In conclusion: Newscasters, just because Kaku is a physicist and you don't understand what that means, that doesn't mean you should cut to him for elaborate takes on alien theory just in case that's what physics is about.
Stephen Hawking Cannot Predict The Apocalypse
Stephen Hawking might be the greatest mind on the planet today. Struck down in his early 20s by motor neuron disease, all known medical science gave him, at most, a couple of years to live. So they advised him to get all of his thinking out of the way early. That was in 1963. Over 50 years later, the man isn't even close to dead, and his work on physics has drawn comparisons to Einstein. Tragically, his disease has advanced to the point that he can now only move one muscle in his entire body: his cheek. And yet he does more with that one cheek than we could ever do with our four.
NASAThough our Penthouse collection is way more complete.
But that doesn't mean that he knows everything. He's not a My Little Pony expert, for example, and you wouldn't cut to him for expert opinions on Sparkledew's fuckability or whatever. And yet in recent years, the media has cited Hawking as an authority on a number of increasingly absurd apocalyptic predictions. In 2010, they freaked out when Hawking warned that aliens might learn of our existence and respond by wiping us out, Independence Day-style. Then in 2016, he warned that robots might become self-aware within the next 100 years and wipe us out, Terminator-style. Then he said an asteroid collision is imminent, which would kill us all, Armageddon-style. Most recently, since Brexit, he's started warning us that we only have 1,000 years left as a species, unless we double down on interstellar colonization, because politics are going to kill us all. Which one was that, Hunger Games?
Bryan Bedder/Stringer/Getty Images "And if you read the calculations, you'll see undeniable proof that Team Gale is the only correct choice."
Why You Shouldn't Have Asked Them:
It makes sense to listen to what Hawking says when he's talking about universal inflation, or quantum gravity, or black hole radiation, or anything else we don't have a distant hope of understanding. But Hawking isn't any more of an authority on aliens, or robots, or asteroids, or goddamn politics than you are. There's a reason his field is called "theoretical physics" and not "practical doomsday prognostication."
If you're after realistic predictions about the chances of alien invasion, robot uprisings, or Mad Max apocalyptic social decay, then you're shit out of luck -- there are no experts on that. And if there are, this stupid comedy website is probably one of them. Here's our expert prediction: Life is always going to be weird and scary, and you'll worry about space and robots and water wars, but fantastical sci-fi scenarios are not going to kill you.
common_human/iStock Or the spider that's currently in your hair.
Just playing the odds here.
Jordan Breeding is a part-time writer, full-time lover, and all-the-time guitarist. Check out his band at http://www.skywardband.com or on Spotify here. Luke Miller used to keep America's skies safe as an air traffic controller, but now he writes fart jokes for Cracked.
Behind every awful movie is the idea for a good one. Old man Indiana Jones discovers aliens. Good in theory, bad in practice. Batman fights Superman. So simple, but so bad. Are there good translations of these movies hidden within the stinking turds that saw the light of day? Jack O'Brien hosts Soren Bowie, Daniel O'Brien and Katie Willert of 'After Hours' on our next live podcast to find an answer as they discuss their ideal versions of flops, reboots, and remakes. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased here!
For more scientists that make us second guess buying a white coat and pocket protector, check out 7 Scientists Who Definitely Weren't Just Arousing Themselves and 5 Great Scientists Who Believed Wildly Unscientific Things.
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