An asteroid impact is one possible disaster scenario. Image Credit: NASA/Don Davis
The research aims to provide a complete list of threats capable of bringing about the end of the world.
Among the most prominent threats are disasters such as an asteroid impact, an outbreak of incurable disease and the possibility of a nuclear apocalypse. Other scenarios include cyber-attack, a genetically engineered super virus or even the idea of computers becoming self-aware, a concept explored in numerous science fiction movies including "The Terminator" and "The Matrix".
Now a group of scientists including Professor Stephen Hawking and Astronomer Royal Lord Rees will be conducting further research in to the existential risks to mankind and how we may be able to make ourselves more resilient to them.
"In future decades, events with low probability but catastrophic consequences may loom high on the political agenda," said Lord Rees at the British Science Festival in Newcastle.
"We fret too much about minor hazards of everyday life: improbable air crashes, carcinogens in food, low radiation doses, and so forth. But the wide public is in denial about two kinds of threats: those that we're causing collectively to the biosphere, and those that stem from the greater vulnerability of our interconnected world to error or terror induced by individuals or small groups."
Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (20)