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Hawking Says Humans Must Go Into Space

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the purple-belly-push dept.

843

neutralino writes "The Associated Press reports that astrophysicist Stephen Hawking wants humans to establish colonies in space in order to ensure the survival of the human race. At a news conference in Hong Kong, Hawking said that 'It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species. Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of.'"

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It would be way more important.. (-1, Offtopic)

Aliencow (653119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525948)

To be the first species to post !

Right now? (4, Funny)

ewg (158266) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525949)

Do we have to go into space right now? Do I have time to go home and change?

Re:Right now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15525993)

No. You grab the food and the universal translator, and I'll grab the spaceship keys! Quick, or we'll be late, and all of humanity is going to die!

Re:Right now? (4, Insightful)

bsartist (550317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526077)

Do we have to go into space right now? Do I have time to go home and change?
This joke, like many, is funny because there's a grain of truth in it. Do we have time? No one knows. The Big Disaster could happen tomorrow, or it might not be for a thousand years. If we wait until we *do* know about it, it may be too late to avoid it.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

blahblah987654321 (982037) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525953)

thank goodness, GNAA all the way

The irony is (4, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525954)

We'd just start creating things that can wipe out the galaxy.

Re:The irony is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15526044)

There is no irony in that statement.

Re:The irony is (3, Funny)

IgLou (732042) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526127)

Wouldn't irony be more like mankind sets off in giant spaceships to colonize the galaxy and save the planet only to die horrifically in a freak interstellar traffic accident? It could happen easily too, I don't see any stop signs up there! And how do you do right of way in 3 dimensions?? It's madness I say!

I doubt it. (1)

Virak (897071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526128)

We may be good at making things go boom, but galaxies are very big things, and it'll be a very long time before we can make anything that'd have any sort of significant effect on them.

Re:I doubt it. (2, Funny)

corbettw (214229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526228)

Well we'd best get crackin' then!

Re:The irony is (4, Funny)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526179)

Well then we'd better learn how to travel to other galaxies, fast.

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Poor solution (0, Offtopic)

itistoday (602304) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526232)

It seems that even Hawking believes that any attempt to change Western culture is in vain. Western society bears a remarkable resemblance to cancer. Fly over urban metropolises and you'll see pus and grime coming out of them, a haze of brown tinges their atmosphere. People shuttle to and fro in their daily lives, consuming as much as their salaries will allow. They justify this as acceptable in the "spirit of capitalism". It's "acceptable" to spend all that money on crap you don't need, because everybody else has it, or "it's cool".

They haven't the slightest hint of how to be happy. They're always unsatisfied. They need more and more, and they live for the future.

In these cultures, from the day you are born you are being rushed to some unknown destination. You go to grade school and graduate that, and that's great because then you go on to high school, and you better good grades so that you can graduate and continue on to college. That's great because then you can go on to graduate school and get a job. You continue in hopes of reaching that future success. Then most of these blobs will be told they need to hurry up there too, so that they can meet that quota, and then by the time you're 40, bald, and more or less impotent, you say: "My God! I've arrived!" And you look around and realize that not much changed, and you feel a big let down, you feel deceived, as if there was some hoax played on you. And there was. In their rush to get you to this point they've made you miss everything.

Finally, westerners are incredibly lonely. They feel as if they are isolated egos inside of a bag of skin. Their idea of God is this old "grampa" like figure who's "king of kings" sitting "up there" in heaven and ruling over the cosmos. Well... I could go on about this, but then I'd fill up several pages. If you're interested about what I said here, please know that it was basically all taken from the words of Alan Watts [wikipedia.org] , the 20th century's best and little known-about philosopher and interpreter of Eastern religions. To get a taste of his works read the first two chapters [zenhell.com] (forgive their design) for free online from his book: "The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are". [amazon.com]

Kobol (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525957)

I say we all go back to Kobol, and meet up with the other 12 colonies. :)

It looks like they already have some really cool stuff.

Re:Kobol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15526112)

Not to mention ships filled with naked Boomers...

Re:Kobol (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526126)

000010 IDENTIFICATION DIVISION.
000020 PROGRAM-ID. FLEE.
000030 AUTHOR. STEPHEN HAWKING.
000040 DATE-WRITTEN. 13 June 2006
000050 ENVIRONMENT DIVISION.
000060 INPUT-OUTPUT SECTION.
000070 FILE-CONTROL.

Well, you get the idea.

Only if you care about the future of humanity... (2, Insightful)

AmazingRuss (555076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525959)

...otherwise, space exploration is a boondoggle.

Re:Only if you care about the future of humanity.. (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526107)

"May the Circle be unbroken, by and by Lord, by and by.
There's a better home a waiting, In teh Sky Lord, in the Sky".
-A.P. Carter

Daddy, why are the Republicans doing this? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15525961)

I don't think I've ever seen such a look of misery and dejection on the face of my daughter as I just did a moment ago. She just couldn't understand why the President would be going to Iraq when so many things are wrong in this country. "Doesn't Mr. Bush care about us anymore?" she asked pitifully.

I sat down with her on the sofa and (as calmly as I could) tried to explain to her why the President seems to be abandoning his country. "Honey, I think his boss, Mr. Rove, sent Mr. Bush out of the country in order to keep himself out of the newspapers. You see, he wasn't sure if he was going to be arrested today or not, and so he planned Mr. Bush's trip ahead of time just in case..."

I tried to keep my voice steady, but it became increasingly difficult - the rage and feelings of helplessness were just too much. I think my daughter could tell something was wrong. I found myself at such a loss for words - nothing made any sense; nothing makes sense anymore. I finally had to admit, "Honey, I just don't know - I don't know what's going on in this country anymore..."

When I finished her lower lip started to tremble and her eyes began to fill with tears, "Daddy" she said, "why are the Republicans doing this to the country?" Well, that was it for me: I finally fell apart. She just fell into my arms and we both began sobbing for several minutes.

For once she had to comfort me and get me back on my feet. Sometimes I just think it's too much, but seeing the strength in my young daughter's voice helped me to get through.

(M4d pr0ps to CheChe [dailykos.com] !)

Re:Daddy, why are the Republicans doing this? (1)

Asshat Canada (804093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526014)

HA HA!

Worst. Government. Ever.

Re:Daddy, why are the Republicans doing this? (1)

Chicken04GTO (957041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526129)

While I agree with the point of your post, it was otherwise stupid as hell.

We must search for intelligent life (3, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525964)

We're running out of it here.

Although seriously, everyone still living on earth makes for a giant single point of failure. But my ping time is going to suck if I start gaming from the moon.

Re:We must search for intelligent life (1)

glassjaw rocks (793596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526006)

You'll just have to game in your own region. Coming soon: Google Moon (Beta)

Re:We must search for intelligent life (2, Insightful)

Valthan (977851) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526139)

Umm, not coming soon, its here already... http://moon.google.com/ [google.com]

Re:We must search for intelligent life (1)

BobNET (119675) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526235)

Coming soon: Google Moon (Beta)

They've already got it. [google.com] And before you ask, they've got that, too [google.com] .

avoidance (2, Funny)

wjsroot (732775) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525982)

Talk about avoiding the problem.

Instead of fixing our problems and looking for solutions, lets go into space to get away from it all.
some how this seems like a bad idea, or atleast a bad reason. Why not go into space for some positive reason? like to learn or solve a problem like over population...

Re:avoidance (4, Insightful)

div_2n (525075) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526069)

Right. So we don't need to backup data, have spare tires, insurance of any kind or disaster recovery plans. Because, after all, those are just measures that ignore the problems.

Re:avoidance (1, Insightful)

cyngus (753668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526080)

Certainly solving the world's problems is a better idea, its also much harder. Pragmatically, if your goal is preservation of the species, the easiest way to increase the chances is to get some of us off this rock. As to over population, its not going to be a problem. The world population is forecast to peak in the next fifty years. Population is already falling in many European countries and Japan (or will be shortly), and if it weren't for immigration, the population of the US would be declining as well. The challenge in a century may not be over, but under, population. One thing that could be an issue is resource competition. Will there be enough food for us to survive? Yes. As India and China grow richer the competition for resources that make consumer goods will increase, causing prices of many items to rise. Ironically the low-cost production the West has been tapping for the last couple of decades will eventually lead to increasing prices.

Re:avoidance (4, Funny)

machine of god (569301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526090)

Hey, if I can put off dealing with something until the heat death of the universe, I call that a problem solved.

Re:avoidance (1)

subgrappler (864963) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526116)

sure, lets fix the problem of an asteroid the size of texas from hitting our planet. jokes aside, going into space might be the easier, cheaper, less blood spilling solution.

Re:avoidance (3, Insightful)

honestmonkey (819408) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526120)

You hear that "whooshing" sound? That's the whole idea, going right over your head.

Hawking isn't saying "Earth's toast, let's go screw someplace else up." He is saying that we don't want to put all our eggs in one basket. Let's have a backup Earth somewhere, so that if the huge meteor hits, or global warming drowns us all, or some virus comes along and kills us all, at least some of humanity will survive.

We can try to fix things that we can here on Earth, but we don't control the rest of the solar system, or viruses, or massive volcanoes, or [your favorite disaster here].

Re:avoidance (1)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526123)

Well, hopefully only the smart people will go. The smart people and their nurses [myway.com] .

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:avoidance (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526132)

Instead of fixing our problems and looking for solutions, lets go into space to get away from it all.
Are you just trolling, did you read the article... or even the summary? It's not running, it's creating a limited backup.

If you're maintaining a critical server, do you not have redundant server(s) in case of catastrophic failure? Maybe a RAID array? Sure, you'll be doing your damnedest to prevent the failure, but don't you prepare for the potential failure anyway?

Also, re: overpopulation: Colonies will not do anything to solve this problem. Shipping excess population off might alleviate some of the pressure for a bit, but it just delays the inevitable -- plus the cost of transporting billions of people has got to be astronomical (pardon the pun). Better off solving the overpopulation problem first, before we transfer it to other worlds.

Re:avoidance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15526136)

You're missing the point. Space colonization is not a substitute for solving earthbound problems, it's an insurance policy against problems we can't solve or do so poorly. Carrying an extra can of gas in your car isn't an excuse for not remembering to fill up your tank now and then, it's a safeguard. Not to mention, if the idea of exploring planets beyond our own doesn't trigger some emotional response deep within, then I think you're missing a vital piece of what it means to be human.

Some people seem to think that spending money on space exploration is inexcusable until every last bit of human misery on this planet is eradicated. At that rate, we'll never leave.

Re:avoidance (1)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526150)

Why not go into space for some positive reason? like to learn or solve a problem like over population...
Overpopulation won't be solved by emigration. Humans have historically reproduced at rates far in excess of emigration rates, and I see no reason to think that that will change, particularly given the number of resources required per capita to put people into space. I'm all in favor of space exploration, but it's not a solution to population pressure.

Re:avoidance (1)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526190)

So you think going into space to help avoid the possibility of human extinction, which could stem from a multitude of different scenarios that we can't even imagine, is a bad idea because we should just fix our problems (even the ones we don't know about)? Then you go on to suggest we leave for a "positive reason" such as solving an over population problem. Isn't this in opposition of your point that we shouldn't use leaving to solve problems? Maybe you don't think overpopulation is a solvable problem, and yet you seem sure that all the other ones must be?

Re:avoidance (1)

bsartist (550317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526200)

The problem of overpopulation is caused by having too many people for the available space. Increasing the amount of available space isn't avoidance, it's a perfectly cromulent solution to that problem.

More like admitting the problem is unsolvable (2, Interesting)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526207)

That's because many of the problems here on Earth have *NO* solutions.

I know we all like to sit around and pretend that there's a solution for everything out there, somewhere, waiting to be found, but humanity is a seriously broken creature. We could have infinite food, power and resources, but people would still kill, rape, maim and hurt one another endlessly.

Re:avoidance (1)

linvir (970218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526211)

What a perfectly self-contradictory idea. You say going into space to get away from problems is bad, then you say that as a solution to overpopulation it'd be okay.

Hawking demands it! (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525983)

He later elaborated on the specific humans who should go into space, including several people he went to school with, that one snooty teller at his bank, his obnoxious neighbors with their noisy children, and that little bastard who egged his house last Halloween.

Re:Hawking demands it! (1)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526184)

Dont forget people that wash phones, we dont need them!

Re:Hawking demands it! (5, Funny)

ArmyOfFun (652320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526239)

A full transcript of the news conference does go into who Hawkings thinks should go:
AP Reporter: Professor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn't that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?
Hawking: Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious... service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.
Reuters Reporter: I must confess, you have an astonishingly good idea there, Professor.

Re:Hawking demands it! -further elaboration (4, Funny)

kansas1051 (720008) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526240)

Dr. Hawking further elaborated on his suggestion that the space colonies include 10 women for every man:

"Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious... service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature."

Where are we going to go? (1)

lecithin (745575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525984)

We have to leave this rock.

Even if we don't destroy ourselves, the Earth is doomed. It will not last forever. Mars and moon will not be the answer either. At some point, we will have to leave the solar system if we want to survive.

But where are we going to go? How many generations will it take to get there?

Re:Where are we going to go? (0, Redundant)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526082)

42

Re:Where are we going to go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15526137)

Where no man, strike that.
Where no one has gone before.

Re:Where are we going to go? (1, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526168)

Even if we don't destroy ourselves, the Earth is doomed. It will not last forever.

No, it won't last forever. But no matter what happens to humans, the Earth will long outlast us. Humans have been on this planet for about 200,000 out of the Earth's 4,600,000,000 years. That is an incredibly short amount of time in the grand scheme of things.

Re:Where are we going to go? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526199)

Let's start with a small colony in a hollowed-out asteroid moved into a closer orbit (or even at L2).

Gundam (1)

SoapDish (971052) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525988)

Any one who's seen a Gundam series knows what'll happen when we make space colonies: melodramatic war between the colonies and earth.

Of course we'll first need massive armored suits and lazer swords, not to mention genetically engineered kids to fight our battles.

A little optimistic.. (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525989)

Hell, we can barely get a craft into orbit let alone colonize an uninhabitable planetary body... How about we figure out how not to blow up the Earth?

not at all (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526210)

I view the challenges involved in colonizing mars as far easier than teaching humans to not fight amongst themselves. At least we have a vague notion as to how to solve the former.

Mel Brooks... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15525991)

If the first colony is made up of jews. Mel Brooks should get a Nobel Peace Prize for forward thinking...

Offsite backup. (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15525994)

Because by the time your IT manager has learned that that the north tower wasn't sufficiently remote, it's too late.

Over sufficiently long timeframes, and sufficiently large impactors, the same applies to continents.

This is an attitude I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15526017)

I don't want to suffer, and am not particularly anxious to die.
I don't want the people I care about to suffer or to die either.
(I realize I will be disappointed in all of these wishes sooner or later.)

Beyond that, I couldn't give a rat's ass whether the species survives or not. I say: Give the cockroaches a turn!

Why do people care about this?

Re:This is an attitude I don't understand (1)

thePig (964303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526237)

People can have different views.
For me, the primary concern is the survival of the species.
Everything else is secondary. Everything.
Why?
Because, in _my_ view, the meaning of life is ensuring the survival of the species.

See, these all depends on the views of the person.
Different people, different views. There is nothing wrong in yours or mine.

P.S -> Actually, if we were to be really magnanimous, our concern should be survival of life - in some form at least, even more than the survival of our species alone.

Ahh, yes, this always works so well (-1, Flamebait)

rho (6063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526028)

Previous human migrations were driven by less, ahh, altruistic motivations. Survival, distaste for the status quo, better living, things like that. How lame. I think the last time altruism drove emigration folks ended up in Siberia.

We'll have colonies on Mars when there's an economic need for it. It's nothing other than science-fair bullshit until then. End of story. STFU, Hawking.

Life == humans? (5, Insightful)

Roy van Rijn (919696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526029)

Why do we have to start with humans in space, isn't it a much better idea to start making colonies with animals?

Those can provide us with a LOT of experience at a lesser risk. If animals die in space (or maybe even bacteria) people will probably make a small fuzz but forget it quickly. If humans die in space it could mean the end of the space project.

Once we establish a solid base, and knowledge about building a new colonie we can send humans...??

Re:Life == humans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15526226)

I for one would like to welcome our new Animal Precursor Overlords!

Sending rockets to space is one thing.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15526031)

Humans and colonies is a whole other ballgame.

The amount of money needed for just the research to attempt to do this is astronomical (bad pun intended). While I do agree with Hawkins, we definitely need to begin research into this, we need to realize the amount of $$$ involved would be BIG.

There should definitely be some group efforts between private companies along with various countries helping out.

Re:Sending rockets to space is one thing.... (1)

vldragon (981127) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526201)

I agree.. It's one thing to say "The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe," buts its another to give a viable solution as to how. Basically all he stated was the obvious. Mr. Hawking is a very inteligent person so I'd except him to, after his speech, say "and this is how" followed by charts and graphs and mathmatics far beyond my understanding. But I guess thats just wishfull thinking. As it stads now I don't think the human race will be able to get off this rock untill the planet is united as one and can move ahead as one.

"Other dangers we have not thought of" (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526033)

Is Hawking hinting at something here?

One old worry is that someone would develop a way to trigger a fusion bomb without a fission bomb. Serious work went into that problem in the 1950s and 1960s, and the designer of the neutron bomb has been quoted as saying that certain lines of research should be discouraged because they might lead to a solution.

Giant space goats (1)

spun (1352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526172)

He's thinking of giant space goats. Oddly enough, the first people he wants to go into space aren't scientists, engineers and great artists, but politicians, marketing types, and telephone handset sanitizers.

Who will think of the children..... (1)

ruffnsc (895839) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526052)

If we dont move to space hey will never have a chance to grow up in an orweillian human society.... sacre bleu!

Why should the species survive? (3, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526053)

I'm not anti-human or anything (in fact, I'm good friends with a number of them!). But why should an individual care about whether or not the drama of humanity continues? For instance, if we permit let every person who currently lives to live out a natural and good life, and somehow do so without creating any new people, would that be acceptable?

Re:Why should the species survive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15526193)

For instance, if we permit let every person who currently lives to live out a natural and good life, and somehow do so without creating any new people, would that be acceptable?

At the rate my sex life is going, it's not just acceptable, it's inevitable.

Closer My God to Thee (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526055)

When we bring unquestioned beliefs into space along with our inevitable faith, we'll eventually make space the same species deathtrap as Earth.

Hawking is too much of an optimist (1)

Thagg (9904) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526056)

Unfortunately, a few minutes thought shows that it's far easier to kill off a planet than it is just to kill off the people you don't like on a planet. For the race to be secure you'd have to do more than just colonize Mars -- you'd have to have people on ships moving away in all directions as fast as possible.

We really need to work out our problems here.

Thad Beier

Another star system? (2, Insightful)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526058)

FTA: "We won't find anywhere as nice as Earth unless we go to another star system..."

Sounds like his solution isn't necessarily based on developing habitats in the solar system (though he did say moon and Mars were the first steps). This seems like an ultra-long term scenario for which the technology doesn't even exist yet. It's almost like he's saying the Earth is screwed, so let's get off this hunk of rock. I think, considering we could be here for a very very long time, the better solution is to develop technology or philosophies dedicated to helping us live where we are. Can't just give up on Earth...we have no other options no matter how many sci-fi shows we watch.

Re:Another star system? (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526181)

First step to a sustainable environment and resource consumption on the planet Earth: kill about 5.8 billion people. Because of how long this will really take, you are going to have to kill off maybe 6.5 billion people to really have the necessary smaller population.

No stomach for that much killing? Then I suggest you figure out what reality is and stop with the enviro-weenie nonsense. The only way Earth survives is as an open system with resources coming in from elsewhere.

Legal Death. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15526061)

"Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of."

DRM!

Robots first (1)

pcraven (191172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526070)

Send robots first. Don't start sending people until you get a space elevator and/or have the robots set up an environment the long term stay. Otherwise we'll spend way too much on resources.

Just one problem among many. (4, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526073)


How are we going to take cows into space? We need cows for steaks and dairy (milk, cheese and ice cream).

They have spacesuits for man. Could they make a spacesuit for a cow? A cowsuit?

Re:Just one problem among many. (1)

Mir322 (519212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526187)

cows? But....but... what about the ponies ?

What about.. (3, Funny)

ganiman (162726) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526076)

What about that hot nurse of his? Is she coming too?

I hear its nice this time of year (1)

Valthan (977851) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526078)

Shotgun Uranus! I call King (its mine now, I called it!)

Re:I hear its nice this time of year (1)

Aedon (970682) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526218)

ahh the jokes one could make!

Postponing the Inevitable (2, Interesting)

mikesmind (689651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526088)

Would colonizing space really solve the basic problems that could cause mankind to die out on Earth? The disasters listed above seem to originate with man, and most of these because of man's relentless pursuit for power or profit. If our lives are so fragile now, on the planet we are ideally suited to live on, how much more fragile will the human race be on an inhospitable planet somewhere else in the solar system, not to mention the universe. There is a great gulf to cross through space and it seems that we should solve the root causes of our problems at home before we bring them with us to a more delicate and dangerous place.

Re:Postponing the Inevitable (2, Insightful)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526244)

Would colonizing space really solve the basic problems that could cause mankind to die out on Earth?

Of course not, but that's not the point. Look, no matter how many health-and-safety lessons the human species attends, there will always be a small probability of a planet-destroying event. If you live on one planet, no matter how safe you make it you will eventually be destroyed.

Trying to solve all of Earth's problems before going into space is the same as cleaning your whole house before starting your homework.

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

I LOVE YOU, STEPHEN HAWKING!!!! (1)

NTiOzymandias (753325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526089)

This has been my personal belief for years. I thought I was the only one who thought this way.

Looks back at Earth... (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526095)

Oh, you're still down there?

yes (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526097)

humanity has a dark self-destructive side

and as weapons become more and more powerful, it will take smaller and smaller groups of people to do more and more damage

until the truly scary it is achieved: it is not inconceivable that at some future date, just one committed nihilistic person could unleash something which could wipe out most of humanity, and at the very least destroy civilization

this could be via genetics or nanotechnology or something weirder and not yet discovered

so indeed, the best way to safeguard from such people is to live in far flung locations, such that a disaster, manmade or not, in one location can lead to recolonization by the other location

hawking is 100% right, it really is in mankind's best interest to take out a survival insurance policy and get our asses into space in a self-sustainable manner

i would give us a century or two to achieve this goal, and with serendity and luck, we will get into space before the statistical inevitability of that one demonic person appearing making their vile mark on the world by killing most of us

Always mount a scratch planet (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526102)

Always mount a scratch planet [acme.com] .

Other Dangers... (1)

general scruff (938598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526106)

"or other dangers we have not yet thought of."
What about venturing out in space and meeting up with a powerful angry alien who just found out we killed his son's daughter's husband's mother by terraforming another planet? What do we do then?

No, No No... (1)

Wootzor von Leetenha (938602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526113)

There's been a pandemic of misinterpreting Hawkings' computer robot voice. He actually said

Humidity just sweat on my face
For all we know he's an idiot.

Zzzzzz.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15526114)

_This_ is what Mr. SuperGenius comes up with? What science fiction reader or even slightly intelligent 12 year old hasn't come to the same obvious conclusion.

In other news, Humans should attempt to cure Cancer and AIDS!

Duh! (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526117)

As much respect as I have for Professor Hawking, I have to say that this is rather obvious. Even if we don't kill ourselves or get killed by some sort of natural disaster, eventually, the sun will go super nova and destroy us anyway.

So yeah, if the human race is to live to the end of the universe, we have to colonize space. You don't have to be Hawking to know that!

Krusty the clown analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15526124)

"My house is dirty. Buy me a new one." -Krusty

Did Hawking say it.... (2, Funny)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526131)

TFA: "Hawking said that 'It is important for the human race to spread out into space....'"

mmm, I'll bet that long after Steven Hawking is gone, his chair will be still be giving lectures, advice, and making scientific discoveries...

Universe survival (2, Interesting)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526140)

Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out
And going to space should allow us to survive from ourselves?
I think it would be better to remain on the Earth to let the Universe survive!

As long as... (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526154)

It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species.

I'm with Stephen all the way, just as long as we stay away from the Beta Quadrant. Those pesky Klingons are the last thing we need to mess with our space programs right now.

Really? (1)

PrayingWolf (818869) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526155)

Well, I can't find anything to support this idea in my bible...
I don't think we're really going to space - in any big way.

Mod me as either funny OR insightfull

One helluva DRP... (1)

Anomalous Cowrad (926453) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526170)

Or maybe a BCP. So humans can continue their "business" of destroying planets

Premature thinking (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526171)

I've always thought it was kind of goofy to be talking about space colonization at this point in the space age. We're nowhere near capable of sustaining ourselves independent of earth or even proving we can live healthy and sustainable lives away from earth. Hell, we can't even reliable GET humans into space. One step at a time.

huh? (1)

Davey McDave (926282) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526183)

Stephen Hawkings is an intelligent guy, but isn't this a bit out of his field? He works in astrophysics at the highly theoretical level. Whilst the sentiment is nice, it's not exactly founded from a realistic perspective from working in the industry. It's not like he works at NASA and has a good grip on the realities - and limitations - of space travel. I could say curing cancer is vital to humankind's progression, but it doesn't exactly mean it's a realistic goal.

Perhaps we need to accept species death... (2, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526205)

...just as we need to accept personal death.

The Noah's Ark story has great appeal, but events capable of destroying the Earth might well destroy nearby colonies in the solar system.

Or perhaps I should say, if we hypothesize that humankind does not have the wisdom to maintain a stable existence on Earth, the same factors that lead to it destroying the Earth and/or human life thereon might well lead to the same outcome in our planetary colonies.

I see one basic problem... (1)

arootbeer (808234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526221)

He wants to send _people_ to do it. And when you use people, you end up with the same problems we have here on Earth. Which is exactly why we have the problems we do here on Earth.

Already there (1)

cmeans (81143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15526236)

Aren't we already in space?

I think what he means is we should be more dispersed through-out the universe. I whole-heartedly agree...and I'm compiling a list of who should be sent first :)

Start Trek and Hawking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15526238)

When Stephen Hawking made his guest appearance on Star Trek (TNG), he was given a tour of the set. The cast noticed he was chuckling when he was walked past the "warp core". When asked why, he said : "I'm working on it.".


Well, he'd better hurry up. Without a decent propulsion system, we're going to be pretty well stranded here. Sure, we can lob a chunk of metal up and wait 5-15 years for it to get to some remote destination within our solar system but that is a far step from being able to create any sort of a permanent outpost. The only way we will be able to leave the bounds of the earth let alone our solar system will be with a yet-unknown propulsion system.

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