According to Professor Stephen Hawking, our time on Earth is almost up. We just have one millennium left to find another planet to live on, or our entire race is doomed.
During a talk at Oxford University Union on November 15, Professor Hawking stated “I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet”. And coming from the man regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein, it’s probably a statement we should pay attention to.
Professor Hawking, 74, said humanity had undergone significant breakthroughs on understanding the universe in the past five decades, but it is also a “glorious time to be alive and doing research into theoretical physics”.
“Our picture of the universe has changed a great deal in the last 50 years and I am happy if I have made a small contribution,” he said.
“The fact that we humans, who are ourselves mere fundamental particles of nature, have been able to come this close to understanding the laws that govern us and the universe is certainly a triumph.”
But despite the human race’s “ambitious” experiments that have given a more precise picture of the universe, it could all be in vain if we don’t leave Earth.
He believes a chance of a disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, but it adds up over time and within a millennium the species could cease to exist.
“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,” Professor Hawking said.
In past months the Cambridge physicist has made bleak predictions for humanity.
Professor Hawking warned scientists and technology experts in January of their rapid developments and that they are producing “new ways things can go wrong”.
He also said human colonies on Mars would not be constructed or self sufficient in 100 years, and the human race “very careful” in the time before then.
Meanwhile, in a book titled How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight, by Julian Guthrie, Professor Hawking said Earth was at risk due to humanity.
“I believe that life on Earth is at an ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as a sudden nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers,” the Oxford-born professor wrote.
“I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go to space.”
However, the professor acknowledged humans have a knack of “saving the day” just in time, Daily Express reported.
“We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we have to recognise the dangers and control them. I’m an optimist, and I believe we can,” he said.
“It’s important to ensure that these changes are heading in the right directions.”