Stephen Hawking has been known for his innovative work with black holes and relativity, and has written several popular books in science including ‘A Brief History of Time.’ The well-known Scientist died last Wednesday at the age of 76 after his long-suffering from the incurable neurodegenerative condition ALS. But before he died he was able to reveal his last advice to humanity.
Who was Stephen Hawking?
Before moving on to the revelation of his final counsel for humanity, let’s us first be acquainted with Hawking. He was a British scientist, university teacher, and author who accomplished trailblazing work in physics and cosmology. He was also able to make science accessible to everyone through his books.
At the age 21, while Hawking was studying cosmology at the University of Cambridge, he was diagnosed with an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A portion of his life story was shown in the 2014 film ‘The Theory of Everything.’
Stephen Hawking’s Final Advice to Humanity
Now that we already know a few details about Hawking, let’s now move on to his last advice to humanity. He revealed that humans must leave the Earth in the upcoming 200 years if we wanted to survive. That has been the blatant warning issued by the Professor in the months before his died on March 14, 2018, at the age of 76.
The renowned physicists have faith that life on Earth could be worn-out by catastrophes like an asteroid strike, AI or an alien invasion. Apart from that, he also cautioned human aggression, over-population, and climate change could cause humankind to self-destruct. He also believed that if our species have any expectation of survival, future generations would have to forge a new life in outer space.
One of Hawking’s main worries for the planet Earth was global warming. He stated that the physical resources here on our planet are being drained, at a very alarming rate. Hawking even said that we have given our planet the catastrophic gift of ‘climate change’.
The rising of temperatures, deforestation, lessening of the polar ice caps, and obliteration of animal species are some of the indications. He even told us that we shouldn’t be ignorant and tactless. Hawking revealed that the Earth will one day appear like the 460°C (860°F) planet Venus if we don’t ditch greenhouse gas releases.
The well-known scientist also believed that President Donald Trump’s choice to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement has condemned our planet. He further cautioned that Trump’s decision would cause unnecessary damage to our ‘beautiful planet’ for the upcoming generations.
‘We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible,’ Hawking stated in an interview last year.
In case, global warming wasn’t able to wipe us out, Hawking believed that the Earth would be devastated by an asteroid strike. He stated that this is not just some sort of science fiction and that it’s assured and backed by the laws of physics and probability. He further added that development into space will totally change the future of humankind. It may also govern whether humans will have any future at all.
Moreover, it is also worth noting that Hawking was working with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Starshot development. This project aims to send taskforce of tiny ‘nanocraft’ that carry light sails on a four light-year expedition to Alpha Centauri, which was the nearby star system to Earth.
‘If we succeed we will send a probe to Alpha Centauri within the lifetime of some of you alive today,’ Hawking stated. The astronomers projected that there is a rational chance that an Earth-like planet is present in the ‘habitable zones’ of Alpha Centauri’s three-star system. In fact, he even clarified that it’s really clear that we’re entering a new space age and that we’re already standing on the verge of a new era.
In addition, Hawking stated that the human colonization and other planets are not a science fiction any longer and that it can be science fact. As a matter of fact, he has faith that in the long run, the humankind should not have all its eggs in just single basket, or on just one planet. ‘I just hope we can avoid dropping the basket until then’, Hawking added.
AI Could Replace Humans
Hawking has claimed that soon AI is expected to reach a stage where it will be a ‘new form of being that will outpace humans. He even went so far saying that AI may substitute humans in total. Nonetheless, he didn’t state a timeline for his prophecies. In an interview, he said: ‘The genie is out of the bottle. I fear that AI may replace humans altogether’. This statement from Hawking created some sort of chilling comments during the discussion.
Furthermore, he specified that people are the ones designing computer viruses; soon somebody will design AI that progresses and duplicates itself. ‘This will be a new form of life that outperforms humans’, he further added.
Aside from that, he also said the AI apocalypse was approaching and ‘some form of government’ would be required to regulate the technology. During the discussion, Hawking also counseled more people to take concern in science, appealing that there would be ‘grave significances’ if this didn’t transpire.
“I have already completed a zero-gravity flight which allowed me to float weightless, but my ultimate ambition is to fly into space.” — Stephen Hawking (January 8, 1942 – March 14, 2018)
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