Words from one of the earth’s greatest minds still astound us. Stephen Hawking’s last book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions was published by The Sunday Times right before his death in March of 2018. It brings us a collection of essays that tackle some of the deepest questions we may muse about every day. After Stephen Hawking’s death and the publication of his book, many people are still astounded by the words of this genius. Some of the biggest questions are discussed in his books – questions like whether we are really alone in this universe, including the existence of God, and many questions about artificial intelligence, and our future as we move forward in this area. One of is main concerns is humanity itself and how long we shall survive on our planet. Hawking believes within 1000 years, either a nuclear or environmental disaster will affect the earth, but maybe humans will be able to leave the earth and survive. However, he believes we shall have many other obstacles to encounter long before the end of our planet. Hawking sees the rise of artificial intelligence as a real possible threat, and definitely the threat of asteroids, which can also destroy many regions of the world. One of the lesser talked about subjects is about “Superhumans” created by the CRISPR-cas9, a gene-editing tool. It seems we’ve skipped Darwinian evolution, and went straight to engineering ourselves, improving our own DNA. It stands to wonder what will happen to those who are not “superhumans”. “There is no time to wait for Darwinian evolution to make us more intelligent and better natured. Humans are now entering a new phase of what might be called self-designed evolution, in which we will be able to change and improve our DNA,” Hawking writes. Hawking figured that those who aren’t “gifted” with this superhuman DNA, will either die out or become unimportant.
The intelligence altered humans will span out and populate other areas of the universe. Clearly, Hawking doesn’t believe in a God of the universe, unless, of course, if this God is considered science. Hawking is an atheist and also included in Westminster Abbey in Science Corner with the likes of Newton and Darwin. Of course, Hawking had many ideas for climate change as well. He believed that fusion power is the answer. It’s clean energy which can be used to power electric cars. This energy source could be used without causing global warming. It wouldn’t become a culprit of pollution either. While one of our greatest minds may be passed on, his beliefs and ideas about our future seem to be falling into place already. Who knows how close his predictions for humanity will be. Thanks to many great minds, like Stephen Hawking, we get a glimpse into the future and a look at what we may become. Thank you, sir, for sharing your intelligence with the rest of us. Image credit: Stephen Hawking is giving a lecture for NASA’s 50th annive.
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