Stephen Hawking: Technological advances 'may destroy us all'

Physicist Stephen Hawking is again raising the alarm that humankind needs to shape up if it hopes to survive.

In an interview with The Times, Hawking reiterated that humankind faces a slew of threats ranging from climate change to mass species extinction. He noted that technological advances have helped humans achieve seemingly insurmountable feats, but may also lead to our demise.

“Since civilization began, aggression has been useful inasmuch as it has definite survival advantages,” he told The Times. “It is hard-wired into our genes by Darwinian evolution. Now, however, technology has advanced at such a pace that this aggression may destroy us all by nuclear or biological war. We need to control this inherited instinct by our logic and reason.”


But despite the issues facing humankind, there may be hope for our survival, according to Hawking, but only if we all work together.

“We need to be quicker to identify such threats and act before they get out of control. This might mean some form of world government," he said.

What could possibly go wrong with a world government? You guessed it, a lot.

"But that [world government] might become a tyranny," he told The Times. "All this may sound a bit doom-laden but I am an optimist. I think the human race will rise to meet these challenges.”

Hawking, who was recently given the honorary freedom of the City of London, also told The Times that he's happy with the life he's lived and is looking forward to the future.

“I travel widely, have been to Antarctica and have met the presidents of Korea, China, India, Ireland, Chile and the United States, as well as meeting four popes. I have been down in a submarine, and up on a zero gravity flight in preparation for the flight into space that I’m still hoping to make it on Virgin Galactic. It is a great time to be alive.”

This isn’t the first time the science superstar has suggested that humankind must get its act together. In the past, Hawking has suggested that humankind may only have 1,000 years left on Earth and will likely need to find another planet to occupy.

USA TODAY Network


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment