Do famous physicists (Kaku and Hawking) pass off asumptions as fact?

In summary, the conversation revolved around the possibility of aliens and their potential technological advancements compared to humans. The participants discussed the vastness of the universe and the unknown possibilities of other civilizations. Some expressed caution in speculating about alien life while others believe there is a high chance of its existence. They also mentioned the dramatization of alien assumptions in TV shows and the potential consequences of a more advanced civilization meeting a less advanced one. Overall, the conversation highlighted the uncertainty and speculation surrounding the topic of aliens.
  • #1
1992camrysedan
1
0
Hello all,
I will freely admit I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and now that it is well managed I tend to attach my obsessions over interest. One thing I tend to obsess about is the possibility of aliens. I think about the fact that us humans are the only technological creatures on this planet, that we know of at least, with a deep understanding of natural laws and a language used to describe it, physics, calculus, etc. Then we use this as an immensley powerful language to manipulate raw elements into technology... cars, aircraft, cities, electronics etc. Essentially, we are a technological civilization with engineering. It really bothers me that our technological advancement is all relative, we are living in a magical miracle world to our great ancestors of the past but we won't seem quite as impressive in the future.

I kind of enjoy marveling at modern technology, but it does bug me that there is a real possibility of other technological civilizations, possibly some that are more advanced then ourselves. I usually just think about the shear size of the universe, the amount of stars in a single galaxy, and how many galaxies exist, and even the shear size of a galaxy alone and the life that could fill a single galaxy.

But when it comes down to it, my mind is just speculating, just assuming and imagining probable possibilities. Most people could do the same thing as me. In fact, my best friend in mechanical engineering school and I discuss possibilities alot.

But at the core, Fact is we don't know what's all out there, we don't know how common life is and how common technological civilizations are. And I don't think we can say with much certainty at all where us humans fall in terms of technological capabilities relative to other possible civilizations.

It seems like physicists like Michio Kaku and Stephen Hawking just freely speculate about aliens being far more advanced than us, and I suppose to reach us they would have to be, but it seems like they dramatize their assumptions like "Oh all aliens are more advanced than us by a long shot and will come and kill us all" when we simply have no idea what is out there. Not to mention we really have no idea what intentions are of other civilizations. Seems like if we can mine asteroids for resources and are already starting to plan to settle new societies on Mars than, for a superior race, what is the point of taking over a world that already has advanced life with all this infrastructure built into it like major cities with militaries that will put up resistance. Even if they could easily wipe us out, seems like for the kind of society Kaku and Hawking speculate they could easily just settle on planets lacking of technological life. But like I said I don't think Michio Kaku or Hawking should just sound so sure with these bold assumptions when we haven't even found evidence of life yet. And I could speculate just as well that humans could be one of the most technologically advanced life but we simply don't yet know what's all out there. The other thing that bothers me is that Kaku titles us a "type 0" civilization to make us sound extra primitive when all it is is an arbitrarily made up scale when we don't even know of the characteristics of other life.

I believe there is probably an abundance of alien life, but we don't know if it is rare or common and technological life may be extremley rare or quite common, but we don't know.

I had a physics tutor at school tell me that a lot of these physics TV shows about space are heavily dramatized. Is this true?
 
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  • #2
Personally, I have never heard of Michio Kaku or Stephen Hawking saying anything about "aliens" much less asserting that they exist! Could you give a specific reference? In any case, the existence or non-existence of aliens, or whether they are more advanced or not is NOT a matter of physics which is their area of expertise.
 
  • #3
I think the level of aliens depends on what batch their planet was created in, and if said batch had planets which contained enough useful metals and rare resources.
 
  • #4
1992camrysedan said:
But at the core, Fact is we don't know what's all out there, we don't know how common life is and how common technological civilizations are. And I don't think we can say with much certainty at all where us humans fall in terms of technological capabilities relative to other possible civilizations.

I agree. We have only got one astronomical object with life in our sample selection. Because of this, I'm personally very cautious regarding speculations about alien life. Another thing to keep in mind is that we don't know how big the entire Universe is (compare observable universe with the Universe).

1992camrysedan said:
I had a physics tutor at school tell me that a lot of these physics TV shows about space are heavily dramatized. Is this true?
Yes, and not only physics TV shows about space, there are many quite speculative and dramatized science programs in general. I'd say it's actually a range, from very good to ok to really bad (and it can also sometimes be somewhat subjective what is good or not, depending on the scope and topics of the show).
 
  • #5
it seems like they dramatize their assumptions like "Oh all aliens are more advanced than us by a long shot and will come and kill us all"

Human history shows that when an advanced civilisation meets a less advanced civilisation the latter comes off badly (The discovery of America wasn't good for native Americans).

In order for aliens to visit Earth today they would need to be more advanced then we are (we aren't advanced enough to visit them!). So it's reasonable to assume that if aliens visited us today things might not go very well for us.
 

Related to Do famous physicists (Kaku and Hawking) pass off asumptions as fact?

1. How do famous physicists pass off assumptions as fact?

Famous physicists may pass off assumptions as fact by presenting them as established theories or by using their reputation and authority to convince others that their assumptions are true. This can also happen when they make statements without providing sufficient evidence or research to support them.

2. Is it common for famous physicists to pass off assumptions as fact?

It is not common for famous physicists to pass off assumptions as fact, as they are expected to follow the scientific method and provide evidence to support their claims. However, it is possible for even well-respected scientists to make mistakes or have biases that may lead them to present assumptions as facts.

3. Can assumptions be proven as facts by famous physicists?

No, assumptions cannot be proven as facts by famous physicists or any other scientist. Assumptions are untested ideas or beliefs, while facts are supported by evidence and have been rigorously tested through the scientific method.

4. What are the potential consequences of famous physicists passing off assumptions as fact?

The potential consequences of famous physicists passing off assumptions as fact include spreading misinformation and damaging the credibility of the scientific community. It can also lead to confusion and mistrust among the general public, as well as hinder the progress of scientific research.

5. How can we ensure that famous physicists do not pass off assumptions as fact?

We can ensure that famous physicists do not pass off assumptions as fact by promoting critical thinking and scientific literacy. It is important for individuals to question and evaluate information, even if it comes from well-known scientists. Additionally, the scientific community should continue to uphold rigorous standards for research and evidence-based claims.

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