Michio Kaku Interview
The below is a transcript of our interview with Professor Michio Kaku on the Future of Humanity. You may listen to the interview at Michio Kaku Podcast.
Coming to you from Nashville, Tennessee. This is mysterious matters, a program for those who dare to think. And welcome back to the program. It’s been a while since we’ve been back together and what a magnificent show we have lined up for you this evening. Our first guest of season four of the mysterious matters program we have on a world-renowned theoretical physicist by the name of Michio Kaku. and Michio Kaku, who has a book out titled The Future of humanity, terraforming Mars, interstellar travel and mortality, and our destiny beyond earth. If after listening to this program you find that you’re interested in reading this book, you can always go to muster is matters.com/calc who, but if you’re the type of person who might be more interested in listening to the book while also supporting this program, you can go to mysteriousmatters.com/humanity. And with that said, Dr. who welcome to mysterious matters.
Michio Kaku: It’s great to be here.
Bob Bain: When it comes down to the future of humanity, there’s definitely several things weighing upon our minds right now when it comes to the future. And one of those has got to be hell, does humanity. How do we overcome the shortfalls of being human in order to ensure that there is, in fact, an actual future? Because right now we’ve got the situation in North Korea going on. We have school shootings going on, we have all sorts of violence. We have political disturbance, we have, you name it, it’s probably going on. So how do we overcome these shortfalls to ensure a future worth living?
Michio Kaku: Well, we have two great threats facing us. One is self-inflicted threats like global warming, like nuclear proliferation and national aspirations and antagonisms and also germ warfare. But we also have natural catastrophes like asteroid impacts, uh, ice ages, supervolcanoes, and we need an insurance policy. I once interviewed Carl Sagan who said that he’s all for space travel and that we should become a two planet species because life is so precious that if you put it on one planet, it could be extinguished. So we need a backup plan, a plan b. not that we’re going to move the entire population of the earth to Mars, but we need a settlement on Mars in case something does happen to humanity on the planet earth, and that’s why he advocated being a two planet species and now we have silicon valley billionaires who are picking up on that message.
Michio Kaku: 02:54 Elan musk of space x, Tesla Motors and paypal is bankrolling his moon rocket. He mentioned that Silicon Valley billionaire bankrolling his own moon rocket called the falcon heavy, which was launched just about three weeks ago. Millions of people saw that launch and they realized that it was historic because after 50 years we’re now launching a moon rocket of real moon rocket after a 50 year gap finance by somebody’s private checkbook. This is incredible unheard of and that’s of course has its own moon rocket. So we actually may have a traffic jam over the moon and eventually over a Mars.
Bob Bain: 03:34 What would that be like to have a traffic jam over the moon or even a traffic jam over Mars? Because right now it’s kind of hard for me to imagine what it would be like. Are we talking something like a traffic jam as we experience on the interstate getting to work in the morning
Michio Kaku: 03:49 and that’s right. Back in the 19 sixties, space travel was really only for the great powers. In 1966, the NASA budget was five percent of the entire federal budget. Now that’s unimaginable and that’s unsustainable and then it’s soon collapse after we reached the moon. Now we have the falling price of space travel. You realize that the movie the Martian with Matt Damon that actually cost more than a successful Mars mission by the Indian government just a few years ago. Think about that. A Hollywood movie. You can actually finance a trip to Mars. That’s how cheap things have gotten.
Now the, the Chinese have said that they want to plant the Chinese flag on the moon and then onto Mars, and so we’re seeing a rapid falling of the cost of space travel and then we have silicon valley billionaires like Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Elon Musk and space x. they’re opening up their checkbook. Who would have thought that opening up their checkbooks to finance a spaceport in Texas with a fleet of rockets? Uh, Jeff Bezos has a fleet of rockets already ready to shoot tourist into outer space. He wants to set up an Amazon delivery system from the Earth to the moon. And then Elon Musk, as I mentioned, is planning not just a moon rocket, but a Mars rocket as well. So this would have been unheard of back in the 19 sixties, but that’s how much times have changed since the Cold War.
Bob Bain: 05:21 While we’re on the topic of space exploration, there’s definitely something that bothers me and that is, it appears to me at least, that our space program has been at a standstill for a very long time now in terms of usable technological advancements. Back around the 19 sixties, we have the space capsules and then the seventies came around and we had the space shuttle and now it just seems like we’re really reverted back to using space capsules. It just appears to me, and you can correct me if I’m completely mistaken, that we’re just not serious about exploring space otherwise. The technology, it would have progress much further, right?
Michio Kaku: 06:01 Yeah. We had a 50 year gap, a spinning wheels around the earth. Many people think that the space shuttle was in fact incorrectly design because it was designed to handle passengers and freight. Now thinking of the train, the train splits freight in one set of rails and passengers in another set of rails because they require different forms of maintenance, different forums of uh, cars and different economics. We split freight and passengers, but the space shuttle was everything to everybody. So it eventually became nothing to nobody. It became so expensive device that it costs a billion dollars per launch. Well, let me repeat that again. $1,000,000,000 per launch of this space shuttle. So now we have reusable rockets, uh, sponsored by Elon Musk, space x. and remember what happened after World War Two with the coming of the used car market after World War Two, we had all these gis who were broke who couldn’t afford to buy a car, but then the used car market hit and all of a sudden a used car became part of American teenage Lord.
Michio Kaku: 07:09 Same thing is now happening with rockets. The the rocket that went up just three weeks ago. The Falcon heavy was reusable. It came back, it came back to the launchpad and it can be fired up. Once again. That means the cost of space travel could drop from $10,000 a pound, which is roughly your weight in gold. If you were to put yourself in orbit around the earth to perhaps $1,000 a pound, that’s a 10. That’s a factor of 10 drop in price. So this is going to open up outer space for tourism, for travel, for astronauts, for interplanetary missions. If the cost draws by a factor of 10, which is the goal of space x
Bob Bain: 07:51 on the topic. Just recently, Elon Musk launched a tesla sports car, a red sports car engine space with a mannequin and the driver’s seat just listening to music or whatever he’s doing, you know Mr spaceman and captured a lot of people’s attention. Even my mother asked me what was the purpose for sending a car into space? So Dr. Kakuwhat is the purpose, If there is one of sending a car into space?
Michio Kaku: 08:22 oh well, the short answer is it was a publicity stunt because Ilan must realize is that this good publicity translates to higher stock evaluation, a Tesla Motors, that young upstart. All of a sudden I’m outpaced Ford Ford Motor Company in terms of its financial status, and so I. Ilan must understand the laws of the marketplace that you do have to have a little razzmatazz to get the notice of investors, but the main point is that the falcon heavy was a cheap. It was be a moon rocket and not just an ordinary rock it and see it was reusable and D is. It is a prototype for a mission to Mars and that’s his goal. He wants to meditate to be a multi planet species and I think that’s a. that’s a worthwhile goal because it’s too dangerous to put life on just one planet earth because of course the dinosaurs had no space program and that’s why they’re no dinosaurs here today because the dinosaurs were helpless when that meteor hit the earth a 65 million years ago. They’re not here to debate the question
Bob Bain: 09:34 considering we have limited time together. Let’s get into the topic of transhumanism. It was back around, I guess it was 2015. I once spoke with Eve Harold on the topic of transhumanism and uh, this is definitely a topic very close to me, very dear to me on a personal level because the early stages of transhumanism have been keeping people alive. That’s close to me. People I love my family members, my friends that I know. Whereas about 30 years or so ago, they probably wouldn’t be here today at all. So a wound is beneficial. There are certain types of people, usually extremely religious type of people who have frowned upon and even called transhumanism the work of the devil. What are your thoughts about transhumanism?
Michio Kaku: 10:26 Yeah, you have to realize that since time immemorial, the average life expectancy for a human being was under the age of 30. Think about that for a moment. The average life expectancy since the dawn of humanity was less than 30. You, you basically were born, had kids and then you died. Uh, that’s what we have all these fairytales about, you know, um, stepmothers and stepfather’s because most people were raised by their relatives because their parents died. And so you realize that because of modern medicine, life expectancy went from 30 to like 75. And so we’ve already already lengthen the life span of human beings using artificial means. It’s all artificial vaccines in surgery and all these wonder chemicals that we have, they’re all artificial. And so now the next step is perhaps genetic. We’re beginning to understand the genetics of animals. Uh, the agreements shark for example, can live to 400 years of age.
Michio Kaku: 11:30 We know that because the eyeball of the Greenland Shark adds a layer every year and you can count them like tree rings and sure enough, they can live over 400 years of age. So animals naturally can do it. And one day we’re going to find the genes for aging two. For example, where does aging take place at a car? Well, obviously the engine. Why? Because that’s where you have moving parts and that’s where you have oxidation combustion. Well, where is the engine of a cell? And that is the Mitochondria. Well, Bingo, that’s where most of the aging takes place. Era Buildup takes place in the Mitochondria. One day we’ll fix the broken genes at the Mitochondria and extend the human lifespan. This is definitely a possibility that I look into because to go to the stars would require perhaps centuries. And it’s good to extend the lifespan so you can make the journey
Bob Bain: 12:27 when it comes to extending human life at one point, if you believe the Christian Bible, humans were living around 700, 900 years of age, is it even possible for humans to live 700 to 900 years of age back then? Or even today?
Michio Kaku: 12:47 Well, it depends on how you count the ages. Uh, the yardstick, right? There’s no uniform yard stick that we can compare with the ancients, to the yardsticks that we have today. So I think you have to take a look at it more like allegorically since we don’t know what the yard sticks were that we can compare them one to one because we could be making a very serious mistake because we don’t know what the calibration factor was.
Bob Bain: 13:14 True. That is true because while we count 365 days a year for us, for all we know back in those days, they may have counted 90 days, which is essentially a season to be a year. And uh, but, but that is something we’ll never know because there’s just no documentation showing how they measured years back in those days.
Michio Kaku: 13:36 right. And you know, I like to look back at the words of Galileo because Galileo is scientific. He introduced measurements and uh, people asked him about these kinds of questions and he said, well, religion and science are two purposes. The purpose of science is to determine how the heavens go. The purpose of religion is to determine how to go to heaven. So as long as we understand the difference between the two, that one deals with ethics, like how to go to heaven, the other one deals with natural law. That is the laws of the universe, then there’s no problems. And so when we talk about religious texts talking about increments of time or space, you have to realize that we don’t. We can’t calibrate it and therefore it’s not a statement of scientific fact it a statement of scientific faith, how to go to heaven while science is how the heavens go. That is how we measure natural law.
Bob Bain: 14:33 Do you feel that religion hinders scientific breakthroughs such as a tech, for example, stem cell research?
Michio Kaku: 14:41 Well, I think as long as we keep these two disciplines separate where, okay, now again, a science deals with natural law. Religion deals with ethics. The problem occurs when natural scientists begin to pontificate about faith and religion, or when religious people began to pontificate about natural law. That’s where we get into big trouble. Okay? And so as long as we keep these two things distinct, then I think they’re complimentary because of course, science doesn’t tell you what good ethics are, how to lead a good life, how to become a good person. Science does not tell you that on the other hand, a religion does not tell you what’s inside a proton. And so I think that as long as we understand the differences between the two, there are no problems.
Bob Bain: 15:29 As technology gets more intricate and people were just began burying ourselves into it. Will language or social interactions as a whole be changing? Because with the way we either allow or disallow technology to transform our lives.
Michio Kaku: 15:48 well sometimes parents come up to me and say that their kids spend too much time on on the web and what’s wrong is that wrong? My attitude is that it’s not by itself wrong because then you etiquette is forming. Teenagers are creating a new form of social customs, and if you’re not on the Internet, you don’t exist. You’re not a player. You’re not on their radar map unless you’re on the Internet. But you have to understand social skills. You have to have both a, you have to know what the social etiquette is, whatever it is, whatever technology comes down the pike, you should know it be. You have to have one to one social skills. You have to know how to carry on a conversation, how to impress people, what the boundaries are. When you talk about things to people. Uh, these are things that you learn by socializing, but if you’re a shut in and you spend all your time on the computer, uh, then of course you lack social skills and no wonder you don’t have that many friends.
Michio Kaku: 16:45 Or if you spend all your time to social housing, then you can’t talk to people who are on the web. And so I tell parents that they should have a balance between the two because a new social etiquette is being formed because we have a new way of communication. Now, remember when the telephone, when the telephone first came in 100 years ago, there were a lot of newspaper editorials that you can look up that denounced the telephone. They thought it was evil because you’re not going to talk to people. You’ll talk to this disembodied voice in the air, in the ether, and you’re not going to talk to your kids so much. And of course the critics were right. We don’t talk to our kids too much. We’ve spent too much time gabbing to the ether and we love it. We love the telephone and now we love the Internet. And so the point is that instead of going against technology, we should use technology as long as we understand social skills as well.
Bob Bain: 17:45 A lot of kids are lacking today. They are spending much time, so much time being socially active digitally that they just the, I guess they’re getting how to socially interact with other people face to face back when we were getting. I can’t really speak for you, Dr. Cuckoo. But when I was a kid, we would go out and play around outside. We would create things with our imaginations. And um, while we might had technology, it was technology that we either had to build ourselves such as a time when my father bought my brother and I a, uh, a radio scanning kit. It was a kit you had to put together before it even operated. Back in those days. We learned all sorts of skills that today’s kids, today’s children. It just doesn’t appear that they’re learning. Kids today seem to be. I don’t know. This is very. Not Kids today seem to be dumbing down compared to where we were when we were kids. Is that a fair criticism?
Michio Kaku: 18:50 Yeah, I think it’s a fair criticism. I think we always have to worry about that. However, I think that’s where science can come in because science and the space program can really energize people. When I was a kid, we had something called a sputnik moment. That is when sputnik went up in 1957. It galvanized every teenager. All of the sudden he was your patriotic duty to understand science and astronomy and physics and chemistry. A life magazine published a big picture on his cover saying that I’ve been couldn’t read, but johnny cannot and that’s a national disgrace, and so all of a sudden it was cool. It was really cool back then to become scientific oriented. Well, those days are gone. Okay, but the space program I think is giving us a new sputnik moment once again, people are now tuning in to the space program they’re tweeting into movies, they’re beginning to get interested again and I think that’s one way to pull students away from simply computers just to chat with people into computers as a way of learning about our universe, to give them role models, to give them knowledge about what the universe is all about.
Michio Kaku: 20:04 Some of you don’t spend all their time sending dirty messages to each other.
Bob Bain: 20:11 Sending pictures like Anthony Weiner did. Oh my, don’t be doing that folks.
Michio Kaku: 20:16 Right?
Bob Bain: 20:19 Uh, another concern people have, and I’ve thought about this myself and that is the role of artificial intelligence and robotics and the future. Now we’re already beginning to see self driving cars and there’s legislation that will allow mass production of them were also seeing a restaurants with a kiosk where you can order from the table and at some point I truly believe that at some point waitresses will be displaced. That we’ll have robots also bringing food to our tables as we order our dinners or lunches or whatever it may the case may be, and I’ve even heard, I don’t know how true it is, but I’ve also heard that they are working on replacing human staff members with robots in Japan. As far as hotel workers go, our concerns of robots displacing human workers, justified or unjustified.
Michio Kaku: 21:14 Uh, well, firstly, in Japan we have a receptionist simply comes up to you and greets you and maybe take down some simple information. They do simple things like, for example, deliver messages to you or are running around to the elevator. They can go to the elevator, go to the different floor, a knock on your door, deliver something. But if you want a porter to carry your luggage down to the basement or there’s a leak in your faa, said you needed a repairman to replace it, or your toilet’s running and you need a plumber. A robots can’t do any of those things. They are no robot plumbers. There are no robot carpenters there, no robot repairman, no robots, sanitation workers, uh, none of that. Things that are repetitive and can be reduced to simple mechanical motions. Those are the jobs being replaced. Now, many interactions, uh, lawyers, for example, I have to talk to juries and to um, to clients and judges, uh, robots can’t do that.
Michio Kaku: 22:10 In fact, the constitution says you have to have a trial by peers. You don’t have a trial by, by robots. You have a child that’s trial by other humans and that’s why you need human lawyers. Also, doctors in the future we’ll have robo doc will be able to talk to your wristwatch and get a valid medical advice almost for free. But if you have an operation, if you need some very high level advice about which course to take, you want to talk to a human. So jobs that involve intellectual work, experience, knowledge, know house savvy leadership analysis, those jobs cannot be replaced. The people who do have to worry are a, a repetitive workers, automobile workers, textile workers. Anything repetitive they have to worry. Second brokers, middlemen have to worry. So for example, when you buy a stock today, you no longer buy stock by talking to a stockbroker.
Michio Kaku: 23:08 You do that on your cell phone or your wristwatch, so why do you go see a stock broker? Because you want something that robots cannot provide. Stockbrokers today, no longer really sell stock. Stock brokers today sell advice. They sell insight analysis, leadership, innovation, intuition, and those jobs were going to have for a long time because robots are adding machines. We forget that they’re very good at adding. They’re very good at doing the same thing over and over again, but they’re adding machines and so that’s why I say that. Jobs that are non repetitive job to require some education job ever require font, imagination, analysis, experience. Those jobs will thrive in the future and in my earlier book, Physics of the teacher, I make a list of the kinds of jobs that will thrive in the future and jobs that will go out the window.
Bob Bain: 24:05 Considering you are a theoretical physicist, do you think that we human beings are something along the lines of organic robot beings because realistically we have no idea how we got here or where we came from as a whole. Unless you just go into the creation idea that a god created us, but even if he created us, what are we? Are we robots?
Michio Kaku: 24:33 Yeah. Some people say that there’s hardware and wetware hardware is made out of silicon and glass and steel, and we call them robots and computers and we’re wetware and therefore we have neural circuits and therefore that’s what makes us. Now the question is, what is the soul therefore? Well, we used to have something called dualism a few hundred years ago. During the Middle Ages. Dualism is the idea that the soul is separate from the body so that when you die, your soul goes to heaven, but your body rots on the planet earth when you die. That’s called dualism. Then comes neuroscience. Over the last few decades we says, no, no, no, no, no. It’s just the brain being a bunch of neurons, so there’s really only one object. Now we’re sort of going back to dualism because we know what it’s called. The connectome project. The connectome project is a project to map the entire brain, to map everything.
Michio Kaku: 25:33 Every, every neuron of the human brain will eventually be mad, just like the genome project map every gene of the human body, and then the question is, if you have a disc with your connectome on it and you die, your connectome lives on forever, so in some sense, a piece of you becomes immortal. This is called digital immortality, that when you die, your body may die, but your consciousness, your memories, your feelings, your, your attitudes that could survive forever because you’re a connectome survives forever. And so we’re not beginning to realize that dualism could be coming back again.
Bob Bain: 26:16 Uploader dualism into a robotic body, not bottom, what that would be funny, upload ourselves until robotic bottom. Only see the chair was, but uh, anyway, but what it also be possible to place our brain into a robotic body.
Michio Kaku: 26:36 It’s conceivable that once we have the connectome, which is perhaps maybe 100 years from now, uh, the brain has 100 billion. That’s a lot of neurons. The catalog, uh, that will have a disc with the all your neurons listed. And we’ll be able to put that into a computer. The computer in turn will control an Avatar, a, a robot basically, and you will then see through the robot so that your consciousness, your memories or mannerisms, uh, all your sensibilities will be inside a mechanical Avatar and that Avatar could then explore the universe. Now, I personally think that when that’s possible, by the end of the century, we may put it on a laser beam and shoot the laser beam to the moon and download your consciousness on the moon. This way you’ll be on the moon in one second. No booster rockets, no weightlessness, no radiation, no accidents. You could be on Mars in 20 minutes.
Michio Kaku: 27:38 You could be on the nearest star in four years and it could be a highway in the future. A highway in which souls are being transmitted by laser beams and people go vacationing throughout the galaxy, occupying robotic bodies and becoming superman on these, on these other planets. And personally, I think this may already exist. Why should aliens use clumsy? Things like flying saucers to go from one star to the other? Why not simply lays, report themselves so that your consciousness goes from star to star, you know, within a matter of a few years and so this may already exist. Intelligent life could be common throughout the galaxy, in which case they’re way beyond flying saucers. They simply laser report themselves across the universe and there could be a highway, a highway right next to the earth with billions of beings tell ray laser pointing themselves along this highway and we humans are too stupid and too primitive to even know it that we think were hot stuff, but right next door there could be a super highway where alien life zaps their consciousness left and right and we’re too primitive to know it.
Bob Bain: 28:54 They could even operate on different frequencies that we may not even know exist or how to tap into a if there are extraterrestrial beings and if they are in fact visiting the earth. Do you think they could have the ability to manipulate physics as we know it, such as walking through physical barriers as though they were a ghost. As is the case in many of these alien abduction tells that we’ve heard about over the years where people have said that they were abducted out their houses because aliens came through their walls, whether it’s a brick wall, wooden wall, it doesn’t matter. They come through the walls and get people and the aliens and the abductee themselves go through this wall.
Michio Kaku: 29:45 Well, you basically possible. But let’s take a look at the practical implications. Uh, first of all, about a hundred years ago, 1900, um, a lot of theologians had a problem. And that is we had telescopes and we were looking for heaven and we didn’t see heaven up there every time we look with our telescopes. So back then mathematicians were being to talk about the fourth dimension, other dimensions beyond the three dimensions of length, width and height. And so they thought that, well, maybe God may be angels, maybe they exist in another dimension. So if you look down from mother to another dimension down to flat land, that is people living on a tabletop, and then you peel them, you peel them off the tabletop, they would disappear. You could plop them down, back on the table, top someplace else, and they would reappear in some of 100 years ago, there was a romance with ghosts.
Michio Kaku: 30:38 Believe it or not, a many plays, many novels reset in the fourth dimension whereby you would disappear, reappear someplace else because you were lifted out of the three dimensional world, moved in the fourth dimension, and came back into the third dimension. Now, of course we can’t do that, but I’m a physicist and now we believe that there could be 11 dimensions. I work in something called string theory. That’s what I do professionally. We think string theory is a theory that alluded Einstein for the last 30 years of his life. It’s a theory of everything. It’s a theory that in capital capsulates all the laws of physics into a simple theory which does require you to have higher dimensions, dimensions beyond the three that we know about. Now about alien abductions. There’s at least two ways you can look at alien abductions. One is, well, maybe it’s true.
Michio Kaku: 31:30 You can’t rule it out. I don’t really it out because of course, many sincere people believe this. However, there is another way of looking at alien abductions and that is that about five percent of the human race. Many of my friends in fact suffer for something called sleep paralysis. That is at night. You are paralyzed when you dream because if you’re not paralyzed, you act out your dream and you can injure yourself so you are paralyzed when you dream. But these people, this five percent, when they wake up, they’re still paralyzed and they they’re fearful and they have this image of an animal sitting on their chest. One friend of mine says that she wakes up with a cat. I can’t on her chest staring down on her, and there are many medieval. I’m a victorian paintings of the 18 hundreds where women are shown sleeping in the painting with a Gremlin, a Gremlin sitting on their chest, staring down on them.
Michio Kaku: 32:28 So one theory is that the five percent of humans who have sleep paralysis actually suffer from this thinking that maybe aliens, aliens have kidnapped and they’re doing experiments on them and they’re staring down on them. And under hypnosis, that feeling of fear can be, can be brought to the surface. Now, I don’t know. All I know is that friends of mine do suffer from paralysis. They tell me that, yeah, in the morning is very frightening in the morning, uh, there are creatures, creatures staring down on them and then they wake up and they go about their business and forget about it. But when you ask them, they say yes, they’re terrified. And so that is a possibility. Now, my advice to people who have been abducted by flying saucers, my advice to them is the next time you were abducted, steal something, I don’t care what it is, uh, an alien paperweight, an alien paperclip, an alien, anything. Steal something so that after you’re back, you have something that is testable, reproducible, and falsifiable because that’s what science is all about. Science is not about stories, sciences, about things that are testable, reproducible and falsifiable. And so if you steal something or if someone does forbidden experiments on your sex organs, get alien DNA that would end the debate right then in there. Numerous speculation, no more theories. It would end the debate right there. One alien ship would do it.
Bob Bain: 34:02 It would take because there are many, many cases of people with metallic bb shaped objects inside of their body and from what I’ve heard, when Dr tried to remove the object, it either moves or it disappears, but if it can be as structured, it can then be tested for its properties and a will. Would that be enough proof that there are in fact extraterrestrial beings abducting people?
Michio Kaku: 34:30 Oh yeah. Anything that is extra terrestrial, like if you have a piece of metal or whatever, put it through a mass spectrometer within minutes, within minutes you would know if it was earth made manmade or are alien made, and so that’s the proof of the pudding. So in other words, 100 years from now we could be having a conversation like this, do a. It will go on forever because it’s not decidable. Things in science are decidable. You can decide yes or no or this something is correct. That’s what separates faith from science. Faith is necessarily not decidable because faith deals with ethics and how to go to heaven, but science is decidable because it depends on natural law. Therefore, if someone has a piece of alien technology led us, put it through an MRI scan and it’s mass spectrograph a any number of devices, that immediately has settled the whole question and then there’s no debate whatsoever.
Bob Bain: 35:26 Speaking of having scientific facts of things that are happening the way it is claimed to happen. Back in April of 2017 on Reddit, you were asked about your thoughts, the electromagnetic propulsion system, which is otherwise known as the m drive, the elm drive, and you said, I quote, I’m very skeptical of the m drive because it violates the known laws of physics. Well, Dr Caputo today in February 2018, are you still skeptical of the m drive?
Michio Kaku: 36:03 Okay. There was an announcement last year. This is probably what you’re talking about that says that they were able to generate net thrust using microwave radiation and that the amount of net thrust was very, very tiny, almost infinitesimal, but it seemed to violate the known laws of physics. Therefore, it opens the possibility of new laws of physics. Okay, so I think that’s where this is m drive is. Okay, so my attitude is very simple. That is, it has to be reproducible, testable, falsifiable. So far, no one has been able to duplicate this. For example, take a look at cold fusion. I don’t say that coldfusion is impossible. That is fusion in a glass of water. Who knows? Maybe it is possible, but no one has been able to reproduce it in their laboratory on demand. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t work. Toyota even put a few million dollars to try to see whether they could commercialize cold fusion, but you see if you’re cold, fusion engine turns on sometimes, but most of the time does not.
Michio Kaku: 37:12 It’s worthless commercially, so Toyota eventually gave up on it and the same thing here. You have to have reproducibility. You have to be able to turn it on on demand because as it is, as it was stated, it does violate the known laws of physics. We have something called Maxwell’s equations, which we learned in the first year in your phd program in physics, which governs radar governors, microwaves, so even before we build a microwave tower, we immediately know how it works even before we build it, because we have the laws of microwaves and the laws of electromagnetism called Maxwell’s equations. This device violates Maxwell’s equations. Now, that doesn’t mean that advice is wrong. Who knows? Maybe there’s a loophole someplace in Maxwell’s equations, but it does mean we have to have independent verification and we don’t have that yet. Other people have not been able to reproduce it in their laboratory. That’s my statement.
Bob Bain: 38:07 Oh No. We’re running out of time. We have limited time here, but in your book, the future of humanity, you talk about something called Nano ships. What can you tell us about what these nanos ships are in? How would they operate?
Michio Kaku: 38:23 Well, in my book, the future of humanity, I talk about starships to kind of start shift you see in star trek warp drive, but something that’s more immediate that we might have within the next few decades. In fact, used to send tiny microchips on parachutes energized by laser beams that shoot them at artists space, accelerate them to 20 percent the speed of light, and they could reach the nearest star Proxima Centauri in about four in about 20 years. So this is remarkable off the shelf technology funded by silicon valley billionaires to the tune of $100,000,000, may one day, build the first starship that can take a computer chip to 20 percent the speed of light and make contact with another planet outside our solar system. This is amazing. Off the shelf technology. Only a few billion dollars to build it and that’s the hope of building a star ship in this century rather than waiting another hundred years.
Bob Bain: 39:26 In your opinion as a theoretical physicist, Bozo has a star trek fan. Do you think anytime within the next 100 years, we’ll start to see humanity building, developing a true star ship?
Michio Kaku: 39:39 I think in the next hundred years will have fusion that is in southern France, the French art building, the I t e r a fusion reactor, and we hope to have controlled fusion on the earth. Next, we want to put it in outer space and that means a fusion reactor that may reach maybe 10 percent the speed of light, but to go even faster like half the speed of light would require an even more advanced technology, but this is definitely conceivable that with the falling price of space travel, with the rise of fusion power, we may be able to create the first fusion starship in 100 years.
Bob Bain: 40:20 I hope so. I definitely hope so. I’ve been looking forward to a time when we begin truly exploring space and I hope it begins within my lifetime. It may not look forward to a time when maybe we can find a race that reminds us of the Klingons, a race of green women that we all know. Captain Kirk seems to be attracted to just the green women. Anyway. Uh, before we do go today, Dr [inaudible], I would like to ask you to give us a hope or prediction for either the remainder of 2018 or sometime in the near future.
Michio Kaku: 40:57 Well, I think in 2018 we’ll start to crank up our first moon rockets. The Falcon heavy had his test run just a few weeks ago. Next is the sls and the first moonshot will take place December of 2019. So this year could be the year of testing the first moon rockets in 50 years.
Bob Bain: 41:19 [inaudible] gentleman was theoretical physicist Dr Mitchell and Dr [inaudible] book again is the future of humanity terraforming Mars, interstellar travel in mortality and our beyond earth. We had a very limited time together. Uh, he’s a busy person. So I hope you enjoyed this program. There were so many other things I could, we could have gotten into, but we just did not have the time such as terraforming Mars. I do the best that I could first show back and what a doozy, right of doozy. And we definitely appreciate the time that Dr Cox was spent with us. And if you think I was nervous, you’re right, real ladies and gentlemen, until the next time we do come back together again, I bid you all a kind farewell.