Happy stuff from robot-voiced super scientist Steven “Happy Happy Joy Joy” Hawking this week:
Professor Stephen Hawking says a disaster on Earth within the next 1000 or 10,000 years is a “near certainty”.
“We face a number of threats: nuclear war, global warming and genetically engineered viruses,” Hawking told the Radio Times ahead of his BBC Reith Lecture.
“Although the chance of a disaster on planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, to a near certainty in the next 1000 or 10,000 years.”
The first sad thing about Professor Hawking’s warning is that he tends to be correct on the stuff that he shares with us, his work on the wave function of the universe, singularities of gravitational collapse and cosmology, and the development of irregularities in a single bubble inflationary universe springing immediately to mind.
The second sad thing about his warning is that it was an answer to a question posed by a schoolboy who wanted to know whether the world was likely to end at the hand of humans or from a natural disaster.
Is it just me, or should schoolboys rather not be thinking about that sort of thing? They should be thinking about whose side they’re going to be on in the break time footy match, or – if they’re older – Katie* Chapman in the Lower Sixth. Not impending doom. Not the end of civilisation.
No man – something’s up there. This schoolboy needs some sort of assessment before he goes postal on his classmates, especially now he’s had this sort of answer from the world’s leading genius.
* Or Keith Chapman. Or both. Each to their own.