The world’s foremost physicist, Stephen Hawking has once again enjoyed a burst of creativity. He has in recent days made several intriguing statements, offering a number of spontaneous views, and generally given to those of us within the Hawking sphere of influence, some new things to think about.
Hawking has it seems joined the previous greatest thinker on Earth, Doctor/Professor Albert Einstein, in a new determination that there is no God. Einstein we recall, while describing himself as a “deeply religious man,” went on to say he could not conceive of a God who would “reward or punish,” nor could he condone a belief in a consciousness which would “survive physical death.” Hawking cites the existence of even a single planet revolving around a star not our sun as proof that “There is no God.”
Hawking has co-authored a new book, The Grand Design, with American physicist physicist Leonard Mlodinow, the book to be released the week of September 6, 2010. The physicists disagree pointedly with Sir Isaac Newton, who believed that because the Universe could not have been wrought out of chaos, it must have a divine origin. Hawking’s point is that the universe, with planets other than our own, was therefore not designed simply to please humans. It should be mentioned that this marks a change of thinking for Hawking, who did believe in God as recently as 1988.
In other matters, Hawking warns us that we might do well to leave our home planet of Earth and travel to a few other destinations, not as it were, placing our “eggs” in a “single basket.” He says the future of Earth is “touch and go,” and mentions specifically the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1963 as a point in time when it all might have ended. We recall that Soviet missiles had been installed in Cuba, aimed at the U.S., and then-President John Kennedy warned that if they were not removed we would strike from a flotilla of warships that we emplaced around that island nation. The missiles at the last moment were removed. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev ordered the dismantling of the offensive weapons and returned them to the Soviet Union. The point then is that Stephen Hawking say’s with potential extinction a distinct possibility within periods of decades, surely we cannot face hundreds or thousands of years with the expectation of survival.
Hawking also warns that there is an almost 100% certainty of space aliens, many of whom may be hostile, and we shouldn’t take foolish chances. In one view of the Hawking’s thinking, if we encounter such aliens, we must not speak to them! If we attempt to reveal ourselves, open handed to the universe, we might be like kitchen mice, waving flags, and saying, “Here we are!!”
Hawking, always an interesting observer, suggests an additional option; that perhaps rather than search out a planet which might take centuries to reach, we could merely exceed the speed of light, move forward in time, and then re-populate our eventually devastated Earth. Hawking does mention that talk of time-travel was once equated with quackery, but he say’s, these days he is not so cautious!