Tag Archives | Stephen Hawking

How Stephen Hawking, Diagnosed With ALS Decades Ago, Is Still Alive

Stephen Hawking truly is a very special specimen – not only a verifiable genius but also seemingly able to be one of the only people to beat death from ALS. Terrence McCoy reveals how at the Washington Post:

On April 20, 2009, a moment arrived that doctors had foretold for decades. Stephen Hawking, a scientist who overcame debilitating disease to become the world’s most renowned living physicist, was on the cusp of death. The University of Cambridge released grim prognoses. Hawking, diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 21, was described as “very ill” and “undergoing tests” at the hospital. Newspapers ran obituary-esque articles. It seemed time was up for the man who so eloquently explained it.

But, as is his custom, Hawking survived.

Stephen Hawking with New Computer

Hawking shouldn’t be able to do the things he now does. The 73-year-old shouldn’t be able to deliver meditations on the existence of God.

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Stephen Hawking warns that attempting to contact aliens could invite disaster

josef.stuefer (CC BY 2.0)

josef.stuefer (CC BY 2.0)

via Cambridge News:

Professor Stephen Hawking has warned that trying to make contact with aliens by calling out to the cosmos could invite disaster.

It comes as a scientist, leading plans to seek out ET, believes that one way he could convince advanced aliens that we’re an intelligent species by teaching them the rules of cricket.

But, if his critics are right, there is a chance that who or whatever picks up the signals will want to take us on – or even invade Lords.

Members of Seti (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) are preparing for the next step in actively calling out to aliens – instead of just listening.

What is known as Active Seti will be under serious discussion this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Jose, California.

Seti spokesman Dr Seth Shostak outlined methods being explored of conducting Active Seti within the next two years – including the possibility of nurturing an alien interest in cricket and rock music.

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Stephen Hawking Warns Artificial Intelligence Could End Mankind

Stephen Hawking in CambridgeNot to be outdone by Silicon Valley superhero Elon Musk who recently warned that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is “our biggest existential threat,” British genius Stephen Hawking tells BBC News that AI could spell the end of mankind:

Prof Stephen Hawking, one of Britain’s pre-eminent scientists, has said that efforts to create thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence.

He told the BBC:”The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

His warning came in response to a question about a revamp of the technology he uses to communicate, which involves a basic form of AI.

But others are less gloomy about AI’s prospects.

The theoretical physicist, who has the motor neurone disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is using a new system developed by Intel to speak.

Machine learning experts from the British company Swiftkey were also involved in its creation. Their technology, already employed as a smartphone keyboard app, learns how the professor thinks and suggests the words he might want to use next.

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Steven Hawking And Colleagues: We’re Not Preparing Enough For Artifical Intelligence

PIC: Giasela Giardino (CC)

PIC: Giasela Giardino (CC)

“If a superior alien civilization sent us a text message saying, ‘We’ll arrive in a few decades,’ would we just reply, ‘OK, call us when you get here — we’ll leave the lights on’? Probably not — but this is more or less what is happening with AI, warns Stephen Hawking and several other scientists in this article at the Huffington Post. As a quick aside, did anyone see Transcendence? Is it as crappy as I hear?

Via Huffington Post:

Artificial intelligence (AI) research is now progressing rapidly. Recent landmarks such as self-driving cars, a computer winning at Jeopardy!, and the digital personal assistants Siri, Google Now and Cortana are merely symptoms of an IT arms race fueled by unprecedented investments and building on an increasingly mature theoretical foundation. Such achievements will probably pale against what the coming decades will bring.

The potential benefits are huge; everything that civilization has to offer is a product of human intelligence; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools AI may provide, but the eradication of war, disease, and poverty would be high on anyone’s list.

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Hawking: We’ll Colonize The Moon Within 50 Years, Mars By 2100

320px-Physicist_Stephen_Hawking_in_Zero_Gravity_NASAStephen Hawking joined in a two-and-a-half-hour live broadcast from the International Space Station and Mission Control in Houston on March 16th, telling viewers that our future is in space and that we’ll have colonized the Moon within 50 years and Mars by 2100. It’s a message he’s been preaching for some time and with thousands of people clamoring to join the one-way mission to Mars planned for 2025, it seems his message has resonance…

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Science and Spirituality: The Teachings of U.G.Krishnamurti

Are there any points of contact between science and spirituality?

via Well World-Dual-final

[Paper presented by Dr. J.S.R.L.Narayana Moorty at the Krishnamurti Centennial Conference held at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, U.S.A., May 18-21, 1995]

The following paper discusses some issues commonly raised in regard to the relationship between science and spirituality. In particular, I wish to examine the issue of the apparent similarities (or symmetry) between statements made by scientists and those made by mystics concerning the unity of existence (or of the universe). I shall argue that the positions of the scientists and those of the mystics are not comparable, and I wish to propose that the very premise that the mystic or the scientist has any sort of experience or knowledge of a state of unity, especially when seen in the light of the teachings of U.G. Krishnamurti, a contemporary teacher, is questionable.

I shall include in my discussion references to a few well-known contemporary scientists, e.g., David Bohm, Rupert Sheldrake and Stephen Hawking.

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Celebrities Speak Out

Cartoon by Eli Valley, courtesy of copyright holders Forward Magazine. Used with permission. Click Image to read original article!

Via orwellwasright:

When Stephen Hawking announced he was boycotting Israel in protest of their occupation of Palestinian land the ensuing furore was nothing if not predictable.

After a barrage of appeals from Palestinian academics the world-renowned scientist cancelled his appearance at the high-profile Presidential Conference. Hawkings stated in a letter dated 3rd May: “I accepted the invitation to the Presidential Conference with the intention that this would not only allow me to express my opinion on the prospects for a peace settlement but also because it would allow me to lecture on the West Bank. However, I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics. They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott. In view of this, I must withdraw from the conference. Had I attended, I would have stated my opinion that the policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster.”

Opposition to the move from Israel was swift, condemning his decision as “outrageous and improper”, with conference chairman Israel Maimon going on to say, “Israel is a democracy in which all individuals are free to express their opinions, whatever they may be.… Read the rest

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Universe’s Biggest Mystery: Women

Stephen_Hawking

According to British scientist Stephen Hawking, anyway. From Reuters:

The biggest mystery in the universe perplexing one of the world’s best known scientists is — women.

When New Scientist magazine asked “Brief History of Time” author Stephen Hawking what he thinks about most, the Cambridge University professor renowned for unraveling some of the most complex questions in modern physics answered: “Women. They are a complete mystery.”…

[continues at Reuters]

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Does The Past Exist Yet?

past-present-futureThe future has yet to be determined, but what about the past? This recent Huffington Post piece discusses the possibility that what you do in the present shapes both future and past — “historical events such as who killed JFK, might depend on events that haven’t occurred yet.”

Recent discoveries require us to rethink our understanding of history. “The histories of the universe,” said renowned physicist Stephen Hawking “depend on what is being measured, contrary to the usual idea that the universe has an objective observer-independent history.”

Is it possible we live and die in a world of illusions? Physics tells us that objects exist in a suspended state until observed, when they collapse in to just one outcome. Paradoxically, whether events happened in the past may not be determined until sometime in your future — and may even depend on actions that you haven’t taken yet.

In 2002, scientists carried out an amazing experiment, which showed that particles of light “photons” knew — in advance −- what their distant twins would do in the future.

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Stephen Hawking: God Was Not Needed To Create The Universe

Stephen Hawking says the Big Bang was the result of the inevitable laws of physics and did not need God to spark the creation of the Universe -- reported in the Telegraph:
The scientist has claimed that no divine force was needed to explain why the Universe was formed. In his latest book, The Grand Design, an extract of which is published in Eureka magazine in The Times, Hawking said: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.” He added: “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.”...
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