I have read ‘A Brief History of Time’ by Stephen Hawking, cover to cover.
In the sense, I read the front cover and the back cover and still didn’t understand any of it. Some would say this does not qualify me to discuss the Professor’s deeply delving works or thoughts but those some would be wrong and I’m going to do it anyway.
It seems that having huge intelligence goes hand-in-hand with being a pessimistic sod always looking on the dark side of things. A definite case of the Leyden jar being half-empty. For example, I am aware (totally without research aware) of two instances when Mr Hawking has been a little bleak in his outlook.
The first instance concerns shooting message or information into space that aliens might pick up and act upon. I, wrongly, assumed that Stephen would be quite excited by the thought of aliens getting in touch with humanity, maybe to confirm all his theorising was correct and the universe did work the way he’d guessed it did. Apparently not. The Professor actually thinks we should be very careful about advertising our whereabouts to E.T. and his mates because he fears things could go tits up big time. He thinks that if aliens do pick up our signals they would jump in their silver flying saucers, race to Mother Earth, attack us, lay their eggs in our bodies via a massive and really rather rough anal probe and several hours later their alien spawn would hatch inside us and eat their way out through our faces. I’m pretty sure that’s a direct quote.
But that was old news, I’d known this opinion of his for a while. However, yesterday I read an article in which he yet again proved himself not to be a little ray of sunshine for sure. This time the old Pessimistic Pete was warning that if humanity didn’t start building ‘Space Arks’ and filling them with humanity and all the other organisms of Earth and leave the planet within 30 years we would all end up boiling in our own fluids…or something like that. He blamed over-population, climate change, resource depletion or an asteroid strike even though everyone else knows these are fake news items. Bases on the Moon and Mars are his initial ‘first-step to the stars’ idea but ultimately he wants us to all fuck off out of the Solar System and head toward Alpha Centauri. Alpha Centauri indeed, I thought proper scientists didn’t even believe in astrology.
He also suggested the rocket he was on would have to be filled with glamour models and Tennents Super in the name of research. He stated that all of this is guaranteed to happen by the laws of physics…especially the glamour model bit.
A bit bleak for a boffin but he is only one boffin and so it’s possible he might be out of step with his fellow egg-heads. Let me now introduce Richard Dawkins.
‘The God Delusion’ the title says it all…and it has to because, again, I haven’t read the book beyond the title. However, I’m pretty sure Mr Dawkins is basically taking a piss from a great height on the beliefs of anyone who has beliefs. That’s got to be the ultimate pessimism, hasn’t it?
Gathering the whole of humanity around the campfire and saying: ‘Listen, I know a lot of you have had pretty hard lives, downright shit on the scale of things. I also know that many of you are hoping for something better after you die, a paradise long promised to you by those who have the ears of the gods. Well, I’ve got some news for you…and you’re not going to like it.’
Obviously there are dumb-ass pessimists as well as these misery-peddling masterminds but generally, they are not in a position to write books or get their voices heard in the mass media so we don’t hear them. (I’m excluding Facebook here, no one takes notice of anything written on the world’s biggest asylum noticeboard…do they?) I’m sure though, if my research wasn’t so slap-dash, I could find more doomsayers among the top tier of academia.
I bring you hope, the half-full glass of optimism because who can say these people are right? People, the high up people of their day, firmly believed the world was flat way back in the mists of history. (I know there is a resurgence of ‘Flat Earthers’ at the moment but our esteemed Mr Chapman pointed out the rise in laundry detergent digestion recently and I suspect a Venn diagram of the two groups would have a large overlap.) Many things that were held as fact in bygone times are dismissed as false nowadays as new ideas or ‘facts’ are brought to light.
I’d like to throw another egg-head into this brainy-omelette, not because he’s a pessimist to my knowledge but because he’s massively annoying and ultimately wrong. Please turn the light on Professor Brian Cox. Did I mention he was annoying, very, very annoying as well as wrong? Prof. ‘Things can only get better’ was on the box one night, spouting off about how things were amazing, in his deeply grating voice, and he said – paraphrasing – ‘We know what all the stars are made of by the colour they emit. Copper-based stars glow green, iron-based glow red and stars made of Trumponium glow orange.’
‘Bollocks,’ I thought. ‘You, Cox, are nothing more than a high priest of techno-mumbo-jumbo, swapping the word ‘magic’ for ‘science’ in an attempt to bend people to your ways just like Imhotep tried at the steps of the Temple of Ra.’ This chap spouts all kinds of stuff like they are indisputable facts. If they are facts why is it called ‘The Big Bang THEORY’; and why don’t all accredited scientists agree that that’s how the universe began.
As if there is an unseen force commanding our every move, a few days later I read an article about a star that has the world of physics dumbfounded as they had no idea about its composition. So, Cox, explain that! I suppose you’re going to tell me my findings were all a D:ream? And while we’re at the tail of that bad joke, if you’re so good at explaining things, Prof., please do let me know why Blair?
My, rather too long to reach, the point is this. These scientist Johnnies might all be highly educated (bear in mind they are educated in the way we understand things at the moment) but that does not mean they have GCSE Omniscience; they are just guessing and your guess is as good as theirs. The gods not being there to save us getting impregnated by seven-foot aliens with a desire to enslave all humanity is just their bleak, pessimistic outlook, not fact.
If you want a god in your life, and that presence makes you happy, have one and tell Dawkins to piss off once you meet up in the afterlife when you’re driving a Beemer and he’s cleaning the urinals. If the Martians land who’s to say they don’t bring us chocolates and flowers and enter into a long-term committed relationship before probing us?
The thing is these scientists don’t have all the answers, maybe not even some of the answers. In fact, they might even be asking the wrong questions and it’s on the record that they all don’t agree with each other’s answers. Next time you hear Hawking, Dawkins, Cox or their ilk spouting their pessimistic falsehoods (guesses at best) off into your face from a screen, maybe you should take it with as much seriousness as you do when your mate Dean, after his ninth pint in the Ferret and Crown, tells you he’s seen the little people who live in the realms of hollow earth dancing in his garden…not that I’m saying Dean hasn’t seen them.
Here’s a scientific formula to live by E=MCHammer…you can’t touch this. (Earworm warning too late, I fear.)
Then there’s Elon Musk, the world’s Dungeon Master Supreme…I think I’ll give him his own rant in the future.