Hawking wrong about the Earth and wrong about God, says outgoing head of the Royal Society, Martin Rees
As President of the Royal Society, Rees has become the figurehead of British science and he has learnt that his pronouncements carry more political weight than when he was mere Sir Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal and part-time science author. He agreed to a final interview before he retires with this in mind, saying that he would have to be careful with his choice of words if he was not actually in charge of writing them.
On the need to confront the big environmental problems facing us in the 21st century, he parts company with his friend and colleague Stephen Hawking, who famously once said that humans will have to colonise distant planets if they are to survive. “I think that’s an an ill-thought through statement and we have to bear in mind that there is nowhere we know about in our own Solar System that is even as hospitable as the top of Everest or the South Pole. The problems of the Earth must be solved here on the Earth and we must not divert attention from that necessity,” Lord Rees said. He is equally scathing about Hawking’s more recent comments about there being no need for God in order to explain creation. “Stephen Hawking is a remarkable person whom I’ve know for 40 years and for that reason any oracular statement he makes gets exaggerated publicity. I know Stephen Hawking well enough to know that he has read very little philosophy and even less theology, so I don’t think we should attach any weight to his views on this topic,” he said.
Full interview: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/martin-rees-we-shouldnt-attach-any-weight-to-what-hawking-says-about-god-2090421.html