14 June 2006

Hawking steps outside bounds

In another sign of how the news likes to create controversy, Stephen Hawking commented publically (in Hong Kong) that humanity's best hope for survival is space colonization (he specifically mentioned the Moon and Mars), and CNN immediately quotes back some MIT profs who say he's talking outside his area of expertise, and it'd be better to build a shelter underground, underneath Antarctica.

Ugh, the way they're trying to undermine him sickens me - the point of the statement was to say that humankind needs to band together, and even if we don't kill ourselves, the universe will so we need to do it NOW. We would be better off starting to pursue mulitple avenues than to fight over which one single way is THE right way. I admire Hawking (even more) for finally stepping forward and saying these things. It is the duty (I feel) of public figures to be role models to the rest of the people, and showing us the folly of our ways is a wonderful way to do so.

You go, Hawking!


jbruno said...

Agreed, zandperl.

I wrote a post recently about scientific communication and the media. The age old "two sides" tendency of journalists is a strong one (I'm speaking from my own experience); they ask creationists about evolutionary theory, and politicians about global warming. The truth is, not every statement necessitates opposition, nor is every opinion equal.

The Pagan Temple said...

An underground shelter at Antartica might do nicely for the relative handful of elites who would obviously be first in line for the arc, but what about the mass of humanity?

All of these ideas are sound ones for expansion of the human species, but the obvious main emphasis for it's overall survival should be trying to salvage the world we have before it's too late.

utenzi said...

...or realizing that our species is a plague on the planet and letting evolution take another spin at the wheel. I really don't think we need to spread any further...