On 19 December 2007, a statue of Hawking by artist Ian Walters was unveiled at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, University of Cambridge. Buildings named after Hawking include the Stephen W. Hawking Science Museum in San Salvador, El Salvador, the Stephen Hawking Building in Cambridge, and the Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute in Canada. The Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded on 12 August 2009. The Medal of Freedom is the United States’ highest civilian honor.
Hawking has suggested that space is the Earth’s long-term hope and has indicated that he is almost certain that alien life exists in other parts of the universe, “To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational. The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like”. He believes alien life not only certainly exists on planets but perhaps even in other places, like within stars or even floating in outer space. He has also warned that a few of these species might be intelligent and threaten Earth.
“If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,” he said. He has advocated that, rather than try to establish contact, humans should try to avoid contact with alien life forms.
Well, here they come.
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