6/13/2006

Hawking Says Humans Must Go Into Space

"The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there's an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy the Earth, world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking said Tuesday.

The British astrophysicist told a news conference in Hong Kong that humans could have a permanent base on the moon in 20 years and a colony on Mars in the next 40 years."

2 comments:

sfhzjlmp said...

Heh. Colonies on the moon and mars, yes. VIABLE colonies? No. They need something to mine and a reliable way to ship it. And we're stuck in our solar system - we're never going to leave it, not until we have engines that can take us super fast without the acceleration aging us, et al. Shielding technologies for small debris in space - etc!

Wishful thinking. :/

David said...

I'm inclined to side with the genius on this one. Viable, is not an entirely clear concept. I think continuously inhabited is the benchmark, not economically self-sustaining. And, the solar system is plenty big enough to get us started. FTL technologies seem unlikely to be mastered by an earthbound civilization.

Honestly though, I don't think the possible destruction of the Earth is the best motivator though. I think there's a much more compelling argument to be made for the fact that socially, we're not a species that does well without a frontier. For most of our history, there has always been somewhere to run away to...or be banished to.