Media exploitation of Stephen Hawking and his penchant for apocalyptic prophecies hit a ghoulish low last November. That was when the celebrated scientist predicted a 1000-year “sell by” date for planet Earth: Move to outer space by then or face the extinction of the human race.
Now Dr. Hawking is back with another stunner: Darwinian evolution may justify world government. The logic is: people are violent due to evolution. Thus, perhaps only imposing global government can save the day for mankind and delivery us from extinction.
From The Independent:
The world-renowned physicist, who has spoken out about the dangers of artificial intelligence in the past, believes we need to establish a way of identifying threats quickly, before they have a chance to escalate.
“Since civilisation began, aggression has been useful inasmuch as it has definite survival advantages,” he told The Times.
“It is hard-wired into our genes by Darwinian evolution. Now, however, technology has advanced at such a pace that this aggression may destroy us all by nuclear or biological war. We need to control this inherited instinct by our logic and reason.”
He suggests that “some form of world government” could be ideal for the job, but would itself create more problems.
“But that might become a tyranny,” he added. “All this may sound a bit doom-laden but I am an optimist. I think the human race will rise to meet these challenges.”
World government “might become a tyranny.” It might? However, Stephen Hawking is not only a genius but an “optimist,” so bring it on.
Nobody is forcing Dr. Hawking to say such grim and foolish things. At least I assume he isn’t being directly manipulated in that way. But while conceding there’s a great deal to admire in the courage he shows in bearing up under his physical trials, let’s also be honest. Were it not for his appearance and disability, he would not have the voice he has for broadcasting nonsense.
The issue is not with him, but with the media. News sites love him because he’s a click magnet. If anyone out there actually take him seriously, though, then his pronouncements are not only nonsense but dangerous nonsense.
For a partial listing of Hawking’s past prophecies, see “Dr. Hawking’s First World Problem: What If Aliens Call!?”
Photo credit: Jim Campbell/Aero-News Network [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.