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Retro: Stephen Hawking warns of evil space aliens


From Charlie Martin at PJ Media:

Hawking is certainly the most famous theoretical physicist since Albert Einstein, and rightly so, as he’s been very creative, developed theoretical ideas that have turned out to explain real physical observations — as well a a lot which haven’t been physically verified — and has done so while setting an apparent world record for the longest-surviving Lou Gehrig’s disease patient.

This means that anything Hawking says about any scientific topic is news. On the other hand, that doesn’t make it right, especially as he strays beyond the edges of his own field.

Recently, he has been doomsaying about artificial intelligence as well as carbon dioxide and evil alien intelligences. Re the latter (2010):

Even Hawking just points it out as an interesting possibility that he brought up as he (along with others) was announcing another big project to search for extraterrestrial intelligence. But Hawking’s worry about this has been reported in the sort of legacy media “Brilliant scientist says we’re doomed” way that usually indicates the reporter knows what sells even if they had trouble getting a C in “Basic Science for Arts Students.”

That, I think, is the biggest problem with this, and most other science reporting. Follow science reporting in the legacy media, and you’re continuously seeing stories about a famous scientist predicting impending doom, or a study that shows something we’re eating or drinking will kill us all. They know that impending doom will sell papers, so impending doom is what we get.More.

<em>Teapot</em> Cobalt Blue Well, a prophet is never honored in his own country right? Why be a prophet if you don’t even believe in divine guidance anyway?

Anyway, how be this: Legacy media are doomed.

See also: Why much science reporting is on the way out, along with the traditional media that support it

Math vs. Darwinian evolution (Marks on artificial intelligence)


How do we grapple with the idea that ET might not be out there?

Our fathers, which art in space Hallowed be thy cranes Mung
He believes in invisible men in the sky. tribune7
We can't say we weren't warned. Mung
Nonsense remains nonsense regardless of who says it. Dionisio
@3 error correction It's 'does' not 'des'. Dionisio
"The third Doom was that we might make contact with an alien intelligence, and they'd be Evil." What des he mean by 'evil'? Dionisio
harry at 1, it is better for a great mind to be persecuted by little minds than to be surrounded by petty sycophants who can't tell him that the wheels fell off. News
I wrote off Hawking when he said that "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing." A once great mind has lost it. Somebody needs to tell him. harry

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