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Friday, 01 December, 2006

Advice From Hawking
(with comments)

One option: Move to a new planet, says Hawking.

The human race must move to a planet beyond our Solar System to protect the future of the species, physicist Professor Stephen Hawking has warned.

He told the BBC that life could be wiped out by a nuclear disaster or an asteroid hitting the planet. But the Cambridge academic added: "Once we spread out into space and establish colonies, our future should be safe."

He fails to address the key question: Why is this species even worth saving?

Permalink | Posted in General |
  1. By Ozzy. Comment posted 01-Dec-2006 @09:17am:
    Why would you not want to save your own species? Are you really that disappointed with humanity?
  2. By Sheldon. Comment posted 01-Dec-2006 @10:03am:
    Save humanity because of:
    1. The Simpsons
    2. In hopes another species will someday make us pets and make us realize how moronic we are.
    3. RC & Moonpies
    4. Humans make good worm food.
  3. By Shakespeare. Comment posted 01-Dec-2006 @03:22pm:
    The Fault, Dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.
  4. By bob. Comment posted 01-Dec-2006 @03:43pm:
    Dude, if you're really that against humanity, feel free to kill yourself and save room for those of us that like the human race.
  5. By wally the duck. Comment posted 01-Dec-2006 @04:58pm:
    Because it can, it will. If it can, that is.
    That is all that underlies any living species: can it live or not? If 'yes', that is the whole justification.
  6. By Mary. Comment posted 01-Dec-2006 @06:41pm:
    Our species is a work in progress, John, as are each of us individually. For you to consider the entire species as not worthy of continuation shows a problem in the way you look at things, not a problem with mankind in general. I'd venture that you're disappointed in your species because your expectations are set too high, which, in its own convoluted way, shows a deeply embedded sense of worth to the species; the only way you can be disappointed in mankind is if you believe they're capable of more than they're achieving, right?

    Anyway, this isn't "Heaven" - it's just a human experience with other humans on this one planet; there's no reason to expect us to be perfect as we are.

    I was pleased to see Hawking come out with this idea in terms we can all understand, and the fact that he believes space colonization is an achievable thing is good news indeed because his mind is on a much higher plane than 99% of the rest of us human beans.
  7. By J-Walk. Comment posted 01-Dec-2006 @06:42pm:
    Why would you not want to save your own species?

    wally nailed it. The existence of humans in the universe is a minuscule blip in time. If the species blows itself up, so be it. If it evolves to the point where it must seek out a new planet in order to survive the damage that it caused, something is wrong and it deserves to become extinct. If you think otherwise, then you must (for some reason) believe that humans are something special on this planet. They really aren't. We're just a species with big brains.
  8. By Mary. Comment posted 01-Dec-2006 @06:45pm:
    I'd add just one more thing: If anything can bring about extinction of our species, it's steadfast negativity; once we believe there's no point to trying, it's over, baby.
  9. By Mary. Comment posted 01-Dec-2006 @06:50pm:
    The universe is chock-full of potentially habitable planets; if we have the capability to check them out, why shouldn't we?

    Would you not buy a new car - even test drive a few - if your shoes were not brand-new, spotless and spiffy?
  10. By J-Walk. Comment posted 01-Dec-2006 @07:01pm:
    I may be wrong, but I don't think we have the capability to check out ANY potentially habitable planets -- much less actually migrate people to them. If we did, it might work out to a few hundred trillion dollars per person.
  11. By kashmarek. Comment posted 01-Dec-2006 @08:48pm:
    J-walk has it right. We don't have the capability to check out any other habitat in the universe. The nearest star is 4 light years, if you can travel that fast. If only at 1% that speed, well, that is 400 years, and we have problems existing in space for a few months, much less birthing new generations without gravity. It is not the dollar cost. There is probably not enough energy on this planet to get us to another like planet in another solar system. We started here, we are going to end here.
  12. By Pancho. Comment posted 01-Dec-2006 @09:43pm:
    Here's a likely scenario for dissemination of intelligent life away from earth:

    1) We develop machines that pass the Turing test. Not only pass but surpass it. (BTW, probably sooner than we imagine, we, humans, won't pass the machines' own hyper-Turing test.)

    2) Machines capable of running the above intelliware and potentially capable of replication are shipped to "neighboring" extrasolar planets. Maybe some will "take".

    3) Exchanges of information, even if slow, will allow continuing upgrade of the emigrant's intelliware.

    4) We will be ancestors (think Lucy) to such multi-planet civ.
  13. By Mary. Comment posted 02-Dec-2006 @12:32am:
    Well, you guys better let Hawking know that his thinking is just balderdash - there's no point in him wasting so much precious time considering things that are just simply impossible.
  14. By shopvacmaggie. Comment posted 02-Dec-2006 @10:39am:
    Yeah, we're a work in progress alright. A real piece of work. What is contained in Hawking's statement is the unsaid realization by one of our species' great minds that we are at serious, deadly risk, by whatever mechanism, (mostly our own making). This will be an interesting struggle between a planet (an entity) that must certainly be recognizing us as a cancer to be eliminated, and our own species survival mechanism (as with any species). We really aren't that "special" in the scheme of things. If something attacks the host being, that host will try to save itself.

    I would like to be the pet of something that would treat me like I treat my pets. Yeah, that's my vote. And I promise I won't "clean" myself in front of guests....
  15. By Imagineer. Comment posted 02-Dec-2006 @01:07pm:
    Guess I'm on the cheerfully pessimistic side of the discussion and concur with J-Walk et al. I take some consolation in knowing that the planet will heal itself--find a new equilibrium--whatever the hell happens to our species. Let's give the dolphins and the cockroaches a kick at the can...


    My friend, Ray, on the other hand, agrees with Hawking and wants to be the first redneck on the Red Planet.
  16. By Sarah. Comment posted 03-Dec-2006 @06:17am:
    I see a lot of people here don't understand what "sarcasm" is.
  17. By Zarathustra. Comment posted 03-Dec-2006 @11:40am:
    A thousand goals have been so far, for there have been a thousand peoples. Only the yoke for the thousand necks is still lacking: the one goal is lacking. Humanity still has no goal.

    But tell me, my brothers, if humanity still lacks a goal — is humanity itself not still lacking too?
  18. By Imagineer. Comment posted 03-Dec-2006 @01:06pm:
    I see a lot of people here don't understand what "sarcasm" is.

    Just guessing as I tend toward the sardonic myself but you're being sarcastic here, right?
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