Noted theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking decreed that humanity has about a century left to leave Earth and settle on other planets, or our species may well die out. This proclamation came as Hawking’s new documentary on colonizing Mars is set to be released soon. This is far from his first prediction for humanity, but it is the among the gloomiest ones.
Leave Earth for Where?
Hawking’s prediction comes at a time when our species faces a number of great challenges, no doubt. Asteroid strikes are an ever-present danger. Though the odds of that occurring in the immediate future are low. Climate change certainly seems to be accelerating, and the consequences of that are hard to predict. Overpopulation, super bugs, and potential crop failures could be devastating. Even renewed fear of nuclear war and international strife
Overpopulation, super bugs, and potential crop failures could also have devastating effects. Even renewed fears of nuclear war and international conflict seem to have jumped to the forefront of headlines.
“Although the chance of disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next 1,000 or 10,000 years,” said Stephen Hawking.
In his vision, we would not necessarily have to leave Earth. The outflow of colonists to a new world would be like a pressure valve on our demands of this planet. Much like the discovery of the Americas freed up space for an overpopulated Europe, many people could find new lives or careers by colonizing another planet.
But that brings to mind a previous warning from Hawking. He once predicted that if intelligent alien life ever came to Earth, it would be as bad for our population as it was for the First Nations of the Americas. He postulates that we ought to keep quiet in our galactic neighborhood. Not put up signs pointing in our direction
Other scientists disagree. They consider that a civilization advanced enough to cross the vast distances between stars would have no need of anything we possess. The universe is full of resources for those who can obtain them.
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