Here’s the Intel; Stephen Hawking fears robots could wipe us out


Published: 30 June 2015 (GMT+10)
Wikimedia commons Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking is a theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author perhaps best known for his book A Brief History of Time.

We have reported in Creation magazine that the famous physicist Stephen Hawking was concerned that tampering with the ‘God particle’ (Higgs boson) could end the world.1 Now he has issued another dire warning: mankind is doomed if artificial intelligence takes over because we won’t be able to ‘evolve’ quickly enough to deal with it.2

His pronouncement came after electronics giant Intel released new technology that actually helps him speak by predicting words he may next use. He needs the electronics machine because he is paralysed with the debilitating disorder Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS (see also creation.com/hawking and creation.com/als).

Concerned at such advancements in technology, Hawking said: “Once humans develop artificial intelligence, it would take off on its own and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete and would be superseded.”

Such pronouncements are perhaps not surprising given that for Prof. Hawking, evolution is a fact and, therefore, that we are mere biological machines, the offspring of primordial pond scum.

Of course he also rejects the idea there is a Creator God in charge of mankind’s ultimate destiny. But it should be pointed out that it is never too late for Prof. Hawking to turn from his atheism and accept Christ, just as his first wife Jane did.3

References and notes

  1. Hawking fears ‘God particle’ may kill us all, Creation 37(2):7, April 2015. Return to text.
  2. Professor Stephen Hawking warns development of artificial intelligence could mean end of human race, abc.net.au, 3 December 2014. Return to text.
  3. Bergman, J., Stephen Hawking: the closed mind of a dogmatic atheist, J. Creation 19(3):29–33, December 2005, creation.com/jane-hawking. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments

Sandy J.
It has been getting more obvious for some time that Stephen Hawking is losing his grip on reality. It's a shame. Probably at least partly due to the ALS. He has notable company in Richard Dawkins who continues to publish books by recycling failed notions which have nothing to do with science and everything to do with religious fanaticism - the fanaticism resulting from the supposed "intellectualism" which goes on in the minds of those who set themselves up as omniscient while denying that any omniscient being exists.
Charles Lyell and Charles Darwin suffered from the same delusion of omniscience and dictated what was and what was not science rather than accepting what science was telling them. This disease will continue and will spread until the judgement day when all such stand in embarrassment before their Creator. They will be too ashamed to even attempt to explain their anti-scientific beliefs to Him.
John W.
It is not robots that are the concern. It is human beings whose desires are inspired by evolutionary dogma that are of more influence. The use of of brain enhancing technology and the surrender of the conscious control of thought to a 'beneficent' controlling other, whether as an acting part in a virtual experience or by direct stimuli to the brain itself, is something that is a truly alarming trend. God gave us free will. It should never be surrendered to anything but His liberating will.
Greg H.
It sound to me as though Hawking has been watching the Terminator movies too frequently, or at least taking them too seriously. C'mon, even before I was a believer I knew that this was science FICTION, not truth! I took every science class available in high school and college, and formerly believed in evolution. However, once I understood how to read Scripture properly (using Scripture to interpret Scripture) I knew that evolution must be a lie. But I never did believe that God would allow us to create something to destroy humanity.
Leslie E.
You’re spot on Warren. It all hinges on Stephen Hawking’s belief that evolution is a fact. As a computer programmer, I need to have a specification that describes what it is that I should program before I can even start coding. But nobody knows what conscience awareness actually is, let alone how to specify it as an algorithm or a physical process. That only leaves a magical ‘evolution’ of consciousness on a computer. But evolution just doesn’t seem to work very well on computers. (I.e. it doesn’t seem to be taking off on its own and evolutionary simulations don’t seem to design anything at all on their own) Funny about that.
G. '.
Stephen Hawking believes in evolution as the mechanism by which mankind (and all of biological kind) has come into being. That means that he subscribes to the "ever upwards and ever better" notion. He should therefore be happy for this "evolution" to take place and for mankind to be doomed to extinction as that is the WAY forward. The fool says in heart, "There is no God."
J. P.
I find it fascinating that any discussion of artificial intelligence - be it that which is depicted in science fiction stories, or be it musings of potential real-world implementation- ALWAYS leads to the ultimate conclusion that A.I. will unavoidably evolve into something evil. Why no room for benevolent A.I. in them minds of scientists or scifi writers? I'll tell you why. They are mirroring their own unconscious understanding of the inherent evil of man. Since all mankind, left to his own godless devices, always degenerates into selfish amorality, they assume an artificial society of machines must do so as well.
They need to ask themselves, if man truly evolved from morally neutral evolutionary processes... why the consistent manifestation of a default state of evil in the hearts of men divorced from God?
Hawking's fear, in a sad irony, only proves that he actually has an unconscious grasp of that which he so vehemently denies on a conscious level.
Wayne T.
Hawking's fears are entirely unfounded. Despite over 50 years of research into "Artificial Intelligence" there has been no progress in understanding human intelligence. Cognitive processing remains a mystery, and will remain so whilst secular scientists believe that the mind is nothing more than an emergent property of the brain. In my own research into epistemology, the origin of information, and the origin of knowledge as a function of cognitive information processing, I have found nothing in undirected organic evolution that can even begin to explain how organisms could have derived an understanding of an external environment using senses that evolved without purpose. In brief, the prerequisite to intelligence is intelligence, and no efforts on the part of scientists to imbue machines with intelligence will have any outcomes beyond the logic pre-programmed into the machines by external intelligent agents. Intelligence is not in the domain of the material, but the immaterial.
Glen H.
The reason the worlds "smartest" man fears such things is that he is FAR from the world's wisest man. Intelligent in some areas does not automatically translate to wisdom.
Kyle L.
It just sounds to me like he had a nightmare about "The Terminator", that's just me though...
Terry D P.
Hawking must think that the computers which use artificial intelligence programs will be able to self-replicate and program themselves in the future, without any help from intelligent man.
        But has he really thought about how all this could come about by the evolution of silicon into complex microchips without the intelligence of man?
        Has he really thought about how easy it would be for an intelligent man in a power station miles away to cut off the power to the computer?
        Is a computer with artificial intelligence able to evolve mechanisms (e.g grow arms and legs) over time which will be capable of forcing humans to build and maintain those coal/nuclear power stations to produce the electricity without which no has artificial intelligence?
        One day, hopefully soon, we hope he will come to the realisation that his own intelligence came, not from inanimate primordial soup, but from the intelligent mind of the living Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ, the God and Creator of this universe.
Phil H.
"Stephen Hawking fears"...says it all. Fear is the opposite of faith and if you have no benevolent God to trust, fear must slide in to rule.
I believe that only God is creative, and will NOT allow non-creative machines to replace His authority, which is sovereign. Machines can replicate themselves, and maintain themselves, but how can they design malevolent human- destroyers? Only Satan could program in such evil and he doesn't have, nor will ever have, the authority.
It would be far more realistic for atheists to fear God, because that is a justifiable concern.

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