Professor Stephen Hawking warns that progress in technology and science has become a threat to humans’ existence.
The eminent cosmologist estimated that the chances of disaster on our planet will increase to a near certainty in the next one to 10,000 years and judged that it will take over a century to establish colonies in space.
Speaking to the Radio Times ahead of the BBC Reith Lecture, in which Hawking is expected to talk about the science of black holes, the cosmologist said most of the threats human beings face right now come from advances in technology and science, such as genetically engineered viruses and nuclear weapons. Hawking is convinced that humans will not stop making progress and emphasized the importance of recognizing and controlling the dangers.
When a schoolboy asked him if the world was likely to end at the hands of humans or from a natural disaster, Professor Hawking explained that technology and science are “changing our world dramatically,” so it is important to make sure these changes “are heading in the right directions.”
The Reith Lecture will be broadcast in two parts on BBC Radio 4 on January 26 and February 2.