"The mind is a compact, multiply connected thought mass with internal connections of the most intimate kind. It grows continuously as new thought masses enter it, and this is the means by which it continues to develop."

Bernhard Riemann On Psychology and Metaphysics ca. 1860

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hawking the Misanthrope and Pseudoscience

This is what the media has lately trumpeted as the wisdom of Steven Hawking:
"If we are the only intelligent beings in the galaxy, we should make sure we survive and continue. But we are entering an increasingly dangerous period of our history. Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet Earth are growing exponentially, along with our technical ability to change the environment for good or ill. But our genetic code still carries the selfish and aggressive instincts that were of survival advantage in the past. It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand or million. Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain inward-looking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space. We have made remarkable progress in the last hundred years, but if we want to continue beyond the next hundred years, our future is in space. That is why I'm in favor of manned, or should I say, 'personed' spaceflight."
In my book, this type of thinking is the reason that students loathe science classes. The rank solipsism and pessimism is all too palpable. And it points toward the fact that the entire edifice of what passes for modern philosophy of science is a rotting carcass. The truth is that the future of humanity is in colonizing space for the reason that we are continuing thereby to do the unselfish act of perpetuating ongoing and never ending process of perfecting creation. Which is our unique noetic character.

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