"신은 없지만, 외계인은 존재한다"

 

[스티븐 호킹 Stephen William Hawking,1942~ ]

2009년까지 케임브리지 대학교의 루커스 석좌 교수로 재직한 영국의 이론물리학자이다. 그는 (특히 블랙홀이 있는 상황에서의) 우주론과 양자 중력의 연구에 크게 기여했으며, 자신의 이론 및 일반적인 우주론을 다룬 여러 대중 과학서를 저술했다. 그 중 시간의 역사는 런던 선데이 타임즈 베스트셀러 목록에 최고기록인 237주 동안 실렸다.

호킹은 스물한 살 때부터 근위축성 측색 경화증(루게릭병)을 앓아 현재 휠체어 생활을 하고 있다. 그의 중요한 과학적 업적으로는 로저 펜로즈와 함께 일반상대론적 특이점에 대한 여러 정리를 증명한 것과 함께, 블랙홀이 열복사를 방출한다는 사실을 밝혀낸 것이 있다(이는 호킹 복사 혹은 베켄슈타인-호킹 복사로 불린다).

스티븐 호킹은 케임브리지 대학원에 재학 중이던 22살 때, 근육 및 신경계 난치병인 근위축성 측색 경화증(루 게릭병) 진단을 받고 살 날이 2년 밖에 남지 않았다는 시한부 선고를 받았다.
그러나 당시 의사들의 이같은 예상은 여지 없이 빗나갔다. 하지만, 이로 인해 손발을 움직일 수 없게 된 탓에, 공식을 종이 따위에 써내려 가며 계산하는 것은 불가능하게 되었고, 이를 극복하기 위해 그는 물리학 및 수학의 여러 복잡한 공식을 일일이 암기하여 계산하는 법을 익혀야 했다. 이는 대단히 놀라운 능력이어서 동료 연구원들은 스티븐 호킹의 이러한 재능에 크게 감탄했다고 한다

wiki

 

 

[VIDEO]

10 Things You May Not Know About Stephen Hawking

 

'I'm an Atheist': Stephen Hawking on God and Space Travel VIDEO

 

By Alan Boyle
World-famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking says flat-out that he doesn't believe in God, but he does believe that space travel offers the best hope for our species' immortality.

 

Those pronouncements came during the buildup to this week's Starmus Festival at Tenerife in the Canary Islands, where Hawking and other scientific luminaries have gathered for rounds of talks, tours and elbow-rubbing.

 

The Spanish newspaper El Mundo engineered an exclusive interview with Hawking, and headlined its report with his views on the origins of the universe

 

In the past, there's been a tiny bit of ambiguity: In "A Brief History of Time," Hawking writes that the discovery of a unifying set of scientific principles known as the theory of everything would enable scientists to "know the mind of God." But in a follow-up book about the quest for the theory of everything, titled "The Grand Design," Hawking said the mechanism behind the origin of the universe was becoming so well known that God was no longer necessary.

 

El Mundo's Pablo Jauregui asked about those two references to God in one of the questions he prepared for Hawking to answer, and here's the scientist's response:

 

"Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation. What I meant by 'we would know the mind of God' is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn't. I'm an atheist."

 

Hawking addressed the issue more delicately several years ago when he told Reuters that he was "not religious in the normal sense," and said "God does not intervene to break the laws" that He decreed. Since then, however, there's been a lot more theorizing devoted to the origin of the universe. Hawking now believes that an approach known as M-theory will eventually reveal the grand design of the cosmos.

"In my opinion, there is no aspect of reality beyond the reach of the human mind," Hawking told El Mundo.

Space travel as life insurance


Hawking's views carry a lot of weight in popular culture — in large part because his studies of black holes, the nature of space-time and other deep subjects have earned him a reputation as one of the smartest people on Earth.

 

Another part of his appeal comes from his triumph over adversity: For decades, he has been fighting against amylotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS — a neurogenerative disease that's left him almost completely paralyzed. He can communicate only through a computer that's controlled by the twitches of his cheek. Despite that hardship, he continues to travel and give voice-synthesized lectures at the age of 72.

 

The El Mundo interview says that his doctors no longer allow him to fly — which might pose a problem for his plans to fly into space once Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo suborbital rocket plane goes into service. But whether or not Hawking gets into outer space himself, he sees that final frontier as a life insurance policy.

 

"It could prevent the disappearance of humanity by colonizing other planets," El Mundo quoted Hawking as saying.

 

But what about the aliens?
There's a catch: If there are other civilizations out there, we'd better be careful not to run across the bad guys, a la "Prometheus." Hawking has previously warned against calling too much attention to ourselves, for fear of attracting the wrong sort of extraterrestrials. Such a visit might well be similar to Christopher Columbus' visit to the Americas, "which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans," Hawking said.

But how likely is it that intelligent life exists? Surely someone who's skeptical about God's existence would be skeptical about E.T.'s existence as well, right?

 

Not really.

During his own Starmus lecture, evolutionary biologist (and outspoken atheist) Richard Dawkins said the astronomical evidence suggests it's "most likely" that the universe has many forms of life — although those life forms may be on "islands separated by vast distances."

 

"The idea that we are alone in the universe seems to me completely implausible and arrogant," El Mundo quoted Dawkins as saying. "Considering the number of planets and stars that we know exist, it's extremely unlikely that we are the only form of evolved life."

nbcnews

 


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