remain in the universe for ever. They influence us according to our frequency of thoughts. Hence our words and thoughts are echo of the universe.
    If extra terrestrial life is there in any way? than first the planet in question must have ozone layer around it for the safety from the toxic ultra violet rays, than for the food requirement, the chlorophyll must be there. Till today, we have not found any other planet than the earth on which chlorophyll is present or the existence of ozone layer?
    For the popularity and to attract the moneyed people to search the place for survival in the space is a good idea.
    Dr.C.P.Trivedi

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