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Hawking: 'we must leave Earth before 2117'

Posted on Wednesday, 3 May, 2017 | Comment icon 43 comments

Hawking has long warned of the dangers the future may hold. Image Credit: NASA
Professor Stephen Hawking is making a documentary about humanity's need to colonize other worlds.
Whether it be due to global warming, nuclear war, genetically engineered diseases or a rampant artificial intelligence - the next 100 years could prove disastrous for the human race.

Hawking, who is currently working on a new documentary entitled "Expedition New Earth" with former student Christophe Galfard, now maintains that in order for our civilization to survive, colonizing other planets sooner rather than later is going to be absolutely essential.
"Although the chance of disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time," he said back in November, while noting that "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."

It's difficult to fault his logic, after all - right now we really do have all our eggs in one basket.

Whether humanity can colonize other worlds within 100 years however remains to be seen.

Source: | Comments (43)

Tags: Stephen Hawking

Looking for more from Stephen Hawking ? Check out...

A Briefer History of Time: A Special Edition of the Science Classic
by Stephen Hawking

An updated and more accessible version of Stephen Hawking's bestseller 'A Brief History of Time', this newer release acts as the perfect guide to exploring the mysteries of time and space.

The original, which was first published back in 1988, went on to sell over 10 million copies and cemented Hawking as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists of the modern age.

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #34 Posted by WoIverine on 11 May, 2017, 1:04
Yes! Don't solve problems, run from them! Fantastic advice. Hawking, do us all a favor and buy the first ticket, thanks.
Comment icon #35 Posted by docyabut2 on 11 May, 2017, 1:36
 Like everyone else, I think he`s afraid of a big asteroid hitting our earth again, and maybe we better scoot  l
Comment icon #36 Posted by Frank Merton on 11 May, 2017, 1:59
A comet coming in behind the sun for a dead hit would do us in.  There is no asteroid big enough to do that -- and they have all had their orbits well calculated. Consider the earth is 8,000 miles in radius in an orbit of 23,000,000 miles radius.  That makes the volume of space (V=4/3pi r^3) an unbelievably large number (note that you include the cube of 23 million),  That makes our planet an incredibly small target -- the rate of comets coming in behind the sun is not known since it hasn't ever happened, but it has to have an occurrence frequency in the trillions of years (far longer than the... [More]
Comment icon #37 Posted by freetoroam on 11 May, 2017, 3:19
When he says "we", does he mean all humans or just the select few. And are there going to be enough spacesuits for every human being are is the going to be mass fighting of people trying to board the spacecraft, dragging off the "select" few and crushing each other in the process.  It takes years of training for men to go into space, so what chance is there these people will not be going :        
Comment icon #38 Posted by Frank Merton on 11 May, 2017, 3:28
Some compassion is called for in the pictures you post and the context in which you post them.
Comment icon #39 Posted by freetoroam on 11 May, 2017, 3:39
The same compassion which would be shown if a selection was being made as to who would be boarding the spacecraft?  
Comment icon #40 Posted by seeder on 11 May, 2017, 8:13
which hits the nail right on the head!  why bother loading old people, or the seriously overweight, or the seriously dont want space faring hospital ships do you..... carrying the old and potentially settle on a new planet? NO!   Youd want the younger ones, healthier ones Even the young fitter ones will suffer the consequences of long term space the space station astronauts suffer, to a degree.....which includes a whole range of ailments It affects bone density/mass, turns muscles to jelly, it also affects vision, and blood a whole stack of othe... [More]
Comment icon #41 Posted by Frank Merton on 11 May, 2017, 8:42
I don't think a trip in a single human generation to anything that might be habitable is feasible.  Maybe a multi-generation trip or some sort of SF mumbo-jumbo like hibernation. A better course might be to load the DNA and similar things and then depend on automated mechanisms to restore the people.  Of course that is SF mumbo-jumbo too at this stage
Comment icon #42 Posted by freetoroam on 11 May, 2017, 13:23
I do not think it is feasible either. Humans have evolved on this planet over the centuries = in accordance to where they are on this planet, and we are still evolving, as well a creating new "races" by mixing races. I can not possibly see how people or DNA  could be restored -   SF mumbo jumbo) out in space, how could they evolve naturally in a spaceship and there is no planet  or way to reach a planet which is suitable for us to start living on, let alone evolving on. Other things which could cause some problems out in space, some which people are still trying to find a balance to live with ... [More]
Comment icon #43 Posted by quiXilver on 11 May, 2017, 14:58
Perhaps we could learn from the Monarchs... who take three to five generations to reach their nesting grounds in Mexico. Not sure how they transmit the knowledge of their nesting grounds through the generations, but I suspect that what we call 'instinct' is merely the ability of other species to recall their ancestors memories... they're simply able to recall what their ancestors experienced and so head straight home, so to speak. But how to deal with the lack of gravity... or the long term effects of the lack of magnetic resonance and the 7Hz field generated by the earth... or the lack of all... [More]

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