Hawking admitted to being utterly stumped by something - or, rather, someone: Donald Trump.
Sometimes, really brilliant folks with a reputation for being brilliant start to comment on subjects outside their area of expertise, as if their level of genius so transcends the intelligence of the unwashed masses that they can be called on as an authority in literally any subject.
Stephen Hawking has arguably been guilty of this before, and has faced criticism for his recent pontifications on the dangers of artificial intelligence in particular. But on Tuesday, Hawking admitted to being utterly stumped by something - or, rather, someone: Donald Trump.
ITV's "Good Morning Britain" cheekily asked whether the physics genius could explain the American billionaire's rise to presidential candidacy.
"I can't," Hawking replied. "He's a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator."
Hawking, who has lived with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for more than half a century, uses a computer controlled by tiny movements of his cheek muscles to type out communications. This system keeps him limited to a speed of just about one word per minute, so his responses to interview questions are always composed well in advance. In other words, Hawking had plenty of time to puzzle out the mysteries of Trump's nomination (and come up with this mic drop of a response instead).
Hawking also voiced opposition to Brexit, the movement to have Great Britain leave the European Union. He's said before that it would be "a disaster" for science. There would be financial repercussions, he said, but tighter immigration policies would also hurt research prospects.
"Students can come here from E.U. countries to study, and our students can go to other E.U. universities," he told "Good Morning Britain" on Tuesday. "More importantly, at the level of research, the exchange of people enables skills to transfer more quickly, and brings new people with different ideas, derived from their different backgrounds."
So it's clear that Hawking and Trump don't quite see eye to eye on the whole immigration issue. But there are other reasons why Hawking might dislike the presumptive Republican nominee, from a purely scientific standpoint: Trump has referred to climate change as "just a very, very expensive form of tax," despite the plethora of evidence that the phenomenon poses a major threat.
He's also implied that vaccines cause autism, and suggested that it might be safer for children to be vaccinated more slowly and at lower doses (which is not at all supported by scientific evidence and could be quite dangerous).
In other words, no matter what your political leanings, it's clear that Trump is about as anti-science as a candidate can be. Hawking may be a physicist - and a Brit to boot - but you can't blame him for weighing in.
© 2016 The Washington Post(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)