Wednesday, 25 July 2012

You don't know what you are hawking about!

A documentary series created by Stephen Hawking poses the mathematical certainty of extraterrestrial life – but the brilliant theoretical scientist recommends against trying to establish contact. Now everyone knows that Hawking is a deep thinker and that he is not one for jumping to conclusions.

Hawking said “To my mathematical brain, the numbers of planets alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational. The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like. That’s where the sense of caution sets in, because if they’re anything like us – rapacious warlike predators – then perhaps keeping a certain amount of distance is the better part of valour. We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach. If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

I never thought of Hawking as a social commentator or historian. There is no doubt that anyone who can become a best selling author based upon a book the topic of which was the beginnings of the creation of the universe has to be a very good author.

However, my favourite comment on Hawking was the wag who said "Stephen Hawking is writing a follow-up to "A Brief History of Time". It's about time too.

The best comment attributed to Hawkings was when as a young man Hawking attended a symposium. When the next speaker asked "Can you all hear me out there?" Hawking was said to have replied "Yes I can, but I'd be happy to swap places with someone who can't."


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please put your name to your comment. Comments without a name may automatically be treated as spam and might not be included.

If you do not wish your comment to be published say so in your comment. If you have a tip or sensitive information you’d prefer to share anonymously, you may do so. I will delete the comment after reading.