I just watched a pretty amazing live speech by Professor Steven Hawking on Nasa TV. I’ll post a link to a transcript when available.
Prof. Hawking spoke on the importance of resurrecting public interest in science, and mentioned the new children’s book he has written with his daughter. He went on to discuss the probability of life on other planets, saying he believed primitive life forms were likely to be fairly common, but intelligent life rare. He mentioned the possibility that intelligent life self-destructs upon reaching a certain technological advancement due to nuclear weapons and other methods of mass destruction, but said he preferred not to accept that explanation as the primary reason for us not having confirmed the presence of other intelligent life.
Prof. Hawking gave several possibilities for colonization, including the moon, mars, and titan (a moon of Saturn), as well as planets outside our solar system. He suggests inter-solar system travel should be a goal for humanity to accomplish over the next 200-500 years. He spoke of possibility that life began on earth due to the intervention of a meteor carrying DNA from another planet. He closed by stating that if humanity was to survive the next million years, colonization of another earth-like planet is a necessity.
Prof. Hawking displayed a sense of humor at various parts of his speech, and also quoted Star Trek and displayed an image of what appeared to be a “galaxy class” star ship from the TV series. He also spoke briefly about UFOs and alien abduction, making jokes about those who report such events.
This was a very interesting lecture, and rather progressive compared to what I would have anticipated at a NASA event. I’ll have more here as it becomes available.
Do you believe that space colonization is necessary for the survival of humanity? Comment below.
Update: It would seem NASA tricked me. Although, “live” was appearing during the lecture, it appears this was a repeat broadcast of a lecture given over a year ago. You can find more information here.