Stephen Hawking and the Temple of Dooms

Will the human race end because of unchecked Venus-like global warming, or the rise of artificial intelligences that will find us disposable, or will aliens simply follow our radio broadcasts, come to Earth and eat us or subjugate us or merely cause us to lose our will to live because they are so much better than us? If you listen to Stephen Hawking, at least as he’s covered in the legacy media, the answer is “yes.” Hawking is certainly the most famous theoretical physicist since Albert Einstein, and rightly so, as he’s been very creative, developed theoretical ideas that have turned out to explain real physical observations — as well a a lot which haven’t been physically verified — and has done so while setting an apparent world record for the longest-surviving Lou Gehrig’s disease patient. This means that anything Hawking says about any scientific topic is news. On the other hand, that doesn’t make it right, especially as he strays beyond the edges of his own field. (See also, L. Neil Tyson on Computer Science.) Hawking made headlines in July by claiming “Donald Trump could turn Earth into Venus-like planet with 250C and sulphuric acid rain.” In the case…

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