I’m still unsure if a virus should be considered life. But for the sake of argument, let’s say it is. If that’s the case, then I’d have to disagree with Hawking about humans creating purely destructive life. Let’s consider the traits of a virus. Once injected into its environment, it searches out for it’s target and does its job – whether it be to change the wallpaper or to crash the network of an enterprise. Most of the time virus spread from computer to computer spreading the havoc. All will agree that this malicious act is purely destructive.
But this is not that different from another “life form” that roams the network, jumping from server to server to complete its mission. Yet this entity is integral to something we do every day. I’m referring to the spiders ,or bots, that index the the millions of websites. Without them, where would Google and Yahoo be. Heck, where would the internet be? Once again I think all will agree that the information age would be very different had it not been for these spiders.
Viruses and spiders, though their payloads may differ, their “instinctual” characteristics are the same. It is to spread was wide as possible. So if indeed humans have created life in the form of code, then Hawking is true in saying that it has been created in our own image. I just don’t believe we are as dark as he believes.