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Hawking’s Doomsday

Gage Buddemeyer, Staff Writer

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Stephen Hawking, a world-renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist (that’s space, not makeup) has been working on his new documentary, “Expedition New Earth” for BBC. In this documentary, Hawking predicts that, at the rate we’re going at now, human life will flicker out of existence within the next 100 years or so (as if your Tuesday needed any more pizazz.) In order to combat this, Hawking has suggested that we need to prepare for the worst and start colonizing Mars as soon as possible.

Of course, colonizing a new planet is a monumental task that brings about a plethora of burning questions. How will people born on Mars differ from those born on Earth? Will finding habitable space be problematic? How many quadrillions of trillions of dollars will the entire operation cost us? What about the atmosphere? Farming? The water?! On top of the smorgasbord of physical health issues, we also have to consider the immense amount of stress that would weigh down on the human psyche during the process of interplanetary colonization.

These concerns I’ve brought up just barely scrape the surface of all of the challenges we’ll face. Perhaps the largest and most harrowing obstacle, however, is that we have absolutely no reference material to draw from whatsoever. We’ve never dealt with the transportation of an entire population across the void of space. We don’t understand how the populace will react when everything they’ve ever known fades away into a speck in the cosmos. We are unequipped and unprepared to deal with this situation in most ways imaginable.

Hope isn’t completely lost, however. Stephen Hawking, IQ of 160 and all, is still just another man among us making a doomsday prediction. Nothing is set in stone, his word is not the be-all-end-all of the human race. Additionally, Mars colonization projects have been on the table now for years; the implementation of these programs is just a matter of time. Nobody knows for sure how we’ll go out, but if you’re living out your golden years watering your cold, red garden within your hermetically-sealed biodome, at least you can say we warned you first here at the Spud.

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Hawking’s Doomsday