In a speech at the Oxford University Union, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking says humanity will not survive another 1,000 years on Earth because of the usual suspects such as climate change, nuclear war and artificial intelligence. Our best chance for survival is to leave earth and find another planet to live on.
“Although the chance of a 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 thousand or ten thousand years,” Hawking said during the speech, according to the Washington Post. “By that time we should have spread out into space, and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race.”
Now that the rate of space exploration seems to be speeding up, with NASA continuing its search for “goldilocks” exoplanets that could sustain life, and Elon Musk’s plan to colonize Mars within the next century, Hawking thinks humans could survive the doom.
Moreover with private companies like Boeing and SpaceX picking up what NASA and other government agencies failed to, and the significant advancement in propulsion technologies, Hawking is positive that one day would lead to multiple new worlds for future generations to live in.
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, wonder about what makes the universe exist,” Hawking said, according to the Independent.
“Be curious. However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”
[Picture: Physicist Stephen Hawking sits on stage during an announcement of the Breakthrough Starshot initiative with investor Yuri Milner in New York. [ via REUTERS/Lucas Jackson]