“Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here,” says the protagonist of last year’s sci-fi blockbuster Interstellar. Now, the sentiment has found support from none other than renowned theoretical physicist and bestselling author Stephen Hawking.
“We must continue to go into space for the future of humanity,” Hawking said, addressing an audience at Sydney’s Opera House on Saturday and Sunday. “I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”
The wheelchair-bound Hawking, who is perhaps the world’s most famous and visible patient of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, appeared in front of a packed house via hologram from his office at the University of Cambridge.
“Although I would love to be there in person, the idea of being the first person to appear as a hologram on the stage at the Opera House is too good an offer to refuse,” he said.
“I want to share my excitement and enthusiasm about this quest, so remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet … try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious,” Hawking added.
The latest comments by Hawking, who has, in the past warned against developing “full Artificial Intelligence” and attempts to make contact with aliens, were similar to those made earlier by Elon Musk -- the founder of SpaceX and the CEO of Tesla Motors.
“I think there is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary,” Musk said, in an interview to Aeon magazine in September last year.
After Hawking's planned address, which touched on, among other things, gravitational waves and the role of supercomputers in unraveling the mysteries of the universe, he turned to answer more “important” questions, namely, the “cosmological effect of Zayn Malik leaving One Direction.”
“My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay attention to the study of theoretical physics because one day, there may well be proof of multiple universes … It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another, different universe. And, in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction.”