Not long ago, the great Stephen Hawking left us to travel among the stars.
The last great scientists on Earth died aged 76, and the news shocked the scientific world. But before leaving on his eternal trip, professor Hawking left us a lot to think about.
The Earth will disappear and become a massive ball of fire. By that time, 600 years from now, humanity must have colonized another planet. These warnings would not be given credit were it not because they came from famous astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, one of the voices that have spoken the most about the end of the world.
Hawking argued that the Alpha Centauri star system could be the most viable option for humanity, reason why he worked on the Breakthrough Starshot project, so future spacecraft could travel to this planet in the next 20 years using small spaceship that could travel at the speed of light.
Resumed, professor Hawking was THE scientist who made science more appealing and exciting to the general public. He Loved science, and science loved him back.
Dubbed as one of the most important physicists of the twentieth century, professor Hawking had become famous not only for his intelligence but also for his status as a celebrity, being one of the few people who had survived amyotrophic lateral sclerosis for so many years.
From the Big Bang theory to studies on black holes, his contributions to these fields will forever remain in the analogs of science, and his legacy will live on.
However, the British physicist was not only a great scientist, but he was also very concerned about our planet, our civilization, and the future that awaits us.
In this article, we take a look at five of the most worrying future predictions made by Hawking.
- A deadly Virus destroying mankind
In 2001 Stephen Hawking warned that a virus would end the human race in this millennium. According to the researcher, “it will be a virus and not an atomic bomb” that will bring Earth’s population to its knees. However, the scientist offered a solution to the problem; establishing colonies in space.
- Nuclear war and climate change
Stephen Hawking and other scientists announced in 2007 that Doomsday Clock was set at five minutes before midnight. Since 1947, the board of directors of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists of the University of Chicago, of which Hawking is a member, manage to Doomsday clock as a symbol that represents how close we are to the end of civilization because of a nuclear war. In 2018 the clock was set two minutes to midnight. The failure of world leaders to deal with looming threats of nuclear war and climate change. This is the clock’s closest approach to midnight, matching that of 1953.
On the effects of climate change, Hawking has warned that “the worst scenario for the Earth would be to become something like its sister planet, Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees and rain of sulfuric acid.”
- Alien Invasion
Like many other scientists, Professor Hawking was convinced there’s life elsewhere in the universe. However, Professor Hawking believed that these beings might have exhausted resources and become space nomads in search of new planets and resources. “If aliens visited us, the result would be similar to when Columbus arrived in America, which was not very good for Native Americans.”
- Artificial Intelligence
Like many other futurists and researchers, professor Stephen Hawking too warned of the dangers of Artificial Intelligence.
“Unless we learn to prepare for the potential risks and avoid them, Artificial Intelligence could be the worst event in the history of our civilization” the astrophysicist has stated on more than one occasion.
For Hawking, humans must be aware of the dangers posed by robots, identify them and prepare for their consequences in advance. In addition to Hawking, Elon Musk also spoke out about the potential dangers Artifical Intelligence posses for humans.
- Humans, and our need for another world
The constant increase in the world population and the abusive consumption of resources and energy are too much for our planet to handle. Our civilization seems to be losing its grip on reality, and we are abusing our planet, bringing it to the limit.
Professor Hawking has warned that if we are to survive as a species, we must look for other planets other than Earth, and colonize them as soon as possible.
Hawking argued that the best option, perhaps, is the Alpha Centauri star system, which is the closest to our solar system.
The Breakthrough Starshot project, in which the physicist was involved, is precisely looking for the way to reach this system in 20 years through the development of spacecraft capable of traveling at the speed of light.