back to article HAWKING ALERT: Leave planet Earth, find a new home. Stupid humans

Human aggression threatens to destroy Earth so we'd better start colonising planets soon, pioneering physicist Stephen Hawking has said. "I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be space and that it represents an important life insurance for our future survival," said Hawking, speaking at London's Science …

  1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Headmaster

    LOOSE != LOSE

    ITYM "Lose" in that there subhead...

    1. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: LOOSE != LOSE

      Or "loosen"... As in "Be more relaxed..."

      But either way it's wrong. Where's the editorial control? Bad enough in comments ("it's" and "its" are my favourite bugbears) but in an article, and even worse in a headline...?

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: LOOSE != LOSE

        And you decided not to use the "Send Corrections Link" why?

        1. Return To Sender
          Happy

          Re: LOOSE != LOSE

          @Gordon 10

          Because naming & shaming in public is so much more fun?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: LOOSE != LOSE

          And you decided not to use the "Send Corrections Link" why?

          Maybe because it rankles a bit to be doing for free what the editors are paid to (supposedly) do? Maybe El Reg could start making micro-payments to people who use the "send corrections" link, just a thought.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "El Reg could start making micro-payments to people who use the "send corrections" link"

            I thought that was the meaning of this "Tips and Corrections" hyperlink. Send a correction and get a tip :)

          2. Wilseus
            Mushroom

            Re: LOOSE != LOSE

            "Maybe because it rankles a bit to be doing for free what the editors are paid to (supposedly) do?"

            The correct phrase here is "doing for nothing." The term "for free" is grammatically incorrect rubbish. The AC should probably make sure he's correct himself before pulling up other people on their mistakes!

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Rampant Spaniel

              Re: LOOSE != LOSE

              Interesting point. On the one hand we pay nothing for accessing this site, it's us supported mostly by advertising. The financial realities of this probably impact the editorial practices. That being said, a professional wordsmith supported by editors shouldn't really be making basic errors. My command of the English language is tenuous (chalk that up to Yorkshire schooling where grammar is someone who knits you hats) so I hire a friend who is an author ,ex journalist, and Olympic class pedant to review anything I intend to inflict on adults in a professional capacity. Much like an editor would do ;)

              That being said, we are rather constructing mountains out of mole shit here.

              1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

                Re: LOOSE != LOSE

                > That being said, we are rather constructing mountains out of mole shit here.

                Quite but:

                > I hire a friend who is an author ,ex journalist, and Olympic class pedant to review

                =

                I hire a friend who is an author, ex journalist and Olympic class pedant to review...

                FTFBoY. (How much do you pay?)

                1. Rampant Spaniel

                  Re: LOOSE != LOSE

                  I do believe I got that right :) Google Oxford Comma.

                  As for how much, usually £40 an hour.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: LOOSE != LOSE

              "The term "for free" is grammatically incorrect rubbish. "

              If you asked how much something cost you could be told "it is a pound/dollar" - or "it is free". Presumably both those statements are accepted as reasonable usage?

              Therefore you could ask someone to do something "for a pound/dollar" or "for free". The word "free" has become a currency denomination in its own right.

        3. Alan Stewart
          Joke

          Re: LOOSE != LOSE

          Maybe he was afraid it might get loost!

        4. kryptonaut
          Headmaster

          Re: LOOSE != LOSE

          'And you decided not to use the "Send Corrections Link" why?'

          Where does this annoying idiom of beginning a question with 'and', and ending with the interrogative, come from?

          Err... I mean... And this annoying idiom comes from where?

          Gah!

        5. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

          WASFQ!

          > And you decided not to use the "Send Corrections Link" why?

          Bloody obvious, fool!

          They're British.

      2. Return To Sender
        Thumb Up

        Re: LOOSE != LOSE

        @Bloodbeastterror

        Spot on. Have an upvote. If you're going to be careful anywhere, do it with the headlines, First two comments (three with this one) are about the grammar - says it all, really. From the context of the article it should be 'lose' (something I've posted about before on ElReg, btw).

      3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: LOOSE != LOSE

        This is so common that I wonder if it's a losing battle (or should that be a loosing battle?)

        A few years ago the street furniture in my area was plastered with posters saying "Loose weight now - ask me how". My response was "No thanks, I have plenty of loose weight already".

    2. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: LOOSE != LOSE

      We would really have appreciated it if you'd used the "send corrections" link on the homepage.

      Signed

      A subeditor with a headache.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: LOOSE != LOSE

        Would have loved to, but don't have email access where I am...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Re: LOOSE != LOSE

          Are you implying a simple mail form would be better than a mailto link?

      2. getHandle

        Re: send corrections link

        Maybe if using it elicited a "thank-you", more people would bother? Or maybe it's just me...

        1. Chris Miller
          Happy

          @getHandle

          It's just you!

      3. Bloodbeastterror

        Re: LOOSE != LOSE

        Sorry, I'd have been glad to use the "Send corrections" link if I'd noticed it - and even after your comment it took me two minutes to find it, not on the main page, nor in the article page, but only in the Comments page.

        But as someone else has already commented, tongue in cheek (as I'm being), name-and-shame is much more fun. Apologies if I made the headache worse.

        Actually, after posting the above comment I noticed the "Tips and corrections" bottom left, tiny grey letters, no obvious hyperlink. Another fallout from the "upgrade"? And since I'm mentioning hyperlinks, why does the "Comments" blue (i.e. hyperlink colour) at the bottom right of each of the home page list of articles just lead to the article instead of directly to the comments? Bad use of colour coding by your web designers...?

        Happy to follow the best procedures, but help me out here...

      4. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Re screw LOOSE / LOSE

        The wrld's coming to an end and you are worrying about semantics. Get a life!

        (While you still can.)

      5. Jamesit

        Re: LOOSE != LOSE

        "We would really have appreciated it if you'd used the "send corrections" link on the homepage."

        There is No "Send corrections" link on the mobile site.

        1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: LOOSE != LOSE

          Now that's useful feedback. Thanks for letting us know.

    3. Stella Duvel

      Re: LOOSE != LOSE

      (LOOSE != LOSE) == LUSR!

    4. Lusty Silver badge

      Re: LOOSE != LOSE

      @Uncle Slacky you don't know that it wasn't meant to be like that since you clearly didn't understand the authors meaning....Oh you did understand the meaning? Then surely message conveyed, language succeeded. The human race would fall over tomorrow if everyone had to use your specific version of English for communication. When coding I even manage to set colours without trouble despite the American gibberish used. If the author posts genuine unrecognisable nonsense then go ahead and point it out, but if you understand the meaning then at least be nice about it!

      1. JamesTQuirk

        Re: LOOSE != LOSE

        Maybe, after 20 years of crap over windows issue's, those halfwits's would cut us a break, but no, they paid big money to be experts ...

        JTQ <> English

        expert = drip under pressure ....

        Poke 53280,0:poke53281,0:?"cntrl+6" .....

        American gibberish is what world is doing.....

        You are it's lacky .............

  2. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Holmes

    Does he do any physics these days?

    Or does he just spend time pontificating?

    I want my TOE dagnabit!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does he do any physics these days?

      The history of science shows that (with honorable exceptions) many famous scientists as they get older start to pontificate outside their areas of actual expertise. It's inevitable; politicians tend to do it shortly after weaning.

      1. Paul Kinsler

        Re: many famous scientists ... start to pontificate outside

        Or, after being famous for some time, they are very much more likely to be /reported/ after remarking on areas outside their scientific expertise; not to mention being more likely to be /asked/ for their opinion by reporters/passers-by in the first place.

        1. James Micallef Silver badge

          Re: many famous scientists ... start to pontificate outside

          Not to mention that Genii (especially in Maths and Physics) tend to make their major discoveries when very young. It's a bit unfair to expect them to keep up a steady stream of revolutionary discoveries

          1. Sarah Balfour

            Re: many famous scientists ... start to pontificate outside

            The plural of genius is only genii when using it in its original Romantic sense (guardian spirits).

            G'on then, do yer worst, yer downvotes can't hurt me!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: many famous scientists ... start to pontificate outside

          I was actually thinking more of Crooke, who went in for spiritualism, or Shockley, who reckoned that his experience with semiconductors allowed him to know more than mere geneticists and evolutionary biologists. It may be true that famous scientists are more likely to be asked for their opinion, but some of them have gone a long way to promote ideas that, to say the least, are contentious in the field into which they are stepping. It takes a Feynman to make a part time contribution to molecular biology and rocket failure modes (not to mention the ethics of topless bars), and there are very few people like that.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Does he do any physics these days?

        It's probably better that a scientist pontificates than the A, B or C list Celeb of the moment. At least a scientist has the background for rational thinking.

  3. et tu, brute?
    Thumb Up

    Clever chap!

    Agree with all he's saying on this topic!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Clever chap!

      Please find any useful way to get "off the planet" while leaving the bioshpere at home.

      1. Sarah Balfour

        Re: Clever chap!

        How many yer had…?!

    2. JamesTQuirk

      Re: Clever chap!

      Also I think getting people off planet is only way forward, currently, as halfwits in charge are to busy gathering profits, too change the outcome....

      However more than a 100, need to get out of here, DNA testing ranging 1000-5000 humans, that survived last ice, that evolved into us ... you need some "range" in the gene pool ..

      You should remember these are just my views, it may NOT bear resemblance to your reality, but it don't have to ...

      COP20: Global Arctic Methane Emergency #2 (12-5-2014 in Lima Peru)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQkNxuQ0DoI

      Dr Jennifer Francis - Arctic Sea Ice, Jet Stream & Climate Change

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAiA-_iQjdU

  4. Mike Bell

    Silly Idea

    Super-intelligent trans-organic aliens are probably reading Hawking's message with wry amusement.

    No way will they let us monkeys out of our back yard.

    And nor should they.

    By the time our species is worthy of survival, we won't be humans any more.

    1. Shtumped
      Pirate

      Re: Silly Idea

      Hmmm ... as in - we just found bones of the occupants who used to live here and it doesn't look good. T-rex, eat###rex, ###sour .... making us look like midgets in the library of predicted/discovered creatures. What if our nest(earth) is actually in the middle of a jungle and we are surrounded by wild cannibalising beasts. Hopefully we don't land on a planet full of giant cannibals or mutant giant wasps that can survive what we call extreme space conditions.. they would just follow us back home for food. Not suggesting that the mayans were onto something but the monsters they and other indigenous people from all over the world curved look scary. Maybe we should build a UN military base on the moon first before going to mars and all those other planets.

  5. Annihilator

    Flaw

    Only problem I have with this, generally good, plan. Why does Hawking think that Mars colonies etc would be exempt from nuclear war?

    1. Return To Sender

      Re: Flaw

      Possibly because 1) dragging weapons-grade nukes with you to Mars etc. might get a few people asking questions in the first place, and 2) getting to the point of being able to mine & refine nuke fuel once you're there probably isn't going to be top of the list of priorities for an new colony?

      Guess you'd also have to hope the colonists have a bit more common sense to work with as well. Or maybe that we'd have worked out how to colonise other places apart from Mars, so that there's a chance of at least one colony (and thus humans) surviving.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Flaw

        " dragging weapons-grade nukes with you to Mars etc"

        In "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" - Heinlein had his moon settlers lobbing easily launched containers full of rocks down the gravity well to Earth. The proposition was that by they time they hit the ground they would have enough energy to cause a large explosion - like a meteorite.

        1. illiad

          Re: Flaw

          the BIG flaw. ... is WHO is going to build ALL these rockets with WHAT resources and time???

          the flaw with "containers full of rocks" is that the container will be melted on re-entry, leaving a lot of smaller rocks that will burn up...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Flaw

            " is WHO is going to build ALL these rockets with WHAT resources and time???"

            Don't forget that you don't need an earth-style rocket to launch a projectile from the low-gravity moon. That was why it has often been touted as the assembly station for large spaceships.

            Britain's Industrial Revolution only started after 1700 - when the Enlightenment put science and technology into gear. That was almost a standing start compared to our current knowledge base.

            The moon has much the same inorganic minerals as Earth. Nuclear or solar energy generation could be presumed to be possible. The premise of Heinlein's novel was that the moon colonies' settlers grew grain crops in underground caverns - and then exported them to Earth. The colony's rebellion was over the fact that it was a one-way trip for the moon's water - a modern problem for some third world countries dependent on cash-crops.

          2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

            Re: Flaw

            The bigger flaw is that the reverse isn't true. What the hell is anyone quoting Heinlein for, in this day and age?

            1. Chris 244
              Flame

              Re: Quoting Heinlein in this day and age

              When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.

              Robert A. Heinlein

              Clearly no longer relevant.

    2. Avatar of They

      Re: Flaw

      Probably because like star trek or star wars, each planet would be its own entity in a greater alliance. So nukes might kill off one planet, but there would be enough colonies to continue survival of the species.

      Assuming of course it isn't like Babylone 5 where the alliance then infights and more than one colony picks a side and gets nuked.

      He is talking about survival of the species afterall.

    3. ahnlak
      Mushroom

      Re: Flaw

      It's not that they would be exempt from nuclear war - simply that a nuclear war on Earth wouldn't directly impact colonies on other planets. Obviously if Earth and Mars end up tossing nukes at each other, you're back to square one...

    4. Tom_

      Re: Flaw

      They wouldn't be exempt, but you get more chance to defend yourself from nuclear weapons that are coming from another planet. You don't have to build interceptors so much as just fire your own nukes at them and destroy them in space, for example.

      Of course, you might have a nuclear war on Mars itself, but then Earth's ok, etc.

    5. Bill Fresher

      Re: Flaw

      As soon as a planet with the potential of becoming a colony is discovered the governments of Earth will be packing spaceships full of soldiers and nukes to grab their piece of the pie - leaving Earth demilitarised. Thus improving the chances of the survival of the human race.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: Flaw

        "As soon as a planet with the potential of becoming a colony is discovered the governments of Earth will be packing spaceships full of soldiers and nukes to grab their piece of the pie"

        This part at least is completely true

        "leaving Earth demilitarised"

        This part - I highly doubt

      2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Re: Flaw

        You are only saying that because the USA are all xenophobes when not killing home grown brown coloured people. Why do you suppose god hasn't let us off this one yet?

        Once we have seen what the world's penultimate governments can't do, things will have to change. It won't be too late by then but it won't be easy, either:

        http://biblehub.com/web/2_timothy/3.htm

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yup...

    "Hawking has previously warned that artificial intelligence also poses an existential threat to our survival."

    Says the bloke most likely to end up as a Brain in a Jar...

    1. Afernie
      Facepalm

      Re: Yup...

      Says the AC who can't distinguish between AI and I

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yup...

        Says the bloke with no sense of humour.

        Besides, in Science Fiction, there is often a link between AI and a "Brain in a Jar". Said brain's consciousness gets uploaded to a machine whereupon it is considered more "AI" than "I".

        There's even been some genuine philosophical debate on the issue...

        1. Afernie

          Re: Yup...

          Nope. Whether it's Futurama (rest of head included free) or H.P Lovecraft, a brain on a jar is still just a brain with a support system possibly with sensors and communication systems. You're describing mind uploading ala Transhumanism, and that's still not AI.

          AI is artificially created intelligence. The clue is in the term - uploaded into a computer system, Stephen Hawking is still a human mind, not something created from scratch.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Yup...

        "Says the AC who can't distinguish between AI and I"

        A Virtual Haile Selassie...hmmm

  7. Yugguy

    No point moving out

    Just like when the council rehouses problem famiies - the problem doesn't go away, it just moves.

    Until we change our basic nature, which is to destroy ourselves and revel in it, we will simply destroy wherever we may be.

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Re: No point moving out

      First sensible reply on this thread. (Not counting mine, of course.)

    2. johnnymotel

      Re: No point moving out

      If we spent all those billions on leaving this earth on sorting out the problems here, it would be heaven. On a 'religious' note, if all the good books had just one extra line 'make heaven on earth' the effect would be transformative.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: No point moving out

        Except that heaven is described as being "brighter than the Sun", so somebody would have taken that to mean "nuke everyone"

    3. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: No point moving out

      And THAT is the only game in town for now.

      Nature tends to be self correcting. Our correction is coming just at it always has throughout history.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    So why does he believe....

    ...that a species that has spent most of it's existence on this plant, first fighting over food, then lots of land, then regions, then countries, will suddenly;y decide that it's no longer worth fighting over planets?

    Oh look Planet Y has more fuel / food than us and we want some. Lets take it.

    1. Boothy

      Re: So why does he believe....

      He doesn't.

      Even if we all played nice and shared everything equally, we still need to get off this planet and live somewhere else, preferable in multiple places.

      A single place to live, like one planet, means a single point of failure, (to throw a bit of IT vernacular in there), one chunk of rock of the right size, hitting us here, means goodbye species, possible even goodbye all life on Earth.

      We are more likely to survive if we are spread out, irrespective of why Earth goes boom!

      1. ravenviz
        Boffin

        Re: So why does he believe....

        A local supernova or some other galactic cataclysm could wipe out life on multiple planets in one fell swoop. But I suppose it all comes down to risk assessment.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So why does he believe....

          "But I suppose it all comes down to risk assessment."

          Dinosaur God: "Extinction event? Like that's going to happen. There's really no point in adding to the meteor shield."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So why does he believe....

      "Oh look Planet Y has more fuel / food than us and we want some. Lets take it."

      Oh look Planet Y has fuel / food. Lets take it.

      TFTFY

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: So why does he believe....

        " "Oh look Planet Y has more fuel / food than us and we want some. Lets take it."

        Oh look Planet Y has fuel / food. Lets take it.

        TFTFY"

        Oh look Planet Y. Lets take it.

        T THTHY 2

  9. GregC

    He's right, of course

    So if he could just crack on with working out a functional warp drive that would be splendid :)

  10. lawndart

    says:

    "Sending humans to the moon changed the future of the human race in ways that we don't yet understand."

    The bit that I don't understand is why we stopped.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: says:

      Money!

    2. Truth4u

      Re: says:

      the cheese reserves turned out not to be there

      1. Wilseus

        Re: says:

        "the cheese reserves turned out not to be there"

        It certainly didn't taste like Wensleydale.

        1. Sarah Balfour

          Re: says:

          Nah, the Moon's full of soup - everyone of my generation knows that!

    3. thomas k.
      Alien

      Re: says:

      Because the fewer people that stumble upon evidence of alien visitation, the easier it is to cover it up.

    4. illiad

      Re: says:

      the answer is simple.. money..

      and bigger fish.

      much bigger publicity exercise, go to mars!

      may never happen, but 10 years training hopeful people may get 1 or 2 good astronauts...

  11. NoneSuch

    When we do leave this planet all religious texts should be stacked in a pile to the right of the entry hatch.

    1. stucs201

      Or better yet placed under the exhaust nozzles of the first stage.

    2. Truth4u

      Are we including Star Wars in that?

      (trololol)

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Devil

        "Are we including Star Wars in that?"

        Ep 1 to 3, yes...

    3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      "When we do leave this planet all religious texts should be stacked in a pile to the right of the entry hatch."

      Are you proposing to drop leaflets onto indigenous lifeforms, if any?

    4. Ben Bonsall

      The texts aren't the problem. The people trying to convince others that it is 100% true and using persuasion sticks to help are the problem.

      1. stucs201

        Fair point.

        Can we leave them under the exhaust nozzles too?

        1. moiety

          Religion is fine, some people seem to need it and it does contribute to wellbeing and stability in some people. To misquote Robert Heinlein, though, you should do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Religion is fine, some people seem to need it and it does contribute to wellbeing and stability in some people."

            Adhering to a religious belief can end up as the major component of someone's identity. Unfortunately when their stability gets affected by doubts - then they can start to think that it is the fault of all the unbelievers. They then start to try to effect the "necessary" changes in wider society by proselytisation, politicking, forced conversion, or eradication.

    5. King Jack

      Won't work

      They have that shit memorized. Just leave the believers behind, their gods will save them.

  12. Ashton Black

    Monkies in tin cans.

    Unfortunately, with our current technology and the human passion for things that go boom and blow other humans into bite sized chunks, I am not optimistic about this happening any time, let's say, within my lifetime.

    Until, company or government can make more money by doing something in space rather than down at this end of the gravity well, then I'm afraid relying on altruism or curiosity won't cut it.

    As an aside: the NASA budget in 1966 was 4.41% of the total government spend. In 2014 it was approximately 0.5%

    1. montyburns56

      Re: Monkies in tin cans.

      " human passion for things that go boom and blow other humans into bite sized chunks"

      Which was the exact reason why the NASA budget was "4.41% of the total government spend" in 1966. We choose to go to the Moon, not because it's easy, but because we want to get there before those damn Ruskies.

      1. Sarah Balfour

        Re: Monkies in tin cans.

        "Monkies"…?! How do you spell the singular of that…?!

  13. No, I will not fix your computer

    Evolution

    Hawking is wrong, and right for the wrong reasons and I'm surprised he can't see it (being a bit of a cyborg himself).

    Humans will "evolve" into AI machines, obviously not evolve in the traditional sense, but we will be their ancestors - again not in the traditional sense (this is of course just the plot of AI where the future intelligence looks back fondly at the humans that have passed, as we look back fondly on our early epitherian ancestors), we humans that have detached ourselves from traditional evolution with all that pesky social care and medicine, which I think is a good thing (and I suspect that Hawking would agree).

    So what does that mean for the future? well, us crappy meat sacks need food, water, air, we hate radiation and break randomly, but the AI of the future will be able to travel the galaxy, not bothered (as much) by getting old, only really, really old, they can just be backed up and restored to some newer shiny kit, replicate themselves, drawing resources from the planets, nuclear power that lasts for centuries, solar where available, the occasional asteroid etc. as it travels, shutting down for the odd millennia as it travels between the stars, carrying the knowledge of the world with it.

    None of this is new, it's deeply rooted in the Sci-Fi we all know and love, from Star Trek with Voyager, through Independence Day and the Silver Surfer, the ideas are there, not just in Sci-Fi of course, the Von Neumann self replicator has 70 years of history, and perhaps is an argument why we could be unique (or at least the first) in our galaxy to get to this level of development - i.e. why hasn't another life form filled the galaxy with such machines?

    What is sure, humans living off this biosphere has some serious problems, not just biodiversity, but basics like growing food and recycling all the products, perfect water harvesting, energy production (we need a lot), and strangely enough, if we solve all these problems, living on earth could be a lot better for those who don't have so much of that.

  14. Truth4u

    Hawking is a bit of a downer isn't he

    who knew?

  15. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Pint

    It's never going to happen

    I'll wager a pint of beer to all the elReg commentards (all 42 of you) that, with the exception of the Moon, a human being never sets foot on another planet.

    My reasoning is that we seem to be approaching a level of human greed* that's never been seen before which will destroy us all** fairly shortly. Sorry 'bout that :(

    *Note to the mega-rich who think that they will survive this mess: Many Emperors are killed by their own bodyguards.

    **Human Psychology 101

    When everything was going titsup, my old man would exclaim "Everyman for himself" or "I'm OK Jack, pull the ladder up". He knew what he was talking about, RN stoker 1929-1949 and torpedoed twice. Of course to us as children he was saying it in a comic manner as a rebuff to some minor household calamity but the underlying wisdom still remains.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's never going to happen

      Downvoted because nature has a clever way of being self limiting.

      There are many - trivial in nature - ways the human population could be quickly reduced to the point where we'd be resource-heavy and population-lite. Some sort of pandemic would fit the bill. Look at what the Black Death did in Europe and Asia.

      And - as history showed us - the rich were just as exposed as the poor.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: It's never going to happen

      a level of human greed* that's never been seen before which will destroy us all** fairly shortly

      Not all all.

      We have just reaching a level of moneyprinting that is historically unprecendented (i.e. creation of the illusion of wealth, which apparently can be allocated by the powers that be to preferred actors at the push of a return key).

      The current expectations regarding payout by governments and ROIs from investments just cannot be fulfilled. There is not enough actual wealth. And the current debt mountain must be ablated by few 10s of percents (the 2008 crash eliminated 5% or so I think). This will cause gnashing of teeth not far from a limited nuclear exchange, but that's the way the cookie crumbles when you believe the easy, smooth lies of Keynesians and Krugmanites.

      Once we have gone through the hardship that looms in the immediate future and honest accounting is back en vogue, we will talk about space faring again.

  16. User McUser
    Joke

    "Look up at the stars and not down at your feet"

    Because if you look at your feet, you'll want to buy new shoes. And we all know how well that worked out for the people of Brontitall.

  17. Piscivore

    Intelligence <> sense

    With all respect to his acknowledged genius Stephen Hawking displays astonishing ignorance of biology with these statements. Space is harmful to humans in very many ways and offers no refuge if the earth becomes "uninhabitable". Whatever damage the species Homo Sapiens may inflict on the planet we will never be able to create as hostile and dangerous an environment as space or the other planets in the solar system. Even if one allows the possibility of human travel beyond the solar system (vanishingly small to the point of being incredible), right here is where the future of the species will be determined.

    The idea that further resources will be squandered on any human exploration of the Moon, Mars, Europa or wherever just underlines the massive disconnect between scientific imagination and reality. The NASA Moon missions were a triumph of technology and science but were also attended by much luck and required vast expense with very little long-term gain. Communications and satellite technology would have developed with or without people in space; yes having the ability to go and fix the Hubble telescope was a great story but for the cost of the Shuttle program many Hubbles could have been launched.

    I do not object to pure research in space; much of our knowledge of the cosmos has only been made possible by experiments carried out there, but as a biologist I am convinced that human space travel is of limited value. As a means to perpetuate our species it is a pipe-dream.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Intelligence <> sense

      "I do not object to pure research in space; much of our knowledge of the cosmos has only been made possible by experiments carried out there, but as a biologist I am convinced that human space travel is of limited value. As a means to perpetuate our species it is a pipe-dream."

      So you're basically saying that if this "pipe-dream" is the only shot we've got, we're better off putting our tails between our legs and kissing our arses goodbye?

    2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Intelligence <> sense

      Piscivore, if what you're saying was true, we'd still be living in caves.

      There is enough resources on Earth to physically sustain lots of people, yes. But the Earth is already far too small for our ambitions. There isn't enough political space on Earth for America, Russia, China, India and what's its name - EeeeYouuuu? - to coexist for long. The only way is to colonise other places and project our ambitions there.

      That is the kind of evolutionary pressure that you MUST account for once a sentient species like ours enters the arena. Not just simple food chain and biochemical and energy resources.

      Social aspects of Homo Sapient existence within the biosphere are just as important as the biochemistry of DNA in the overall picture of evolution.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Intelligence <> sense

        "Piscivore, if what you're saying was true, we'd still be living in caves."

        I get really tired of that perpetual straw man argument. It's like saying the alternative to SUVs is roller skates.

        Currently we are doing very badly at finding new energy resources on this planet which are safe, large scale and reasonably cheap. Our approach, therefore, is to use up all the cheap stuff and hope our descendants find a fix.

        From the viewpoint of a species planning to expand throughout even this solar system, we have the timescales and thought processes of a gnat. We are not taking things at all seriously. We're reproducing like there was no tomorrow, expecting each successive generation to consume more energy per head, and saying "when the shit hits the fan, OK, we'll just leave this gravity well using the energy resources which we just depleted".

        How do you think species go extinct? There are many ways but a good start is to exhaust your resources and suffer population collapse. If you are a grouse, your population collapse is in winter and then next year your resources grow again. If you are self-titled homo sapiens, the resources you just depleted - oil, coal and gas plus readily extractable uranium - will take many millions of years and another Devonian to regenerate, and you won't be around when they do.

        If (or perhaps when) we suffer a new Mesolithic-style population crash, our descendants won't have an industrial revolution; they won't find enough cheap fuel to get it started. (Remember that the iron ship came just in time to stop the RN from completely deforesting England every time there was a major war.)

        If we don't find a way to live sustainably on this planet, not only won't we get to another one, we won't deserve to.

        Your idea that social pressure will drive us to other planets falls at the embarrassing hurdle of the Earth's gravity well and the amount of stuff we need to burn to get out of it. Monkey may want but monkey not get, monkey ate all the bananas.

        1. illiad

          Re: Intelligence <> sense

          the main problem is that 80% of the *world* has the intelligence of a gnat...

          and those that are smart enough to realise that it is *possible* to build big space ships, are still stuck in their 'may be possible' theories, a product of reading too much sci fi!!!

        2. RageFury

          Re: Intelligence <> sense

          Guess you better put a halt to those that have plans of harvesting the resources of NEOs. There are Companies out there working on this as we speak. Since we can leave the gravity well, these plans are pretty much a guaranteed eventuality. Resource exhaustion would have to occur pretty soon to prevent it.

          This might extend your resource exhaustion theory time line by a fair amount. Things like robotics, automation, propulsion, 3D printing and other techs grow by leaps and bounds. With resources to be had up there, we won't need to rely on constant launches from Earth to obtain them. After Space based resource gathering, manufacturing will come and expansion to other planets will be made a whole lot easier and less taxing on the resources from home.

          All your argument does, is underscore the need to leave the "cradle" and become an interplanetary species. Who knows, the same innovation that gave us memory foam, which I am very thankful for, may give us that new energy source you are crying for.

          There are plenty of Bananas to be had if the monkey simply looks.

          As to social pressure, it has gotten us this far, no reason at all to think it won't get us even further.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. JamesTQuirk

              Re: Intelligence <> sense

              There are none, mars is big challenge, Earth is changing, So get use to it, I had too ....

              Trouble is we had so much potential, Maybe the "drawn-out genetical" cul-de-sac human that colonise mars or moon, eventually, developed Time Travel, come back with, large eye's (artificial lighting), big head (inbreeding), emaciated frame from calorie deprivation longevity research , tall from weightless environment, crash lands in New Mexico USA 1947, expecting help ....

              I think we are going to have "RUD" event ....

        3. DanceMan
          Thumb Up

          Re: Intelligence <> sense @Arnaut the less

          Wish I could upvote you many more times than merely once.

        4. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          Re: Intelligence <> sense @Arnaut the less

          "If (or perhaps when) we suffer a new Mesolithic-style population crash, our descendants won't have an industrial revolution; they won't find enough cheap fuel to get it started." - I actually agree with this. Let's call it a "Situation C"

          "...a way to live sustainably on this planet,..." - that I would call a "Situation B"

          "...social pressure will drive us to other planets..." - and this is a "Situation A"

          Now I put it to you that unless A happens before B we will end up in C.

          We must expand before we find a way to live comfortably ever after here on Earth or we will die because the expansion will never happen. But, thankfully, I don't think that B is possible before A - the laws of nature will prohibit it, somehow.

          "falls at the embarrassing hurdle of the Earth's gravity well and the amount of stuff we need to burn to get out of it." - do you mean we have a shortage of hydrazine and nitrogen tet?

          We're reproducing like there was no tomorrow, - that is a delusion. It only happens until the energy consumption reaches the developed world's level. After that we are not reproducing enough.

          "We are not taking things at all seriously." - we will begin soon enough. The economic war with Russia is only the beginning. Things are changing in a profound way. Key players in the world will soon turn their attention outwards and compete in space because it is becoming impossible to compete on Earth without destroying each other.

    3. montyburns56

      Re: Intelligence <> sense

      "Whatever damage the species Homo Sapiens may inflict on the planet we will never be able to create as hostile and dangerous an environment as space or the other planets in the solar system."

      Exactly! It never ceases to amaze me how supposedly intelligent people come up this idea that it would be easier to live in a space station or another planet compared to living on earth. Even a climate change/nuclear war ravaged earth would be easier and cheaper to live on than a space station or another planet.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Intelligence <> sense @montyburns56

        "It never ceases to amaze me how supposedly intelligent people come up this idea that it would be easier to live in a space station or another planet compared to living on earth."

        It is much easier to live on a farm than in a city, yet we now live mostly in cities.

  18. Van

    Something is wrong when more people want to inhabit Mars than the Pitcairn Islands

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not really, after all Pitcairn is rather crowded and with those people come lots of rules and restrictions.

    2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      > Something is wrong when more people want to inhabit Mars than the Pitcairn Islands

      I wouldn't mind living on Pitcairn. Has it got cable and a supermarket?

    3. Fink-Nottle

      Pitcairn was Mars, in the 18th century.

    4. Bleu

      Sounds like a moment of relief for the islanders. Ergo, it is not wrong.

      I read an old SF short story called 'March of the Morons' or similar, no spoilers, recommended to anyone.

      Mars One appears to be similar, but the people they are deluding seem to be good-hearted for the most part (except for the plain egomania displayed by many).

  19. Scott Broukell
    Meh

    Machines leaving earth - Yes / Human Meat Bags - No

    I can only envisage AI machines, originating from Earth, and perhaps carrying sufficient biological material to replicate humans (when time/conditions permit), traveling through deep space in order to colonize anywhere at all. In missing out the 'meat bag' problem such travel to the orbits of other stars could work and replicated humans might find a niche in this way. Such migrations would therefore proceed in a 'stepping-stone' manner.

  20. Oninoshiko
    Facepalm

    Even smart people say stupid things.

    "It hasn't solved any of our immediate problems on planet Earth, but it has given us new perspectives on them and caused us to look both outward and inward."

    Sure, but EXCEPT for communications, weather monitoring, climatological understanding, and advanced mapping what has the space program done for us?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Even smart people say stupid things.

      Prevented a nuclear apocalypse.

      ICBMs really helped make Mutually Assured Destruction more of a reality than a bunch of B52s ever could have, deterring any nuclear weapons use.

  21. JustNiz

    >>> Human aggression threatens to destroy Earth so we'd better start colonising planets soon

    ...or we could just address the root cause of the problem right here on the planet.

    And if he's right, even doing nothing would lead to one (terminal) solution to end human agression.

  22. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    Meh

    There's Nowhere To Go

    We still have no indication that life has ever started anywhere else in the universe. We speculate otherwise, but what's that worth?

    Therefore, I find Dr. Hawking's assertion to be silly.

    What in the short term WOULD help humanity survive here on miracle planet Earth, our only home? We must to control our population, that simple, that difficult. Gradually cutting our current population in half is a brilliant initial goal. NOT talking about or acting on cutting human population is a great way to drive us to extinction. That dirt simple!

    Dealing with our self-destructive tendencies is going to talk a lot longer to solve. But hope springs eternal. If only religious issues didn't get in the way of human harmony. There's a huge problem to solve.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's Nowhere To Go

      " If only religious issues didn't get in the way of human harmony."

      Religion is only the symptom. We are a hierarchical social animal. Religion is one of the organisational tools appropriated by powerful leaders looking for a bit more control over their underlings. A tool whose proclamations are not subject to unbounded reasonable argument is ideal for that purpose.

      The Holy Roman Empire was in theory one mass of people bound together by a set of organising rules and proscribed beliefs. That should have been harmonious. They ended up with schisms, three Popes at the same time - and a lot of kings/emperors pulling strings to reinforce their own power and ambitions.

      Even many apparently atheistic regimes are still an organised cult of leader worship. They push the same emotional buttons of hierarchy, theatre, punishment, ostracism, and self-sacrifice for the group. All of which appear to be pre-wired in the human psyche.

      1. Adam Foxton

        Re: There's Nowhere To Go

        @AC The guy's talking about murdering 3 billion people as a first step and you're criticising his religious views?!

        Lowering the earthbound population without nigh-genocidal actions could be accomplished by simply moving us somewhere else. Then there's space and resources for everyone.

        It's an engineering challenge then, nothing more. And if there's one thing Humans are good at it's solving engineering challenges.

        Unfortunately as well as Engineers and Scientists we also breed the sort of short-sighted retard who think that success is bred in Gigadeaths.

    2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Taint gonna happen!

      > There's Nowhere To Go

      Heaven for monkeys is a new planet to fuck-up.

  23. DougS Silver badge

    He's feeling his mortality

    And projecting it onto the human race. I see no reason to believe that we are very likely to have a major nuclear war. In fact, our wars have been regressing and killing fewer people in smaller groups than they did in the past. Sure, we have 50 megaton bombs, but we don't actually use them, or even the smaller tactical nukes. Now we use precision drone strikes and IEDs to kill each other - and some wars have regressed so far they're back to old fashioned beheading.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: He's feeling his mortality

      I am sure he has been feeling his mortality for a while now. Hawking was diagnosed as having Lou Gherigs disease in 1963 when he was given two years to live by the doctors at that time.

      By that reckoning he is 5 decades into overtime.

      The more widely separated places humans exist the less chance there is of one or two causes wiping us out.

      To be so short sighted as to think that living elsewhere in the solar system is difficult so we shouldn't do it is a fatalistic attitude that compares with someone in the Great Plague days sitting thinking 'Well most other people have got the plague I may as well go and get now and be done with it.'

      Just because a Star drive seems impossible or unlikely is not a reason to disregard it, 3 or 4 hundred years ago no one thought it would be possible to fly around the world at several times the speed of sound, now we could, now we have been to the moon ( even if it was in Hollywood) and we are not the centre of the universe.

      As Hawking said try looking at the stars and not at your feet.

  24. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I think human

    colonization of the cosmos should occur with 3 classes of ships... the A ships for all the leaders and scientists and great thinkers, the C ships for all the workers and the doers, and the B ships for everyone else

    And we send the B ships off first.

    Imagine that.. an earth free of politicians, cost expense accountants, advertising execs, religious fruitbats, and virgin media call centers......

    Boris

    Oh well its nice to dream

    1. montyburns56

      Re: I think human

      But which class of ship do the telephone sanitizers travel in?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I think human

        "But which class of ship do the telephone sanitizers travel in?"

        They will have died out. How often these days does anyone share the use of a phone? Even the third world is skipping straight to cheap mobiles. Yes - in some cases a stall rents them by the minute - but eventually the handsets will be free. They will be cheap to make and any costs recovered from a PAYG plan.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be space"

    So lets put Endemol in charge of it.... Go figure!

    I hope the big brother lot in Space all die horribly!

    1. Sarah Balfour

      Re: "I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be space"

      Couldn't be more apt - why…? Say 'Endemol' slowly and what does it sound like…? (You'll need to adjust the syllable-stress slightly).

  26. sisk Silver badge

    I still think Hawking's wrong about the threat AI poses. There's simply no reason an AI should risk its existence to try to take out humanity. All things being equal such an entity would be better off waiting for us to die or serving our every need until we lose our intelligence to natural selection or something.

    But here he's dead on. Sooner or later life on this planet will get scrubbed down to the smallest critters again, just like it has umpteen times before. Our best bet to survive that is to be somewhere else when it happens.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While I can't disagree with SH's comments I can't help feeling he's not really thought them through. As far as we currently know getting to another star system is impossible. Ok, that's a bit harsh, there are weird and wonderful ideas for sub-light ways of getting to another star system but all of them are so far outside our technological / manufacturing capability they might as well be impossible. That leaves us with the local solar system and apart from earth none of the planets exactly look conducive to life. Yes, we probably could eek out an existence on mars or the moon but only with regular resupply from earth. Seriously, what are those mars colonists going to do 20 years after they land when their single crystal multi-layer solar panels fail? There certainly won't be a factory growing silicon crystals on mars anytime soon not to mention all the other factories producing wire, metals, plastics, etc, etc. To live independently on another planet means replicating a huge portion of the earth supply chain on that other planet. The fragility of the earth bound supply chains leads me to believe they simply wouldn't work on another planet where, basically, the planet is out to get you.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      As far as we currently know getting to another star system is impossible. Ok, that's a bit harsh, there are weird and wonderful ideas for sub-light ways of getting to another star system but all of them are so far outside our technological / manufacturing capability they might as well be impossible.

      We could do it with an O'Neill Cylinder paired to an Orion drive and used as a generational ship. It'd be a big project, but it's doable with out current capabilities, if only just barely.

      The fragility of the earth bound supply chains leads me to believe they simply wouldn't work on another planet where, basically, the planet is out to get you.

      If we're just talking about survival hydroponics works pretty much anywhere there's water and a breathable atmosphere.

  28. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Just a slight change...

    ..."I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be space and that it represents an important life insurance for our future survival," said Hawking, ...

    "I believe that the medium-term future of the human race must be space..."

    There. Fixed that for you...

  29. bruceld

    I was hoping to read some interesting comments about this article. I wasn't expecting to read grammar lessins.

  30. johnwerneken

    he's right

    Hawking hits the nail on the head. Survival depends on progress which includes expansion to places beyond the reach of all Earth.

    1. Jeff Lewis

      Re: he's right

      What the hell does that even mean?

      You can construct a perfectly sustainable environment with about 1/10 the current population and zero growth. It would also free people up to grow intellectually rather than fighting all the time to survive.

      Stop drinking the American/capitalist Koolaid.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: he's right

        But no one wants to be the among the 9/10 getting the shaft, doing it gradually is too slow, and many cultures still place great emphasis on children, especially when it comes to children caring for the elderly. How does an aging populace continue to live comfortably without enough children? And note, seniors tend to be active voters (they have nothing else to do), so telling them they can just go somewhere and die is a nonstarter.

        1. JamesTQuirk

          Re: he's right

          With UN & associated Organisations, talking about possibility of Earth being uninhabitable for humans by 2100, I thinks it's wise , I hate double posters, but ...

          "

          COP20: Global Arctic Methane Emergency #2 (12-5-2014 in Lima Peru)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQkNxuQ0DoI

          Dr Jennifer Francis - Arctic Sea Ice, Jet Stream & Climate Change

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAiA-_iQjdU

          '

          That's why I go crazy, really important issues are ignored, while people correct spelling, argue on which OS is best in 50 years, cry about what broadband speed will be, trouble is, we may not get there ......

          That's how it continues, people to involved in their own immediate crap, to notice the outside world has a major storm gathering, I am NOT concerned for me personally, I am old, it's the Grandkid & Great Grand Kids I worry about, I just get to watch, human civilisation drown in it's own crap ..

  31. JamesTQuirk

    It's a UK site, repressed english schoolboys, who are "good boys", did their homework, studied, got a job in IT, climb the ladder, learn to pontificate, so now, when u come here, either have a spelling & or gramma checker runnin' , not give a fig (my solution) or the Spelling & Grammar Nazi's will get you !!!

    ps: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typoglycemia

    "I cdn'uolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg: the phaonmneel pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a rseearch taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Scuh a cdonition is arppoiatrely cllaed Typoglycemia .

    "Amzanig huh? Yaeh and you awlyas thguoht slpeling was ipmorantt."

  32. Jeff Lewis

    Hawking - if you're so smart, find a way around the following;

    1. Inertia

    2. Artificial gravity (figure out this one and you'll probably get 1 for free)

    3. The speed of light limit

    4. The problem of dust hitting your ship when you ARE travelling faster than light. (each grain would have an impact of a Hiroshima nuke...)

    Once you have those solved, THEN you can start yelling at us to get off the planet.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Doesn't take Hawking.

      1. Inertia

      Slow acceleration.

      2. Artificial gravity

      Rotating cylinder (old technology that, but probably more reliable than any sci-fi solution will ever be)

      3. The speed of light limit

      Generational ships with nuclear power. That's the key to 1 and 4.

      4. The problem of dust hitting your ship when you ARE travelling faster than light. (each grain would have an impact of a Hiroshima nuke...)

      Don't go relativistic speeds. Use a generational ship and take your time. If it takes 20 years to go one light year so be it. Or, failing that, we're surprisingly close to being able to produce plasma shields, which we'd probably need anyway to fend off cosmic radiation (which, frankly, is a much bigger problem than the ones you've listed).

  33. petec

    *sigh*

    For the most part, humans are pretty comfortable to just adjust their blinkers to an ever increasing narrowness, and to do the bare minimum, all while been spoon fed their entertainment/content.

    The evol-powers-that-be, are utterly taking advantage of this, and perpetuating more and more systems to ever constrain and utilise us for profits.

    Mostly, all we do is breed and we don't think. And based on the level of our excess, so deepens the problems in those areas/communities. Annnnnd then we get frustrated and want to hit/steal/break/rob/hurt/kill stuff, when all we need to actually do, is utilize the grey matter between our ears, that evolution put such huge effort in providing us.

    1. Conundrum1885
      Alien

      Re: *sigh*

      I have some ideas about gravity if the physics community will take me seriously.

      Google "MiHsC" as the secret to a-grav is in extending MiHsC into 11 dimensions by analyzing the Higgs field in condensed matter to fully solve the equations of quantum gravity.

      1. JamesTQuirk

        Re: *sigh*

        they will, if u hover ...

        1. Conundrum1885

          Re: *sigh*

          Hmm.

          So hovering outside the ISS with a "For Sale, $1B o.n.o" sign scrolling around the perimeter of the" IXS Tesla" would be enough then?

          The main problem is I'd never get clearance to launch something this experimental.

          1. JamesTQuirk

            Re: *sigh*

            Conundrum1885

            Build a scale model, I thought of using a mobile or 2, as communications link to control a craft, mine was gunna have some tye-dyed mice with sunglasses, in cockpit, so I when I buzzed the ISS, I could give them "beware puny humans !!", some led as lasers, maybe cruel for mice, if ISS beliefs it ..

            I liked the "craft" in "after earth", it construction was along lines I understand (except I think I have better "caravan" airlocks), knowing weight in largest problem, I think by centralising crew for takeoff in separate life supported area, thru using environmental controls, to change atmosphere the rest of ship, with some lighter than air gas, heating it (to increase lift), using rest of "ships inner hull" space as a "blimp" to achieve a high altitude, before having to give "a push" to orbit it, of course this would temp control of gases, ventilation to storage or to be BURNT as fuel or kept to make water, if you use hydrogen, not helium, & have storage of Air to refill ships inner hull after orbiting ...

            "The main problem is I'd never get clearance to launch something this experimental."

            Well of course I went to bunnings (hardware store), they told me I wasn't even allowed to build it the carpark, either, So lot's of luck with that ..

            & Please don't mention Hindenburg, that was a lesson in don't paint your airship with solid rocket booster fuel ...

  34. Andrew 99

    mind the gap

    I often wonder if we havent already been invaded. Command and control centers infected and the human race being delibrately driven off a cliff because we're a danger to someone. Evidence is scant on that, but it would explain a few things.

  35. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  36. Bleu

    An earlier

    commentard said it all, Hawking is a philandrerer.

    That is not to remove his contributions to theoretical physics, but what are they?

    I do not really understand.

    It seems to be a time-keeping standard.

    On second thought, I can't see much that is new.

    One fave personal memory is of being on my back, watching meteors, chatting with a friend about the universe, in some Austral desert.

    At that time, I think another English thinker was most influential for me regarding things stellar.

    I cannot recall his name right now, but he was very interesting on many things other than black holes, also had many interesting ideas about black holes.

    He was not from Oxbridge (Leeds? London?), but had intriguing and convincing ideas about black holes, worked out much of the theory, too.

    Mathematician.

    I loved his writing, but don't have it to hand at the moment.

    1. Florida1920 Silver badge

      Re: An earlier

      At that time, I think another English thinker was most influential for me regarding things stellar.

      Sir Roger Penrose?

      1. Bleu

        Re: An earlier

        Indeed, and thank you.

        I had since recalled the name, am glad someone does, too.

  37. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Not likely

    If we lose human aggression, every news site that has a Comments section (include Vulture Central) can shut it down. Now what fun would that be? Go ahead, downvote me and prove I'm right!

  38. NormDP

    Cut and run.

  39. Bleu

    Loose

    the dogs!

    Srsly, anyone who doesn't know the diff. bet. 'loose' and 'lose', what are we to think of them?

    I note that British newspaper writers are frequently writing 'taut' as 'taught', anyone doing that should be automatically shown the door.

    I could go on, but the land of Nod awaits.

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