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Shame on you Stephen Hawking

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posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 09:27 PM
reply to post by solarstorm

I think he must just be protecting his family

i thought he would be a little less cut and dry about it

but money and government talks

truth walks

posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 11:54 PM
In the end he's just another guy with an opinion. Not everything that comes out of his computerized voice synthesizer is going to be brilliant.

[edit on 24-4-2008 by JRCrowley]

posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 11:59 PM
I agree with the poster that said that it is just another example of someone being quite brilliant in one area and rather dim in another.

He lost me when he made the statement that "the only hope for humanity was us moving out to the stars." While I know that many on this board would like to see such a move, and I would like to see it myself, to ignore the most obvious solution to our problem completely showed me that he has some gaps in his reasoning.

The most obvious solution to our problem being, the strict use of birth control.

posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 01:35 AM
I find this quite Hypocritical of him, seeing as He's actually in love with Davros the Dalek overlord.... *Clicking please*

I hope you enjoy watching this as much as I did


posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 10:23 AM

Originally posted by kleverone
I believe this is a perfect demonstration of how man can be so intelligent in one area of his life and so ignorant in another. He comments regarding cranks and weirdos only showcases his lack of knowledge on the subject. I would have expected more from Mr. Hawking. I guess this just goes to prove that book smarts and common sense are do not always go hand in hand. My 2 pennies

Agreed, its well known that very intelligent people lack a certain common sense.
In this case the ratio between such, speaks for itself. Suppose ya cant suss EVERYTHING OUT SIMON!! Stick to black holes!!

posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 11:07 AM

Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
He lost me when he made the statement that "the only hope for humanity was us moving out to the stars." While I know that many on this board would like to see such a move, and I would like to see it myself, to ignore the most obvious solution to our problem completely showed me that he has some gaps in his reasoning.

The most obvious solution to our problem being, the strict use of birth control.

I know that this is off-topic, and I apologize, but it's hard for me to see this quote in print and not respond.

I undertook a detailed study many years ago, analyzing the various 'problems' Humans face in the coming years. This study related directly to the question you are discussing here.

One of the major issues we face as Humans in the next 100 years is in fact our growing population, so in a way, your solution does address that issue. I don't think it's necessarily the best solution, but that's neither here nor there.

What I must take issue with here is the fact that population boom is not the ONLY problem Humans currently face, nor is it the most dire, or the hardest to deal with.

There are MANY reasons that Humans need to head out into space. To put it as briefly as possible, it's not good to keep all of your eggs in one basket. As it stands today, all of our eggs (Humans) are in the same basket (Earth), and that basket itself is not invulnerable to disaster.

I'll just list two other factors here, but I think you'll get the point:
1) Asteroid impact on the level of an ELE (exctinction level event)
2) A local GRB (Gamma Ray Burst)

There are MANY other things that could go wrong here on Earth, that could wipe us all out, however, the two factors listed above are inevitable. They are GOING to happen at some point in Earth's timeline.

Birth Control cannot address these (and other) issues.

So I must agree with Stephen on this point. The ONLY chance for Human survival on a timescale extending past the next century, is for us to begin to settle other worlds, and to develop a presence in space.

This is one of the major reasons I side with Stephen and continue to respect his opinion, regardless of the (as of yet not officially verified in transcript form) unfortunate choice of words he may have used.

He thinks very deeply about these issues. And he understands the problems we face on a level that most are not capable of understanding.
I don't mean that to be insulting, I mean to say that it took me MUCH study (and I'm sure it took Stephen much study also) to come to these conclusions. And I'm a fairly smart guy.

Primarily, on topic, I feel that if Stephen actually did make these comments about UFO experiencers, he only did so because he actually CARES about the field of research, and does not want to see it infected with further fraudulent cases.

Think of your parents. They didn't yell at you and punish you as a child in order to make you angry. They did it to teach you life lessons (I'm talking about everyone here, not just the poster). I think Stephen really cares about this field of research (mostly from watching him pursue answers to life great mysteries over the years) and even if that caring occasionally takes the form of anger, it is still motivated by the same underlying emotion, he cares.


posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 12:15 PM
Hey guys,

Stephen Hawking had happen to himself what few others can claim. He has become a living legend. Any quote by such an authority is likely to muster great attention. Having him repeat such silliness must serve a purpose. Latest theories posit that the Universe is infinite. Thanks to Michio Kaku we now have the theory of an infinite number of infinite universes. As Roger Zelazny put it: Positing infinity, the rest is easy. Stephen Hawking is absolutely aware of this.

My take is that he had no choice in this affair. Mr Hawking is - apart from being an eminent and humanely intelligent physicist - a sharp-minded philosopher, which in view of the lack of adequate testing equipment is an important characteristic in his profession. When he takes the stage everybody seems to listen. This might imply a concerted timeliness regarding the quote causing this thread. Perhaps somebody got the impression that the conditioned public perception was softening alarmingly and needed to be reminded of Orthodoxy, i.e. Thinking-The-Right-Way.

Just entertain the following thought for a moment: If the bombings in Iraq were to stop over a lengthened period there wouldn't be any more reason in spending that kind of money and raising profits even more. Therefore the bombings are not likely to end during the Bush Dynasty's reign. If one can get used to the notion that I am alleging a very unscrupulous mindset behind these goings-on, coercing some philosopher into making silly statements surely would be feasible. I mean, Stephen Hawking must be aware of Dr Stephen Greer's Disclosure Project therefore, using the offending terms surely wasn't his idea in the first place.

One single bomb can cause billions in profits in the stock market. All you have to know is where, when, and who. What would you do with this kind of power?

Over here in Europe and in one of the last havens of freedom to boot, I get very accentuated impressions of a mysterious entity around Switzerland consolidating its power. They call it European Union but the meaning is becoming clearer by the day and the implications crop up like funghi. Germany demands of all its neighboring states to sharpen firearms legislation drastically. Our opinions differ. Strangely, nobody seems to remember the gun legislation of Nazi Germany. This is but one small example. Or try to comprehend my amazement when George W. declared his troops immune to foreign law and over here no government made the slightest fuss about it as if they had no alternative. Politicians or not, nobody can be THAT stupid.

Maybe it's just me but I can't shake the thought that something very big is in the making and I'm almost one hundred percent certain I won't like it.

Stephen Hawking's statement takes on a whole new meaning under this light. If they mobilize the Saints, so to speak, a certain urgency could be infered. Are they planning a new coup which preferably should not be observed by the general populace (because only cranks and crooks would do it)? Your bet is as good as mine.


posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 12:55 PM
reply to post by outrageousfortune

That was a very well thought out post. I'm not sure that I entirely agree with everything, but I very much appreciated reading your position.

I miss Roger Zelazny, the world is a much smaller place without his postulations and created worlds.

In fact, I haven't even heard his name spoken in ages.

Thanks for making me consider his words again, in context to this latest Hawking 'scandal'.

Michio Kaku's work in this field is also very relevent.


posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 10:54 PM
reply to post by WitnessFromAfar

Good points, and I do agree that it would offer some protection to the ELE asteroid scenario, or some radiation bursts of any kind. However I disagree entirely with your assessment of the seriousness of the population problem. What is one of the biggest motivators to war? Conflict over resources. What is sure to cause conflict over resources? Too many people and the damage they do, combined with the natural fluctuations of our climate and how that impacts food supply.

Why I feel that demonstrates a gap in his reasoning is the assumption that taking a human out of an environment that we are unable to manage ourselves in, and before we learn to use reason to control our tempers, our population, our waste, etc., will ensure our survival. Every planet we may colonize is likely to have its own "ticking time bombs." Even the idea of just flying around aimlessly in space forever is pointless if we cannot maintain the living conditions within our ship by managing our population growth while zooming around among the stars.

He feels it may only take 6 years to travel to the nearest star, but how long to develop the technology? And once there, what do we do? Our attempt at creating a domed self sustaining environment here on Earth failed miserably, and what money are we spending to ensure we can create one that doesnt fail? And if we cannot even manage to live sustainably on the planet we were designed to inhabit, or manage the stress of natural and human caused fluctuations of resources here by not having a nuclear war, really, what chance do we have in a more hostile environment?

Leaving the planet before we master the most basic survival skill, not populating to such a degree that your food chain collapses and war breaks out in this case, only ensures that we die in exotic places around the galaxy. It does not ensure our survival, or even make it more likely.

As for how serious an issue the population problem is, I guess one's opinion on that depends on what country you live in, and how many standing armies that country has to both swipe resources from the weaker nations and protect its own resources.

From Wikipedia;

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, more than 25,000 people died of starvation every day in 2003,[1] and as of 2001 to 2003, about 800 million people were chronically undernourished.[2][1] Scientists say millions of people face starvation following an outbreak of a deadly new strain of blight, known as Ug99, which is spreading across the wheat fields of Africa and Asia.[3]

Thats an estimated 9,125,000 people in 2003 who would surely disagree with you that over population is not that big an issue. (if they were still alive to give an opinion that is) And nearly a billion more who, while not dead, are just barely able to find enough food to live. And thats just business as usual. Unless we find another source of energy quick, those numbers are going way up in the near future. Notice whats happening to food prices? Not to mention "special events" like the wheat fungus or other "natural" disasters in a dangerously under diversified food production scheme.

So, although the topic is Hawking's poor judgment in lumping all sighters and believers of UFO's into the "crank and whacko" category, I think his poor judgment in general is fair game and relevant to the topic.

The assumption that the collapse of our civilization or environment due to our excesses will happen in a slow, orderly and predictable fashion that will allow us time to develop interstellar flight is quite amusing. It demonstrates a huge overestimation of our capability to handle disaster that, say, Hurricane Katrina should have clearly showed we do not possess, and it also underestimates the degree to which our systems in general have become interdependent and excruciatingly vulnerable to collapse.

I put my money on what I call the "Jenga theory of societal collapse." Some yahoo is going to pull the wrong little stick, and the whole mess will come down so fast we wont know what hit us. And I seriously doubt that we will develop the technology to survive independently of Earth before this happens. I love science and technology, and am very aware of what we currently can and cannot do, and we arent even close to making that a possibility.

posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 10:48 AM
This man is a physicist, not a conspiracist. He wants real PROOF, not blurry pictures of aliens. I actually agree with him to some extent.

There are 2 types of people in this world. Those who believes in something beyond Earth and those who believes that there is only us.

posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 02:55 PM
reply to post by Illusionsaregrander

Hi there. Thanks for expanding on your earlier idea.

I just want to make sure that you know, I agree with you that the population increase is a big problem. I just don't think it's the biggest or the worst problem. I said so in my initial post:

["One of the major issues we face as Humans in the next 100 years is in fact our growing population, so in a way, your solution does address that issue. I don't think it's necessarily the best solution, but that's neither here nor there.

What I must take issue with here is the fact that population boom is not the ONLY problem Humans currently face, nor is it the most dire, or the hardest to deal with. " -WFA]

So, I hope you understand that your entire last post, while well thought out for certain, doesn't really apply to the post of mine you were replying to.

All I meant to say was that Hawking was right on the statement you questioned him on. We do need to move into space as a species in order to survive, because our problems if we limit ourselves to Earth are many, in ADDITION to population.

And moving out into space can solve the population problem without limiting the population. You can solve MANY of the problems Humans face as a species by expansion and the colonizing of the solar system, and eventually others.

As far as our current progress goes, nothing has conclusively shown the idea to be impossible. We've had some set backs, sure, just like in any other research and development program for any concept over the last 100 years. But that doesn't mean we can't do it. For some really cool information, you should really check out the research being done at Devon Island by the Mars Society. Sustainable habitats in space and on other worlds is not so far fetched of an idea. This article is from 2000:

As for constantly zipping around hoping our habitats will hold up in spaceships, I don't think that would be the best idea. We'd need large permanent facilities with local raw materials with which we can manufacture air and water. IMHO, an ideal target for such an establishment would be an asteroid, or possibly even a satellite from the Kuiper Belt.

I do certainly agree with your entire last paragraph however, that we aren't there yet, and we aren't spending enough money figuring out the best ways to get and stay there. NASA has some serious issues, and I think it's going to take private citizens and commercial development before the infrastructure can begin to be installed for such a strategy.

But regardless of all that. When it comes right down to it, Hawking was right about moving out into space. Birth control won't protect us from a GRB, nor will it protect us from an ELE Impactor. Birth control cannot prevent the eventual death of the Sun, nor can it prevent the eventual decay of Earth's own magnetic field and atmosphere.

While Earth in it's present conditions will foreseeably be around for longer than you or I personally will be alive (most likely), it certainly WON'T last forever. And if Humans want to survive some of the lethal eventualities that are one day sure to affect our planet, we need to exist on other planets as well.

Back in context to the thread (after all of that, I apologize
) Hawking's obviously deep level of thought into these issues is one of the reasons I continue to respect his opinion highly, even in the face of the allegations made in the press regarding undocumented statements he may or may not have made.


[edit on 26-4-2008 by WitnessFromAfar]

posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 05:34 PM
One of the greatest men to ever live. Just because he doesn't believe aliens have visited, does not mean he doesn't think there is life out there.

posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 09:38 PM

Originally posted by solarstorm
What a load of crap.

"We don't appear to have been visited by aliens," Hawking said, adding that he discounts reports of UFOs. "Why would they only appear to cranks and weirdoes?"

[edit on 21-4-2008 by solarstorm]

Load of crap? hes absolutely right... have YOU ever seen a alien? Im not talking about lights in the sky, cause realistically speaking those could be anything, just look 20 years ago... a "UFO" then looks alot like a f22 raptor today.

People like to believe in Aliens and maybe they do exist, but until they show themselves to the mass population on Earth we can only speculate. And honestly we waste time speculating on pointless arguments like these while our political leaders continue to cut down funds for our space programs. Believe it or not, but the human race is thriving on this planet by pure chance it would be a real shame for us to go and blow this wonderful opportunity.

I could never understand how people could embrace the idea of something greater than us being so obsessed with us. We're nothing special.

[edit on 26-4-2008 by Praafit]

posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 12:52 AM
Two things, sorry if either has been said, there's quite a few responses.

1. If Stephen Hawking pronounces a claim to do with science, evidence will be demanded of him to back it. His claim that UFOs only appear to cranks and weirdos is not based on any evaluation of evidence; it's not even based on a reference to any. It's a classic case of someone commenting on affairs well out of the domain of evidencd with which they are genuinely familiar. Hawking has a bit of a history of this, which is fine at one level, but unless he publishes the evidence I'm not obliged to consider it by the very criteria he demands of others.

2. The very fact that Hawking is one of the few prominent scientists and academics to make such a strong statement is, in the broader scheme, more interesting than the fact he made it.

As an aside, I saw Roger Penrose speak a while back and he disagreed with Hawking when he changed his mind about black holes, saying he thought he was right the first time. So the guy who worked with Hawking on singularities disagrees with him on a highly significant issue directly related to their work. I also think that puts Hawking's comments here in some perspective. So he doesn't believe, and probably hasn't seriously looked at any testimony or spoken with credible witnesses who've given testimony. Not surprising, it's pretty difficult for the guy to get out.

posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 12:32 PM

Originally posted by WitnessFromAfar
I just want to make sure that you know, I agree with you that the population increase is a big problem. I just don't think it's the biggest or the worst problem.

My assertion that Mr. Hawkings reasoning displays gaps is based on the premise that he is putting the cart before the horse. You do not do that (successfully) when running an equation. You have to consider all the variables, and address them in proper order. In his analysis of what we need to do in order to survive as a species, he is addressing real variables, the ones you mention, but not in the proper "order of operations." (ie: what must come first in order that those variables ever enter the equation) And while I agree that controlling our population and managing our use of resources to survive on this planet will not protect us from ELE such as Asteroid impacts, or GRBs, I would appeal to history (a logical fallacy, but one we use successfully in science all the time to make predictions) to support my disagreement with you that this IS the most pressing threat to our survival as a species.

While it lacks the glamor of an asteroid or GRB, it is far more common that a species be pushed into extinction either by its own population growth outstripping its available resources, or a competitors population growth causing it to invade its "territory" and squeeze it out by competing for the resources it needs for survival or fouling those resources so neither can use them, or by a sudden "natural" (earth bound) change in the environmental conditions. These less glamourous and exciting extinctions happen all the time, and in fact, we are in the midst of one as we speak. From Wikipedia; the entire article can be read here;

# Present day — the Holocene extinction event. 70% of biologists view the present era as part of a mass extinction event, possibly one of the fastest ever, according to a 1998 survey by the American Museum of Natural History. Some, such as E. O. Wilson of Harvard University, predict that humanity's destruction of the biosphere could cause the extinction of one-half of all species in the next 100 years.


One of the major issues we face as Humans in the next 100 years is in fact our growing population, so in a way, your solution does address that issue. I don't think it's necessarily the best solution, but that's neither here nor there.

It may or may not be the "best" solution, but it can be put into practice humanely, and immediately. What the "best" solution is requires a very precise definition of all the variables in the problem that we are not likely to accomplish here. The data may not exist for us to do this at all. We simply do not understand the intricate workings of a biological system like "our environment" well enough. Which is one of my arguments against considering moving off this planet before we do. We are wholly unable to recreate a self sustaining closed biological system, even here on Earth because we do not have this understanding, technology to achieve interstellar flight aside.

What I must take issue with here is the fact that population boom is not the ONLY problem Humans currently face, nor is it the most dire, or the hardest to deal with.

And here lies the root of our disagreement. Climate change is not a "problem." It is a fact of life on planet Earth. Our ability to deal with climate change, and cope, by having the option of moving to areas that become more suitable and out of areas that become unsuitable, and to deal with the natural cycles of expansion and contraction of resources is directly linked to how we manage our population growth. We currently inhabit virtually every habitable location on Earth. And some that would not "naturally" be habitable were it not for our current technology and the ready supply of relatively cheap energy. We have no place left to go. Mass movements of one desperate large group of humans fleeing a collapsing environment into an area already inhabited by a large group of humans that are "living on the edge" in terms of resources is a recipe for war. Which brings its own problems in a modern age where supply chains can be disrupted rather easily, and many large metropolitan areas only have days or weeks of the necessary supplies on hand to sustain the population thanks to advances in supply chain management, (just in time management.) Globalization has made it very difficult for any one (industrialized) region to be self sustaining. Not to mention disease, which tends to closely follow war, and if the war should go nuclear, the added environmental stress of that.

Although you do not feel that these are pressing concerns to us, I would remind you that humanity has not yet faced an ELE from an asteroid, or GRB in our short history here on Earth. The events that have pushed us to the brink of extinction in the past have been homegrown. A very nice graphic that shows the historical movements of humankind is here;

We have a stirring super volcano here in the US, right now. No one knows when it will blow, of course, but it is on our radar. It is currently making suspicious movements. We have no ELE size asteroid bearing down upon us that we are aware of at the moment. Nor do we have information that I am aware of that a GRB is imminent. Most information I have seen on the death of the sun places that in the very distant future. The events Hawking's movement into space are most likely to save us from are not imminent. The events that have the most immediate probability of either causing us to go extinct or causing a collapse of our civilization that would seriously thwart our ability to create interstellar craft are problems that could be dealt with if we took seriously our survival here, on Earth, and ensured we had places to go in times of natural disaster by lowering the overall population.

My argument is that; we do not currently have the technology to make leaving Earth feasible. Crisis' that would NECESSITATE our leaving are not imminent. We do have the technology to humanely reduce our population via controlling our birthrate. Crisis' that our population would exacerbate from a tragedy to a possible extinction are much more likely in the immediate future and so pop. control should be prioritized.

posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 03:24 PM
reply to post by Illusionsaregrander

Well let me just say first and foremost that I think that was the most amazing reply I've ever gotten from anyone at ATS. I read your post twice back to back, you make some incredibly valid points.

I agree with all of the possible problems you listed there, and you are completely right that they need to be considered in order of likelyhood.

I hadn't even really mentioned climate change, but thank you for also bringing that up.

It's clear now to me that we both agree there are many problems facing humans. And I see that you place the population issue as the highest priority because you feel it is the most immediate.

Here's where I think we still might disagree...
1) While it seems apparent that your strategy involves dealing with these issues one at a time, I am of the opinion that by continuing a strong push towards offworld colonization, we can solve many of these issues with a single solution.

2) I think that we also disagree about the urgency with which I feel the Human species requires the ability to deal with potential impacting asteroids. I absolutely understand your (obviously) expert opinion on the population crisis. I just also feel that this problem is equally important, since it could happen at any time, and the KT impact event does count as a part of Human history, since without it, it seems highly unlikely that mammals would ever have been allowed to develop further than the level of small rodents (prey for dinosaurs).

3) I also must disagree about Humanity's capability to live within a closed ecosystem to date. I know that there aren't exactly publicly known places I can point to in an online forum, but I think that you and I can both agree that there are most certainly underground military facilties (some of them buried inside mountians) here in North America than can be considered an analogue to a closed ecosystem environment. These installations are designed to remain closed to the outside world for months (some for years and decades) at a time. This can be done on Earth, and we have the ability to refine our own air and water from local materials that we already know exist on other worlds. The same technology can feasibly be applied to any offworld installation, provided the tools required to build the installation can be transported to the scene. Both the Moon and Mars (and likely many other 'rocky worlds' we encounter outside of our own Solar System) have the basic building materials we would need to construct livable dwellings.

But those few exceptions being stated, I think that you and I agree completely on the fact that there are a lot of important issues out there that humans face, that NEED addressing for the survival of our species. You and I both agree with Stephen on that point also, it seems. Our solutions to these problems differ, but at least we've established some common ground.

That, combined with the amount of thought and effort you put into explaining your position is enough for me to go add you to my friends list.

You and I don't have to agree on these issues in order to learn from each other's well thought out perspectives. Well met IllusionsAreGrander.

I look forward to reading your thoughts in the future.


posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 04:21 PM
Actually, not shame on him, but shame on us, the UFO community, for allowing the crackpots to be the ones that leave the main impression on society at large.

Clearly we aren't working hard enough to deny ignorance if there's still so much noise no one sees beyond it.

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