Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 by M G
Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 6:36 p.m. EDT (Updated 5 Jun 2017, 1:58 a.m. EDT)
When Stephen Hawking was first diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease at age 21 in 1963, they thought he had about two years left, but he’s 74 today. Why? My readers would have to see the movie. It was so touching and quite interesting. I’m giving it five stars for artistic merit and historical and current-day cultural and scientific relevance. Hawking first had a theory that time had a beginning. While working on his doctorate degree, his professor said to prove it, that time had a beginnning, with an equation.
Hawking stood with chalk in hand in front of the blackboard and really went to town. At some point in his career, he pulled an Albert Einstein by changing his mind. He had come to believe that the universe has no boundaries. In other words, science is like a woman insofar as it comes with a certain prerogative.
Is there life in the universe, or “are we alone?” Dr. Hawking wrote a very interesting essay about that, and unless he’s changed his mind about that too in the last 20 years, I’m still inclined to agree with him.
Oh sure, "I know it’s tempting" to want to believe that we’re not alone, especially in light of an incident which happened in Sydney, Australia in December of 2008 when astrophysicist Ragbir Bhathal, hoping for a signal from another world, spotted something extraordinary, a mysterious laser pulse, and saw a spike on his screen.
You see, after decades of searching for radio signals, some extraterrestrial life form searchers like Dr. Bhathal figured that since our galaxy is about 5 billion years old while the oldest parts of the universe are about 10 billion years old, an advanced civilization might use laser technology to communicate, reasoning that any extraterrestrials would’ve utilized radio frequencies first before developing instrumentation to harness wavelengths in the optical range of the electromagnetic spectrum for practical applications in communications like we have in use today.
Unfortunately, the mysterious signal did not come back again, or "fortunately" if one were to take Hawking’s view that any alien life form would likely be dangerous. On that particular count, I’m not sure I would agree.
Yes, I was being facetious. I’m neither an immigrant nor an alien. Between the two of us, Hawking’s the genius, and I’m not knowledgeable enough to speculate intelligently about the likelihood of aliens posing a viable or imminent threat.
I like that Hawking discussed human development of written language and how that was crucial to the successful development of the human species on an evolutionary scale, which is one reason why he advised everyone to never stop talking by stating: “We must never stop talking!” I’m sure a man of his caliber wasn’t referring to idle chatter, but to productive communication.
Thanks for popping in. “Listening” and proving you listened just by showing up is 50% of communication, a full half! Old school wisdom has it that showing up is half the battle. If only America’s most powerful people, such as U.S. Presidents for instance, were half as hospitable. They’re a terrible tease. They’re too much like that mysterious signal, and I’m not doing this just for the hell of it.
P.S. – Cheerio!