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As part of NASA's 50th anniversary, Stephen Hawking offers his latest thoughts on the universe

Hawking: Unintelligent life is likely on other planets

Stephen Hawking

Today/Interview with Stephen Hawking [Real Player]

NASA 50th Anniversary Website [Macromedia Flash Player]


Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking is known the world over for his myriad accomplishments, which include best-selling books on the history of the universe, his musings on black holes, and of course, his guest appearance on the television show, "The Simpsons". This Monday, Hawking gave a lecture at George Washington University in honor of NASA's 50th anniversary where he outlined some of his latest thoughts on the cosmos. During his remarks he noted that there may in fact be alien life somewhere out in space, but that in general "Primitive life is very common and intelligent life is fairly rare." Hawking went on to suggest that alien abduction claims come from "weirdos", and remain very unlikely. He also made a bold call for continued human space exploration and suggested that the current situation regarding space conquest is akin to "Europe before 1492." Never one to shy away from a timely quip, Hawking noted that if explorers hadn't come to the New World, "we would not have a Big Mac or KFC."

The first link will take users to an article from the BBC News service which talks about Hawking's lecture and also offers a set of related links. The second link leads to a piece which appeared in this Monday's Washington Post that offers additional coverage of the lecture. Moving on, the third link leads to Hawking's homepage. Here visitors can learn about his work, academic background, and various publications. The fourth link leads to an interview with Hawking conducted for the BBC's radio program, "Today". The fifth link leads to NASA's 50th Anniversary website. It's full of interesting activities and interactive timelines and exhibits about NASA's past. For those who want to help out with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, the sixth and final link will be a real find. Visitors can download the SETI software from this site to help analyze radio telescope data, and it takes up a relatively small amount of space on one's computer.
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NASA 'should follow Columbus'
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