QUESTIONS FOR STEPHEN HAWKING
Do you still believe it’s intelligent life we ought to avoid?
Are poets as useless as philosophers?
Do black holes take library books?
Are atheists afraid of the dark?
If a robot asks me out, do I say yes?
If the elephant in the room dies, do you have a funeral?
If we meet in heaven will you avoid me? Will you declare it all a bad dream or a good dream? Will we drink rum and coke or virtue?
Will you take a look at my theory of nothing?
—from Poets Respond
March 18, 2018
Jill M. Talbot: “This is a response to the death of Stephen Hawking. I found much of what he had to say outside of his research interesting. His fear of intelligent robots and aliens, his demand that he not appear drunk on The Simpsons … but mainly the notion that heaven is a ‘fairy tale for people afraid of the dark.’ Hawking has also been critical of philosophers. I wondered where the arts appeared in all of this. If science offers Ativan and writers offer stories, I choose the latter. It is in death that we often turn to art, religion, and philosophy—not necessarily for comfort, but perhaps for something human. Nevertheless, Hawking was certainly an inspiring figure for scientists and non-scientists alike.” (web)